I have read many reviews on Sierra Designs '99 Clip Flashlight 2, and I have found that most people
suggest this tent. What I was wondering was, should I get the footprint with it or just use a basic
ground sheet? What is the footprint? Please help.
A footprint is simply a waterproof abrasion-resistant piece of fabric cut out to the precise
dimensions of the tent. Use of the footprint will extend the life of the tent's floor and increase
waterproofness of the floor (i.e. in extremely rainy situations the floor may leak, the footprint
increases protection against water.) The two main drawbacks of a footprint are increased cost and
weight when backpacking.
A cut piece of painters plastic can quickly and inexpensively be made for the same purpose as a
footprint. Usually the plastic is adequate, but a manufactured footprint usually offers better
protection, as the fabric (usually a ripstop nylon) is more durable than plastic.
Bottom line: get the footprint if you'll be camping in wet areas (e.g. the Northwest), or in rough
terrain. Otherwise it boils down to cost. Most tents will function fine under normal circumstances
without a footprint, but the footprint will likely extend the life of the tent's floor over the long