We have more options than ever before to enjoy the great outdoors year round.
You had a great summer, right? You did a lot of camping and you feel good about it. Now it’s time to store the camping gear in the basement for next year, right? Well, not all of it. There are plenty of options that will keep you from hunkering down on your couch with hot cocoa and a movie every weekend (although, that’s great too). Every year more state parks are adding year-round cabins and yurts that allow you get away from the grind, while keeping you warm on even the coldest nights.
Now is the time to book a winter cabin for a weekend getaway. Here in Minnesota, camper cabins are around $45 a night and yurts can be had for around $55. For the unique experience of staying in a semi-rustic setting it’s well worth it. We’ve stayed in both many times and have never had a bad experience, as long as we were prepared. Here are a few tips for your first camper cabin or yurt experience.
- Read the accommodations twice so you know exactly what to bring. For example, sometimes camper cabins are solar powered and the lights are on a timer. In this case you’ll want to bring a lantern to supplement the sporadic light.
- State parks don’t necessarily spend top dollar on mattresses. You might be stuck with a firm and somewhat uncomfortable mattress. Throw your sleeping pad in the car too. It could make all the difference.
- Reserve early! The most coveted cabins often book a year out. Still, if you do a little digging now you can probably find something in January or February.
- If it’s a wood-burning stove it will probably be small and won’t burn through the night. Bring a warm sleeping bag.
Remember that camping is all about disrupting your daily routine to see and try new things. Explore every inch of the park and try a few things that you’ve never done before. One thing that you’ll appreciate is that there are usually less people around. Often, you can expect to go on winter hikes in state parks and not see a single person. It’s a completely different experience, and one that we highly recommend.