Cottage Opening Guide

cottage opening weekendCottage season has arrived and many people are preparing to head to the lake for the first time since they closed up the cabin last fall.

Cottage opening 101

During the summer the weekend routine is pretty much a breeze, but the first spring trip to open the cabin requires a bit more planning. In fact, getting ready to open the cottage can be a downright hectic experience.

Here’s an opening weekend checklist to help you get organized before you head to the lake.

The floods that recently hit cottagers across Canada are an unfriendly reminder of the importance of reviewing the cottage insurance policy every year. First and foremost we have to ensure the policy has been paid, but it’s also good idea to revisit the coverage and confirm the plan is adequate.

Additions, bunk houses, and major renovations completed in recent years might not be included, and that could cause some grief if a claim has to be made.

Our Cottage Insurance Tips page is a good place to get more information.

Put the cottage and boat keys in a safe place that guarantees they won’t be forgotten when you walk out the door. The last thing you want to do is get to the first rest stop and suddenly realize the keys are still sitting on the kitchen counter.

Lost time and wasted gas are just two of the possible speed bumps we can hit on the drive to the lake.

Check out our article on ways to save time and money on the cottage road trip to get more tips on making the trek to the lake a successful one.

Essential Supplies
Food, refreshments, and fishing gear are often the first things we organize when planning the trip to the cottage, but batteries, bug spray, and toilet paper should probably be at the top of the list.

The boring stuff is easy to forget, and it can mean the difference between a fun weekend and one that is somewhat uncomfortable.

Speaking of fishing, it’s important to renew the fishing permit for the new season before you head to the cabin.

The May long weekend often coincides with the walleye opener, and that tends to bring out the local authorities.

If you are new to catching walleye or just want to brush up on some techniques, check out or walleye fishing tips page.

Easy meals
The opening weekend is a busy time at the cottage, so it’s normally a good idea to plan for simple and efficient meals.

Sometimes the BBQ doesn’t work, the power cuts out, or the critters have had such a party over the winter that you really don’t want to touch anything until the whole place has been bleached.

The cottage meals section of our blog has some helpful tips for keeping the gang fed at the cabin.

That’s just the beginning of the cottage opening adventure.


Written and photographed by: Andrew Walker


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