I love cabin getaways, nothing quite beats reading a book snuggled in a blanket by the fireside. The great thing about cabin vacations is that they can be planned year-round. Whether you are spending a winter weekend in the mountains or a summer swimming in the lake. This complete cabin packing list will help you plan the perfect cabin getaway, rain or shine!
Cabin trips are like a step-up from glamping. Unlike camping you can bring more luxuries with you when staying in a cabin, and you’ll have access to a kitchen in most cases. This cabin checklist eliminates a lot of camping items in favour for little luxuries that you wouldn’t take on a camping trip.
It’s important to meet the middle ground of bringing enough but not too much, and knowing what to leave at home!
Need more outdoor inspiration? Check out these other posts:
- 4 days in Banff National Park
- Best things to do in Lake Louise
- 4 day Jasper National Park itinerary
- Best Hikes in Banff
- Easy Hikes in Whistler
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Cabin Packing Tips
There’s a few things you might want to think about before choosing what to bring on a cabin trip. This post includes the basics for every type of cabin vacation along with seasonal items.
- What amenities does your reserved cabin include? Some cabin rentals are huge with a well-equipped cabin, wifi and hot tub, while others are off the grid with an outhouse. Depending on the type of cabin you are staying at will determine which items in the below list are relevant.
- Do you need to bring bedding? I have never personally seen a cabin rental online that didn’t provide bedding, but I’m sure there are some out there that don’t. It’s always a good idea to check ahead.
- What kind of cooking facilities do they provide? Do you need to bring utensils? A mess kit? Spices? Cooking oil? Some cabins only offer the most basic of kitchens so you may need to pack some extra items to cook with.
- Is there a shower or bathroom? Some cabins only full-working bathrooms while others have outhouses and outdoor showers. While I love outdoor showers, this might not be a great idea in the winter months. Do you need to bring extra toilet paper? (Never a bad idea!)
- What time of year are you traveling? Cabin getaways are a great idea no matter the weather, but are you prepared for the season you are traveling in? See my seasonal recommendations below!
- What kind of activities will you be doing? Is your cabin in the forest? Close to hiking trails? Beaches or lakes? Think of what activities you want to do during your cabin stay.
Basic Cabin Packing List Essentials
There are some things that you’ll bring with you on any trip, and the same can be said for a trip to the cabin.
Toiletries & Hygiene
- Shampoo & Conditioner – save room by packing your shampoo and conditioner into these small travel size bottles.
- Hair brush
- Wash cloth
- Hand Sanitizer
- Toilet Paper
- Soap/Shower Gel
Time spent at the cabin is all about comfort, but you can look the part too!
- A classic Flannel shirt to complete the rustic cabin aesthetic.
- Tank tops
- leggings for ultimate comfort.
- Denim Jacket – a classic Canadian tuxedo
- I love my Blundstone Boots for the cabin as they are ridiculously comfy with good grip.
- Sandals/Flip Flops
Navigation & Reservation Details
- If your cabin is off the grid or in a National Park you may not have access to Wifi or cell service. A road map and printed reservation details are great to have for when you lose cell service.
- GPS System
- Alltrails App – the Alltrails Pro App allows you to download hiking trails and access them anytime when you are offline.
- Give your itinerary to a family member
- Tell someone where you are going/what activities, such as hiking, you have planned.
- A trip to the cabin isn’t complete without bringing a Blanket to cozy up by the fire with.
- Complete your cozy cabin outfit with a pair of Cabin Socks.
- A comfy pair of slippers Slippers
- An oversized Sweater
- Enhance your cabins aesthetic with a string of Fairy Lights.
Cabin Kitchen Essentials – Groceries & Utensils
Make sure you know what kind of appliances and cooking facilities your cabin includes before packing for your trip. Depending on what is provided will determine how many cooking items you bring.
- Camping Mugs with some sort of cute slogan/motif (great for photos too!)
- Firewood – it’s recommended to purchase firewood nearer to your destination.
- Mornings at the cabin aren’t complete with a cup of Coffee…
- …or Hot Chocolate!
- A good Camping Kettle/Purcolator to make your morning coffee or nightly hot chocolate.
- A Mess Kit – if your cabin comes with a complete kitchen you won’t need this item. But if it doesn’t or is limited you may want to bring a compact mess kit to prepare meals.
Games & Recreational
If there was ever a better excuse to dig out the old Monopoly bard game, a weekend at the cabin is it!
- Fishing license (You can’t fish if you don’t have a license!)
- Fishing rods – great for misty morning spent by the lake.
- Board Games
- Playing Cards for rainy days at the cabin.
- Canoe for cabin stays by the lake
- Inflatable Paddle Boards are a great option since they pack down easier than a canoe or kayak.
- Phone/Smartphone – If there is Wifi at your cabin you can turn aeroplane mode on to really switch off.
- Phone charger
- Camera / DSLR
- Camera charger
- GPS – some sort of GPS system is great for getting around in areas with little or no cell service.
- Portable Charger
- My most recent cabin stay had an outhouse, and it was the most beautiful outhouse I’ve ever seen but navigating my way to the outhouse at night proved difficult – so I recommend bringing a Headlamp or Flashlight.
Seasonal Cabin Trip Essentials
Spring Cabin Trip
Spring is the perfect season to hike, it’s not too warm and it’s not too cold. Spring is when the snow has melted and the mornings at the cabin are cool and crisp. It’s the perfect season to sit by the campfire, hike and go for walks.
Summer Cabin Trip
The summer months are for days spent at the cabin by the lake. Days spend in the sun, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and paddle boarding!
Autumn/Fall Cabin Trip
The fall is my favourite time to take a cabin vacation. Days spent by the fireside snuggled with your favourite blanket. Who doesn’t love cozying up with a good book hearing the sound of rain drops outside?
Winter Cabin Trip
There is nothing more beautiful than a cabin coated in snow. Winter cabin getaways are the time for wrapping up warm, snowshoeing and building snowmen!
- Patagonia fleece
- Winter Coat
- Crampons or Microspikes
- Winter Boots
- Layering is super important in the winter, Thermal Base Layers will help you stay warm in cold temps
No matter what time of year it is, a cabin stay is always a good idea! Knowing what to pack for your ideal cabin trip will make all the difference. This list covers the essentials to aid in your cabin trip planning, it can be amended as needed and can even be cut down to help when hiking to a backcountry cabin!
What’s your favourite items to take to the cabin?
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