Packing for the Smoky Mountains

We’re headed to Pigeon Forge, TN to check out the Great Smoky Mountains . I’m kind of like a fish out of water at this point.  Literally, most of our trips are to the beach.  I know exactly what to take to the beach.  Packing for the mountains?  I’m at a loss.  Obviously, some items to take along are no-brainers.  What to wear out for dinners or dancing or shopping will consist of usual appropriate outfits and after doing some research, other items to bring along include hiking boots, binoculars, and a camera.  But what if it’s colder there?  Or it could be warmer.  I know I’m not always the most efficient  or decisive packer when headed somewhere new.  I’m probably going to end up over-packing for this trip.

Getting down to business:  weather forecasts show the highs for next week should be in the mid-70s while nightly lows should be around 55.  Knowing that it’s going to be a little cooler there next week helps.  And there’s a chance of rain everyday we’ll be there.  Looks like I’ll be bringing Big Red (that’s the name of my favorite suitcase) up from the basement to sit in my room for the next few days so I can add to my packing as I think of more necessities.

So far, I’ve been rounding up the  clothing and toiletries a little bit at a time.   I’ve got a couple of lightweight sweaters, jeans–one dressy pair and one hiking pair.  I’ll be also be taking my rain repellent, down filled jacket.  Luckily, it’s black, very versatile, has a hood and should look kind of cute while being functional. I’ve got my hiking boots and a couple of pairs of extra socks and band-aids in case my feet don’t feel like hiking as far as I do.  A pair of black capris and a couple of tops to choose from will work if we go out to a dinner show or shopping.  Comfy clothes for the spa and for lounging in our room if that actually happens.  I’m also trying to color coordinate the clothing items to cut down on the numbers of pairs of shoes I’ll need to pack.  I’m really trying to just pack everything I’ll need, NOT everything.

Update: I’m almost done packing, I think.  But earlier today, a good friend of mine who goes on extreme hiking trips in the National Parks–at least I consider them extreme–think 8 days hiking/camping in the Grand Canyon with everything you need for the week packed on your back.  I think I’d better stick to my half day hikes here and there.  Anyway, she begins telling me about a program she was watching on TV about hiking the Smoky Mountains and the wildlife we might encounter.  My take-aways are that there are a lot of snakes (some poisonous), thank goodness I’ve packed my hiking boots.  There’s a toxic flower that grows in this part of the country that can cause crazy medical issues.  Now I’ll have to research what that flower is.  Because of all the flowers that flourish there this time of year, there’s a lot of bees. I’ll need to remind myself to pack some Benedryl.  And the kicker is: Bears!  Black Bears.  She said we’ll need to be aware of them and probably take along some bear repellent.  Is there really such a thing and where do I get it?  I guess I’ll need to pack some.  Or maybe we’ll just hang out at the spa and drink frozen concoctions.  That will make my packing much easier!

Packing is done! We are ready to go, which is good because we leave first thing in the morning. I did decide against bear repellent after my husband told me his bear plan. He says if we do encounter a bear, he’s pushing someone towards the bear and running away as fast as he can. I pointed out that it was likely I would be the closest person for him to push towards the bear. He assured me he wouldn’t do that to me, he’ll find stranger to push. That makes me feel confident enough to leave the bear repellant behind I guess. Please send us good ju-ju that we don’t encounter any bears.


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