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Review: Getaway Cabin Experience and Packing List Suggestions

Unplugging from modern life is a challenge, so I recently decided to take a 3-day midweek trip to a Getaway cabin to do just that. Getaway campsites are springing up around major cities in the US, offering city-dwellers like me a place to go within a short drive to relax, unwind, and reconnect with nature. The Getaway location for St. Louis is just over an hour away from the city in nearby St. Francois. You don’t have to drive too far outside of St. Louis and surrounding counties to find yourself in the country, and the location that Getaway picked for our region delivered on feeling remote while still being conveniently close.

Rosie the dog gazes out the large window of a Getaway cabin into a lush green forest.
Rosie enjoyed looking out the window of our Getaway cabin, and I had just as much fun watching her observe nature.

Bring Your Dog on a Getaway 

I decided to spring for the extra $50 fee to bring my pup, Rosie. I knew that having her with me would help me feel more relaxed and connected without feeling isolated or lonely. I’m glad I made that decision as her company was just what I needed. Because I had added her to my reservation, they set out a couple of dog bowls (one for food, one for water), two black towels to wipe her muddy paws, a pack of treats (Mutt Mallows Sweetie S’mores from The Lazy Dog Cookie Co.—perfect for a campfire theme). There was also a little welcome note just for her that outlined some good spots for nearby walks and a gentle reminder to stay leashed for safety. 

What to Expect From Your Getaway Cabin

We rolled up close to the 3 pm check-in time on a Sunday afternoon having left St. Louis that morning and enjoyed short hikes around Hickory Canyons Natural Area. It was a rainy weekend so the creeks and waterfall were running with soothing water sounds. I backed up to the cabin, which is a small trailer that has water and electric hookups, and a fire ring and grill with two Adirondack chairs. 

What’s Cookin’ at Getaway Cabins

Getaway staff had texted me a 4-digit code to enter the cabin, and we got in with no trouble. Inside we found crisp white linens on a queen-sized bed, a small table and chair, and a kitchen stocked with cooking tools. There was a 2-burner electric stove, kettle for tea, pot with lid, small skillet, and all the cutlery, cups, and utensils you could need for cooking small meals. You can cook over the campfire, but they ask that you use the aluminum foil they provide so as not to damage the pots and pans with smoke and char.  

There was a basket of items available for purchase—they make note of whatever you take and add it to your bill at checkout. There were two boxes of water, s’mores kits, pour-over coffee pods, tea, and complimentary packets of olive oil for cooking. There was a mini-fridge that would easily hold everything you need for a week and a cabinet that serves as a pantry for unpacking your groceries. 

They provide a trash can under the sink, a pre-packaged sponge for dishes, and a pump dispenser of soap for hand and dishwashing. 

Bathing at a Getaway Cabin

Each cabin has a small hot water heater, and as a solo camper, I never ran out of hot water. They encourage you to wait a while between showers to let the hot water build back up. The shower comes with pump dispensers of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. It’s a stainless steel-lined cube with an adjustable showerhead with multiple settings. Hot showers always feel so wonderful after a day of hiking and time around a campfire, and I loved getting cleaned up to climb into bed each evening.

Things I’m Glad I Packed

As one of those people who likes to know what I’m getting into (e.g. control freak), I had done ample research for packing. There is an “Ultimate Packing List” post on the Getaway blog that was helpful, but it doesn’t cover everything. There are a few extras that I’m so glad I brought, especially since I brought my dog with me. 

  1. Campfire Stick—I brought my own stick for cooking and roasting marshmallows over the campfire. They offer short wood skewers for purchase with their s’mores kit, but I liked having a sturdy metal stick that kept me farther back from the fire. 

  2. Drinking Water—I didn’t see signs about the potability of the water, but assume it was safe to drink because they didn’t say not to. Still, I had brought a gallon of water for each day we camped, and it was nice to have this supply. There’s no reason to risk having an upset tummy when camping, and I felt better about drinking distilled water.

  3. Extra Blanket—The air conditioning in my cabin was kept running nonstop to knock out some of the humidity and warmth. The large windows let in a lot of sunlight and it can get warm. If you like sleeping in a cooler room with lots of blankets, then be sure to bring one along. I also enjoyed wrapping it around me while sitting at the desk in the mornings. 

  4. Slippers—There are signs asking you to kick off your shoes once inside your cabin, which I did only to find the bottoms of my feet getting dirty on the woven plastic floors. Luckily I had brought along some slippers socks to keep my feet clean, warm, and dry. 

  5. Small Clock—Getaway cabins are known for their phone lock boxes (there’s no lock; you simply slide the wooden door and pop your phone inside to help you avoid distractions). I took advantage of this but noticed that not having a way to tell time felt disorienting. Some people may enjoy this level of disconnection, but I was glad to have a small analog alarm clock with me to note the time for writing exercises. 

  6. Pens and Notebooks—If you’re a writer you wouldn’t forget to bring along a journal and pens. Even if you don’t plan to write the next great American novel in the woods, you might appreciate having something to jot down thoughts. When you’re disconnected from technology and crowded places, something brilliant may come to the surface!

  7. A Topsheet for the Bed—Rosie and I appreciated this one. I’m not the sort of person who likes to leave a mess, so I brought along a king-sized top sheet for the bed. This way, I could pack up all the extra dog hair and paw prints without worrying about damaging the cabin’s bedding. It simply made me feel better, especially since it was rainy.

  8. Playlist—This isn’t a tangible item, but I was grateful to have music downloaded to my phone for the trip. Each cabin has a small Bluetooth radio, so we enjoyed some calming tunes while cooking and unwinding. If you’d like to listen to music, download it to your phone before you travel as there is minimal cell reception at Getaway campsites. 

Peace and Quiet

We didn’t see many of our “neighbors” while camping, and I was just fine with that. We went for daily walks on the gravel roads and enjoyed the nearby hiking trail next to a creek. When we saw other campers, we exchanged a friendly wave and kept moving. I loved that they ban people from playing music outside their cabins; if you’re looking for a place to have a party, this isn’t it. The campsites are far enough apart that you won't see neighbors from your spot, and the large windows face the woods and never other cabins.

Plan Your Getaway

Thinking of visiting a Getaway campsite soon? Do it! Whether you go with a partner, pet, or solo, you’re sure to enjoy disconnecting from the city and reconnecting with your true Self. My Getaway experience helped me soothe nervous system dysregulation, burnout, and stress—and the results have lasted several weeks. I return to the cabin in my mind, and it has served as a memory palace that keeps me centered and calm. What are you waiting for?


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