sipping tea by a campfire, cozy off-grid cabin in Staunton, travel photographer for hire

My Stay in a Cozy Off-Grid Cabin in Staunton, VA



A flight medic & educator turned multi-hyphenate creative, traveler, and coach. This blog is dedicated to helping everyone live well, one day at a time.




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I’ll start this blog off with a disclaimer that my stay in a cozy off-grid cabin in Staunton, VA was partially because I freelance for Hipcamp as a photographer and this property was an available assignment.

Would I also have booked this on my own? Definitely.

I love a rustic cabin, car camping, and or backpacking trip. I also love a solo retreat.

Cozy Off-Grid Cabin in Staunton VA, travel photographer for hire

This cabin is a hand-built timber frame cabin nestled on the edge of a working vegetable and flower farm near Staunton, VA (it’s technically in Fishersville) in front of a babbling brook and confluence of two creeks. You can expect open skies, farm sounds, wildlife, and lots of peace and quiet.

cozy cabin in staunton va, travel photographer for hire
The kitchen, complete with fairy lights & a Berkey filter.
wood stove, travel photographer

The property owners met me when I arrived and showed me where to go, which was down a long, private farm road past where a mind-boggling amount of onions were being planted.

We chatted enough for me to find out about their farm, and cabin, then snap a photo of them. After that we stayed out of each other’s way for the remainder of my stay – they had onions to plant, and I had photos to take. I would describe them as laid back, quiet, and respectful, which is pretty much what an introvert who packed three books for a one-night trip’s dreams are made of.

The Malcoms, with dogs Bill and Rosie
During growing season, they’ll offer fresh veggies and eggs to guests as an add-on.

Rather than drone on about my own experience, here are the details for those who might plan a visit. If you prefer extremely short-form visual tours, you can head over here.

My Itinerary:

This trip was a quick one for me sans any local attractions, trails, or restaurants. This property features over 100 acres, so I hiked around plenty. I made all of my own meals, which I’ll talk about below. I took an easy drive from Chesterfield, VA on 288 and 64, arriving in the early afternoon with plenty of time to meander and then enjoy a campfire. If you want a bit more adventure or to explore nearby Staunton, some options in this area to note are:

  • Trails, hikes, scenic drives, and general outdoor recreation. This area is close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, and several other attractions like Crabtree Falls, George Washington National Forest, Humpback Rocks, and St. Mary’s Wilderness.
  • Tons of farm tours, markets, and farm-to-table opportunities.
  • Staunton has a cute downtown area to explore complete with cafes, restaurants, and bakeries. One that I went to and enjoyed a few years ago is Reunion Bakery & Espresso.

Hipcamp Details:

When to go:

  • Honestly, this cabin could be great any time of the year thanks to its cozy wood stove, ample windows that all open and mostly have screens, and proximity to water to cool off in. If I were planning a trip back here I’d probably do so in late summer or early fall.

What to pack:

  • This is a “dry cabin” meaning that there’s zero plumbing or electricity, which means you need to pack some essentials like:
  • Food and a cooler – no electricity means no way to keep food from spoiling, so think ahead and either bring a cooler that will stay cold long enough or non-perishable food to cook on the propane stove, wood stove, or campfire.
  • Your own bedding supplies – the cabin has sleeping pads, bunks, and a little loft for sleeping, so I brought my sleeping bag, an extra blanket, and my favorite pillow from home.
  • Any necessary power sources – for me this looked like an external battery pack to charge my phone and camera battery.

What to eat & drink:

  • If you absolutely refuse to cook for yourself, the nearby small town of Fishersville that you’ll drive through to arrive features the usual small-town fair (A Food Lion, a Chinese Restaurant, and an Italian Restaurant). It’s possible that they have more than that, those are just the ones I passed.
  • Dinner: I opted for an easy peasy dinner of Momofuku Soy & Scallion Ramen Noodles, made a bit more special by frying an egg to put on top, and adding a drizzle of FLYBYJING Zhong Sauce. If you decide to follow suit, the noodles can be found far cheaper in person at Target, and the sauce at Whole Foods.
  • Breakfast: I pre-made breakfast burritos at home, wrapped them in parchment, and foil, then froze them for this trip (and a few for the week ahead). They had scrambled eggs, veggie sausage, spinach, tater tots, and crumbled queso fresco. I ate one with an avocado and some Cholula hot sauce while the morning sun beamed through the window and it was perfect. Just heat them up by throwing them on the fire, wood stove, or in a pan on the propane stove.
  • Beverages: While my breakfast burrito was heating up, I made a delicious v60 pour-over coffee with fresh beans ground using a hand-grinder similar to this one and a reusable filter from my friends over at Coffee Sock. The night before, I had a cozy cup of herbal tea. The cabin has a Berkey Filter and lots of potable water available, which is a huge help.
Cozy Off-Grid Cabin in Staunton, coffee sock, food and product photographer
morning coffee
Cozy Off-Grid Cabin in Staunton, breakfast burritos, food photographer, recipe developer, vegetarian camping food
breakfast burritos

Other info:

  • A 4WD vehicle, or at least one with a higher clearance, is recommended for this cabin. There weren’t any massive mud pits or sketchy things to drive over – but it is down a long gravel road and the cabin itself is in a field with no road. Leave your sports cars and sedans at home, folks.
  • This cabin is not dog friendly. As I mentioned above, the farm is a working farm with machinery driving around, which also has some nearby farm animals and two very sweet off-leash pups (Bill & Rosie).
  • The bathroom is an easily accessible outhouse about 30-40 feet from the cabin. It’s fine and has all the supplies you need inside, but you’ll wanna take a headlamp or other small light if you go out there at night.

and finally, some more visuals for you to peruse:

Hipcamp photographer
making a french press in cozy off-grid cabin, travel photographer for hire, travel photographer, Hipcamp photographer
a stool and hydroflask of coffee sitting next to a creek
skipping rocks on the creek
creek behind cabin
travel blogger, travel photographer, timber frame cabin
cozy off-grid cabin, cabin in staunton virginia

If you decide to stay at this Cozy Off-Grid Cabin in Staunton, VA – I hope you enjoy it. If you enjoyed this blog, let me know, and come follow along with more adventures on Instagram.

Read the Comments +

  1. RL says:

    This looks like a lovely solo getaway!

  2. Jill says:

    It looks super cozy. The creek looks fantastic. I would definitely love that in warmer months. The meal ideas are great to know as well. I never know what to bring when camping. What you shared seemed simple to execute when traveling.

    • Marybeth Wells says:

      Thanks, Jill šŸ™‚ the creek would be so perfect to stick a chair in and enjoy during warmer months. Hope you enjoy the meal ideas and I’m glad they’re helpful – I think the breakfast burritos will end up getting their own blog because they’re great for camping or just really busy weeks.

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Hi, I'm Marybeth

A flight medic & educator turned multi-hyphenate creative, traveler, and coach.

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