The final days of summer are upon us; the leaves on trees are beginning to yellow, and as quick as autumn came, it will give way to winter once again. This winter is predicted to be bitterly cold, and with global restrictions imposed to combat the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely we will be spending a lot of time indoors. Because of this, it is absolutely critical that, if you live in a cabin, you insulate it against the cold and prepare for cold mornings, lots of rain, and snowfall. An improperly heated cabin can be the catalyst for many health conditions and can be a hotbed for bacteria and mould.

Preparing your cabin for extreme cold is something you should already be doing; you mustn’t wait until winter arrives before you prepare. As was mentioned in the previous paragraph, in winter, our cabin’s can quickly become hotbeds for bacteria – if you do not insulate and heat your cabin properly, you risk mould growth, bacteria, germs, and fungus’s affecting the walls and interior of your cabin, as well as your cabin beginning to suffer from wood rot.

This page will tell you absolutely everything you need to know with regard to preparing your winter cabin for extreme cold and preparing yourself for extreme cold. If you do not prepare for the cold, it will strike you unexpectedly, and you will very quickly find your health deteriorating and you will fall ill.

Here is how to prepare your winter cabin for extreme cold.

The Essentials

Preparing your cabin for a long, bitter winter should begin toward the end of the summer months. You should begin collecting essentials, such as tinned food, blankets, and duvets while they are on sale and nobody else is buying them in winter. Depending of course on the location of your cabin, you may need to stockpile tinned foods; some people go to their cabins for the winter and spend the entire winter hunting – if you are going to be hunting it is still worth bringing tinned and dried foods just in case your hunting does not yield any results. Many hunters have perished while on long winter trips because of a lack of food. Preparing with food should be your first job when you are readying to disappear to your cabin for the entire winter.

If, however, you live in a cabin all the time and have shops locally, stockpiling food will be entirely unnecessary. If you live in a cabin full-time, it may be worth it, while summer sales are ongoing, visiting department stores and picking up blankets, duvets, and towels. All of these things can be used to keep you warm should whatever heating system you have put in place begins to fail you. When you are staying in a cabin, you can never have enough towels and blankets. Here are some more essentials you must ensure you have when you are visiting your cabin:

Water

Water is absolutely essential when you are staying in a cabin and you mustn’t ever go to spend time in your cabin without it. Most cabins will not have their own running water, nor may there be easy access to clean drinking water; stockpiling and bringing as much water as you possibly can is crucial should you be spending time away in your cabin. 

If you do not have water, you may not be able to cook, wash, or drink. This may force you to start drinking unsanitary water or having to use chlorine water to clean unsanitary water, which is not recommended for daily use. Buying water for an entire winter can be very expensive but is an absolutely necessary part of any trip to the cabin. You can pick up multi-gallon jugs of water from your supermarket, and you will likely need upward of around a hundred to fully prepare yourself and stockpile water for an entire season.

If you begin to notice your water supplies are dwindling during your stay in your cabin, you should immediately pick more up (providing you are far away). Having to constantly drink chlorine-purified water is not good for your body and tastes disgusting.

Gas

In most cabins, the only method of cooking is on gas-stoves and portable gas-ovens. Gas is just as important as water is when it comes to long periods spent at your cabin. If you do not have gas, you will not be able to cook, nor clean yourself with hot water; you will also not be able to heat up your cabin which can be very dangerous and life-threatening should you be under the thumb of a bitterly cold winter. Gas should be bought in abundance when you are travelling to your cabin and can be bought from most home-supply stores.

When storing gas at your cabin, it is very important that you do not store it inside, and rather, have a cabin designated for it. The reason for this is that if you are burning logs or cooking inside your cabin and have gas cylinders stored there – it is a huge risk for fire and explosion. You mustn’t store the gas cylinders outside, however, as their wheels may stiffen up and be impossible to turn. A secondary cabin (a smaller cabin) is essential for gas storage when you are away at your cabin.

Medicines

If you are staying in a cabin away in the middle of nowhere, it is essential you have medication and forms of medicines available in case you find yourself unwell or if you experience any infections or injuries. Medications such as codeine (in moderation, as it is highly addictive); paracetamol; ibuprofen, and aspirin should all be brought along, as well as antibiotics and antiseptic. Antibiotics are very important, as there is always a strong chance of a cut getting infected when you are surviving out in the wilderness. Antibiotics can save your life and prevent you from experiencing a life-threatening infection. Always bring antibiotics with you.

