Family cabin camping

Americans love their family camping vacations. Roughly 40 million Americans go camping per year — that’s 14 % of the entire population — and most of these campers plan on making repeated trips throughout the year. As you’re probably vaguely aware, family camping vacations can take many forms. There’s a famous Calvin and Hobbes cartoon that shows Calvin and his family getting rained on almost immediately upon arrival into some forest or another on their trip, the tents providing poor protection against the deluge. Then of course there are the family camping vacations where the main goal seems to be importing an entire Hilton hotel into the Smokey Mountains. Most of us who happen upon these family vacation types gaze upon them with a mixture of envy and judgement. Sure, their electric stove and heated trailer are great, but you can’t help think, as you warm your hands by the fire and pull your water-logged tarp across your shoulders, that those kinds of campers are missing the point.
Then again, so maybe, are the tent people. We happen to think that there’s a great middle ground between the ostentatious trailer and the sad, sad tent, and that is cabin camping. What’s more, about one in 10 young campers agree with us, especially when it comes to family camping vacations. Here are a few reasons why family cabin camping might be the best choice for your next trip into nature:
1. Renting a cabin on family vacations is safer.
This is especially true if you’re camping with young children. None of us like to think about it or indeed have had to think about it since roughly the beginning of the 20th century, but the fact is, nature can be dangerous. There are bears, mountain lions, snakes, venomous insects, and poison oak in the woods. A tent is far less equipped to handle wandering toddlers or curious bears than a cabin.
2. Cabin camping is more comfortable, but also still rustic.
If you invest in family cabin rentals, you don’t have to have that existential trade-off debate with yourself about whether or not you’re going to be miserable but “really camping.” The pioneers built cabins 300 years ago, so it officially qualifies as rustic. At the same time, you won’t be freezing your behind off if there’s inclement weather. And in speaking of the pioneers…
3. Cabins are historical!
One family we interviewed before writing this article had the neatest learning activity planned out for their next camping trip. Before they rented a cabin, they had their kids read “The Sign of the Beaver” by Elizabeth George Speare during which the main character must build a cabin from scratch. They also let them watch “Dances With Wolves,” where the protagonist must stake out a remote post and refurbish a cabin for the U.S. army during the Civil War period. Then, they researched historical cabins online and turned the vacation into a learning experience, role playing old pioneer times and teaching their kids about living off the land.
Basically, cabins are safe, cool, and a learning experience. Instead of detracting from nature like the ritzy trailer or making you a victim of it like the tent, cabins enhance nature and let you become a match for it.

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