What to Take when Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

Family on a hike resting on a fenceRising above the breathtaking landscape of the Tennessee-North Carolina border, the Great Smoky Mountains offers more than 80 trails for hiking enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you are an avid hiker or just beginning, it is important to remember the right equipment.

The Proper Footwear

Wearing the proper footwear is very important when hiking in the Smoky Mountains. In most cases, sneakers or gym shoes will not do the job. Purchase a good pair of hiking boots. They should hit above the ankle and offer ample support to avoid rolling your ankle on steep terrain. Be sure to wear the correct size so there is no rubbing. Socks are also important. Socks should rise above the hiking boot for better support. Stick to breathable materials such as wool, which will help keep your feet dry and warm. Cotton tends to trap moisture and should be avoided.

Protect Your Skin

Hiking isn’t just about your feet. You will be outside, possibly for hours, and should protect yourself from the elements. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or more and remember to reapply it every hour or two. Don’t neglect your scalp! A wide-brim hat will protect your head and shelter your eyes against sunlight or unexpected rain.

Keep Up Your Energy

Drinking water is essential. Be sure you have plenty on hand to keep you hydrated. A snack is also important. An apple, some trail mix or some protein bars will keep your energy flowing throughout your hike.


If you are using a marked trail, stop at the information area for a map of the trail. In addition to a map, you should bring a smartphone with GPS capabilities in case you get lost and people need to search for you. Be sure to turn off other battery-draining capabilities, such as screen brightness, live backgrounds, other applications and Bluetooth.

After a fun day of hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you can relax in your cosy cabin in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. Located just minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Aunt Bug’s cabins are ideal for vacationers looking to hike, visit local attractions or just stay in. Learn more about Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and The Great Smoky Mountains by visiting our Area Information page.