We are consumers, that is a fact. Someone makes something, we buy it and then get rid of it when something better comes out. That’s how it works, if it didn’t we would all still be using the first version of the iPhone. Sometimes though, just sometimes, we can just take something we already have and make it work for us. That is what happened to my $4.99 tarp when it became my $49.00 tent footprint. Luckily when I bought my tent they didn’t have the footprint for it and I had to come up with an alternative. While in a Harbor Freight earlier that week I noticed a grommet set and that’s when the DIY tent footprint idea was born. A cheap tarp I bought for the barbeque that never got used was sitting on a shelf and it was about the right size for the tent so it was to become the tent footprint.
I didn’t want to do any sewing or cutting so the idea was to put the grommets where the tie downs were on the tent. I laid the tent on the unfolded tarp and made some marks of where the grommets were to go. The grommet tool is easy to use. It has a die punch for making the hole, a backing plate and a former to roll the grommet over itself and lock it in place. A piece of wood is needed when punching out the holes in the tarp. The whole procedure took maybe an hour and out in the field it worked great. Since the tarp was a little larger than the tent it gave me a little area to leave my shoes. The tarp weighs a little over a pound and grommet kit was under five bucks so a small win for me on the cheap gear checklist!