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Our tent pan has a LOT of very tiny holes in it. We've never had to use a footprint, and our tent has always kept water out, but that is no longer the case. I don't want to carry a footprint due to weight. It's impractical to find all the small holes and seal one at a time.

Is there any sort of large area sealant which would work? We have a Kelty two man tent.

  • I don't understand the question. By "pan" do you mean some sort of rubberized floor? All tents I've ever seen develop pinprick holes in the floor, and mine is no exception. But as long as there isn't surface groundwater, why does it matter? Don't put the tent in a place where surface water collects if it rains, but then again that's just common sense anyway. What exactly is the problem? – Olin Lathrop Nov 1 '12 at 14:35
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    If you're in the southern Appalachians during a bad rainstorm there is no such thing as a place where surface water does not collect. Every inch of ground squishes when you step on it. Having a tent that doesn't leak is important to keeping the gear dry. – Russell Steen Nov 1 '12 at 15:18
  • perhaps coat the entire floor with a thin layer of some spray on bedliner or something like shoo goo? – studiohack Nov 4 '12 at 1:21
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    For a two man tent, a groundsheet/footprint surely can't be that heavy? – Rory Alsop Nov 5 '12 at 10:39
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    @RusselSteen - I'd second Rory's point. I like to keep weight down too, but footprints address both of the problems you're seeing - they prolong the life of a tent floor, and they help keep you dry. – DavidR Nov 7 '12 at 3:30
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Basically, if you can't patch them individually there are only 2 real options left.

First, get a new tent. Every tent I have had has developed this over time unless used with a tarp underneath. Any roll on sealant that would work, would increase the weight about as much as a light weight tarp. Also, they tend to make the tent harder to roll up, and more annoying to deal with in general.

Second, Replace the bottom tarp. If buying a new tent is too expensive, you can replace the bottom panel. I have done this in a few tents before. It is not fun and if you do this, make sure you seal the new seam and keep an eye on it the next time out. There are companies that will do it for a fee but it often costs close to what a new tent costs, unless your manufacturer does this. Manufacturers are usually much cheaper.

As mentioned above, there are roll on sealant solutions, but in my experience they are not worth it.

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I have used McNett (other brands include Gear Aid and Stormsure) seam grip to patch some little holes on my tent and I like the result. Once dry the product is flexible and resistant. They say you can patch some bigger holes and I think it would be ok. But if you have many little holes, I'm not sure it worth the effort; you may have a tent floor with more glue than fabric.

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