Smoky Mountain Hiking TipsHiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty and peace of the Great Smoky Mountains. But you need to be prepared! From packing enough water to having the right gear, these 10 Smoky Mountain hiking tips will help prepare you for your hiking adventure.
Don’t Hike Alone
This tip is #1 because it’s so important. In the unlikely event that something happens to you out on the trail, you need someone there who can get help. It’s also important to stay together when hiking with a group since laggers could get hurt or lost without anyone knowing.
Stay on the Trail
Never get off the designated trail. You could easily lose your bearings and get lost or hurt and no one would know where to find you.
Check the Weather
Always check the weather forecast before heading out on a hike in the Smoky Mountains. It may be sunny and warm now, but the weather can change quickly in the mountains, so be prepared.
Pack Plenty of Water
This is especially important in the summer. When you’re out on the hot trails, you’ll be thankful you packed the extra bottle! Also, if you’re planning on drinking water from the wild, it must be treated for the parasite Giardia before it’s safe to drink. You can do this by boiling water for at least one minute or filtering it (but check to make sure your filter is capable of removing particles as small as 1 micron).
Ask the Ranger
On the day of your hike, check in with the park or forest ranger to make sure you know of any trail closures or unusual wildlife activity.
Take a Map
While you may typically rely on your GPS to get you around, it’s best to bring the good ‘ole fashioned hard copy on your Smoky Mountain hike. Why? Phones don’t often have cell service in the mountains, and the trails you’re hiking on are probably not registered on satellite maps. So pick up a map or guide book so you don’t get lost on your hike.
Carry a First-Aid Kit
Not only should you carry a first aid kit on your hike in Smoky Mountain National Park, but it’s also wise for you to learn how to properly use it. Learning first aid will prepare you to treat various injuries that could happen on the trail.
You’ll need to wear sunglasses on your hike, no matter what season of the year it is. At higher altitudes, the sun’s UV rays are stronger and your eyes need more protection.
Have a Fire Source
Never go hiking without a reliable source of fire like waterproof matches or an emergency firestarter. Even though you probably won’t have to use it, it’s always best to be prepared.
Wear Hiking Boots
This one seems like a no-brainer, but far too often, people set out on a hike in the Smoky Mountains in flimsy, inadequate shoes. Don’t be that person! Your ankles will need plenty of support and you’ll want a shoe with good traction, so a sturdy hiking boot is your best bet.
After The Hike
Most of our cabins are equipped with an outside hot tub or indoor jacuzzi so you can soak away the tiredness in your muscles after. Sit back and stargaze while you talk about the great day you’ve just had hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.