Smoky Mountain Packing List
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Smoky Mountain Packing List: The Ultimate Checklist

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Between the great outdoors and the wealth of entertainment, you can’t go wrong with a vacation in the Smoky Mountains. However, there’s one pesky thing standing between you and your Tennessee getaway: packing.

Although packing may seem dreadful, it’s a necessary evil. When I prepare to jet off on a trip, I start by making a packing list. Otherwise, I’ll forget things! (It’s inevitable.) If you’re like me and need an organized method to tackle packing, this Smoky Mountain packing list will come in handy.

Choose Your Vacation:

Since there are a large number of lodging options in the Smoky Mountains, I’ve devised three types of packing lists. Choose the list that suits your upcoming trip:


Preparing for a cabin getaway? Keep this Smoky Mountain packing list handy.

Cabin Getaway

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Smoky Mountain cabin vacations are the best.

When I go to the Smokies, I always rent a cabin. Now, keep in mind these aren’t “sleep away camp” style cabins. Smoky Mountain cabins are top-of-the-line, luxury accommodations. Most include hot tubs, full kitchens, several bedrooms, and epic mountain views among other amenities.

When getting ready for your cabin getaway, use this Smoky Mountain packing list:

Clothes

Pack layers for the ultimate comfort. You’ll want to bring these clothing items:

  • Undergarments
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Sweatshirts/Sweaters
  • Pajamas
  • Wool Socks
  • Socks
  • Hiking Shoes or Boots
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves/Scarf
  • Swimsuit

Toiletries

Since a cabin doesn’t have the convenience of a front desk or complimentary bathroom amenities such as at a hotel, you do not want to forget these toiletries:

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Eyewear
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Hair Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Soap
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Makeup
  • Hairbrush
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair Products
  • Personal Medicines

Cleaning Supplies

Most cabins offer washer and dryers, full kitchens, and other appliances. What they do not provide is a daily housekeeping service. Meaning, you’re responsible for keeping the cabin tidy! Bring along these cleaning supplies to help expedite that process:

  • Napkins
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Cleaning Sprays
  • Dish Soap
  • Febreeze
  • Laundry Detergent/Pods
  • Dryer Sheets

Miscellaneous

A cabin provides you with a world of entertainment opportunities. You can cook a gourmet breakfast and watch the sunrise over the Smokies or you can kick back and have a movie night with friends. It’s completely up to you!

Consider bringing these miscellaneous items when working on your Smoky Mountain packing list:

  • Your Choice of Food and Beverages
  • Laptop and Charger
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Books
  • Musical Instruments
  • Pet Items for Pet-friendly Cabins
  • Camera and Batteries
  • DVDs
  • Board Games
  • Outdoor Activity Equipment
  • Hammock
  • Cooler

With all of these items handy, you’re ready for one epic cabin getaway.


Ready to pack for the hotel? This Smoky Mountain packing list will help.

Hotel Vacation

Many travelers prefer the convenience of a hotel. With the abundance of activities, services, and amenities, you have everything at your fingertips right in the center of the Smoky Mountains.

When planning a hotel vacation in Pigeon Forge, this Smoky Mountain packing list will be helpful:

Clothes

Remember, the Smokies experience all four seasons, along with rapid weather changes. It is best to pack layers.

Start your packing list with these clothing items:

  • Undergarments
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Sweatshirts/Sweaters
  • Pajamas
  • Wool Socks
  • Socks
  • Hiking Shoes or Boots
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves/Scarf
  • Swimsuit

If you’re interested in packing outfits by activity, consider what you might be doing on your trip. Top Smoky Mountain activities include:

Take a look at your travel itinerary to determine what clothes you should pack.

Toiletries

Although hotels do provide complimentary bath amenities, you should consider adding these items to your Smoky Mountain packing list:

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Eyewear
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Hair Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Soap
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Makeup
  • Hairbrush
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair Products
  • Personal Medicines

Since your hotel room may not have as much space as a cabin, bring a toiletry bag to organize your bathroom belongings.

