Great Smoky Mountains National Park What to Pack

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  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    Packing List for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mtns

    by TravellerMel Updated Sep 4, 2013

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    Luggage and bags: Backpack - to carry your gear

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hiking boots - or at least athletic shoes. I'm always shocked at the number of teenage girls who think it is smart to hike in flip flops.

    Water repellant jacket/poncho - when hiking in the upper elevations of the mountains, it will be about 20ยบ cooler than where you left from in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Also, there can be quick showers, so being able to protect from the cool and wet is a good thing.

    Hat - depending on which trail you plan to hike, you may be exposed to the sun, so a hat is good protection. And on that note...

    Water - this should be common sense, but folks who do not hike often seem to forget the level of exertion required for hiking. It may seem like just "walking", but it is walking - sometimes uphill - for long periods of time, at a high elevation, and sometimes involves climbing over rocks or other obstacles. Bring ample amounts of water, and maybe a power bar. It's not a good feeling when your blood sugar drops and you are on a gravel trail 2 miles from your car...

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen - for the same reasons as bringing a hat. You may not feel like the sun is out, but you can still get a bad sunburn...

    Bug Spray - get the industrial Outdoor OFF or the like. Besides mosquitos, which can carry disease, there are many little annoying gnats and flies. They may not hurt you, but it is a pain to be swatting them away from your face as the try to fly into your eyes, ears, nose, mouth...

    Photo Equipment: Gallon-size Ziploc Baggies - perfect for if/when you get caught in a deluge. Put in your camera, hiking and/or birding books, cell phone...

    Tripod - not a "necessity", but I have found it to be incredibly useful for taking photos with long exposure times (like a waterfall), or to get a nice "selfie" of my husband and me, where the camera is so close you can see our pores, and cannot see the background to tell where we are... :-)

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Hiking stick - maybe not "necessary", but I have found mine to be incredibly useful for leveraging when climbing up and down rocks, for balance, and for scooting away snakes from in front of you on the trail.

    Flashlight - in case you start hiking back later than you expected, but also good for looking around things - but NOT caves, as they may be bear habitats, and a flashlight will not protect you from bears...

    Miscellaneous: Trail Map - many offered for FREE or $1 at the NPS bookstore.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • bigorange1103's Profile Photo

    Pack for anything!!!!!!

    by bigorange1103 Written Jul 22, 2005

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The temp can change at a moments notice. Summer you are pretty ok. Its gonna be hot!!! Maybe pack a poncho for those summer showers. The rest of the time be prepared for cold or warm weather. Spring or Fall you could wear shorts one day and need a jacket the next!!!!!!!

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Hiking?? Maybe a small first aid kit and lots of water!!!!!!

    Miscellaneous: We always keep our walking sticks in the back of the truck because we never know when we will stop and hike!!!!

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