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How To Pick The Right Tent For Your Family Camping Trip

Red domed camping tent in a forrestIf you're planning on taking the family camping in the near future, it may be hard to decide what kind of tent to use based on the wide variety of options available. How do you pick? Choosing the right tent will make all the difference in the comfort level of your family during your vacation. Using the wrong type of tent could easily turn a promising trip into a (rainy) disaster in only a few minutes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a tent for your next camping trip. 

Tent type 

The right tent type for your family depends on how you want to use it. Read below to learn more about the different types of tents available. 

Ridge or A-frame

This is a more traditional style tent that's shaped like an "A" or tee-pee. They tend to be on the smaller side and are best suited for individual campers. 

Backpacking tent

These tents are made from lightweight materials and are intended to be easily carried in a backpack over long distances. These tents have low-profiles and are rarely designed for families. 


This type of tent is a great choice for families going on weekend camping trips, as they usually sleep two to four people. These tents are designed with two poles that connect together to form arches that are then anchored into the ground at four corners using stakes. Many of them also come with an outer waterproof layer that sits on top of the poles, called a rain-fly. 


Tunnel tents have poles that loop from one side to the other to create a large circle or tunnel. They provide a large amount of livable space inside and have plenty of headroom, making them a great choice for large groups. 


Cabin tents are the tent equivalent of a 5-star hotel. Upright poles create a sturcture that looks more like a house, creating a huge amount of headroom and living space. Some cabin tents even come with dividers to create multiple rooms! However, more space means that they can be complicated to set up and pitch.

Size and space 

When picking your tent, you should consider the space you'll have to sleep, pitch, and move around within it. Factor in about 15 to 20 square feet of living space for each person who will sleep in the tent. You may want to consider a tent that comes with a vestibule. This is a little alcove designed to put gear like backpacks in so that they don't take up room in the tent's main living space. To find out how much headroom you'll have inside your tent, subtract a few inches off the "peak height" label. You'll want a tent that's at least 3.5 feet in height, which will give you enough room just to sit up in the tent. 


Most modern tents are made out of nylon and polyester. They are light, inexpensive, and easy to maintain. Canvas tents are more traditional and provide good insulation. They're breathable and absorb liquid, so you won't have to deal with condensation in your tent in the morning. The major downside to them is that they tend to be heavy, bulky, and hard to set up.

Tents that are rated as "three-season" are a solid choice for Louisiana campers as they are designed to be used for spring, summer, and fall. You'll also want a tent that is labeled as "double-walled." Most family-style tents are double-walled, meaning they come with a main canopy and a separate waterproof covering to help keep out rain and condensation from getting near where you're sleeping. 


No matter what type of tent you choose, we have room for you at Jellystone Park in Robert, Louisiana! Withover 450 campsites, our Louisiana campground is a great place to take the family to enjoy the outdoors. Book your campsite today!

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