The number of potential flooring ideas out there can make it quite overwhelming, especially if you’re a beginner and only just getting into camping.
There are a number of things that you need to consider when trying to choose a tent floor for your campsite. without considering these things can turn your relaxing trip into a horrible experience. Ultimately resulting in you not want to go camping again, which isn’t something I’d want!
Finding the right floor will make a massive difference on your next camping trip as it can make the overall experience more comfortable and keep you dry! Which at the end of the day, camping is about being comfortable and relaxing in the great outdoors while getting away from everyday life. So why not have a little luxury in your temporary home as well.
Why Use A Camping Tent Floor?
While you don’t necessarily need a soft tent floor to enjoy your camping trip they certainly help with making it more comfortable. Which at the end of the day camping is meant to be enjoyable and help you destress from the day to day life you’re trying to escape.
For me, the additional comfort under the foot is enough for me to say, yes you should use some kind of tent floor. Unless you’re someone who likes to camp to experience the outdoors in a more rugged way, then a tent floor might ruin that experience for you.
There is are winter camping tips for using a tent floor is a good thing to use in my opinion. Having an extra layer between yourself and the ground will help keep the tent warmer, which is really useful on those cold nights.
Adding a layer between the earth and an airbed will drastically reduce the amount of cold your body typically feels when sleeping. So there is a practical reason to have some tent flooring which isn’t just comfort.
Different Types Of Tent Floors
The first thing you should always do with your tent is to have it on top of a tarp as this will keep the moisture from getting inside the tent from underneath. So no matter what you choose this is required in my opinion and it’s something you should do no matter where you camp. Knowing how to position your tarp beneath your tent is pivotal as well.
Camping and RV mats are a tent floor option for beneath the tent. This will add a little bit of comfort beneath the feet while protecting the base of your tent from damage.
For some people, they don’t need anything but the standard tarp underneath the tent, which I can understand if you have a camping cot. It keeps you off the ground so it being hard isn’t too big of an issue which means you save money by not having to buy something extra.
Not only do you save money by sticking to your standard tarp you also save space which as I mention is at a premium. So there are some good reasons to take just the standard tarp flooring.
If you haven’t cleared the debris away properly from the floor your tent will be going on then you’re in for some trouble in my opinion. A standard tarp isn’t going to stop a random rock or stick from poking you and making it all-round uncomfortable to be in a tent. So I always recommend having something on top.
The disadvantage of only using a tarp as your tent floor is, of course, it’s the least comfortable beneath your feet. There isn’t much padding benefit to using just a tarp beneath your tent. However, some people may just want the tarp as a protection barrier for the bottom of the tent, which is a very valid point.
Heavy Foam Rubber
If a comfortable flooring solution for your tent is the highest priority, then a foam rubber floor is hands down the best option. Especially for tent camping at Burning Man where the ground is very dry and hard.
Heavy-duty foam rubber is a good option as it will add some comfort and be fairly durable which gives it some longevity. It also helps protect your tent floor from regular camping terrain exposures such as rocks, twigs, gravel, branches, etc.
But of course, the main benefit is that this kind of tent floor idea makes the ground inside the tent feel like a cloud to walk on. After a hard day hiking the trails, the feet can really appreciate having such of soft and padded tent floor at the end of the day.
The Disadvantage To This Tent Flooring
The biggest downside to a heavy foam rubber is as the name implies it’s heavy in weight. The extra carry weight can be hard to justify for some people’s camping trips. So I can understand not wanting to use it on your flooring. So if weight and space are an issue for you I’d try something else mentioned below.
Interlocking Foam Floor Panels For Tents
I’ve no doubt you’ve seen a variation of these before as they’re fairly common and for good reasons. They’re a fairly cost-effective way to get some extra padding on the floor and they don’t weigh a tonne. Making these floor pads a great addition to any camping trip where you demand padding beneath your feet.
In my opinion, it’s how easy these things are to stack and store away in your trailer, car, truck bed, etc that makes interlocking foam best for camping. As a result of being stackable, you don’t lose a lot of space when they’re packed in your vehicle.
Since you’re limited on what you can take camping as space comes at a premium, and these pads are an amazing way to add a tent floor to your tent without compromising too much valuable storage space in your vehicle.
The biggest downside to these floor pads is that they can be a little thin so they don’t offer a lot of protection. Depending on how thorough you are when clearing the campsite this might not be an issue for you.
Camping Rugs And Carpet
Since these twos are so similar I decided to put them together as they both do the same job overall. They both offer that extra bit of softness which is appreciated when you do camping and can even help with sleeping for some people.
The thing I like about these options is that you can generally get them to fit perfectly in your tent, so you’re not wasting floor space. Simply go do to your local carpet store and get a quote for the size of your tent, whether it’s 10′ x 10′ or 19′ x 9′, the carper place can cut to size. This makes it easier to set out the floor plan of your tent which just makes life easier which I appreciate.
These types of floors can help with keeping you a bit warmer when it’s cool outside which is a big plus there. But in the middle of the hot months, this can be a downside if your tent doesn’t breathe very well. However, it can make the base of your tent not so hot to walk on with bare feet.
Carpet can fray around the edges, making it somewhat frustrating at times to use compared to others. This is far from a deal-breaker in my opinion and still worth considering.
Fake Grass For The Tents Floor
A unique option which is relatively soft on the feet and somewhat visually appealing is to use fake grass. This can be cut to size to suit your tent’s floor or be used as the entry mat into the tent. Grass squares can also be bought, but I prefer the option of custom sizing like Goasis Lawn offers on amazon here.
Fake grass is a nice alternative because any sand and dirt brought inside the tent will fall to the bottom of the grass. So you won’t have the feeling of sand and dust beneath your feet while walking around inside your tent. Cleaning the sand and dirt off after the trip is just a matter of shaking the grass rug out.
The grass can be rolled up and packed away to be used at home, or kept specifically for camping. The disadvantage of this approach is that when rolled up, the fake grass can be quite bulky.
For me, these are very similar to rugs and carpets except you have the ability to clean them easier. For a soft blanket to be a good idea you do need to bring quite a few of them, which does eat up space unless your main goal is to relax as much as possible then taking a lot of blankets won’t matter too much.
I generally only really recommend a big soft blanket if you don’t have any other options which they do make excellent “I forgot my flooring” emergencies. This is because the main disadvantage of using a blanket as a floor for your tent is that they are very flexible.
They move around the floor, get scrunched up and can become a tripping hazard, especially during the night when it’s harder to see.