Are you looking to get away for a while and cozy up in a dreamy winter cabin? Before you pack up the car to head to your cabin in the snow, check out our complete winter cabin packing list to make sure you’ve got everything you need for winter adventure and cozy cabin vibes.
If you’ve never been to a cabin in the winter and you’re wondering what to pack, we’ve got you covered. From the best winter clothing, winter gear, and fun entertainment for the times you sit in front of the crackling fire ALL DAY, here’s what to bring to a winter cottage so you’re completely prepared.
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THE ULTIMATE WINTER CABIN PACKING LIST
When coming up with things to put on your winter travel packing list, you’ll want to know beforehand what the cabin already supplies. If you’re doing a cabin rental through VRBO or Airbnb, chances are the cabin will have most of the basic necessities. Be sure to read the listing thoroughly to see what they supply. You can also check with the cabin host if you have any questions about what they provide in the cabin.
If you’re doing cabin camping at a National Forest or National Park, you’ll most likely need to bring everything from blankets to cookware. We went cabin camping in Grand Teton National Park and it’s essentially tent camping but in a log cabin! You’ll need to bring in everything from cooking supplies to bedding.
For this post, our winter cabin packing list is best suited for cabin rentals that will have supplies rather than cabin camping.
Okay, let’s break down our winter cabin packing list!
COZY WINTER CABIN CLOTHING
- WARM JACKET: A warm jacket for any outdoor activities or for when you roast marshmallows outside is a must have on your winter cabin packing list. I love the Mountain Pile Fleece Coat from L.L Bean because it keeps you warm while still being stylish and fitted. For men, L.L Bean and REI have excellent winter jackets.
- HEAVY PARKA: If your cold weather travel plans include time in the snow, you’ll want a heavier jacket that is water resistant and wind resistant. For women, The Winter Jacket from L.L Bean has a nylon shell that will protect you from the elements and keep you warm when the temperatures drop down below freezing. For men, the Gotham Jacket from North Face will keep you warm in the harshest of conditions. It’s stylish and perfect for snowy winter weather.
- RAIN JACKET: If your winter cabin won’t have snowy conditions, but will be wet and rainy, you’ll want to pack a rain proof or rain resistant jacket.
- FLEECE SWEATER: A fleece sweater is a great layer under a warm jacket or for when you’re hanging out in the cabin playing games and need a layer that’s not too heavy. The fleece pullovers and hoodies from L.L. Bean are high quality and with proper care will last you for years. You can look through women’s fleece wear here and men’s fleece wear here. If you want something for less that’s still stylish, this women’s plaid sherpa pullover is perfect for winter cabin vibes. For men, Amazon’s clothing brand Goodthreads has affordable knit fleece sweaters. You can check the prices and colors here.
- SWEATPANTS: Perhaps the most important item on your winter cabin packing list is a cozy pair of sherpa lined sweats like these to lounge around in while you drink mulled cider.
- JEANS OR LEGGINGS: Your favorite pair of jeans or fleece lined leggings are the perfect wardrobe staple to bring for when you go out and explore. I love the brand KUHL for their stylish and comfy clothing made for outdoor adventures. Their transcendr leggings are fleece lined and perfect for winter weather excurisons or lounging around the cabin.
- SLIPPERS: Cozy slippers for when you lounge around the cabin will help to keep your feet warm, clean, and to give you a sense of home while you’re away. We’re a slipper family, and by far our favorite slippers are from Uggs. I wear the Women’s Ansley Slippers and love how soft they are and that they come in a variety of stylish colors. I love them! My husband wears the Men’s Ascot slipper. I also love slippers from Toms. They’re more affordable than UGGs, so it’s a great choice for anyone not wanting to dish out for UGG slippers.
- THERMAL LAYERS: For frigid days and nights, slip in to a thermal underwear set as your base layer so you can stay warm on all your outdoor outings. Trust me, you’ll be glad you brought these.
- WOOL SOCKS: You’ll want wool socks like these for when you go out in the winter weather. Wool is the best material for keeping your feet dry, warm, and odor free. If you want to up your game for winter socks, we are in love with the Bison Socks from United By Blue. They are thick, durable, and perfect for anyone who will be doing outdoor adventures in the snow. The bison socks are popular and are frequently out of stock because everyone loves them. If they are available, get them while you can!
- GLOVES: Gloves to keep your digits warm will go a long way when you’re outside exploring. If you love to take photos on your phone, you’ll want to bring leather gloves likes these or gloves that have a touch pad on the pointer finger. It’s so much better than taking your gloves off every time you want to use your phone! You can browse through those types of gloves here.
- WARM HAT: A hat to keep your head and ears warm is a no brainer. If it’s going to be quite cold where you’re headed, you might want to use a trapper hat like this one. You know the kind, with the ear flaps down the sides? You might think they’re silly looking (we love them!) but they will absolutely keep you warm.
- SCARVES – Pack up your favorite scarf or oversized pashmina to keep your neck warm and cozy.
- SNOW BOOTS – You’ll want a great pair of water proof snow boots for when you’re trekking through wintery conditions. If there will be a lot of snow, you might want to buy boots that go above the ankle. We live in snowy conditions and prefer boots from Kamik, Merrell, and Sorel.
- BATHING SUIT – A bathing suit in the winter? Yes! If your cabin has a hot tub don’t forget to pack your favorite bathing suit (I love the bathing suits from Cupshe). Do some research about the area you’re visiting and you might find there is a natural hot spring you can try out. We tried out some hot springs in Boise in the dead of winter and it was heaven.
