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.

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Purifying Water

Water Microfilter or Water Purifier?

Whether you are a world traveler, backpacker or camper, unsafe drinking water should always be a concern. To help protect yourself against harmful bacteria, viruses and a protozoa known as giardia, we strongly recommend always using a water microfilter or purifier to protect your health.

Water microfilters remove microorganisms (including giardia and most bacteria) but do not remove viruses (which may exist anywhere an animal or human has been). They work by passing water through a porous filter media (as small as .02 microns) to remove microorganisms.

Water purifiers are the safest choice for camping or backpacking when water is obtained from lakes, ponds or streams. They work via a two-part purification system. Water first goes through a microfilter to remove larger organisms. The water then passes through an iodine resin system to eliminate smaller organisms. Water purifiers provide the highest level of safety, eliminating all types of organisms (including viruses, bacteria and Giardia as small as .004 microns).

If you would like any additional information about water filters, please call our Outdoor Hotline at 800-226-7552, any day between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST.

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