4 Tips on Opening Your Cabin After a Long Absence

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Cabin living is a wonderful way to take in the great outdoors and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Unlike your day to day family home, however, occasional occupancy in a vacation cabin has a few additional steps to it that an owner should keep in mind when they are opening and closing for the season or after a long absence. Here are four tips to make that process a quick checklist.

Make a Plan
You’ll want to plan before you head up for your first weekend, as tempting as it is to just pack a suitcase and go. Call to turn on any services you shut off over the winter, including electricity, water and trash collection. 

Check the insurance policies on your second home and boats or other vehicles stored there. If you’ve purchased any new recreational vehicles, make sure they get covered right away. Check your boating registration and renew it if necessary. Pay careful attention to expiration dates.

If you plan to put in a dock or repair an existing one, call your crew a few weeks in advance to see if they’re available to come up the same weekend and give you a quote.

The Nuts and Bolts
Check the furnace and put in a new filter. Check pipes for rust or damage before you turn on your plumbing and water heater, then when you are ready, turn the water on and keep an eye out for potential leaks. Call for professional help if needed.

Be on the lookout for signs of animals. Check screens and windows for holes and gaps, and electrical cords for fraying or bite marks. Inspect your deck and eaves for signs of rotting. Schedule any repairs or cleanups necessary. 

Test the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test and replace the batteries in motion sensor lights on the front door, deck and on the way down to the dock or other outdoor areas.

Cover Necessities
Go through your pantry and throw out any expired food you forgot, as well as anything that looks like it may have been something else’s snack. Set traps if needed! Check that you’re stocked up on sunscreen and bug spray, and check your expiry dates. Check the stock of your bathroom toiletries and towels.

Make Your List for Next Year
While it’s fresh in your mind, take notes of what you’ve done this year to open up and make note of anything you’ve missed. In addition to what we’ve already covered, make note of furnace and air filter specifics, vacuum bag sizes, and tools needed to check or turn on specific systems.

Rags and cleaning cloths and cleaning solutions are good to restock, along with toiletries. Animal traps or deterrents should be plentiful, just in case. These are supplies we don’t often think of, but if your nearest store is quite a drive from your cabin, you’ll be glad you planned. Take a photo of your list with your phone and save it as a favorite.

Opening up a cabin is a lot of work, but once you are done, you get to relax and enjoy the beauty around you. It’s worth it!