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Camping in the Great Smoky Mountains – What You Need to Know

Photo by Daan Weijers on Unsplash

If you are paying a visit to the beautiful towns of Asheville, Waynesville or Maggie Valley in North Carolina, a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains is a must. The scenery of this national park is perfect for hiking through, or for just sitting back and admiring.

Of all the Maggie Valley attractions, and sights to see in Waynesville and Asheville, time spent camping in the Great Smoky Mountains is a favorite with travelers. If you decide to spend time camping in the park there are several things that you should take into account, in order to make your stay more enjoyable.

You may not have service on your cell phone

Cell service is very limited in the park, so it’s not a good idea to assume you will be able to use Google Maps for directions. You need to make sure you know exactly where you are going before you start. Get directions from the rangers and carry hard copy maps with you. Make sure that you agree to meet places along the route, in case your hiking group becomes split.

You should always call in at the visitor center when you arrive

There are several visitor centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You should make sure to call in to one, before you begin to explore the area. You can pick up a map at very little cost while you are there. You can also take look at displays which feature the animals that make their home in the park, and speak to the park rangers who will answer any questions you may have.

Make sure to wear the right clothing

One of the most important things to remember, if you are spending time camping in the Great Smoky Mountains, is that you need to wear appropriate clothing. Items that you should consider taking with you include:

  • Sturdy and comfortable hiking boots.
  • Socks that are comfortable on your feet (do not forget to take an extra pair or two).
  • Hiking pants.
  • Clothing in thin layers so that weather changes can be accounted for.
  • A hat and sunglasses for protection.
Photo by Andrew Ly on Unsplash

Do not pack too many items

When you are intending to camp in the Smoky Mountains, it’s good to travel light. You do not want to be weighed down by a lot of items that you do not really need. There are some items which you definitely need to pack in your hiking backpack.

  • Bug spray.
  • Identification.
  • Refillable water bottles (including sufficient water to see you through until the next supply)
  • Healthy snacks to keep up your energy levels.
  • Sunscreen.
Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash

You may want to take a few additional items, such as a camera, but do not go mad. Limit the amount of clothing, bags and food that you take to only what you really need.

Paying attention to these factors will help you to enjoy the time you spend in the Smoky Mountains, whether you choose to explore easy trail such as Laurel Falls, medium difficulty trails such as Abrams Falls Trails or the most difficult trails in the area, such as Ramsay Cascades Trail.

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