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Winter Hiking in the Smoky Mountains: 4 Things You Don’t Want to Forget

Couple using a map of the Smoky Mountains to point in the right direction
December 29, 2014

When you’re winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you want to make sure you are staying as safe and warm as possible. In order to help you when you go hiking this winter, we have put together some helpful tips to start you off on the right foot:

Always Dress in Layers

You’ve probably heard it time and time again, but it’s definitely one of the most important things to remember. If you’re going to be hiking in the wintertime, you have to remember to dress in layers. It seems like such a simple thing, but when you dress in layers you will be warm and comfortable throughout your entire hike. In the lower elevations, the temperatures may be a little bit warmer than the upper elevations. So, when you’re hiking to the upper elevations, you’re definitely going to want to have heavier jackets and sweaters, but while you’re in the lower elevations, you may want to put that heavy jackets in your backpack.

(Also Popular: 7 Things We Love About Winter in the Smoky Mountains)

Hit the Trails Early

It’s so important to hit the trails early, especially in the winter. The darkness falls early in the evening, so if you start your hike too late, you may not be able to make the entire hike before the sun sets. In the winter months, you definitely don’t want to be out on the trails late at night.

Have a Hiking Buddy

Group winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains in the snow

Even if you’re out on the trail early, it’s a good idea to have someone hiking with you. If you aren’t able to have someone with you, make sure you let someone know where you will be hiking and when you should be returning. This is the best way to stay safe while you’re hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

Make Sure to Pack Plenty of ‘Extras’

One place you definitely want to have lots of extra items is in your hiking backpack. Now, you don’t want to overpack and end up with a heavy backpack, but you definitely should make sure you have everything you will need ‘just in case.’

A few of these ‘just in case’ items may include:

  • Map of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Flashlight
  • Matches or other fire starter
  • Extra socks
  • First aid kit
  • Compass

In addition to all of those ‘extras,’ you should make sure to have all of your regular hiking gear.

For more safety tips for winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains, take a look at the National Park Service website .

Wondering what else you should know before you head out on the trails? Learn what else you should know when you go hiking in the Smokies!

What to Do After Winter Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

Winter view of the Smoky Mountains from a Gatlinburg cabin

After a day of hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you’ll love retreating to one of our Gatlinburg cabin rentals. There, you can step into a warm hot tub and relax in the cool mountain air or you can settle down on the couch, curl up and watch a movie.

Whenever you’re ready to book your cabin rental this winter, give us a call. We have reservation specialists standing by to help you choose the best cabin for your stay or answer any questions you have about planning your visit.

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