The following is a guest post from dopeoutdoors.com:
The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most popular hiking locations in the USA, in fact, I think it is fair to go one step further and say it is one of the most popular hiking spots in the world. But before you head to the Great Smoky Mountains you need to ensure you have your essential gear.
Any hiker will tell you that there is a lot of essential gear you need if you want to go hiking. When tackling hiking trails like those found on the Great Smoky Mountains there is going to be a lot you need to ensure you have with you. So, read on to find out what essential hiking gear is needed.
We can split your essential gear for a hike through the Smoky Mountains into two main categories. Your outfit is very important and if you want your hike to be safe and comfortable at all times you need to ensure you are wearing the right clothing.
Light Hiking Jacket
Hiking jackets are often overcomplicated by many people of course what you need will vary depending on the weather but as a minimum, you are best going with a lighter jacket. Of course, if you are expecting rain or worse go for something a little thicker.
A backpack is essential for longer hiking trips if you are hiking in a group then not everyone will need one but a small to medium light backpack is your best option to ensure you have room to carry everything without being weighed down too much.
Shoes are important on a hike but you shouldn’t forget about your socks either. Thick wool socks are often going to be your best option to ensure your ankles are better supported and more comfortable.
Hiking shoes are another complicated issue you might think a good pair of hiking boots is all you need but sometimes actually opting for a pair of strong tennis shoes can be just as effective. This one will usually come down to the type of trail you are doing but if you are struggling to make a decision stick with a good pair of hiking boots.
Now let’s focus on the safety equipment you need to ensure your hiking is a success. With over 100 different trails suitable for beginners to veterans there is plenty of diversity at the Smoky Mountains. “It is always best to have this essential safety gear with you” says dopeoutdoors.com.
It might sound cliché but a compass can really come in handy particularly on longer trails around the Smoky Mountains. Make sure you familiarize yourself with how to use it though as it isn’t always as easy as it appears to be.
A water bottle is vital for any hike, even if you are going on an easy trail and a short hike I would still strongly advise having a water bottle with you. Getting lost especially on trails, especially ones you aren’t familiar with is always going to be a risk. So, pack along a water bottle and if the weather is particularly sunny bringing along an extra is going to be a good idea.
A water bottle is an essential part of your gear but water isn’t the only thing you will need. A protein bar is great for getting some extra energy and will also help satisfy your hunger. You can build up quite the appetite when hiking especially on longer more intensive trails.
Bringing a good torch or flashlight if you prefer is going to be a great way to ensure you never get lost. You might start out a hike and fully expect to get back before it gets dark but you never know what will happen so always ensure you have a light source with you. Many people rely on their phones for a flashlight these days but a proper torch is always going to be the better option.
A miniature first-aid kit is an often overlooked part of your hiking gear but no hiker should attempt the Smoky Mountain hiking trails without one. Trips and falls can happen and hiking injuries are always a risk so make sure you have a first-aid kit ready just in case. For more details on how to stay safe, take a look at this hiking checklist here.
With so many different trails to tackle at the Smoky Mountains a map is incredibly important. Making your own map online isn’t really recommended instead stick to buying professional sourced more in-depth detailed ones.
The Smoky Mountains is home to many different hiking trails on some you might find some of the gear we’ve suggested not overly helpful. But for others, it will be of vital importance so it is best to be covered for every trail, isn’t it? Plus with this gear, you can be sure of a more productive, safe and peaceful hiking experience.
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