Best Clothes to Take to a Cottage
Cabin clothing checklist for a weekend at a cottage, lake house or chalet
The best clothes to take to a cottage might not be the items you first set aside for the cabin weekend.
What clothes are ideal to take to a friend’s cottage for the weekend?
Never assume the cabin owners will have extra clothes for all the guests. While there may be a spare raincoat or pair of boots, storage space is always an issue and many cottagers only keep enough clothing for the immediate family.
1. Prepare for all weather. This will make the cottage weekend more enjoyable. Cottage weather can be volatile with sun, storms, wind, sleet, hail or even snow all in one weekend. Temperatures can range from heat waves to freezing cold, especially in the spring and fall.
2. Think about comfort before style. Normally you can balance both. Consider your cottage activities and the presence of flying insects, spiders, ticks, and other critters.
3. Protect your feet. Quality hiking boots, rain boots, flip flops, and sandals all come in handy at the cottage.
4. Bring hats. Take a baseball hat, sun visor, the big stylish beach hat, and even a winter hat to protect against the sun, keep the bugs out of your hair, and stay warm by the fire.
5. Pack compact. A big suitcase might be good for the vacation to an all-inclusive resort, but a backpack is better for a weekend at the cottage. You might have to hike through the bush or up dozens of stairs to reach the cabin.
Best cold weather clothes for the cottage
In the spring and fall, make sure everyone has a hat, gloves, scarf and enough layers to get through an unexpected cold spell. The weather forecasts are just as unreliable in cottage country as they are in the city. At the lake, the temperature can easily drop 20 degrees in a matter of hours.
top rainwear for a cabin weekend
Good quality rain gear from head to toe allows you to enjoy the outdoors in any weather at the cottage. Rubber boots that will endure rough terrain are a smart investment. If you plan to get a lot of use out of your rain wear, spend a bit of extra money to buy the high-end stuff.
Wind breakers make all the difference for a comfortable boat ride. You would be surprised how easily a nice day turns into a very unpleasant boat trip if you don’t have clothes to block the wind. Glasses are also important for protecting your eyes from insects, water spray, and rain or hail when riding in a boat.
Sun and bugs
Long-sleeve shirts and comfortable pants are ideal when the bugs are biting even if the sun is shining. Look for shirts with built-in bug repellent. When the insects are really bad and you plan to spend a significant amount of time outside, you will want to be fully covered.
Loose shirts are better than tight ones. Deer flies and mosquitoes will bite through tight fitting clothes that are too thin. While you may prefer to show off your figure in the city, it is more comfortable to be a bit modest at the lake.
Bug repellent shirts
Light pants instead of shorts
Take a pair of travel pants. They are comfortable and help protect against insects during the evening hours. Unless you are a die-hard cottager, you don’t want to be spending too much time outdoors in your shorts after dusk, unless it is very early in the spring or during the autumn months when there are few insects around.
best boots to wear at a cottage
Wear steel-toe boots when operating lawnmowers, trimmers, chainsaws, or chopping wood. If you are going to visit a friend’s cabin and plan to help out around the property it is worth the investment to get some proper work boots.
Wear high-quality hiking boots when exploring the forest around the cottage. You don’t want to turn an ankle on a tree root because you didn’t have the proper footwear.
Mesh hats, bug suits and bug repellent spray
Consider buying a head net or even a full-body mesh suit to keep the bugs away if you visit a cottage from early spring through the end of July. This is especially useful if you are planning to explore the surrounding woods.
Insects are normally less intense in August and are all but gone by September.
Leather work gloves are a must when gardening, clearing brush or carrying firewood. Why suffer the irritations of blisters, slivers, insect bites, and poison ivy when they can be prevented? Work gloves are probably your best value for the money you spend.
Go to the Cottage Bugs and Insects page.
Go to the How to Be a Good Cottage Guest page.
Go to the Hiking at the Cottage page.