Camping is the perfect way to enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Whether you’re roughing it in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, or taking a safer route with lots of amenities. How can you plan ahead for an enjoyable stay in the great outdoors? What do you need to make sure to pack? What kind of weather can you expect?
Planning Ahead for Your Trip
The first step in your camping plans is to select a campground.
This can take some research. There are about 100 different sites where you can camp in the Smokies. For some, the surroundings will be the most important part of the trip. You may want to camp in the mountains, by a river, or near hiking trails.
For others, camping needs to still have some modern conveniences. You will want to check the amenities and be sure the campsite has bathrooms, showers, or other features that you prefer to have.
If you don’t want to spend all of your time at the campsite, you may also want to select a location that is closer to one of the main cities like Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, so you have a place to travel to for meals.
Just as a side note, if you plan on going off the beaten path to do some deep woods camping in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you will need a permit and advance reservations.
What Should You Bring on Your Camping Trip?
To some degree, this will depend on the location you select. If you are going to be way out in the mountains, you will need more than just a tent and sleeping bag. You will also need food and a way to cook it. Portable grills are a good option if you don’t trust yourself cooking over a campfire. Some campsites may already have grills.
A good knife, or other tool, is also a must-have for all sorts of eventualities. Check out Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville for the perfect knife or tool to take on your camping trip. Backpackers will want to check the National Park guidelines for waste disposal methods and bear safety.
The Smokies have comfortable daytime temps of 60 and above from March through November, but nighttime temperatures can be below freezing from November through March. Precipitation ranges from 3-6 inches per month with the wettest months being during the summer. The fall is the driest season.