winter in the Smoky Mountains

What to Pack for a Winter Vacation in the Smoky Mountains

It may be hard to start thinking about winter in the Smoky Mountains, especially when the fall foliage is still covering the area. However, with the cold weather just around the corner, we at Auntie Belham’s Cabin Rentals have decided to take this time and help families figure out what they need to prepare for their winter vacation.

From what to wear to what to bring, guests will find everything they need to pack for a successful winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains.

(See Related: 6 ‘Must-Visit’ Smoky Mountain Attractions on a Chilly Day)

Layers, layers and layers!
Ober Gatlinburg Ski ResortWinter weather is best known for its frigid breeze and piercing winds. However, if you remember to pack an extra layer or two for each of your outfits, you and your family can easily avoid this discomfort. Not to mention, if you plan on hiking in the Smoky Mountains this winter, you want to keep in mind that the temperatures will drop an average of 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet you gain in elevation.

Please keep in mind, in addition to an extra jacket and long-sleeve shirt, layers also include wearing a hat, gloves, a scarf, sunglasses and anything else you can pack to keep yourself covered and protected from the cold weather.

Our favorite layering items include:

  • Thermal underwear
  • Cardigans/button-ups
  • Jeans
  • Solid color short-sleeved shirts
  • Leggings
  • Light jacket
  • Sweaters
  • Winter coat

Thick vs. Thin Socks
At first thought, you may think that the thicker your socks are the more likely they are to keep your feet warm. However, thin socks made of dry-fit material are actually your best bet.
You see, thick socks are great when you are walking around, but because they are usually made of wool or cotton, as soon as they get wet then it takes forever to dry. That being said, the dry-fit material not only is a good way to trap heat in, but it is water resistant to keep your feet comfortable while you are walking, hiking, or playing in the snow. Besides, the thinner material will have an easier time fitting into your shoes than thick socks would.

winter hiking in the Smoky MountainsSunscreen, Chapstick

Although the sun doesn’t feel hot when you step outside, the UV rays can still have an effect on you as you walk around, especially in the higher elevations or if there is snow on the ground. Make sure you and your family stay protected during your winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains by applying a layer or two of sunscreen to your face before you spend the day exploring the area.

It is equally important to toss a tube or two of chapstick into your bag. Not only are chapped lips painful and an inconvenience, they will help you prevent your lips from drying out due to the cold winds from walking around outside.

Good Walking Shoes

Speaking of what to wear on your feet while walking around, a good pair of walking shoes or hiking boots is a must for your winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Not only will they help keep you comfortable while you spend the day on your feet, but they are also a good way to keep you warm and dry.

Here are a few tips on what to look for in a good pair of walking shoes:

  • Sturdy
  • Arch Support
  • Water-Resistant
  • Slip-Resistant
  • Light on lacing
  • Dark colored to hide stains

Bathing Suit

Gatlinburg cabin with an outdoor hot tubWe know what you are thinking, “Why should I bring my bathing suit if it’s going to be cold outside?” The trick here is to remember that many of the spacious Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg cabin rentals offered by Auntie  Belham’s Cabin Rentals come equipped with a warm outdoor hot tub. The perfect way to warm up after a long day exploring the Smoky Mountains, these outdoor tubs are also a great way to unwind and relax during your winter vacation.

Besides, unless you want to jump in with your clothes on, we suggest packing a swimming suit!

Do you need more help deciding what to pack for your winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains? Feel free to call Auntie Belham’s Cabin Rentals today to speak with one of our vacation experts. With over 20 years of experience, our experts will be more than happy to assist you and your family plan a fun and memorable trip to the Smokies this season.