Outdoor Gear

No trip to Pigeon Forge is complete without a day hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a must! For hiking or any other outdoor activity, be sure to pack these items:

  • Hiking Backpack/Daypack
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Hiking Poles
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Hammock
  • Sports Equipment
  • Umbrella
  • Ponchos

Miscellaneous

To make your trip the best it can be, consider adding these miscellaneous items to your Smoky Mountain packing list for staying at a hotel:

  • Cooler for Food and Beverages
  • Camera and Extra Batteries/Charger
  • Books
  • Laptop and Charger
  • Extra Luggage to Bring Home Souvenirs
  • Cell Phone Charger

While this packing list is quite extensive, your hotel’s front desk should be able to help you if you happen to forget anything!


Use this Smoky Mountain packing list to prep for your camping trip.

Camping Trip

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, camping in the Smoky Mountains is a bucket list item. Sleeping under the stars in the towering mountains is an unparalleled and almost indescribable feeling. If you’re up for an adventure and planning to set up camp in the Smoky Mountains, be sure to reserve your campsite in advance. Both front and back country sites/reservations fill up fast!

After you’ve secured your spot, use this Smoky Mountain packing list to round up all your camping gear.

Clothing

Layers are your friend, especially in the Smoky Mountains. If you’ve ever been camping before, you know what clothing items work well for your travels and adventures. If this is your first time camping, be sure to bring (at least) the following:

  • Undergarments
  • Hiking Pants
  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Sweatshirts
  • Wool Socks
  • Socks
  • Hiking Shoes or Boots
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves/Scarf
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses

Keep an eye on the weather forecast before and during your trip. You may need to alter your clothing choices according to the weather reports.

Toiletries

Depending on your chosen type of campsite, you may have access to restrooms. Frontcountry campsites have restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets. Showers and water hookups are not available for campers. If you choose to hike up to the Mt. LeConte Lodge, do note that you only have a water basin and soap available to you!

With all this in mind, the following toiletries should be all you need for a camping trip:

  • Personal Medicines
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Eyewear
  • Soap
  • Hairbrush

Keep in mind, any soap or toiletries with perfumes or scents must either be locked away in a car or preferably put up high in a bear bag. The last thing you want is a black bear rummaging through your campsite!

Outdoor Gear

For a safe and enjoyable camping trip, make sure these crucial outdoor gear items are on your Smoky Mountain packing list:

  • Tent
  • Tarp
  • Hiking Backpack
  • Hiking Poles
  • Map or Compass (your phone won’t work in the mountains!)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Gear such as a Space Blanket, Lighter, Headlamp, and Firestarters
  • Field Guide (available at Visitor’s Center as well)
  • 15-30℉ Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Towel
  • Food
  • Water
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Multitool
  • Carabiner, Rope, and Sacks for a Bear Bag

If you’ve never been camping before, visit your local outdoor supply store for advice on the gear you’ll need. While you can pick up a trail map at one of the Visitor Centers, it doesn’t hurt to bring your own! After all, the Visitor Centers aren’t open 24/7. This Smoky Mountains trail map from National Geographic offers informative, yet easy-to-use, maps for all the trails in the National Park.

Pro Tip: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park rules state that only heat-treated firewood bundled and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or a state department of agriculture is allowed inside the park. If you are not able to get ahold of this for your Smoky Mountain packing list, do know you can also use dead and wood found inside the park to build a campfire.

Miscellaneous

Depending on the type of camping trip you intend to take, these items may also come in handy:

  • Durable Sandals for Creek Crossings
  • Extra Batteries
  • Cell Phone and Charger
  • Camera and Charger
  • Tripod
  • Notebook and Pens/Pencils
  • Books
  • Games or a Deck of Cards

Create Your Own Smoky Mountain Packing List

While our packing lists include a wide range of items, you also know your travel preferences best. Use our Smoky Mountain packing list as a starting point and add or remove items as needed to create your ultimate checklist. Once you’ve finalized your list, start packing and have a great trip!

Have you visited the Smokies recently? What items did you find most useful to pack? Comment below with your thoughts.

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