Top 10 Things To Bring To The Cottage

So…you have an invite to a friend’s cottage for the weekend. You’re excited, your spouse is excited, everyone is excited, you are going to a cottage. But…you’ve never been to the cottage before, infact you’ve never stayed at anyones cottage before.

What things to bring to the cottage for the weekend?

You’ve asked a good question. I could answer it by saying it all depends, or it depends on several things, what your relationship is with the cottage owner, what kind of place it is, lakefront, wilderness, oceanfront or an old farmhouse in the country. It also depends on the time of year, obviously in summer what you might bring might be different than what you might bring later in the fall or winter.

Regardless of the time of year, there are some generic things that are good to take for a weekend at the camp. Here is my list of ten things to bring to the cottage, with a little related explanation.

In addition, it is a good idea to ask the cottage owner what things to bring to the cottage. They will be glad to tell you what you will require for comfort, what they already have available for your use and what kind of activities you might be participating in while at the cottage.

Top 10 Things To Bring To The Cottage

1) Clothes. Unless you are a naturist and going to a cottage owned by another naturist, you will need clothes. What clothes depends on the weather. Bring several changes, remember it might be hot during the day, but could be cooler at night around the campfire or out in the boat, a heavy sweater or jacket might be needed. Even naturists get dressed sometimes, so have enough clothes to last you through the weekend.

2) Comfortable shoes, like athletic shoes, sandals, and a pair of rubber boots in case it rains. Hiking boots might also be good to have if there is a chance you will be going on an afternoon hike in the wilderness. There isn’t much use for your newest four inch stiletto heel pumps at the cottage no matter how nice they might look.

3) Swimsuit, you will likely be going swimming if the cottage is on the water or has a swimming pool. A couple of swimsuits is a good idea. If you are a the female half of a couple coming to my cottage, a bikini is always a good choice…and the top is…well…the top is optional…just saying….

4) Fly spray like Deep Woods Off or Muskol. Most cottages are around the woods and woods mean flies and bugs. Having some insect repellent will be a good idea, and you won’t be using up all of your hosts insect repellent. If they even have any, regular cottagers are used to the bugs and might not need to use insect repellent as much as you do.

5) Sunscreen. For much of the same reasons as number 4 above, you will be outside most of the day, running around in boats, around the water, or sitting on a deck. You’ll need sunscreen and lots of it so you can re-apply after swimming. While you are at it, don’t forget to bring your sunglasses.

6) A Hat. Nobody should be at the cottage without a hat. Hats keep the sun and the rain off your head and are helpful for swatting flies and keeping your head warm in the evenings around the campfire. A Tilley hat is a good idea, but any hat will work, provided it will protect your head from the elements.

7) A Book, or even better, books. You might be quite happy to have a book to read on a rainy day at the cottage, especially if the place is off the grid and there is no television or *gasp* internet access so you can read The Cottage Chronicles. What you could do is print all my posts and take them with you…..I’d love that….Cottagers usually love to read, so take a few books with you and leave them when you go home. Thanks….

8) Food. Even if your host says don’t worry about bringing food, bring some anyway. Discuss the menu for the time you will be there and see what you can bring. If all else fails, offer to bring side dishes, like salads or desserts. This is also a good way to find out what is on the menu and raise any allergy issues or food likes and dislikes. If a campfire is on the agenda bring marshmallows and hotdogs. If your host already has some, you can always leave yours behind…thanks….

9) Drinks. Apart from the obvious, like alcholic beverages, bring whatever you might want to drink, it’s nice to bring a bottle for the host…ha ha…thank you…But it’s not just liquor. Pop and juice are often a commodity at the camp, especially if there are children in the group, so don’t forget to bring some with you.

10) Bedding, pillows, sleeping bags. Most of the time, cottages have guest beds, sheets, blankets etc, as well as bath towels etc. But some cottages are really just “camps” and you will need to take your sleeping bags. If you have to have a special pillow, (such as a non-allergic) don’t forget to bring it along with your teddy bear. Speaking of linens and towels, bringing your own towels is not usually necessary but it is a nice touch, especially a beach towel.

There is my list, feel free to post a comment and tell me what I missed. My list is far from complete I am sure. I think the key is to discuss the weekend with your hosts beforehand, so you know what to bring. If they say, “nothing” discuss and quote this list to them, to see if it jogs any ideas. They might not think about something as basic as a sleeping bag, but you will be glad to have it if they don’t have one for you.

Bonus # 11) One thing that I did not include in the above list, but it might just be the most important thing you can bring. Your enthusiasm. Cottagers love their cottages and the love people who love their cottages. They also love folks who are open to trying stuff, like boating or sitting at a campfire roasting marshmallows. Cottagers as a group love to have a laugh, relax and take part in the outdoor lifestyle, come prepared to join in the fun !!

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