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6 Things You Need to Know to Make the Best of Your Upcoming Cabin Adventure

Occupying a magical middle-ground between a tent campsite and a vacation rental, a KOA cabin has much to offer campers with diverse personalities. They provide a nice middle ground between totally roughing it and hotel-ing it, which is usually enough to keep everyone in your party, from the nature lover to the glamper, happy.

KOA cabins come in two styles: the basic Camping Cabin and the more decked-out Deluxe Cabin. (Get the deets on each right here.) Some Camping and Deluxe cabins up the ante in terms of outdoor hangouts with KOA Patios™. No matter which setup you choose, you’ve got the ingredients for a heck of a camping getaway: a weekend escape close to home, a far-ranging tour of national parks or historic sites, or whatever else!

Here are six nuggets of info to look forward to when planning your KOA cabin-camping adventure.

1. Multiple Floor Plans for Greater Flexibility

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A great advantage of the KOA cabin-camping experience is the extra elbow room. If you’ve got a full family crew with you, tents and RVs can feel a bit crowded. With a KOA cabin, you can choose between one-bedroom floor plans with a capacity of up to four or two-bedroom units that sleep up to six. Plan accordingly based on the size of your camping party—and how much personal space each camper needs.

2. Camping Amenities Galore

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One of the major perks of staying in a KOA Campground cabin is the fact you often need to pack significantly less than if you were tent-camping. For starters, you don’t need the tent! (Conversely, you may decide to bring more stuff, given the extra—and lock-secured—indoor space.)

Check with a given KOA Campground to find out just what your Camping Cabin or Deluxe Cabin offers in terms of amenities. You’ll usually need to bring your own linens for the cabin mattresses: either sheets and blankets, or—to crank up the camping vibes—sleeping bags. Some Deluxe Cabins include linen service, including towels, but otherwise bring them for the shower and the pool.

For most Camping Cabins, you’ll want to bring along a cooler to store perishables and cold beverages, though some of these units come with a handy-dandy mini-fridge. Your average Deluxe Cabin, meanwhile, includes a kitchenette, so you don’t have to worry about a cooler (once you reach your campground, anyhow).

What about cooking supplies? You’ll want to bring cookware, utensils, and a campstove for a Camping Cabin stay; some Camping Cabins have barbecues, but if not you might consider bringing a portable grill. Inquire ahead about your Deluxe Cabin, as many of these come stocked with kitchenware and cooking appliances such as hotplates or microwaves, not to mention gas grills.

You’ll naturally want to have equipment for evenings around the campfire, from camp chairs to the implement of your choice for roasting those hot dogs and achieving that perfect fire-licked crust on your marshmallow.

Forgetting a camping essential or two (or 10) is a common reality of the camping experience—it’s happened to everyone—but when you’re staying at a KOA cabin you’ve got a safety net in the form of the KOA Campground store: From firewood and propane to sunscreen and insect repellent, you’ll be able to grab what you need.

3. First-time and Long-time Camper Friendly

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Offering a combination of rustic charm and many of the comforts of home, KOA cabins make ideal introductions to the deep joys of camping. They bridge the gap between tenting or RV-ing and staying in a vacation rental. Their indoor shelter and lockable doors provide robust protection from the elements and a sense of security some campers may appreciate, while the location delivers that special campground ambience utterly lacking in a rental or motel.

Even dyed-in-the-wool tent campers can appreciate the “glamping” charm of a KOA cabin, whether they’ve decided to ease into something a bit plusher or they simply want to mix it up a little.

4. Indoor and Outdoor Fun

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A KOA cabin ensures a rewarding camping experience whatever the weather and whatever the mood. Use it as a springboard for hiking, paddling, and general-purpose sightseeing in the region, or for all the recreation and entertainment on tap right at the KOA Campground: swimming, biking, ziplining, mini-golfing, and more.

If it’s on the wet or blustery side of things or you’re just feeling like hunkering down a bit, crack out the board games, the deck of cards, or that fat summer read and enjoy the warm, private haven of your cabin itself.

5. Perfect Spot for a Wide Range of Camping Trips

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Cabin-camping is ideal for all sorts of trips, from short-distance overnighters to cross-country odysseys. The need to pack less means you can more readily embrace your spontaneous spirit for adventure (or simply your spontaneous need to get out of the house) and escape to some campground coziness. After all, the charm of a camping cabin and the rich array of activities on tap at each of the KOA properties means a KOA Campground can be its own destination for much-needed outdoor time and R&R.

The convenient locations of the KOA Journey Campgrounds make cabin-hopping on a long-distance road trip a breeze. If you’ve got a specific place or event in mind—a national park, for instance, or a music festival—a KOA cabin serves as the perfect base camp.

6. Invitation to Embrace the Joys of Shoulder Season

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A KOA cabin’s sturdy roof and snug walls—not to mention that crackling campfire—are an invitation to extend your camping year into crisper, cooler weather. The “shoulder seasons” of spring and fall can be wonderful times of year for camping, offering lovely seasonal spectacles (early woodland blooms of spring ephemeral wildflowers, smoldering autumn-colored canopies, first-snow dustings on mountain peaks and high ridges, the migratory bustle of songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors, etc.) as well as fewer crowds.

Get the Right Kind of Cabin Fever

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For more advice on getting ready for your KOA cabin-camping odyssey, check out these useful tips!

Written by Ethan Shaw for Matcha in partnership with Kampgrounds of America.