To some, family vacation means staying at a resort, with many amenities and luxuries at your fingertips. To others, it means roughing it in a tent or a cabin in the woods. Indeed, in 2013, 40.1 million Americans (that’s 14% of the U.S. population) camped. It’s no wonder why, with so many amenities and activities our camp-resorts have that being in the great outdoors, getting off the grid, far away from the office, and leaving material items behind, is just one of the many reasons to go camping!
In the realm of camping, there are many possibilities — you could strap a tent on your back and enjoy a hiking and camping adventure, or you could opt for the more convenient campsite, which is often a better choice for families. You could also rent a cabin as a home base while you discover the state or national park or forest you want to explore. Cabin camping is also comfortable when the weather gets chilly at night or if your party is comprised of too many people to make a couple of tents feasible. One in 10 campers between the ages of 18 and 34 enjoy cabin camping and many times, it’s the best way to stay comfortable and have the amenities of home with you.
While cabin camping offers many more modern amenities, it is still important to be prepared and bring some of the essentials. Your park store may also carry many of these items.
- Fire starters, including lighters, matches, kindling, and lighter fluid. Remember to read up on wildfire prevention and fire safety — a cabin is made up of much more flammable materials than a tent.
- Flashlights and extra batteries — headlamps are particularly recommended for after-dark grilling and late night walks to the bathroom. Not to mention, easy reading if you can’t fall asleep after the sun goes down.
- Camping saw or small axe — unless you plan on buying wood, it is often handy to have the tools to forage for it yourself. Make sure to check with the park or site you are staying at to make sure that foraging for wood is allowed first!
- Plastic bags — from impromptu rain jackets to garbage disposal and leftover storage, plastic bags are an essential and underrated part of the cabin camping experience.
- Camping stove: Some family cabin rentals won’t come with a kitchen, so make sure to bring your own! Mess kits, camping stoves, spices (store them in empty Tic-Tac containers for easy transportation), and cooking oils should be the recipe for yummy camping food for days.
Remember, family cabin camping can be a great way to spend quality time with the whole family. Don’t be afraid to spend some time out of doors either — sleeping up the stars is magical, especially when you can go inside anytime you want. About 82% of cabin campers spent up to two nights outdoors.
Enjoy vacation cabins as the happy medium between camping outside and staying in a hotel and can be more affordable.