Packing Tips for Your Smoky Mountain Getaway

March 17th 2017

So you’re planning a getaway to the Smoky Mountains? Great Choice! No matter what time of year you’re visiting, you’re in for a treat! You’ll soon discover why hundreds of thousands of people flood the Great Smokies every year to bask in their natural beauty and wonder!

Now that you’ve chosen your general destination, the next major hurdle is collecting and packing all the necessary items to make your trip convenient and successful! For some vacationers, packing is something that is a fun adventure; for others, it is a dreaded necessary evil! No matter where you fall in that continuum, here are a few packing tips that will make this process much simpler:

Start Early 

No matter what the task is, it is always easier when you start early! Give yourself plenty of time to research where you’re going, the temperatures and the activities that you will be doing.

Check the Weather Forecast 

Start by doing some climatic research to determine the typical lows and highs at that particular time, besides the weather forecast. Select flexible items that you can wear in cases of bad weather or the temperature climbs or drops significantly. However, that does not mean that you should pack for any possible weather occurrences. Even though weather and temperature conditions highly vary at higher mountains elevations, The Smoky Mountains have a relatively moderate climate. Therefore, packing for drastically or extreme changing temperatures are not typically necessary.

List Planned Activities

After you have researched the possible weather conditions, establish and review your route, naming all the things you will require for all your activities. For a nice dinner or a show, you might want one outfit of dress clothes, but the Smoky Mountains are typically very casual. When planning to take advantage of the available outdoor opportunities, or to go hiking in the mountains, you want to make sure you have the appropriate hiking clothes & shoes, and gear such as trail maps, hiking poles and packs. What’s more, you will have to include electronics such as charger, camera and memory card in your list.

Make a Master Pack List

Always begin the actual packing process a few days before your departure, because that way you will have adequate time to recall all the things you might have forgotten. Make a list of the items you require so that you can check off when packing.

Pack Necessities First 

After you have developed the list of items you require, you are ready to start packing. Start by gathering up all the items and lay them out so you get a visual of any duplicates or identify missing items. You’ll probably find yourself eliminating around half of the items you’ve laid out!

Choose Your Clothing 

When it comes to selecting clothes, versatility is king! Choose items that you can wear in several venues. If you plan to spend a lot of time exploring the mountains, then wrinkle-free, low maintenance clothes should be top on your list! Each of the clothing pieces you select should fulfill three of the following factors:

  1. -Comfortable for exploring the city and nature
  2. -Suitable for both warm and cold weather
  3. -Packs compactly
  4. -Will coordinate with the other items you have selected
  5. -Can conceal spills and stains
  6. -Can be easily layered

In addition to choosing clothes that can be worn a variety of ways, versatility should also apply to the accessories you select. A quick example: a neutral sarong will serve as your picnic blanket, bathing suit cover up, head wrap and satchel for several days. You need a pair of jeans, slacks and maybe one other type of trousers, such as khakis.

Most lodging in the Smoky Mountains area provide access to washers and dryers, so packing different outfits for each day of your stay is not important. A single day of laundry during your vacation will save you lots of packing hassle.

Make sure you always include a jacket, sweater or sweatshirt, and appropriate hiking gear.

Don’t Forget Your Technology 

With technology advancement, it is now possible to digitize some items you require during your vacation with apps and some features on your mobile phone. You do not require a camcorder or a camera if your phone features a quality camera. Similarly, you do not require maps, hiking logs, magazines, books, and travel guides as you can download them from the Internet. You only need a tablet or a smartphone. If you prefer printed documents, bring only the items you will require immediately after your arrival to save on packing space.

List Items You Can Rent or Borrow at Your Destination 

Many items needed for outdoor activities can possibly be rented at your destination. Call ahead and confirm this with your hotel or place of activity. This could save you a lot of extra expense and packing hassle if you have access to things like fishing gear, golf clubs, etc. at your destination.

These are just a few tips to help put you on the right track to an incredible vacation adventure! One huge tip is to make arrangements for your lodging early! Creekside Lodge is a very popular Maggie Valley hotel nestled in the Smoky Mountains. Conveniently located only 30-40 minutes from Ashville, NC, Creekside Lodge in Maggie Valley offers a comfortable, friendly atmosphere to relax in after a long, adventurous day! Call us today at 800-621-1260 and secure your spot! With everything taken care of, you’ll be able to pack up, settle back and prepare yourself for your wonderful Smoky Mountain adventure!


  • We went with a large group to the Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge and they were incredibly helpful and hospitable. The accommodations were great. The large foyer area was wonderful for the group and the staff was incredible. They made us welcome in so many ways. The rates were incredibly reasonable and the room had all the necessary amenities.

    Chip T.

  • We loved our visit here! We just got home last night and we all wish we were still there! The staff is extremely helpful and the rooms are nice and clean. We spent a lot of time by the stunning creek cooking dinner on the grill and roasting s'mores over the fire pit. It is centrally located to many attractions. We went on many day trips and didn't spend all day in the car getting there. It's also within walking distance of restaurants and shops, but you may find yourself eating by the rushing creek instead!

    Amie M.

  • Really enjoyable place to stay. Room had a balcony overlooking the creek. Spacious room with comfortable bed. Staff was very nice and friendly. Took only 35-40 minutes to reach the Valley at Cataloochee where the elk were in rut. Awesome stay and can't wait to go back.


  • Clean, friendly, quiet, relaxing. Heartfelt thanks to Carol and her entire staff for making our group feel at home again this year. They went out of their way to make sure we had what we needed to make our event a success. We will be back again!

    Ricky Y.

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