The floor fabrics used on SD tents are durable and long lasting and do not require the use of a footprint. However, SD do offer footprints on certain models (Flash, Lightning, Nightwatch etc.) to add an extra layer of protection putting the direct wear and tear of the ground (rocks, sticks, dirt, etc) on the footprint. As a result you can expect your tent to last longer if you use a footprint, but it will require you to carry additional weight. We will let you determine how you want to backpack.