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 "5 Things You Need to Survive in the Smoky Mountain..." 
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Post "5 Things You Need to Survive in the Smoky Mountain..."
5 Things You Need to Survive in the Smoky Mountain Wilderness
by: Bob Foster

Before heading off on the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains, be sure you have all you need. In addition to a hiking buddy and people at home who know where you are and what your plans are, you need to carefully pack for the trip. While there are lots of things that it is very important to remember, these are the five items that you cannot hike without, regardless of your hiking experience. Load them up, and go safely!

1. Proper hiking boots

Without hiking boots well suited to your feet and hiking style, you risk ruining your entire trip. If you are doing just short, day hikes without a backpack, lighter weight shoes are acceptable. These are typically made from fabric and split-grain leather, breathe well and offer the least amount of support of all the hiking boots available. If you are planning on hiking with a backpack for a couple days or less, consider stiffer, mid-weight boots. These are the most versatile, and can definitely make a shorter hike easier than the lightweight boots. If you are planning to hike with a heavy pack or for a long period of time, get the heavyweight boot with the most support. Keep waterproofing and insulation in mind no matter what kind of boot you are considering.

2. Water

While rather obvious, there is nothing more important for your health on a hiking trip than water. No matter what kind of hike you are planning, your body needs water the entire time. Staying hydrated will ensure that you stay comfortable and healthy, and (with food) you will be able to complete your planned route. Think carefully about how much water you need to bring with you as it relates to your body, the terrain and the length of your hike. It is advisable to consult a doctor or outdoor expert on this.

3. First Aid Kit

No matter what anyone says, do not go on a hike without one of these. You need to at least have bandages, aspirin, antiseptic, an antihistamine, sunblock, insect repellent, gauze, iodine tablets, and duct tape. Consult with a wilderness expert or doctor before your trip to make sure you have everything you need and are prepared to handle any number of crises.

4. Rain gear/jacket

All year round, don’t forget a jacket. While it may be warm when you set out on your hike, after dark it can get cold. If it rains, you will want protection. Depending on your hiking plans, you may only need a plastic emergency poncho, although this provides little to no warmth. Bringing a jacket, even just a shell or waterproof windbreaker, is a great idea for any hiker or anyone heading out into the woods.

5. Backpack

You’ll need something to carry everything you need, won’t you? Even if you aren’t planning on taking a hike longer than a few hours, you’ll be taking at least water, first aid gear and a jacket, so a small bag will work fine, preferably waterproof. If you are taking a longer hike, consult with the salespeople at your local outdoor gear store as to how much stuff you will be taking with and the best way to pack it. Stick to internal frame backpacks—modern technology ensures that these new frames direct the weight at your hips, where you should carry most of it.

Never go into the wild unprepared. You cannot predict the future, nor can you be sure of what you will come across, no matter how much planning you do. Start with this essential items and expand to ensure that you have the best and safest trip possible.

Learn more about Smoky Mountain outdoor fun at, just click through to the blog.

About The Author
Born and raised in the Smoky Mountain region, Bob Foster became a passionate expert on this part of the country even as a child. Years later Bob turned that childhood passion and expertise into a profession when Bob became a general manager for the family business that specializes in rentals of Gatlinburg cabins and Pigeon Forge cabins, both towns being in the heart of the Smokies. The company motto is "Creating guests for life by offering an experience of a lifetime" and it is with that thought in mind that Bob started a blog fully dedicated to information about the Smokies, which can be found at
The author invites you to visit:

Copyright © 2001-Present
[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
This article was posted by permission.

Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:32 pm
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