The Cabin Stay
One of our favorite winter getaways is to rent a cabin in the mountains. There’s not much better than sitting in front of a roaring fire while watching snow blanket a forest in white outside.
We frequently stay at a few state parks in Virginia with really nice standardized cabins. But we’ve also done our fair share of rentals through rental agencies and Airbnb. Those have been great experiences too, but the uniqueness of each makes planning for a cabin rental more of a challenge.
Different cabins can come with vastly different amenities, so we’ve developed a checklist of standard items we confirm are provided. We can then either pack what’s missing or have a plan to do without.
Even the most well-stocked rental isn’t likely to have everything we want though, especially in the kitchen. So we always pull things like our travel knife set and cast iron skillet from our camping supplies. We’ve got a section in the checklist for these extra items as well.
While our meals at a cabin don’t need to be as basic as for camping, we still keep them simple. Aside from not having all the tools we would in our own kitchen, we don’t want to spend all our time there cooking.
One of our favorite cabin dinners is a big pot of soup served with hearty bread. This Baked Potato Soup is perfect for warming up after an afternoon of fun in the snow.
Our checklist also includes reminders of pantry staples, beverages, and snacks to think about bringing in addition to supplies for meals. Hot chocolate and other warm beverages along with popcorn to pop on the stove are must-haves for us.
You may want to see what your cabin provides in terms of personal care items so you don’t double up on hand soap, tissues, a hair dryer, etc. And don’t forget to pack any gear you’ll need for outdoor winter activities, whether it’s sledding, skiing, or just making a snowman.