What are Portable Cabins?

Malcolm Tatum

Portable cabins are prefabricated structures that are self-contained units mounted on a solid frame. Because of the structure of the cabins, it is easy to transport them from one location to another. It is not unusual for a portable cabin to be used at a campsite, by a lake, or any other setting where there is a need for some sort of shelter on a short term basis. Roomier than an average tent and easier to transport than the typical trailer, these lightweight shelters have gained a great deal of popularity in recent years.

Portable cabins are sometimes used during hunting trips.
Portable cabins are sometimes used during hunting trips.

There are several different types of materials used to construct portable cabins. For the foundation, it is not unusual for steel to be used to create the frame for the device. The steel makes it relatively easy to maintain the overall structural integrity of the cabin as it is moved off and on a flatbed trailer. For the walls and roof of the structure, sturdy materials such as foam panels or other synthetic resins help to keep the structure lightweight but capable of providing adequate shelter during rain and other inclement weather.

In terms of style, it is possible to purchase portable cabins that are very basic in design. The simplest cabins are a single room, complete with a door and a window or two. Slightly more elaborate models may include a great room, also known as a common room or family room, that sports not only living and sleeping space, but also has a small food preparation area that equipped with storage space for packaged foods. Often, a small area off the main room houses a shower and chemical toilet. Higher end designs for the cabins may sport an interesting exterior such as a log cabin design, and include a sleeping area off the main room, a working sink for the kitchen area, and a fully operation toilet that can be hooked up to the sewage system at a campground. These higher end models may also include a small porch on one end of the structure.

There are several common uses for portable cabins. One of the most popular is for weekend hunting and fishing trips. Portable hunting cabins make it possible to enjoy some of the comforts of home even when hunting or fishing in an undeveloped area. A portable hunting cabin makes it possible to stay closer to the hunting site, rather than having to stay at a lodge and walk or drive a distance to the hunting grounds.

Portable cabins are also great for camping trips. Unlike other options, a cabin of this type can be set up in a matter of minutes, offering superior protection from the elements than a tent, and also making it possible to enjoy comforts similar to those found at home. Assuming the campgrounds has power and water connections, it is possible to connect utilities to the cabin, making it possible to bathe and enjoy ambient light without the need to make use of community bathhouses or common areas when you want to read.

It is even possible to make use of portable cabins around the house. A cabin can be used as a storage shed in the backyard, or even as a small guesthouse. Cabins of this type can come in handy when unexpected company appears and the house is already full. Children can also make use of the cabin as a playhouse when it is not in use for other purposes.

There are portable cabins for sale at many different retail outlets, especially those that carry camping and hunting equipment. If there are no cabins available locally, many manufacturers and online retailers offer a number of sizes and styles to choose from.

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Discussion Comments


@Melonlity -- you are right when you say these are expensive and considerably less mobile than tents, but they aren't good substitutes for tents. Yes, a mobile cabin will cost more but you can do a lot more with it. Tents are good for camping, but they are not so great when it comes to serving as hunting cabins, temporary residents for visitors, etc.

Look at it this way. One of these things is kind of like having a regular cabin (you can get them that large) but it is portable and doesn't cost nearly as much. Think of them as being good substitutes for regular cabins than as tent replacements and you will get the idea.


These truly are impressive, but the cost and the fact that they are mobile in a limited sense will limit their appeal (they are expensive and are a bit hard to transport). A lot of people will probably find a tent to be more affordable and considerably more portable.

Still, to each his own.

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