Heating

Once you have all of your essentials, you must then focus on how exactly you are intending on heating your cabin. There are a few different ways that you can heat your cabin, but they depend entirely on the age of your cabin. If you have an older cabin, you may be resigned to more antiquated methods of heating, whereas if you have a newer cabin, you may be able to utilize newer, better heating techniques. The style of heating that you use should be carefully thought out and you should establish which method may be best for your specific cabin.

Log Burning

Log burning is by far the most traditional method of cabin heating, and definitely the most comforting and relaxing. There is nothing quite as relaxing as burning logs in a stove, while you sit back in your log cabin. There are a few different types of logs that you can burn in your stove, and here they are:

  • Kiln-Dried Birch Logs—Kiln-dried birch logs are a favoured log for burning among many cabin-owners. According to the log specialists of https://www.buyfirewooddirect.co.uk/, kiln-dried birch logs burn faster and warm your cabin quicker than any other type of log might. Kiln-dried birch logs can be bought for wholesale for a very low price and are a great log for first-time cabin-owners to burn, as they provide near-instant warmth, are cheap, and they catch fire much quicker than other types of logs do.
  • Kiln-Dried Oak Logs—Kiln-dried oak logs second to birch in popularity, and while they take a little while to catch alight, they burn for much longer, which is why many people prefer oak. Oak can burn for an entire night and can provide your cabin with warmth while you sleep.
  • Wood Pellets—Wood pellets are a very popular method of burning wood and heating your entire cabin. For wood pellets, you use a pellet burner, which can be quite expensive but is a very effective method of burning wood for warmth. Wood pellets can be bought in bulk and are a great way for you to heat your cabin for an entire winter. Many people, when at their cabin, prefer to cut their own wood down and use it for fire, but if you prefer ready-made solutions, wood pellets could definitely be the best option for you. Wood pellets are a very popular and ingenious solution to warming your cabin.

It is important to mention, should you be burning logs to warm up your cabin, that you must have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and can be produced by burning wood in large quantities, or any fuel for that matter. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector in your cabin, you are risking your life and the lives of anybody who may be sharing the cabin with you. Investing in a carbon monoxide detector is potentially one of the best decisions you could ever make for your cabin.

Electric Heating

As was mentioned in the introduction to the heating segment of this article, some cabins may run off of more antiquated methods, such as gas and logs. If you have a newer cabin, it will likely have electrical outlets and be connected to the grid or have an electrical generator. Electrical heating can be used in combination with log burning and can be a great way to heat your cabin overnight and preserve your logs, or to just keep the heat there all night. A log burner will likely die out while you are sleeping, which can be a real bother, so electrical heating is a great option.

Gas Heating

Again, some cabins are much more modern, and many have gas heating. If you have gas heating (a boiler system) in your cabin, you will not need a log burner, but may still benefit from back-up electrical heating. Gas heating is a good way to heat your home and is a way that can be very effective, providing your cabin is up to date enough to facilitate it. Gas heating is a great asset and can be a very powerful method of keeping your entire cabin nice and toasty during the winter.

Electric Generators

If you are spending a long period of time in a cabin, especially during our modernized digital world, you will likely require some form of electrical generator to power your television, phone chargers, or radio. Electrical systems can be provided by electrical generators which can be stationed outside your cabin. Electrical generators are a great way to give your cabin the luxuries you might find in your home. When spending a long period of time anywhere, you will want your luxuries and the things you love, so bringing an electrical generator (or having one set up, rather) is a fantastic way to feel right at home.

Extra-Warm Clothes

Spending an entire winter season in a cabin can be pretty gruelling, especially if you do not bring enough clothes. There may be times when you are absolutely freezing and have no other option than to layer up. Bringing enough clothes for your time in your cabin is very important and you mustn’t ever set out to your cabin without a tonne of back-up clothes. You should also bring laundry detergent so you can be sure you wash your clothes properly and do not harbour bacteria or germs.

Determination

While this is not something you can prepare your cabin with, it is something you must prepare yourself with; staying in a cabin is not for everybody, especially if you do not have the luxury of electrical or gas heating and have to provide your own food. You must be determined and ensure it is definitely what you want to do. Determination is a crucial aspect of getting in touch with nature and becoming an outdoorsman. If you stay determined, you will quickly find yourself enjoying your time in your cabin and will be excited to return next year.

Now, with the help of this comprehensive, all-encompassing article, you know everything there is to know about preparing yourself, and your cabin, for a long, cold winter. Staying in cabins is a lot of fun, whether it be for fishing, hunting, or just a general love of the outdoors. You must always be safe when staying in a cabin, however, as if you are a long way from civilization, a lot can go wrong.