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Sierra Trading Post Tip: Most footprints come with holes or other attachments that allow you to connect them directly to the tent, so that means they won't shift while you're pitching the tent, either. If you've ever pitched a tent on a slippery ground cloth, you'll know how important that is! You can use a ground cloth, tarp, or footprint under your tent; it really doesn't matter to the tent. However, most experts recommend using something, no matter what, to protect tents from cuts, dirt, and holes. Footprints also help prevent pooling under the tent, which ground cloths and tarps tend to encourage.