5 Winter Smoky Mountain Hiking Tips That Will Save Your Life

woman with backpack hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

At HearthSide Cabin Rentals, we think hiking in the Smoky Mountains is a fantastic outdoor adventure that visitors can enjoy all year long. However, as the seasons change, so will the items you need to remain comfortable out on the trails.

To make sure that all of our guests have both a fun and safe winter Smoky Mountain hiking experience, here are a few of our favorite tips that can really affect your day.

Layers Are Your Friend

When it comes to winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you want to make sure that you will be as comfortable as possible when you are out on the trail. You probably already know how important it is to wear comfortable shoes, but do you know what to wear for the rest of your outfit?

At HearthSide Cabin Rentals, we highly suggest that ever winter hiker strongly consider wearing as many layers as they can before they hit the trail. If you don’t feel like wearing all the items at once, you can always bring a backpack to store some of your gear until you need it.

Keep in mind, the temperature will drastically change the higher in elevation you climb on the trail. The rule of thumb is to decrease 3 degrees for every extra thousand feet you climb.

Here is an example of what we consider to be the perfect outfit for winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains:

man with snowy beard winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains-A water-resistant base layer

-Fleece jacket

-Windbreaker or shell jacket

-Hat

-Gloves

-Extra socks

-Scarf

Check the Weather

As we mentioned earlier, the weather can drastically change when you are out on the trail. This is why it is incredibly important to make sure that you check the weather before you set out for the day. Not only do you want to make sure that you aren’t surprised by any unfortunate weather, including rain or snow, but you also need to know what temperatures to prepare for before you leave your Smoky Mountain cabin.

If you have a smartphone, chances are there is an application that will tell you the real-time weather report. You can also check the National Park Service’s website and the National Weather Service for updated reports.

Start Early

If you are planning your first winter Smoky Mountain hiking experience, then you may want to consider picking an easier hike.

It is also important to consider starting your hike earlier in the day. This will ensure that you will have plenty of daylight for your and that you will be off the trail before dark. Not to mention, the added daylight will also make sure that you have a significant lower risk of any accidents or injury during the hike.

friends winter hiking in the Smoky MountainsBring a Friend

No matter what time of year you choose to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains, it is always smart to have a buddy or a friend with you while you are on the trail. Not only does this mean that you will have someone to keep you company while you are hiking, but it also gives you an added safety support in case something happens.

If you don’t have anyone to go hiking with you, we at least encourage that you let one of your friends or family members back home know when and where you plan on winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains. Tell these people the exact time you plan on hitting the trail, as well as make sure that you check back in with them when you are back in your car. You can never be too safe.

Don’t Forget Your Safety Gear

This may go without saying, but we want to remind guests how important it is to remember your safety gear for when you are considering a winter hike in the Smoky Mountains.

The safety gear we suggest that hikers pack include:

winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains with mapTrail map

-First Aid kit

-Compass

-A pocket knife

-Hand-warming packets

-Headlamp

If your backpack is getting a little heavy between all of your safety gear and your extra layers, consider to spreading the items out among other members of your group. This means that you will have everything you need while out on the trail.

After a full day of winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you and your family will probably want a nice and relaxing vacation rental to come back to. At HearthSide Cabin Rentals, we offer a wide variety of spacious Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg cabins that will be perfect for your and your loved ones to unwind in.

Be sure to give us a call today for more information on how we can help your family plan the perfect Smoky Mountain vacation this winter.