Camping Tips

Choosing a Tent

Choosing the proper tent depends primarily on where and how it will be used. For example, an expedition dome tent is built to withstand high mountain winds and snows, whereas a family tent is built for comfort and good ventilation in a summer environment. Other considerations are:


Polyester fabrics withstand exposure to ultraviolet rays better than nylon tents and are the best choice for longterm campsites. Nylon tents are generally lighter in weight.

Dome or Cabin Style?

Dome tents are more aerodynamic and stable, with a sleeker profile to shed water and wind effectively. They have great interior space and headroom, and their floor plans offer storage capacity for your gear. Cabin tents are ideal for established campgrounds or base camp. Their large, square designs have high ceilings and vertical walls. They have plenty of space for cots, chairs and coolers.


All L.L.Bean tents have breathable side walls and roofs to minimize condensation, and mesh windows and doors to promote cross-ventilation. These ventilated areas are protected by a full-coverage waterproof rain fly. For maximum ventilation, stake out all corners and tie-downs.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of your shelter should correspond to your chosen activity, the number of people using the tent and how much gear youíll need to store. Lightweight design and compactibility are key considerations for alpinists and cyclists. Canoers and family campers may choose larger shelters when compactibility and weight are not primary factors. Since most family camping is done at a campground, the extra space of a larger tent is generally a good idea.

Gear Space

Our tent sizes refer to the maximum number of adults that can be sheltered without gear. To keep equipment dry and accessible, you may want to purchase an oversized tent or purchase a vestibule (a floorless "mudroom" that attaches to the front door of the tent). A vestibule is the perfect place to store wet boots, backpacks or other gear that could get the tent floor dirty or take up sleeping space.

Ease of Setup

Our tents have convenience features to make tent setup fast and easy. Color-coded clips or pole sleeves make it possible to establish camp in minutes.

Other Key Features

Whatever the weather, youíll want the most stable, weatherproof tent you can find. Buy a tent with a full-coverage fly for three-season, wet-weather protection. Poles are the main factor in determining a tentís stability. Choose fiberglass poles for durability, and aluminum poles for lightweight strength.

For help in choosing the right tent for you, please call our Outdoor Hotline at 800-226-7552 any day between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. EST.

Terms of your use of this information.

First Aid

The farther from the beaten path you venture, the more prepared you should be for a medical emergency. Always carry a first-aid kit designed for the type of trek and the number of people in your group.

A variety of first-aid kits are available for day hikes, family camping trips or backpacking treks. Kits should be tailored to your trekking terrain, weather, the ages of hikers and your group's special medical needs.

It is important to know how to use everything in your first-aid kit beforehand. You won't have time in the middle of an emergency to read an instruction manual.

Before you go, learn about any possible hazards at your destination, such as poisonous plants, snakes and insects. Ask local officials or park rangers if you need any special gear or clothing. Locate the road and public phone closest to your campsite or trail, so you know where to summon help if it is needed.

Some organizations offer wilderness first-aid courses targeted to outdoors enthusiasts. Be sure to practice what you learn and share it with others in your party.

Good first-aid kits are available in a wide range of prices, and specialty kits are available for mountain bikers, canoeists and others.

The following items should be considered when outfitting a basic first-aid kit:

  1. 1 elastic-roll bandage
  2. Aspirin or ibuprofen
  3. Adhesive tape
  4. Alcohol swabs
  5. Antacid
  6. Antihistamine
  7. Antiseptic ointment
  8. Adhesive bandages, assorted sizes
  9. Bulb irrigating syringe
  10. Butterfly bandages
  11. Chemical heat and cold packs
  12. Dry-wash pads or wipes
  13. Diarrhea medicine
  14. Gauze pads
  15. Hydrocortisone cream (soothes allergic skin)
  16. Insect repellent
  17. Mirror, small and unbreakable
  18. Moleskin, 1 or 2 packets
  19. Cotton swab, sterile, packaged in pairs
  20. Safety pins
  21. Scissors (Swiss Army Pen Knife has scissors, small blade and nail file)
  22. Sunscreen
  23. Triangular bandage
  24. Tweezers

Inspect the contents before every trip and make sure the tools are clean and supplies in good condition. Replace expired medicines and add items you wished you had brought on the last trip. Make sure the container is durable and waterproof, and stow it in an accessible compartment of your backpack.

Terms of your use of this information.