Teanaway Guard Station
Kim K.
Reviewed Mar. 1, 2019

Sleep in a Bit of History

I recently rented the cabin for the weekend in February. I've already made a reservation for a summer weekend, but this review is based on winter use.

The cabin comes with a stove & a battery lantern, with the expectation that you'll provide the fuel & the batteries. A previous user had left a propane canister and left the batteries in the lantern. It's a nice gesture, but come prepared with your own. I'd also brought along a propane lantern, and I'm glad I did. (Although this did violate the "no open flames in the cabin" rule - more on that later.) The interior of the cabin is very dark, and while the battery lantern provides light, it's only bright up close. Plan to bring your own lanterns, especially in the winter when the night's dark comes early. There are some board games and books in the cupboard, as well.

The bunkbeds are covered in plastic, but it's a thin cellophane so it wasn't noisy. There are provided pillows; I didn't use them. The bunks' mattresses are comfortable. Because of the way the Forest Service installed the bunkbed & the cupboards, the bunkbeds don't fully benefit from the heat of the woodstove. In the winter, you'll want a warm sleeping bag.

I broke the "no open flames in the cabin" rule because it was 16°F outside, and my meals needed to simmer. I imagine this rule is designed to protect the cabin as well as to protect visitors from CO poisoning. I placed the stove near a window and opened the window a crack, and I never turned my back on the stove. There's a CO monitor in the cabin, and truth be told, the cabin's drafty. But if you're going to break the rule, understand the risk you're taking, and for the love of all that is holy do not burn down this cabin.

The lock on the woodshed is the kind that the tumblers need to be lined up before you take the key out, but it's also a little worn so it's possible to take the key out without it being lined up. If that happens - as it did with me - it's really difficult to get the key back into the lock far enough to unlock it. (I had to heat up the lock & the key with a candle to get the tumblers "unstuck.") Be very careful with the lock, or you may find yourself having a chilly night. (Wood is only provided during winter rentals, so this doesn't apply for the summer folks.)

The toilet paper in the vault toilet is kept in a heavy plastic tote. My guess is this is to protect it from rodents. Please keep the lid on tight.

I wish I'd brought along a pair of camp shoes to keep my bed socks clean. There's a warning that you should expect every surface in the cabin has been contaminated by mouse urine & droppings. Consider that during food preparation. (I used some plastic wrap to cover the countertop to give me some clean space to work.) I didn't see any rodents while I was there, but there were droppings in a few places. There's no running water, so I'd recommend bringing hand sanitizer as well.

I was carrying more than my usual backpacking load, and I'd planned to haul things in on a sled. Unfortunately, I failed to test out my sled setup & practice pulling a sled, and on the trail it turned out to be a dismal failure. I got very lucky in that a nearby cabin owner saw me, took pity on me, and hauled my gear in & back out for me. However, his was the only one of the cabins along the road in use that weekend. If you're going to do something similar, be smarter than I was and test out your gear & your technique ahead of time.

Although the river is nearby, it has a steep bank and I wouldn't risk trying to get water out of it during the winter. I utilized the woodstove's cooktop & melted snow. It's not the tastiest, but it's fine for cooking with.

I will definitely come back, and next time I will be better prepared. I enjoyed the brief glimpse of life in a remote cabin: splitting wood & kindling, needing to keep the woodstove going through the night, et cetera. But I'm grateful someone else cut the wood and stocked the shed, and that I had access to modern winter clothing & recreation devices like lightweight snowshoes & waxless skis.

  • Back view of the cabin
  • This cabin was built to withstand the weight of a heavy snow
  • Interior detail - this is why it's so dark in the cabin
  • My exciting weekend night: a pot of something hot & gooey, a good book, and a beer, all by lantern light
  • My top-heavy, overloaded, poorly thought-out sled
  • Me on the trail, exploring
  • Panoramic view of the cabin's interior
Month of VisitMarch