If your cabin isn’t your primary residence, then you should think cabin security. Why? Case in point: the North Pond Hermit. For nearly 30 years, he lived a life of solitude in Central Maine. One of his many secrets to survival was breaking into seasonal cabins to steal food, propane and books. Victimless crime? Maybe. Harmless? Hell no. It’s downright freaky to have your home broken into—vacation cabin or primary residence. No matter where your little home away from home might be, here a five easy things you can do to keep the tweakers, thieves, nosy neighbors (and hermits) out of your business.
1. Wireless trail camera
Trail cameras are awesome for hunting, and they work especially well at keeping tabs on your place. We have a cabin in northwest Montana that’s entirely off the grid. Its roof is a magnet for old spruce trees, and I wanted something that could keep an eye on the place for me during the long winters. I installed a wireless trail cam that sends a photo to my cell phone everyday at 10 am. It’s got a 32GB memory card and an external solar-powered battery charger. In five years, I haven’t touched it. Here’s a slideshow of the set-up below.
2. Cut the grass
We don’t use the cabin as much as I’d like. But when we do go there, we keep the place looking nice. Rather than let the weeds take over, we mow and weedeat, blow debris off the roof and make the place appear as if someone lives there all the time. These things aren’t just for aestheitcs either. A few years ago, a massive forest fire burned to within a quarter-mile of the place. A stray ember could have easily ignited duff on the roof or an overgrown patch of dead grass.
3. Keep it clean
A clean cabin on the outside is one way to keep the two-legged intruders away, and a clean cabin on the inside keeps the four-legged intruders out as well. The area around our cabin is a wild place. It’s full of skunks, fox, deer, wolves, black and grizzly bears and lions. But the only issues we’ve ever had were with the tiny variety—mice and pack rats. It’s an ongoing battle, but I like to think we’re holding our own. The tally for the five-gallon bucket mouse trap is in the triple digits, and I’ve used enough spray foam to choke a goat. Sweeping up any food after every visit helps, too.
4. Use solar powered led lights
Because we’re off the grid, we use solar LED lights to mark the outhouse, the outside deck and the front porch. They are awesome. Sure, it takes a little away from the insane star-gazing, but it looks like someone is home at the cabin every night. They come on at dark and last until the wee hours of the morning.
5. Use it
We don’t get to our cabin nearly as often as we’d like. Then again, we haven’t seen some of our neighbors in years. As a result, their cabin has been host to bears, tweakers and more than a handful of large rodents. Perhaps the best way to keep your place secure is by simply being there. It’s rare that trespassers want to encounter those whose land they are trespassing on. Go when you can even if it’s for the day. Besides, a day at the cabin beats a day in town any day.