Matt Johnson

What to Bring Camping in a Cabin

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jul 15, 2022Updated: Dec 13, 2023

When you go camping, there are a few essentials you need to bring with you. But what if you’re staying in a cabin instead of camping in the great outdoors? What should you bring when you’re cabin camping?

Don’t worry, that’s why we’ll impart our years of experience to help you create the perfect cabin camping packing list.

There are some similarities between tent camping and cabin camping, but there are also some key differences.

For example, cabins usually have electricity, running water, and a place to sleep, so you don’t need to worry about bringing a generator, extra water, or a cot. However, cabins also tend to be located in more remote areas, so you’ll want to ensure you’re prepared in an emergency.

Here are a few things to remember to bring when packing for a cabin camping trip. They will make your experience that much better and provide you a more memorable experience.

Things you’ll most likely find at your cabin.

Before you create your cabin camping checklist, you’ll want to know what the hosts of the cabin provide. Typically they’ll have a list of items somewhere on the booking site when you go to book your stay.

Here are a few things most cabin rentals will provide for you—

  • Picnic table.
  • Fire pit.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Bath towels.
  • Dish soap.
  • Cooking oil.
  • Can opener.
  • Coffee maker.
  • Other small kitchen appliances.

You’ll notice it’s a lot like a hotel stay. Sure, most cabins offer amenities and extras like we listed above, but be sure to check before you head out on your road trip.

Sleeping bags.

When you’re staying in a cabin, you won’t have access to many of the amenities you’re used to at home. So, it’s essential to bring everything you need to be comfortable.

One of the most important things to bring is a suitable sleeping bag and pillows.

Sure, most cabin hosts will provide beds and linens, maybe even pillows, but there is a chance linens won’t be included, or the beds won’t be comfortable. Also, it’s nice to sleep in your sleeping bag because it will feel more like home.

A good sleeping bag and comfortable pillows will ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, no matter what the conditions are like in the cabin. You’ll be fresh for a day of exploring and enjoying the great outdoors.

Lanterns and flashlights.

When you’re camping in a cabin, you’re going to want to bring lanterns and flashlights with you. Not only will they come in handy if the power goes out, but they’ll also add to the overall ambiance of the cabin.

Just imagine sitting around the dining room table, telling stories with the light of a lantern, or lying in bed, reading a book by flashlight while the rain patters down outside. Perhaps you’re sitting around the campfire, toasting marshmallows and sharing ghost stories. Whatever the case may be, lanterns or flashlights can help to create an unforgettable experience.


Bring a Grill for Cooking
Always make sure you have a grill on hand to take your dining experience to the next level.

There’s something about grilling outdoors that just makes food taste better. Maybe it’s the fresh air or the smoky flavor imparted by the charcoal.

Whatever the reason, grilling is a great way to enjoy a meal while camping or staying in a cabin.

If you’re planning to do any grilling while on vacation, be sure to pack a portable grill. There are many different types and sizes of grills available, so you can choose one that best suits your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a small propane grill for a couple of burgers or a large charcoal grill that can accommodate a whole chicken, there’s sure to be a grill that’s perfect for your next adventure.

And don’t forget the marshmallows for s’mores!

Charcoal or propane for the grill.

Since you’re bringing something to grill with you, you’ll need something to grill with. That means packing either charcoal or propane, depending on your grill.

If you’re using a charcoal grill, be sure to bring enough charcoal to last the duration of your trip. A good rule of thumb is one pound of charcoal for every two hours of cooking time.

As for propane, you’ll need to bring a portable propane tank with you. These can be purchased at most camping or outdoor stores.

Just be sure to check the size of your grill and the capacity of your propane tank to make sure they’re compatible.

Coolers with food and drinks.

Cooler Stocked with Food
There may be a refrigerator in the cabin but you need something to get your food there.

When camping in a cabin, it is always a good idea to bring along coolers with food and drinks. This will ensure that you have everything you need to stay comfortable and hydrated during your stay.

For the most part, cabins are typically outfitted with refrigerators, but they may not be large enough to accommodate all of your food and drinks.

A small cooler can easily fit under a bed or in a closet and will keep your perishables fresh and your food cold during your stay.

Pack items that can be easily prepared, such as sandwiches, snacks, or other made-ready meals, is also a good idea. That way, if you find yourself with some extra time, you can easily prepare a meal without having to leave the cabin. Who knows how far away the nearest restaurant might be?

A first-aid kit.

I can’t stress this enough. No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, it is always a good idea to pack a first-aid kit. Sure, most places will have one, but it’s always a great idea to bring one as well.

When staying in a cabin, there is always the potential for minor injuries. Whether you’re dealing with a scraped knee from a fall on the trail or a splinter from exploring the woods, it’s always good to be prepared.

A first-aid kit should include bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers – at the very least.

Of course, you’ll want to tailor the contents of your kit to your specific needs, but these are just a few of the essentials.

Bug spray.

Are the mosquitos bad where you’re staying? If so, then you’ll want to pack some bug spray.

No one wants to be constantly swatting at mosquitoes or dealing with itchy bites. You’re there to enjoy yourself, after all.

Be sure to pack a bug spray or insect repellent that is effective against the specific type of insects prevalent in the area.

Pet or dog supplies.

This doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone, only the pet lovers.

If you plan on staying in a cabin with your pup, don’t forget to bring the essentials for them as well.

For example, you may want to bring a portable dog fence along if the cabin doesn’t have any fencing and you need to keep your dog close. You’ll also want to ensure you have enough food on hand to last the duration of the camping trip. Don’t forget to bring a leash because many places require that your pets stay on a leash so you’ll want to be prepared for that.

Bringing pets along on camping trips is a lot of fun and they sure love it too. Just be sure to have everything on hand for them as well.

A few other ideas to add to your camping packing list.

I know we didn’t cover everything, only the essentials. However, there are plenty of other items we’d recommend you bring with you – depending on where you’re going of course.

Here are some last-minute ideas to add to your cabin packing list—

  • Comfy clothes. You’ll want something comfy for lounging during your cabin vacation.
  • Hiking pants. Great way to protect yourself when you’re out exploring the great outdoors.
  • Trash bags. Most cabins will have one or two bags, but you might need more.
  • Portable chargers. We always forget them and have to buy new ones. Save yourself a headache and bring your portable charger for your phone and bluetooth speaker..
  • Personal toiletries. Many cabins will have some basic items, but you’ll want your own for your packing list.
  • Games and activities. You’ll want to bring plenty of items for outdoor activities to make your luxury camping trip more memorable.

Time to create your cabin camping checklist!

Camping in a cabin can be a fun and relaxing experience, but it’s essential to come prepared. Make sure you bring all of the necessary camping gear with you, as well as any food or drinks you may want.

If you’re unsure what to bring, consult our list of essential items for camping in a cabin. By bringing everything you need, you can rest assured that your camping trip will be a success.


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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One thought on “What to Bring Camping in a Cabin

  1. Alice Carroll

    Thanks for the reminder that packing comfy clothes will also be important when planning to stay in a rental cabin. I’d like to find a good rental cabin soon because I want to go on a short vacation with my partner soon. We haven’t had a major Valentine’s Day date in years so it would be nice to get that streak broken soon.

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