If mist-covered mountain vistas and chasing waterfalls gets your heart pumping, then a Great Smoky Mountains adventure is calling. Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains is located near Gatlinburg, Tenn., a mountain town and the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the U.S. Hike ‘on top of Old Smoky’ at Clingman’s Dome, the park’s highest peak known for panoramic views. Step back in time with a visit to a homesteader settlement, and gaze at wildflowers year-round. After an adventure-filled day, get recharged in your comfortably appointed, safari-style tent with amenities like ensuite bathrooms with showers, king size beds with plush linens, and daily housekeeping. Visitors should be prepared for a wide range of activities and weather in the “Land of Blue Smoke.” Our packing list for the Great Smoky Mountains will prepare you for an unforgettable glamping trip.
What to Pack for Summer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Summer is the most popular time to take advantage of all the Smokies have to offer. During this time of year, temperatures are typically in the 80s and 90s during the day with evenings in the 60s and 70s. If you’re looking to explore higher elevations and misty blue vistas during the day, don’t forget to pack layers for cooler temperatures. Heavily-forested areas and over 2,100 miles of streams and rivers give plenty of opportunity to beat the heat during the summer, not to mention the afternoon rain showers that frequent the area. You’ll want lightweight, breathable clothing to keep you cool during the day and layers to keep you warm at night while you enjoy roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
Take a dip or get an adrenaline rush cascading downriver whitewater rafting. Between the summer heat and freshwater oases, you’ll be tempted to test the waters.
Moisture-wicking t-shirts are perfect for your adventures. Pro tip: Avoid cotton so that your clothes dry faster. Also, if you’re wearing a life vest while rafting or a harness ziplining, you may want to wear a T-shirt underneath to prevent chafing.
Lightweight / Zip-off Hiking Pants
Lightweight, full-length pants are perfect for Smoky Mountain hikes, bike rides or heading into town especially for early morning or evening outings.
Comfortable Hiking Shoes & Socks
With more than 800 miles of forest trails, waterfall hikes, meadows and historic sites, there is a perfect hike for everyone. Due to wet terrain, waterproof hiking shoes and moisture-wicking socks are essential when exploring the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Chaco-like sandals are a good alternative when chasing waterfalls or wading through streams.
Lightweight Fleece / Rain Jacket or Rain Poncho
It’s all about layering when it comes to the Great Smoky Mountains weather. A lightweight fleece is perfect for early morning adventures or sitting around the campfire at night. Given the iconic misty air and afternoon rain showers, you’ll want water repellent outerwear to protect your underlayers dry.
Sun Hat / Baseball Cap
You won’t regret bringing a hat to shade your face during peak summer months. This also keeps you from worrying about your hair after whitewater rafting, flying through the trees on a zipline or hiking the trails.
Comfortable Shoes / Slippers
Don’t forget to pack for downtime. Comfortable sneakers or sandals are essential for kicking back and relaxing around Under Canvas. While your tent will stay warm at night from the wood-burning stoves and plush bedding, you’ll want to bring warm socks or slippers to wear around the tent as well.
What to Pack for Spring and Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains
Our Great Smoky Mountains location opens in April and closes at the end of November. Many people find spring and fall the best times to visit the Smokies due to reduced crowds and breathtaking fall colors. There is never a bad time to visit, but during spring and fall you will want to pack extra layers for warmth. We suggest you pack the following things for spring and fall getaways.
Long Sleeve T-shirts / Flannel Shirt
Long sleeve t-shirts or flannels are good for chillier days in the Smokies and the Appalachian wilderness. You’ll want to bundle up during the evening while you relax around the campfire.
Sweatpants or Warm Athletic Pants
Bring long pants like sweats, warm athletic pants or comfortable jeans to wear while you are hiking and exploring the 200-acres of land at Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains.
Puffer Jacket / Lightweight Coat / Rain Jacket
A warm outer layer will go a long way during your Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains stay. The Smokies get rainfall year-round feeding its spectacular waterfalls, rivers and lakes. It’s also a good idea to pack a rain jacket or poncho for rain showers or stray thunderstorms during any season.
Beanie / Ear Muffs
Nights see a temperature drop especially during spring and fall in the Smokies. While you will stay plenty warm in your tent with your down-comforter and wood-burning stove, a beanie, ear muffs, or winter hat is nice to have while you gaze up at the star-studded night sky or enjoy al fresco dining.
Similarly, gloves would be good to have while you’re roasting marshmallows or sipping a glass of wine around the campfire.
What to Pack for the Great Smoky Mountains (Non-Clothing)
Daypack / Small backpack
A pack will come in handy for exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding area. Stash your camp-prepared lunch, snacks for energy, bug spray, water and clothing layers.
Reusable water bottle
At Under Canvas, our goal is to sustain and protect our environment and minimize our impact on our most precious commodity: the great outdoors. We have filling stations for you to fill a reusable water bottle to fuel your adventures. If you forget yours, you can purchase one in our lobby tent.
When you’re not shaded by forest cover, the sun’s rays are strong. Wear sunscreen, long layers and a hat during outdoor adventures to avoid sunburn. Sunglasses are a must in the mighty Smoky mountains year-round as well.
During your glamping experience, you’ll enjoy upscale amenities and comforts of home while being immersed in nature. That said, it’s good to be prepared for insects that call the beautiful Smoky Mountains their home. Bring bug repellent, especially if you’re planning on hiking near water sources, and avoid the use of perfumes and sprays so that you don’t attract mosquitos. And not to worry, you can always freshen up in your tent’s ensuite bathroom after a day of adventuring.
Seize the moment and capture it. There are too many beautiful sights to not snap away. Our locations are wifi-free to amplify your connection with the outdoors. Tag us on Instagram @undercanvasofficial and Facebook when you’re back home.
You’re bound to create lasting memories here. The Great Smoky Mountains is a wonderful place to unplug from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature along with friends, family and loved ones. The Under Canvas team is ready to provide guidance for your adventures so you can make the most of your experience. Your upscale accommodations in the Great Smoky Mountains awaits you at Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains.