What To Bring (And Leave at Home) When You Rent a Cabin

Posted by Darryl Payne in Smoky Mountain Cabins

A rental cabin in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.

Each year, thousands and thousands of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains make overnight rental cabins their accommodations of choice. It's not hard to understand why. Cabins offer a lot of advantages for the traveler, including a wide range of sizes to accommodate small or large groups, economic efficiency, a home-like atmosphere, privacy and seclusion, and amenities that you usually don't find in the typical hotel or motel.

Those who may not ever have rented a cabin before, however, may not be familiar with what they should or should not bring with them on their stay. We'd like to share some helpful information with you that will hopefully give you a clearer idea of what's worth packing for your next cabin vacation and what's best off being left behind.

Let's begin with what you can usually expect to find in a rental cabin (this may vary from company to company, but in general, these are standard offerings). For starters, cabins usually have a full kitchen, complete with major appliances like refrigerator, dishwasher and stove/oven. Microwaves and other small appliances like can openers and coffee makers are also par for the course. You might even find basic spices on hand, but that will vary from property to property.

You'll typically also find most of the cookware and utensils you might need for preparing a meal, including pots and pans, spatulas, skillets, etc. Cupboards will also have enough plates, glasses and silverware to accommodate the maximum number of people that property can sleep. Cabin owners also typically furnish their guests with starter supplies of paper towels, trash bags and dishwasher tablets/liquid.

In the bedrooms, bed linens and pillows are provided, and in the bathrooms, you'll usually find towels and washcloths as well as a starter supply of toilet paper. Many cabins also come with washer/dryer units so you can launder your clothes if needed. You might even find a starter supply of detergent as well as an iron and ironing board.

Elsewhere, most cabins have some sort of recreational component, whether it's a pool table, foosball table, gaming system, DVD player or even old-fashioned board games and jigsaw puzzles.

So what should you count on bringing to your rental cabin? Food should probably be at the top of that list, whether you shop at home first or at a supermarket near the cabin. That includes any food you'll need for meal preparation as well as general snacking. And don't forget condiments. You usually won't find them in your cabin's fridge, so bring your own mustard, mayo, ketchup and whatnot. This also applies to spices. Don't count on there being any in the kitchen, so if you have a specific recipe you need to replicate, make sure you bring everything with you to cover each step.

And while kitchens usually have a starter supply of paper towels, bring a few rolls of your own, in addition to paper napkins or even paper plates and plastic cups if you don't want to do as many dishes. You can never have too many extra trash bags, and don't forget about things like aluminum foil and cling wrap. Finally, bring additional rolls of toilet paper, especially if you're partial to a particular brand.

Most cabins have some sort of outdoor grill, so if you're going to do any grilling, bring your own charcoal, lighter fluid and grilling tools. A few other things you might want to consider bringing: your own pillow, if you're particular about where you lay your head at night; your own DVDs; a laundry basket or plastic bags to store dirty laundry; and all your toiletries, including a hair dryer.

Bedroom in an overnight rental cabin in the mountains.
Staying in a luxury rental cabin in Tennessee.



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