Checklist: How to Pack for a Smoky Mountain Vacation

smoky mountain vacation

A vacation to the Smoky Mountains is filled with natural beauty, fresh mountain air, and a host of activities and attractions for people of all ages.

On a Smoky Mountain vacation, travelers can experience hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, frolicking on the fun water slides of Dollywood, viewing the unique aquatic exhibits of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and experiencing the mysterious stalactites and stalagmites and an underground waterfall at Tuckaleechee Caverns.

And this is just a small sampling of what you will discover on your smoky mountain vacation.

Don’t forget the many choices delicious cuisine to savor from casual to fine dining fare!

However, no matter what activities and diversions you decide to enjoy on your Smoky Mountain vacation, you’ll need to pack the right items in your suitcase and in your backpack.

Not sure exactly what you need to bring?

We’ve got it covered. Here’s a checklist of how to pack on your Smoky Mountain vacation.

1. Find Out the Weather for Your Smoky Mountain Vacation

The first thing you need to do before you open your suitcase is to look up the weather. The Smoky Mountains are home to a temperate climate, but remember, the higher the elevation, the colder it gets.

The mountains typically get snow in November and December, so you’ll  have to pack appropriately if you visit during this time of year. During the snowy season, you’ll need to pack snow boots, a warm jacket and warmer clothing.

2. What Clothes to Pack

If you’re not in a high altitude and you’re visiting during the warmer months, it’s a good idea to bring t-shirts and a light jacket and layer up. This way you can take off your jacket or sweater if it gets too hot.

This is the preferred way of dress for hikers because a light jacket or long-sleeved shirt can easily be tossed into a backpack.

Weather off the mountain generally is from 50 to 88 degrees, depending on the time of year of your Smoky Mountain vacation.

Bring a bathing suit and flip flops if you’re planning on going on waterslides.

3. What Shoes to Bring

The types of shoes vary depending on the activity. A casual hot afternoon can call for sneakers and flip flops or sandals. Bring a pair of dress shoes for an evening on the town if you plan to get dressed up.

Don’t forget a good pair of hiking boots if you’re trekking on the mountain. You’ll need a pair of boots with good traction, especially if you are climbing a mountain that requires an intermediate or advanced hiking skill level.

4. Must-Haves for Your Smokey Mountain Vacation

On your vacation, you should have some to essentials in your wallet.

Make sure you have your plane tickets and hotel reservation documents unless you’ve booked everything electronically and don’t need to print anything.

Some financial and legal items you’ll need in your wallet include your credit card, debit card, drivers license, and some cash.

5. Toiletries to Consider

Some toiletries are essential, but there are others that aren’t necessary to bring along.

Sunscreen is an option. You’ll need it for sure, but it’s an item that you can purchase on your vacation. The same goes for shampoo and conditioner, which is often provided at hotels, cabins, and lodges.

Here are some important toiletries to use on your Smokey Mountain vacation:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hair Brushes
  • Razors or Electric Shavers
  • Shaving Cream
  • Insect Repellent (A must for hiking and spending time outdoors)
  • Deodorant
  • Dental Floss
  • Bandaids
  • Chapstick
  • Contacts and Glasses
  • Prescription Drugs and Vitamins

Again, some of these things can be bought when you arrive, it depends on your budget and how light you want to travel.

6. Items to Help You Navigate Your Journey

Part of planning a comfortable trip is knowing where you’re going. Be sure to bring these navigational aids: a travel map, a map of the area, GPS device, and a compass, especially if you’re planning a hiking trip.

7. Stay Connected on Your Smokey Mountains Vacation

Make sure to bring a camera to take all those pictures you’re going to post online for all the friends and family who couldn’t join you on your Smokey Mountain vacation.

If you prefer taking selfies and have a good quality camera on your smartphone, that can also work well.

Don’t forget to bring your charger an adapter for your car to plug into the lighter.

8. Hiking Gear Essentials

Are there any panoramic views more breathtaking than hiking the Smokey Mountains? I think not!

But when you’re trekking in the great blue yonder, you’ll need to have some items in your backpack.

First Aid Kit

First aid kits protect you from minor accidents like bug bites or getting snagged by tree branches on your hike. Be sure to have antiseptic wipes, anti-bacterial ointment, bandaids, bandages, an antiseptic and tweezers in your kit.

Drink lots of water

You’ll need to stay hydrated on your climb. You can bring bottled water to put in your backpack, but if you want your hands free, buy a hydration reservoir to quench your thirst more easily.

Protection from the Elements and Critters

The hot sun, blowing winds and insects can take a toll on your skin.  A must-have for any hiking trip is bug spray, bear spray (if bears are in the area), sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50.

Keep Your Blood Flowing with Snacks

Load yourself up with nutrients and high protein for your climb. Some of these snacks that are good for you include cashews, almonds, seeds, and raisins.

Now you have the ultimate checklist to begin planning your Smoky Mountain Vacation! So get ready for an adventure-filled vacation in one of the most exciting destinations in America.

Our company offers everything for a Smoky Mountain Vacation, including access to local deals and detailed information and things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Visit our website today to discover a host of rustic cabin options and be sure to check out our article, “Scenic Drives in the Smokey Mountains ” on our blog.

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