Cabin living is relaxing and refreshing. Immersing yourself in nature and enjoying the benefits of being surrounded by trees, wildlife and so much more can make life feel more worthwhile. Plus, there are countless mental and physical health benefits to spending more time in nature, so who wouldn’t want to enjoy the cabin lifestyle?
Another perk is that living in nature is beautiful throughout every season. You get to experience the wonders of spring when everything comes to life again, the dog days of summer when wildlife is active and gardens are plentiful, the beautiful colors of fall and the quiet beauty of falling snow in the winter.
Of course, each season can come with its own challenges, too. When it comes to winter, you never know when you might experience harsh weather or a blizzard. The last thing you want is for your peaceful, cozy cabin to become damaged because of that kind of weather.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to prepare your cabin for harsh winter weather so you can continue to stay safe and warm while the snow falls.
1. Make Necessary Upgrades
Before the season officially begins, take the time to audit your cabin and determine the kinds of upgrades that would help it be more structurally sound through the winter. Making these necessary upgrades won’t just keep your cabin safer, but they can keep you warmer inside and save you money on electricity, fuel and even firewood.
Some of the best home improvements you can make to prepare for extreme winter weather include:
- Sealing or replacing your windows
- Evaluating, and potentially replacing, exterior doors
- Inspecting your roof and upgrading if necessary
- Installing insulation
Climate change is making severe winter weather more common in certain parts of the world, including extreme snowfall. Accelerated warming in the Arctic is leading to irregular weather issues and making snowstorms more intense, even in the United States. While we might be getting better at predicting these weather patterns, there’s not much you can do to avoid getting dumped on in a blizzard.
If your area is prone to extreme weather, it’s never a bad idea to take a few extra steps to make sure you’re comfortable throughout the season. Consider installing a backup generator in case a blizzard knocks the power out. Use an extra sump pump to deal with flooding when the snow starts to melt. Every little bit helps, and while these upgrades might seem like an investment upfront, they’ll keep your cabin protected from costly damage.
2. Prioritize Safety
Making renovations and upgrades to your cabin is a fantastic way to keep yourself and your family safer throughout the winter. But, if things are already secure and well-constructed, you can start to prioritize smaller steps to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable when a blizzard hits.
One of the easiest ways to ensure everyone has what they need during extreme weather is to prepare an emergency kit. It should include any necessary medications, food, water, extra clothes and blankets and any other items necessary to keep you, your children, and your pets safe and comfortable if you’ll be confined to your cabin for an extended time.
It’s also a good rule of thumb to create a safety plan with everyone who lives in the cabin. When everyone knows exactly what to do when extreme weather strikes, they’re less likely to panic. Consider giving everyone a specific role or task to take on so they know their personal responsibilities and how to tackle them for the good of the family. When people know they have a job to do, they can stay focused on those tasks and are less likely to worry about what’s going on outside. Delegation is not only a great way to get things done but it can serve as a positive distraction during an extreme weather event.
3. Regular Maintenance is Key
It’s not enough to just make necessary upgrades once and assume your cabin will be “set” for years to come. If you want to keep yourself safe and secure year after year, regular maintenance should be a priority. Thankfully, if you do check things out every year, you’ll be able to repair any damage and prepare for potential problems before they get out of control.
Common cabin maintenance issues include:
- Roof repair
- Window inspection
- Replacing structural components
- Inspecting HVAC equipment
It doesn’t take long to inspect your home before the winter season starts. Doing so will offer you peace of mind as you head into the potential for extreme weather.
If you’re a snowbird who doesn’t live in your cabin in the winter but travels to warmer climates, it’s still important to prepare the structure for severe winter weather. If that’s the case, it’s worth it to hire a property management team or even a handyman to check in on what needs to be done and to maintain the safety and structure of your cabin throughout the winter. If you’re on a budget and haven’t yet purchased a cabin, consider investing in a timeshare or rental property, as they might include maintenance services.
Again, cabin living is meant to be peaceful and relaxing, and there’s nothing like seeing a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground from the cozy interior of your home. But there’s no question that winters can be harsh, and preparing yourself and your cabin now will make the season safer and more enjoyable for everyone.