Ease into Camping with Cabins and Yurts

Many people, particularly during these tough economic times, are reluctant to go out and make an investment in camping gear until they are convinced that family camping is something they will enjoy on a regular basis. The good news is that you can achieve a similar outdoor experience, without having to invest in tents and sleeping bags.

Stay in a Cabin


I’m a big fan of state parks and there are a lot of them that provide cabins right alongside their more traditional campsites. Most parks offer “rustic” cabins, meaning they are sparsely furnished with just a bed and table, but some also offer more upscale versions that are furnished and equipped like a hotel suite in the woods. Cabins are particularly popular in the winter because they provide you with a place to warm-up after a busy day of playing in the snow.

Stay in a Yurt


Yurt camping is a lot like tent camping except the “tent” is a permanent structure called a yurt. Yurts are circular, domed tents made of heavy canvas. Unlike camping tents, yurts usually have solid wood floors, along with lighting, heat and basic furnishings. Just bring your own pillows and blankets, food and dishes to prepare meals and eat with. Renting a yurt is a great way to get a feel for tent camping and experience a weekend in the outdoors.

Locating Cabins and Yurts

You can use the resources right here on CampingBlogger to locate cabins and yurts at many state parks across the country. Just click on the “Campgrounds” menu and select your state from the drop-down list. Below the map of your state will be a link for campgrounds that will take you to your state’s park page. Some states, such as Oregon, Virginia and Arkansas, make it very easy to locate cabins or yurts by putting a link right on their home page. Others don’t do so well and it is sometimes easier to use Googleâ„¢ and search on your state’s name and the word “cabin” or “yurt.”

What to bring

The advantage of cabin or yurt camping, for new campers, is that you don’t have to have a lot of camping gear, in order to get started. You can use your existing bedding and bring your own dishes and appliances, since cabins and yurts usually have electricity. You will need a camp stove and an ice chest, though. Realize, too, that the bathroom and shower facilities will be located some distance from your cabin or yurt, so bring flip-flops, towels and toiletry articles.

See also…

11 thoughts on “Ease into Camping with Cabins and Yurts

  1. The number of yurts and cabins in our national forests is growing. Didn’t see any posted on your state maps but they are there. I think Alaska’s Chugach and Tongass NFs have outstanding cabins but there are bunches available in the Lower 48. Just Google “National Forest Cabin Rentals” and you’ll see just how many. Yurts in our national forests, to my knowledge, are all concessionaire owned and operated and the majority are found in the Pacific Northwest. FYI: the prices are so incredibly reasonable in most cases.

    • Thanks Suzi – I didn’t even think about yurts and cabins on federal land, but that’s a great idea.

  2. My husband and I love to camp in the traditional way, but we love yurts too. Steve has been talking about getting one for years to make into an art studio. Heck, we could live in one. I’ve seen some really amazing interiors.

    • Deb – I was surprised to find quite a few “yurt builders” on the web, in researching this article. They must be fairly popular and, I guess, much cheaper than building a cabin.

  3. Great post! This is exactly what I did to convince my wife to try camping. We’ve gone a couple times now. One thing to check into is if the campground allows you to put a tent in the same site as a cabin. I’ve done that so I still get the camping experience I like while the wife is more comfy in the cabin.


    • Hybrid camping – there you go, Eric! That’s great that you finally got your wife to take a few trips with you and your son.

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  5. Right on.
    We’ve done both in the past with great success.
    It will cost a few dollars more but it’s a good choice when you want to keep it simple or don’t want to endure bad weather.
    In fact, the wife & I spent last Christmas in a yurt and I’m leaving tonight
    for an over-nighter in a cabin!

    • Mes – you’ll have to let me know how it went. I assume there’s some snow involved?