I know you blog readers are probably almost as excited as I am about next week’s CABIN TRIP! And I say that, because a blog I posted about a cabin trip at Cheboygan State Park in May, 2018 is my fifth-most viewed blog of all time at 114 views; another blog I posted about different cabin trips I’ve taken in the state of Michigan is my 10th most viewed blog of all time with 57 views and yet another blog I posted about a cabin trip in April, 2018 is a bit farther down the all-time views list and has had…only 16 views so far! It’s feeling like the Jan Brady of my cabin trip blogs. The middle child, the Fredo Corleone, the Donny (that’s a Big Lebowski reference in case you didn’t know). Could y’all give this blog a little love so we don’t have to endure hearing Jan Brady whining about Marcia (LOL)?
Sign it’s time to hit the mute button… fast! Jan’s whining again (groan)!
There really is no “one size fits all” list of things to bring on every camping/ cabin trip. Why? Because every camping/ cabin trip is different! Are you going to have access to water and is it going to be warm? Bring swimwear. Will you have electricity? Bring an extension cord and charging cords for your phones/devices other electric things. Are you going to have to use a hand pump for water? Bring wide-mouthed water vessels/containers (refilling old Dasani water bottles from a hand pump is a bit tricky)! Summer trip? Bring bug spray and sunblock. Going on a winter trip? Bring your winter coat and warm boots. Not going to have electricity? Make sure you have plenty of batteries and a means to charge phones/devices from your car charger or some kind of portable charger.
Think of cabin/camping trips as being kind of like overnight tailgates. The very same things you’re likely to bring if you’re hosting a tailgate you’re probably going to want to bring on a cabin/camping trip. Though you may not have room in your Chevy Malibu to bring along a keg of beer!
Here’s a list of things we’ll be bringing on our cabin trip next week. Our cabin will have electricity, we’ll have access to running water/flush toilets, etc. Note I’m not including “duh” things like personal hygiene items/clothing.
Gear List For Next Week’s Trip
- Water storage containers. Dispenser jug for ready water at camp.
- Covered/insulated travel coffee mugs and other drinking vessels. “Drink cozies” are also nice if you’ve got ’em.
- Wide-mouthed water bottles.
- Folding camp chairs
- “Butt pads.” The kind you use on metal stadium seats will work fine – and are great for being more comfy while sitting at a picnic table or even in your camping chairs. Our friend Dave’s skinny ass can NEVER be cushioned enough (LOL)!
- Fire starting gear (lighters, matches, dryer lint, storebought/homemade firestarters). Raid your trash can in your laundry room. Dryer lint is great for setting your own dryer on fire when you don’t keep the lint trap cleaned out, and it’s also fantastic for starting campfires! What would Beavis from Beavis and Butt-Head say?
- Lighting – flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, etc. Extra batteries/fuel for these.
- Slip-on footwear (flip-flops, soccer sandals, etc). Great for quick middle-of-the night trips to the restroom. Flip flops/waterproof sandals are essential if you’ll be using icky public showers, which you MUST presume will give you a nasty case of foot fungus. Trust me, you DO NOT want to go into public showers barefooted. Honestly, I don’t even like bothering with public showers unless I’m going to be doing more than two overnights. Showers not even very effective when the shower head hits the height of your neck (tall person hangup).
It’s rare when I find a public shower that comfortably accommodates me! This public shower is at the beach at Cheboygan State Park.
- Hand sanitizer. Even if running water is available in restrooms, you’ll want a bottle of “hand goo” around camp. Guys, in particular, will quite often just “mark their territory” around camp if they just have to pee and won’t bother going all the way to a toilet in the middle of the night. Some will even claim that doing this helps keep bears away from your camp. And if they’re not completely disgusting or too piss drunk, they just might bother using that hand sanitizer when they’re done (though they probably won’t)!
- Liquid hand soap/dish soap.
- Paper towels. Thicker varieties are best. Trust me – you WILL need them. Don’t go too cheap on paper towels.
- Dish rags/hand towels.
- Baby wipes. Even if you don’t have a wee human, they’re good for SO many things – wiping off sunblock/bug spray, keeping a bit cleaner when there are no showers, etc. Nothing quite like a good old fashioned “whore’s bath” when a real “bath” isn’t an option! A fellow female camper gave me the skinny on baby wipes when we were at a music festival years ago and they’ve come along with me on every cabin/camping trip ever since. Wipes infused with aloe are particularly nice.
- Bug spray – DEET based sprays work best, but if you have kids or are gun-shy about waging chemical warfare, use something else, but don’t expect it to work as well as DEET sprays.
- Cookware – coffee percolator, pots, pans, electric skillet. Non stick interiors are great for easy cleanup.
- Cooking utensils (tongs, spatula, etc.). Bring fireproof (not plastic) barbecue tools if cooking over a fire.
- Cook stove/fuel.
- Dinnerware/flatware. Reusable is preferable, but paper plates are pretty convenient. If using microwave, bring microwave safe dishes.
- Trash bags.
- Utility knife. There’s always something…or someone – that needs cutting!
You probably won’t need a machete on your typical cabin/camping trip unless you’re doing a backpacking trip in the Panamanian interior – or the Outback! A simple utility knife will do for most cabin/camping trips…
- Rope. Always something – or someone – that needs to be tied up/secured!
- ‘Biners. Handy for many things…Am I starting to get a little kinky with this gear list – will this be a 50 Shades of Grey cabin trip? Perhaps! Note, if you try Googling the word “biner,” Google will ask “Do you mean “boners?” DON’T click on the word “boners!” ‘Biners is slang for carabiners, those neat-o clip things that climbers use.
These are your “garden variety” ‘biners suitable for everyday use and camping/cabin trips. Beefier ones are used by climbers.
- Table cloth suitable for outdoor use. Picnic tables can be really GROSS. Bird poop is the least gross thing you’ll find on some of them!
- Pre-moistened kitchen cleaning wipes. Throw a few inside a Ziploc. Don’t expect the previous tenants to have cleaned up after themselves. Great for wiping off counters inside the cabin before you check out.
- Duct tape. Always need it for something! We used it to duct-tape paper plates to our table when eating during high winds! Duct tape can also be used to make emergency repairs, restraint, keeping children quiet, making wallets…
- Corn hole set. Also bring measuring tape to measure distance between sets during game play (27 feet, BTW).
If you have the lawn space at your cabin/campsite – and kids are going to be joining you, a cornhole set is definitely a must-bring!
- Laptop and DVDs. Great backup if weather is rainy. Laptop can also be used to upload pics from digital camera. Laptops can be very useful even if there is no WiFi…I used my laptop to make a “scary music” playlist on a cabin trip that occurred during a campground Halloween party. Scared the crap out of the trick-or-treaters! Or were they just scared because I had a hatchet sitting on my lap while I handed out candy (survey says)? And people ask why I didn’t want to have kids (pffft)!
- Board games. Another “rainy day” option. Playing cards.
- Music. mp3 player, speakers, etc., radio.
Things To Do Before Trip:
- Call park to find out if firewood/ice will be sold at the park and make other arrangements if answer is no.
- Download any relevant maps to handheld devices (park maps, trail maps, etc.)
- Learn where nearest store for selling booze/supplies is located. THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE! You never know when you’ll have to do an early morning ginger ale run if someone in your camping party has a hangover! Not that this has happened on any of our trips (cough)..Running out of booze on a camping/cabin trip and having to make a booze run is TOTAL AMATEUR HOUR! Bring more than you think you’ll need.
- Memorize distance between cornhole sets for regulation cornhole game. Someone will be a stickler about this (27 feet). I’m pretty sure I’ll remember this distance!