Cabin Camping Checklist (Printable PDF & Editable)

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.

Sleeping

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

  • Bed linen and blankets if not provided 
  • Or Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, sheets, blankets
  • Pillow
  • Add new

Kitchen

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

  • Food, drinks, and snacks!
  • Oil, spices, salt, pepper
  • Special serving plates or bowls you would like to use
  • Can opener, corkscrew, bottle openers
  • Cooler with ice or ice packs to get your food there
  • Rubbish bin/bags
  • Large drinking water container with potable water or water purification system
  • Food containers and resealable plastic bags for food storage
  • Foil and paper towel
  • Marshmallow cooking sticks
  • Table cloth for outdoor tables
  • Dishwashing items
  • Plastic dinnerware so the kids can eat outside safely
  • Add new

Eating

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

  • Wine glasses!
  • Personal water bottles
  • Add new

Wet weather protection

  • Rain jackets
  • Rope for clothesline & clothes pegs
  • Add new

Clothing & Footwear

  • Bag for clean clothes
  • Quick-drying suitable outdoor clothing for the season
  • Suitable nightwear
  • Sun protection (Hats, sunglasses, sun shirts)
  • Trekking boots, water shoes, slip-on shoes
  • Socks
  • Slippers
  • Swimming gear (swimsuit, towel)
  • Plastic bag for dirty/wet clothes
  • Add new

Toiletries

  • Bathroom towels
  • Hand towel and face washer
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Soap, shampoo
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Hairbrush
  • Shaver
  • Toilet paper
  • Medications
  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick or lip balm
  • Reading glasses/contact lenses
  • Toilet shovel
  • Waterless hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Shower caddy and shoes if you are sharing bathroom facilities
  • Laundry powder and coins for the laundromat washers
  • Add new

Lighting

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

  • Lanterns
  • Candles, matches
  • Headlamps
  • Rechargeable torches
  • Flashlights
  • Spare Batteries
  • Portable solar panel for recharging
  • Add new

Entertainment

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

  • Power point adaptor for 12v power points if needed
  • Extension cord and power board
  • Field guides, star charts, and books
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook and pencils (pencils write on wet-ish paper)
  • Music player, Bluetooth speakers, phone, tablet, etc
  • Musical instrument
  • Ball, frisbee
  • Watercrafts
  • Hammock
  • Camera
  • Fishing gear, bait, license
  • Deck of cards, Jigsaw, board games.
  • Day pack for short hikes
  • Wood, kindling, firelighters, and a lighter for an outdoor fire if allowed
  • Add new

Useful things

  • Pet supplies if you are bringing your fur baby!
  • Phone charger
  • Watch or clock
  • Rope – thick and thin
  • Gazebo or portable shelter for taking to the lake beach or river
  • Portable chairs
  • Portable grill and accessories for outdoor cooking if its not provided
  • Hand pull wagon to put all your gear in to walk to the beach, river or lake!
  • Multi-tool / Pocket knife / Scissors
  • Hammer / saw / axe
  • Compass or navigation device
  • Reflective blanket
  • Mosquito net
  • Credit card / cash / Identification
  • Repair kits for water toys, blow-up mattresses
  • Bear spray for errant bears also works well on unwanted human intruders
  • Whistle
  • Add new
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 bedding situation too!
  • Ask, check and recheck what is there 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 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 packing 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 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. 
  • Make sure your cabin is close to the things you plan to do – hiking, backpacking, fishing, swimming, kayaking.
  • Bring lots of rubbish 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!

And a few things to do before you leave

A paper-based map is going to be handy if phone coverage is patchy where you are planning to camp so that you actually get there!

It’s a good idea to make sure you have the cabin booking number, the access code, address, phone, direction, and a printed confirmation with you when you do in case your cell is out of range… 

Always leave the house with a full tank of gas in the car and remember to tell someone exactly where you are going and when you’ll be back. Email them your itinerary. It’s basic camping security 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 in your camping area.

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!