smoky mountain sunset
November 8, 2018

Imagine spending the night under the stars in the Great Smoky Mountains. As amazing as that sounds, if you forget to pack the essentials, you might be out of luck. There are quite a few things to bring that you may not think of until you need them. So, here is a list of some of the items you should pack before you visit.

1. Camping Supplies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers several types of campsites. There are a few different things that you should bring that applies to all of these sites. As far as storing food goes, it has to be kept sealed in a vehicle or in a camping unit constructed of solid, non-pliable material. In the national park, hammocks may only be used within designated backcountry campsites. If you plan on staying at one of the other sites, sleeping bags and tents are the best items to pack, and don’t forget to bring a pillow!

2. Hiking Essentials


One of the most important things to bring on any hike is plenty of water. There are so many ways to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains with your family, and you’ll want to be out exploring them all day. However, you can’t do that if you become dehydrated, so bring a water bottle with you. It’s also a smart idea to include a first-aid kit, bug spray and sunscreen on your packing list as well. Of course, you need something to put all of these supplies in, so be sure to bring a backpack.

3. Weather Appropriate Clothes

You may have to pack certain clothes depending on what season you decide to visit. If you visit during the warmer months, lightweight shirts, jackets, and shorts are all great things to wear. You may want to bring a pair of sweatpants just in case the temperature drops a little bit after nightfall. For colder weather, bring a hat or some earmuffs as well as a pair of gloves to keep your hands nice and toasty, and of course some warm clothes. If you don’t know what to expect from the weather, layers are the name to the game. No matter what the season is, there is one thing you should always have, and that’s a good pair of shoes.

4. Pet Supplies

dog in the woods

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, dogs are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, along roads, and on The Gatlinburg Trail. You have to keep your pup on a leash at all times, so definitely bring one. It’s a good idea to have a crate for your pet and some toys so that they can be comfortable and stay occupied. Have their favorite food and treats on hand so that they will always have something familiar to eat. Make sure you don’t leave their food out in the open though because it could attract other wildlife that isn’t supposed to eat it. Last but not least, bring something to clean up after your pet when nature calls! It’s important to leave the park just as beautiful as it was when you arrived.

Now that you know everything you’ll need to pack, you can start planning your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains! To learn more about how to spend your time here, check out “6 Things to Do When You Visit the Smoky Mountains National Park for the First Time!”