- PACKING CUBES – Packing cubes are the hallmark of a seasoned traveler. Verdict is out on whether it actually saves you room in your bag, but it definitely makes packing more convenient and organized. Some people choose to pack their cubes and separate clothing items by packing cube (underwear, shirts, pants) while the super organized will pack their cubes according to daily outfits. That’s a level of organization and planning I do not have! Either way, once you arrive to your cabin you can take your cubes out and place them directly into the drawers to keep things neat and organized. Check out these highly rated packing cubes here.
WINTER CABIN GEAR
- DUFFEL BAG – While wheeled luggage is more convenient, a duffel bag can be a better travel choice when dealing with a cabin that may have muddy, wet, or icy walkways. Bring a bag you can carry! We’re a duffel bag family, and love the duffel bags rom REI and LL Bean. For a cute, feminine looking bag, I love the Herschel Duffel Bag with its rose gold color and faux leather accent pieces.
- HANGING TOILETRY BAG – A hanging toiletry bag that you can hang in the bathroom is a godsend for travel. It keeps you organized and it’s super convenient. You can go for a utilitarian black one like this one (which can be useful for hiding the inevitable spill that always happens) or you can opt for a more stylish choices like the toiletry bags from Mossio.
- FLASHLIGHT – A light source that you can use for when you’re sitting outside or walking in the dark will come in handy. We bring our flashlight with us whenever we travel and we always end up using it!
- REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE – A water bottle is on our go to list of travel necessities. Better for the environment and better for your wallet. We always use our Hydroflask water bottles, since they can keep your drink ice cold or piping hot for 24 hours. You can compare prices for the water bottle on Amazon and Hydroflask.
- HAND WARMERS -We always bring hand warmers when we’re traveling somewhere cold. Slip them into your pockets to keep your hands warm or put them next to your feet if you get cold feet.
- YAK-TRAX – If you’ll be doing outdoor adventures in the snow, then you might want to add traction devices to your winter cabin packing list. When we visited Arches National Park in the wintertime, we used Yaktrax and it helped us to feel secure on icy trails.
- TREKKING POLES – In addition to a traction device, you might want to add high quality trekking poles like these to help aid with stability in winter conditions. Particularly, if you’ll be doing any winter trekking through the snow.
- LIGHTER – How else are you going to light up your campfire for your chocolate and bacon s’mores? The cabin might supply a lighter, but it’s an easy thing to throw in to your suitcase. If you’re flying on an airplane, make sure you don’t pack it in your carry on!
- BINOCULARS – For anyone who wants to sit out and take in the wildlife, a good pair of binoculars can help you to spot what’s just out of sight. A great high quality pair for the casual user is the Nikon Prostaff.
- SUNBLOCK – Yes, even in winter you’ll need sunblock! As evidenced by my husbands numerous sunburns in winter wonderlands. If you’ll be visiting a cabin that’s in a higher elevation, then you’ll definitely want a high SPF sunblock like Blue Lizard, since higher elevations will cause you to burn quicker.
- CHAPSTICK – Winter equals chapped lips. Make sure to pack your favorite lip moisturizer to keep you from chapped lip agony. My go to lip moisturizer is Evan Healy’s Whipped Shea Butter for lips.
WINTER CABIN ENTERTAINMENT AND FOOD
- S’MORES – Personally, I think S’mores should be number one on everyones winter cabin packing list. It’s a classic cabin activity. You can use regular marshmallows from an already prepared S’mores kit like this, or you can get decadent and use flavored marshmallows from Smashmallow. Combine those marshmallows with unique chocolate flavors like Alderwood Smoked Bacon Chocolate or Salted Toffee and you’ll never do regular S’mores again. Also, don’t forget to pack these awesome Marshmallow roasting sticks. They extend up to 34 inches making for a more comfortable S’mores making experience.
- HOT DRINKS: You’ll want to bring whatever hot beverages you love to enjoy so you can sit out on the porch and stay toasty warm. I love the pumpkin hot chocolate mix from Silly Cow Farms. They have a great selection of flavors including chocolate gingersnap and caramel and sea salt. Other warm drinks you could make are tea, mulled cider, hot buttered rum, and eggnog.
- FIREWOOD – If your cabin doesn’t supply firewood, make sure to grab some firewood so you can enjoy a wood crackling fire. We also like to bring our all natural fire starters to help get the fire going. You might not be able to find paper or dry twigs at your cabin, so it’s nice to have an easy fire starter.
- GAMES – The best part of cabin life! Having some fun board games at your disposal is a must have on your winter cabin packing list. You can go simple and bring a deck of cards or bring tried and true classics like Scattegories, Clue, Scrabble, or Monopoly. Personally, we love Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, and Exploding Kittens. You can browse here to find the right board games for you.
- KINDLE – Your dreamy winter cabin could have no wifi, so having books or already downloaded e-books on your Kindle is perfect for winding down in the cabin.
- JOURNAL – A journal for those who want to sit in a winter wonderland and write the day away.
- SPEAKERS – Whether you want ambient music or want to rock out in your cabin, having speakers that you can connect to your Amazon Music or Spotify account is essential cabin entertainment. We love our Ultimate Ears Speaker because it’s compatable with Alexa, wireless, waterproof, and has amazing sound quality.
Now that you have your winter cabin packing list, you’re ready to enjoy a fully stocked winter trip. Happy travels!
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It helped when you said to pack a warm jacket for outdoor activities. My sister was at my house last night for dinner, and she talked about how she is planning on having our family reunion at a cabin in November, so I wanted to know some packing tips in advance. I’ll keep these tips in mind once she finds a cabin for us to stay in.