It may seem like wintertime is the least desirable time of the year to partake in an outdoors adventure. Winter in the Great Smoky Mountains, however, can be an exceptionally enjoyable experience with proper planning and preparation! Because the trails are less congested, you are more likely to see active wildlife. Additionally, you are less likely to encounter fellow hikers—making the cooler season the ideal time to seek out peace and reflection.
Ice, snow and soggy soil abound at higher elevations throughout the entirety of the cold season. Because the terrain is more challenging during the winter months, you should always carry lots of emergency preparedness equipment, and ensure that you have enough rations and supplies to sustain you for several days past the scheduled duration of your trip.
Visiting a store specializing in camping gear in Sevierville, TN prior to embarking on your journey is the best way to ensure that your trip is safe.
Properly outfitting yourself for any wintertime hike is an essential part of staying safe while out on the trail. Here are just a few of the things that you will need during your cold-weather sojourn in the Smokies:
- Trekking poles: Because the terrain is slippery and degraded, you should always use trekking poles to maintain your balance and composure during the winter months. Additionally, you should find poles with convertible feet capable of also acting as small ice picks. You should always use trekking poles that are comfortable for you.
- Layered clothing: The most important tip for preparing for a winter hike is to dress in layers. Because you may begin to experience a warmer body temperature as you exert energy, you’ll probably want to take your heaviest outer clothing off once you get going. Remember to also avoid cotton, which soaks up and retains moisture.
- Sunglasses: Even if it’s a cloudy day, burning your eyes is always a huge risk when hiking in the wintertime! Snow perfectly reflects ultraviolet rays, meaning that your eyes are exposed to concentrated sunlight from all directions. It’s also advisable to carry high-strength sunscreen with you at all times. Sunburns can make winter hikes miserable!
- Gaiters: You should bring a set of dependable snow- and water-proof gaiters with you for any cold-weather hike. They form a barrier between your boots and pants, ensuring that snow, cold wind and moisture can’t permeate your layers. Gaiters can help you maintain your body temperature, even in extremely adverse conditions.
Since opening in 2013, GSM Outfitters LLC has been the premier provider of camping gear in Sevierville, TN! You can count on our talented team of knowledgeable local experts to outfit you exactly according to the needs of your trip. If you planning to explore the stunning scenery of the Smokies in the wintertime, you should pay a visit to our shop to receive updates on trail conditions and purchase the best possible gear. Contact one of our helpful representatives today to learn more about our outfitting opportunities!
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