A tent is not enough for camping in nasty weather and uneven terrain. In these cases, seasoned campers choose a tent skirt to ensure their safety and comfort.
So, what is a tent skirt, and what is its purpose? This flap is an additional fabric surrounding the base of a tent. It plays a role as a cover to protect your shelter from the ground, preventing external factors from entering.
This article will give you an in-depth explanation of this flap.
Let’s join us and discover!
What Is A Tent Skirt?
The tent skirt is a sturdy outer covering that covers and secures the tent’s foundation. It’s the additional fabric that wraps around the tent’s edge.
In many circumstances, the skirt is an integral component of a floorless tent.
Snow skirts are typically available on four-season tents intended for usage in high-altitude or cold climates.
Skirts keep your shelter secure in adverse weather during the winter and summer. So, depending on our needs, we name it a “sod skirt” or a “snow skirt.”
A snow version is a more popular item since it aims for the cold weather than the original one.
Campers employ snow skirts to safeguard their tents by concealing them in snow throughout the winter.
The sod skirt works like the snow on, but it’s not about winters. Instead of snow, they cover the additional fabric with sand or grit.
What Is The Purpose Of A Tent Skirt?
If you want to camp in the cold, mountains, or the rain, bring a tent equipped with a skirt. It comes in handy in these cases.
Avoid external elements
Campers sleep in tents. But, how to ensure their sleeping places are warm and secure enough with the severe weather outside?
Of course, the material and construction of the shelter are essential. Yet, you can add the skirts for extra protection.
The fabric helps cover the base of your shelter completely, preventing wind-driven dirt and snow from entering.
If you camp in the forest, insects, snakes, and vermin may sneak in the tents through the base. When you block the entries, there is no way for them to get in.
Seal the bottom of the tent
Camping on rough terrain is a challenge. Since tents have a flat design for the base, there would be some holes between them and the ground.
In this case, you can use the excess fabric to compensate for the gap. It will cover the holes where the tent can’t touch the ground.
Materials For Tent Skirts
There are many materials used for making skirts. They are all durable, flexible, and also common materials for tents.
Polyester is the popular fabric on the tent market today. Some campers even consider it as the new industry standard.
Polyester is a synthetic material made from petroleum that is both durable and affordable.
This fabric can handle a variety of weather conditions and landscapes if made with a greater denier.
Because the polyester skirt rests on the ground, it frequently comes into touch with soil and pebbles. But don’t be concerned! If it tears, you can quickly fix it in no time.
Polyester is also lightweight, making it easier to work with.
With the benefits it offers, polyester is undoubtedly the best material for skirts.
For those wishing for a high-quality outdoor adventure, cotton is an ideal choice. Because of the pattern, it allows water vapor to pass through the linen. Hence, condensation is negligible.
In today’s outdoor culture, cotton is a wonderful option. During the day, the cotton fibers let the skirts breathe effectively, providing flexibility without becoming stuffy.
The skirts retain heat at night. It keeps water droplets and fog at bay.
The cost of making and manufacturing nylon is relatively low. Nylon is also one of the most popular fabrics for compact tents for hiking trips.
However, you must also check its long-term viability, which is where treatments play a significant role.
Nylon comes with various complex treatments to make it durable and waterproof, which makes it more costly.
You can learn more tips about waterproofing from this video.
Although the material is a little tougher textile than polyester, it absorbs water like a sponge. If not waterproofed effectively, it can’t withstand dampness otherwise.
In general, nylon skirts are cheap and easy to use. However, make sure you treat it properly before using it.
Polycotton is a combination of polyester and cotton. It has the benefits of both materials in its constitution.
This fabric is durable, breathable, and quick-drying. As a result, campers love to use skirts made of this material.
Unfortunately, polycotton skirts will add a lot to your luggage’s total weight. They are also more expensive than other options.
When To Use A Tent Skirt?
Because the skirt is responsible for preventing outside weather hazards, it is advisable to have one in these situations.
Your shelter may get attacked and damaged by the strong winds. They even blow out the interior of the shelter.
It would be beneficial if you used a barrier to keep the wind out of your space.
Winter camping is a rewarding experience, especially for experienced campers. However, if you don’t know how to protect your shelter from a snowstorm, everything will turn out to be a disaster.
When it comes to maintaining the temperature inside your shelter, the heating system can’t compete with nature. Then, a skirt comes into play.
The sod skirt is best for avoiding every external attack from the base. When you camp in the forest, you will face a lot of trouble in this term, like insects.
