What to Do When You Get to Your Cabin – Complete Guide

Previously, I had created an article on what to do before leaving your cabin. After reviewing the article, it came to my attention that some may be intrigued to find out what they should do when they arrive at their cabin.

Because of this, I’ve decided to create a complete guide which involves everything which should be done when initially arriving at your cabin. There’s a handful of tasks which should be completed when you get to your cabin. I’ll be listing these tasks and detailing them, to make the process of moving into your cabin, as stress-free as possible.

Turn on the Refrigerator

If you had turned off your refrigerator when you left your cabin, it’s important that one of the first things you do when returning to the cabin, is to turn on your refrigerator. Obviously, this doesn’t apply for those who leave their refrigerator on whilst their away, this only applies for those who turn it off.

It’s important to do this as soon as possible as refrigerators can take a long time to cool down, so if you’ve brought food with you, this is a vital step. Most refrigerators will take up to 24 hours to reach optimum temperatures. If you don’t turn on your refrigerator and you’ve brought food with you then you’re putting your food in jeopardy, risking bacterial growth.

Check All Your Traps

If you have set any traps for pests before you left your cabin, then it’d be a good idea to check these traps when you get back. This is especially important if you have kids, you don’t want to finish unpacking your gear and find your kid playing about with a dead mouse. This also involves any droppings which rodent may have left behind as a welcome gift for you. They should be cleaned up and disposed off as soon as possible.

I’d also recommend that if you have any problems with pests, that you check out my article on how to keep bugs and rodents out of your cabin. The tips I provide in that article will bless you with a pest free home.

Turn on the Heating / Cooling

Depending on the weather, you’ll want to turn on your heat or cooling. For example, in the summer when the weather is blazing, it would be a good idea to turn on your air conditioning. Some AC units will take a few minutes to an hour, to reach desired temperatures. If you don’t have AC in your cabin, then it would be a good idea to open some windows to allow for air movement.

If you the weather is cold then your cabin is likely to be especially chilly due to cabins often basic wooden structure, having very poor insulation. Because of this, it’s important to turn your heating on in a timely manner. If you’ve got a gas fireplace or furnace, then you should turn it on immediately so that your cabin can benefit from the warmth as soon as possible. If you’re using a wood burning stove or a wooden fireplace then I have a guide in which I provide some useful tips to lighting fires in your cabin fireplace or wood stove. Until your cabin warms up, you and any other residents won’t be able to get completely comfortable. Everyone will have to keep their jackets and jumpers on to protect themselves from the cold.

Bring the Luggage Inside

I leave this step till after I’ve completed all the previously mentioned tasks. Once all the most important tasks are complete, it’s time to bring all your luggage inside. This involves unloading your vehicle and hauling everything inside your cabin. Once everything is in the cabin, you can close the door and kick off your shoes. It’s a good idea to take your shoes off as you come in so that you don’t track dirt onto your floors. Small things like this make a big difference, it’s always nice to come back to a clean cabin.

Unpacking Your Luggage

This task can be participated in by the whole family; it’s always a great idea to have the kids help you unpack. This will speed up the process of unpacking and keep them busy. I often unpack all the large supplies such as coolers and allow the kids to fill the cupboards. Unpack all your bags and fill your cupboards/storages with your supplies. If you packed any coolers, ensure that it’s set-up in the kitchen. Bathroom supplies should be put in the bathroom.

Light Your Fire

If you’re using a wood stove or fireplace then now would be a good time to light your fire. You’ve given your appliance enough time balance out, and now they’re ready for a fire. Follow the steps in the article which I had mentioned previously on lighting fires in a cabin fireplace or wood stove.

Unpack Cold Food

Now is a good time to unpack your cold food from the cooler. This is because you’ve now given your refrigerator enough time to cool down. There’s no point throwing your cold food into a refrigerator if it’s not cold. This is an important step as it’s not a good idea to leave cold food in a cooler for too long. This is because some items don’t react well when cooled directly with ice for long periods of time. An example of this is lettuce; when left on ice for too long it will begin wilt and spoil.

Also, when ice melts, the moisture produced will quickly ruin fresh produce. Because of this, it’s a good idea to wrap or divide your fresh vegetables such as lettuce from the ice in your cooler. For all these reasons it’s a lot easier to throw all your cold food into your refrigerator as soon as it’s cool enough.

Settle Down

It’s always best to do all the unpacking and preparation before you settle down so that you don’t have to worry about anything later. Everything should now be unpacked, and your cabin should be warming up (or cooling down, depending on the weather). It’s not time to take a seat and settle down. It’s always rewarding to be able to lay down after unpacking all your luggage and preparing you cabin.


This is only the beginning of this list, I’m sure there’s more things which could be added to the list. I want to make this list as extensive as possible, to ensure that everything important is covered. If you feel as though I had left anything off the list, then feel free to leave a comment for me. Also, any form of feedback is welcomed, so voice your opinions in the comment section.

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My name is Eugene Thornhill. I'm an outdoor enthusiast who loves nothing more than being one with nature. I've lived in numerous outdoor homes and even constructed my own. Living off-grid is something I'm very familiar with, more so than living in the city. For many years I've dealt with the many problems of living off-grid. It's time to pass on my knowledge through Cabinguides.

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