Cabin Camping Checklist (Printable PDF & Editable Camping Packing List)

Camping in a cabin is a great way to start your camping career! It’s not camping outside but it’s not a hotel either. Cabin camping is a really happy middle ground and a great place to start your outdoor adventures!

Cabin camping can be for everyone – families, close friends, or a romantic trip for two without the kids.  You can cabin camp in the summer and winter. Or in a cozy log cabin with all the amenities or off-grid out in the backwoods without a soul in sight. The choices are endless!

If you’ve never been cabin camping before it can be hard to know what to pack. So, we created this handy cabin camping checklist. It’s always better to be prepared when you’re doing something new!

Related: Want to go cabin camping but fancy something more outdoorsy? Check out our review of the best 8 person tent.

Sheets, blankets and things to sleep on in your cabin

Most cabins will have basic sleeping items but check the website or owner before packing.

  • Bed linen
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  • Blankets
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  • Pillow
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Do check with your host before arriving whether they provide their own bed linen, blankets and pillows. Alternatively, for a true camping experience you can bring a sleeping pad and sleeping bag.

Cabin Kitchen equipment and food

Most cabins will have basic cooking utensils but check the website or owner before packing

  • Food, drinks, and snacks!
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  • Oil, spices, salt, pepper
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  • Special serving plates or bowls you would like to use
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  • Corkscrew
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  • Can and bottle opener
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  • A cooler to get your food there
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  • Trash bags
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  • Large water container
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  • Water (check with your host)
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  • Foil and cling film
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  • Paper towels
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  • Food containers
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  • Sticks for cooking smores
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  • Table cloth for outdoor tables
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  • Dishwashing items
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  • Plastic dinnerware so the kids can eat outside safely
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basic utensils

Most cabins will have basic eating utensils but check the website or owner before packing

  • Wine glasses!
  • Personal water bottles
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Protection from rain and wind

  • Rain jackets
  • Rope for clothesline & clothes pegs
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Camping Clothes, shoes and other gear

  • Quick dry outdoor clothing
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  • Laundry bag for dirty clothes
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  • Nightwear and pyjamas
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  • Hats
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  • Sunglasses
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  • Hiking boots
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  • Water shoes
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  • Casual slip-on shoes
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  • Swimsuit and beach towel
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  • Socks
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  • Underwear
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Cabin Toiletries and hygiene basics

  • Bathroom towels
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  • Hand towel
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  • Face towel
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  • Deodorant
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  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
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  • Shampoo
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  • Hairbrush
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  • Soap
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  • Razor and shaver
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  • Medications
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  • Toilet paper
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  • Baby wipes
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  • Insect repellent
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  • Emergency first aid kit
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  • Lip balm
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  • Sunscreen
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  • Laundry detergent (speak to host)
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  • Contact lenses
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  • Reading glasses
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  • Toilet shovel (for camping)
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  • Hand sanitizer
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Lights, torches and power for cabins

Most cabins will have basic lighting but it’s nice to have some romantic or low-key outdoor options as well.

  • Flashlight
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  • Headtorch
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  • Lantern
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  • Matches
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  • Candles
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  • Spare Batteries
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  • Portable chargers
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Fun cabin activites to take outdoors

Check that your cabin has power and what plugs are required before you leave.

  • Books
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  • Power point adaptor for 12v power points if needed
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  • Extension cord
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  • Field guides
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  • Star charts
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  • Binoculars
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  • Notebook
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  • Pencils
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  • Speakers
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  • Phone
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  • Tablet
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  • Chargers for electronics
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  • Musical instruments
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  • Football
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  • Frisbee
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  • Hammock
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  • Watercrafts
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  • Camera
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  • Fishing gear
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  • Deck of cards
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  • Board games and jigsaws
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  • Day pack for hiking
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  • Wood, firelighters, and kindling for an outdoor fire (if allowed)
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Useful Bits And Pieces for your camping packing list

  • Pet supplies
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  • Watch
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  • Canopy tent for shade
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  • Camping chairs
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  • Rope
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  • Camping grill or BBQ
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  • Multi-tool
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  • Scissors
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  • Pocket knife
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  • Axe
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  • Hammer
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  • Saw
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  • Compass or GPS
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  • Mosquito or no-see-um net
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  • Repair kits
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  • Whistle
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Wood Cabin For Camping Set Up By Lake
Always check the website thoroughly before you leave so there are no surprises!

Cabin camping specific tips and hacks for first-time camper

  • Check to see if you have a fully equipped cabin with its own bathroom or a simple cabin bedroom with shared facilities before you start to pack…
  • Clarify the cabin bedding situation too!
  • Ask, check and recheck what is in the cabin and what you need to bring as it varies from cabin to cabin – vastly.
  • Use recent Trip Advisor and Yelp reviews to see what other cabin campers thought and wished they knew before they arrived. 
  • Cabin camping is NOT glamping. Glamping is almost like a hotel room with canvas sides. Cabin camping is more like camping with a more solid tent.
  • Find out if your cabin is on or OFF-GRID. It will help with a lot of cabin camping packing list decisions.
  • Find out how far it is from the car to the cabin before you pack anything you have to drag a few hundred meters…
  • Remember to respect the cabin quiet hours if there are other cabins nearby.
  • Buy perishable groceries as close to the cabin as possible.
  • Planning to use the laundromat a few times will reduce the number of clothes you need to bring to the cabin. 
  • Make sure your cabin is close to the things you plan to do – hiking, fishing, backpacking, kayaking, and swimming.
  • Bring plenty of trash bags but don’t attract animals by leaving them out overnight. 
  • The best thing about cabin camping is that the weather won’t affect your plans!

After you’ve packed your bags for cabin camping

A paper-based map is going to be handy if cell coverage is patchy where you are planning to go camping so that you make sure you actually get there!

It’s a great idea to check you have the cabin booking number, the access code, phone number, address, driving directions, and a printout of your booking confirmation with you when you do in case your cell is out of range… 

Always remember to leave the house with a full tank of gas in the car and remember let someone know exactly where you are going and when you plan to be back. Email them your itinerary. It’s basic camping security, just in case something happens.

It’s also a good idea to know what the fire ban status of the area is, what the weather is going to do in the next few days, and what dangerous animals or toxic plants you could find camping.

Stay safe!

Happy Camping 😊

Next up: Camping can be equipment and the last thing you want is to damage an expensive tent. Storing your tent incorrectly is a surefire way to drastically shorten its lifespan. Find out how to store a tent.

Or do you fancy an adventure this weekend? Check out our weekend camping checklist.

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Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

Kara grew up in New Zealand where camping in the backyard as a child turned into multi-night trips in the National Parks as a teenager and then a full blown backpacking adventure for a year in Asia, by herself in her early 20's. Camping, bush walking, car camping and road trips still feature heavily in her current life style. She lives right next door to a World Heritage National Park on Springbrook Mountain and highly recommends having them as next door neighbours!