What is a tent pad at camp site

What is a Tent Pad at Campsite?

Your campsite could be a rocky mountain, steep valley, grassy forest, or a riverbank. The surface could not be always ideal to pitch that tent and comfortably spend some time in nature away from the hustle-bustle of cities.

Pitching a tent in an appropriate position is one of the most important decisions on any camping trip. So, a tent pad can be your only savior when you confront an uneasy surface for pitching your tent.

A tent pad is a pad underneath the entire tent that specifies the space to pitch your tent at a campsite. It is a wooden box-like surface and is usually a squared area bordered by a layer of timbers to retain the fill. The timbers are used to lift the surface of the pad to a certain height that levels the surface if the tent pad is being made on a slope or uneven surface. It is often raised to account for steep ground or can have a border around it. But not all camping sites have tent pads.

Do you need a Tent Pad?

Now, you would be thinking that do you need a tent pad? Tent pads are no doubt, make the whole process of selecting a suitable place for a tent and pitching it very smooth. Tent pads allocate a specific place for pitching the tent at the best place. It, firstly, save your time in searching for the most suitable and flat place to pitch the tent.  Instead of spending hours finding the most suitable place for your tent, you will have to just put that tent up and enjoy your camping trip.

Having a tent pad also minimizes your labor of searching a flat place or, in case, you don’t find one, making a steep place flat.  Most importantly, using a tent pad prevents you from pitching a tent on roots of trees, piles of litter, or an uneven surface that might cause inconvenience for you later during your camping getaway.

Finally, campsites usually have tent pads as they do not want the surroundings to be squashed by pitching tents.  If the campsite has already made a camp pad, it is the best idea to use a camp pad as pitching the tent on an allocated space will not harm the natural beauty of the camping site and will not erase the paths. So, a tent pad is not a necessity for a camping site, but it is good to have when you get to the campsite as it will make your whole camping experience easy and hustle-free.

What is the Standard Tent Pad size?

There is no standard size of a tent pad. Tent pads can be of various dimensions. Campsites with large areas will have a larger tent pad as compared to the relatively smaller campsites.

Also, the sizes of tent pads differ whether the camping pad has been made for leisure camping or backpacking. To be sure of whether your tent would fit in the tent pad at the campsite it is better to call the management of the campsite to get accurate measurements or check on their website the exact measurements to avoid the inconvenience.

So, it is not necessary that your tent would be according to the size of the tent pad as the sizes of tent pads vary; however, they are usually made in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. Below I will discuss in detail all four sizes of tent pads to give you a rough idea of the sizes of tent pads.

Small Tent Pad

A small tent pad is of 8×8 size. A small tent pad can easily hold up to a 4-person family tent. Such tent pad is usually at the backpack camping sites and developed camping sites.

Medium Tent Pad

A small tent pad is of 10×10 size and has the capacity to hold up to a 6-person family tent. This size of tent pads was extensively used in earlier eras. However, they can still be found in older campgrounds.

Large Tent Pad

A large tent pad is of size 12×12 and can accommodate an 8-person family tent.

Extra-large Tent Pad

An extra-large tent pad is of the size 15×15 and has the capacity to hold a tent person family tent. Extra-large tent pads are found in relatively newer campgrounds and can accommodate larger families

This size gives you ample space to pitch two small tents or one large size tent on the same pad. However, the sizes of tent pads can vary from campsite to campsite.


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