A floorless tent (Luxe Tents shown) can be a great option for minimalist camping. Floorless tents have a greater amount of flexibility and are lightweight. Mountaineers and backpackers have been using these outdoor shelters for years and humankind for centuries. Let us go over some pros and cons of using a floorless teepee or dome tent.
Most Floorless Tents Have a Better Rain Fly
Floorless shelters usually have a better performing rain fly in bad weather. Generally, these tents have rain protection that goes all the way to the ground. It is very important in a storm that rain, snow and wind can not be blown under the tent.
The engineering aspect of these tent designs are better. Traditional dome tents have a small rain fly that is only water-resistant on the top portion and sticks close to the inner tent. Our tents have a completely waterproof outer tents, that is spacious and extends all the way to the ground. However, this usually means there is less airflow because there is more waterproof fabric. So you must take tent condensation into consideration in most weather conditions. Leaving the vents open and a door cracked, usually prevents this issue.
Floorless Camping in Heavy Rain
Using a floorless tent in poor weather conditions can be a huge benefit, if you chose the proper campsite (even proactively when the weather is good). It is important that you choose a campsite that is on slightly higher ground, that way water can run away from your sleeping area; in all directions.
When set up correctly, a floorless outer tent give you extra space between the sleeping area and the tent walls. You can pair the floorless tent with a bivy sack, ground sheet and/or various inner tents. This extra space between the sleeping area and tent wall is very beneficial for airflow and keeping your sleeping space farther from the wind and rain.
It is important that you use a floor of some type, to prevent body heat being lost through the ground. A ground sheet, bivy, inner tent or a bathtub floor are the best choices. Some sort of performance fabric or material to prevent moisture and heat exchange while sleeping on the ground. Camping in very wet, rainy conditions can be tricky because you will be setting your tent on top of an area that is already fully saturated with water. It is good to take those small, extra steps to make sure you sleep warm and comfortable.
However, if you set up your tent in a bad location or have your outer walls too high up off the ground, it can make sleeping almost impossible. Water can run under the tent if you are sleeping in a depression. And if you have your tent walls up too high, rain can be brought in from the side with high wind.
Tip: In long periods of heavy rain, the outer tent should only be a few inches from the ground, to avoid splashing or wind blowing rain under the shelter. However, leave the door open when possible, to avoid condensation. Read more tips on avoiding tent condensation!
Keeping Bugs Out of Your Tent
Camping with a floorless tents, means the traditional bug protection netting of dome tents is not included. Most floorless tents do not have anything but a outer tent as a shelter. You can use the following steps to keep bugs out of your sleeping area:
- Lower rain fly completely on the ground
- Use an inner tent
- Bivy sack with bug netting
- Hanging mosquito netting
Save Weight and Space Inside Backpack
Camping with a traditional tent can be very bulky inside a backpack. Saving space often means that you have extra room for more food or other important outdoor gear. Using a floorless tent, often means you can leave the inner tent at home. That is often half of the packed size of your shelter. For some tents, this is a huge space saver!
Material used in tent floors often are the thickest material for protection and durability. Using a thicker fabric means extra bulk and weight. Having that option to leave it at home, is awesome! However, in some extreme weather conditions, it's a luxury to have that extra inner tent.
Simply pair a floorless tent with an ultralight groundsheet, is all the protection that is needed in most cases. This takes up a fraction of space and weighs a whole lot less!
Simple and cleanest way to take down and pack up your tent
Using a floorless tent ensures the absolute simplest and cleanest way to pack up camp. This is especially useful for overnight backpackers or thru-hikers venturing on for thousands of miles of trail. No matter what the weather conditions it makes packing up a breeze! Picture that it is pouring and windy outside... meanwhile you're safe under shelter taking your time to change into your hiking clothes, spread out food/gear/camera equipment, pack your bag in a dry area and just safely waiting and munching on some snacks while you wait for the rest of the group to get ready. Once you're done just fold up the floorless tent and either pack it loosely on the outside or stuff it into the top of your pack!
Ground Sheets and Small Inner Tents
Using a groundsheet and/or a small inner tent, is a huge benefit in bad weather. This gives you the ability to use a small part of the floorless tent as the sleeping area and have the other space open ground that is still covered from the elements. Having this floorless area is a great way to climb in out of the weather and not get your sleeping area wet or dirty. You can have your own private sleeping area on one half in your inner tent and the other covered half can sleep friends or pets. Additionally, this gives you the option to use a small camping chair and in some cases, a wood stove under the rainfly of the tent. Now that is camping!