The terrain is not smooth, so that you can’t secure your shelter smoothly. If the fabric fails to cover the tent foot, use the skirt to make up for the gap.
When Not To Use A Tent Skirt?
A skirt is essential for floorless tents, especially while camping in poor weather. However, there are some cases in which a skirt is not necessary.
If the climate and terrain you’re camping in are both ideal, you can relax and enjoy the air. Tents with no flooring enable every natural flavor to enter. You will undoubtedly have a good time.
You don’t need skirts when you camp with sewn-in groundsheet tents. The foundation of these products is well-covered, blocking away any distracting elements.
One issue with the sod skirt is that it might create dampness when camping in cold weather. The skirt will gather water, extending the drying period.
Some campers leave a little space in the base of their tents to allow ventilation. If the skirt is in use, it will limit the airflow. As a result, your shelter will become stuffy and hot.
Tent Skirt Alternatives
If you find using skirts inconvenient and ineffective, you can find some alternatives. Here are our recommendations:
A rainfly is a piece of additional material that hangs from a tent’s top. The most common materials for the rainfly are nylon, polyester, and cotton. As a result, this sheet is often waterproof.
The rainfly can protect your shelter from different harsh weather conditions, including snow, wind, rain, and cold temperatures.
While the skirts protect the base, the rainflies can cover your shelter from the top. However, they still share something in common, such as the materials.
Bury the tent legs
To optimize the security of your construction, you can bury the tent feet in the ground. To achieve the best effect, you need to bury them at least one foot deep.
Insert some PVC tubing near the ground if possible. This tip helps tighten the legs.
Stakes and pegs
Stakes and pegs are two of the most practical methods to keep tents secured.
Solid metal pegs are commonly available in camping gear and perform well for anchoring on the ground. By increasing the surface area, they will strengthen resistance.
The stakes are large and have a corkscrew design that assists them in staying in place.
A footprint is a water-resistant fabric layer that sits beneath your tent. It works as an abrasion barrier as well as a protective coating.
Because of its water resistance, manufacturers generally employ polyethylene or another polyester type to make the footprint.
The footprints are frequently the same size or smaller than the tents.
This option works like the skirt since they both rest at the tent’s base and come from similar materials.
The tarp looks like a rainfly. It is a rectangular piece of fabric, and it requires ropes and poles to secure above your head. There is no need for floor or walls if you choose to use the tarp.
Some campers put up a tarp over their tents for extra protection against the extreme external elements.
You use the skirts to stay safe and warm while sleeping outdoors. If the water is not too harsh, a sleeping bag will suffice.
The bag covers your body. It also offers cushions for better comfort. Moreover, you don’t need to set it up as you do with the skirt.
Do New Tents Come With A Tent Skirt?
Some tents include skirts in their construction. You may want to consider BaiYouDa and Dstervl products. They are among the best options for winter camping.
Because of the advantages they provide, the skirts are still in use today. They’re great at keeping the tent and its occupants dry in different weather conditions.
Many seasoned campers, on the other hand, are aware of the potential drawbacks of a skirt. They chose to employ advanced tools to solve the concerns while still coping up with the external environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Campers have shown their concerns about the skirt. Here are some of their frequently asked questions.
1. Do tent skirts make you warmer?
Yes. The skirts limit the cold air entering your shelter. It also assists in preventing wind and snow.
Moreover, if you camp on rough terrain, the skirts will cover the gap between your tent and the ground. Hence, you will have an extra layer of protection.
2. Should tent flaps be in or out?
It’s critical to position the flap within the awning, pointing inwards. Then, on top of it lay a moisture layer.
Make sure the tarp extends a short distance up the awning’s edge. It will divert the water beneath the tarp, preventing water from seeping inside.
3. How do you make the bottom of a tent more comfortable?
In addition to skirts and footprints, there are other tips to make your shelter comfortable from the bottom, such as:
- Employ the pool float as your sleeping pad
- Make a foam floor inside your shelter
- Warm your sleeping bag using a hot water bottle
- Utilize binder clips to secure the snow skirt
4. Can you use the rainfly as a tent skirt?
Yes, but it isn’t easy to set up. Both tools have the same materials, which are durable and waterproof. So, the rainfly can work well to safeguard the base of the tent.
However, a rainfly is a rectangular piece of fabric. You may find it hard to wrap it around the tent bottom.
A tent skirt is a valuable item when camping outdoors. It keeps annoying things out of your shelter.
The tool is not always necessary. You can still opt for other alternatives if you don’t think the flap will meet your needs.
Hopefully, this article has given you some helpful information. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post!