Great Smoky Mountains

4 Ways to Guarantee a Warm Hike this Winter

Person hiking in the winter mountainsFamilies love spending time in the Smokies, but at Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals, we want to make sure you’re prepared for the cold winter hikes. We put together a few things you should know when you’re making plans to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the cold months.

1. Dress Warmly

As the weather gets colder, you should make sure to dress warmer. It is important to wear a wicking material while hiking, so any moisture stays away from your skin. The innermost layer should be the wicking layer, then you should put on an insulation layer that will hold the heat in. Follow that by a protective layer, to keep you from feeling any wind or rain and you will be guaranteed a warm hike this season!

2. Pack Plenty of Water

Many people forget to pack a lot of water for their trips. Even in the winter, you’ll want plenty of water to drink. If you see running streams while you’re on your hike, don’t drink from them. The water sources in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are not clean for consumption. It is best to boil the water if you must, but it’s not recommended because contaminants may still remain after boiling. To be the most careful, pack plenty of bottles of water and a portable boiler or stove. You can even pack boiling water in a thermos. When you take a break, you’ll appreciate having the hot water for a cup of hot chocolate!

3. Be Reasonable About Distance

It’s much more difficult to hike in the winter months, as compared to the summer months. What may only take you an hour in the summer could actually take you two hours in the winter. You want to be prepared for any icy conditions or closed trailheads. Don’t plan on hiking an incredibly long distance unless you’re prepared to handle the chill of the winter.

4. Hike Early

Hiking early is some of the best advice for being on the trails this winter. Since the sun goes down much earlier in the winter, you don’t want to be caught in the dark during the cold evening hours. You should plan to be off of the trail before darkness hits, to avoid accidents and getting lost.

To warm up at night, Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals offers Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg cabins with fireplaces and bubbling hot tubs. You can take a look at our Specials page for the best deal on your cabin in the Smokies!