10 Things to Pack for a Short Hike

We talk a lot about hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and most of us, like me, enjoy going for a short hike. But, even if you are doing just a short 3 or 4-mile hike, it’s best to be prepared. You never know when the weather may change suddenly or you may trip and scrape a knee.

Here are a couple things to consider packing when you are going for a short hike:

  • Hiking backpack – A simple hiking backpack is a great way to carry all the things you will need. You don’t need a really expensive one, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one in the back of your closet your 7-year-old used to use may not be too comfortable to carry because it is not weighted properly. 
  • Cell phone – The phone may not work in the mountains but you never know and they are great for picture taking. Make sure it is fully charged. 
  • Sunscreen&insect repellent – Things you always should have with you when you are outdoors.
  • Weather-appropriate clothing – You never know when the weather may change suddenly. A simple windbreaker would be awesome if it starts raining.
  • Hiking boots or shoes – Do not go in flip flops or sandals – that’s a really bad idea and we see it all the time. 
  • Plenty of food – Snacks are welcome when you take a break or reach a waterfall. Think granola bars, trail mix, nuts, dried fruit etc. 
  • Plenty of waterPLENTY OF WATER!!! Enough said…
  • Navigation tools such as a map and compass – many Smoky mountain trails are well marked and this usually won’t be necessary, but the kids love them and it is a good learning tool. 
  • First-aid kit – A small one is all you need for scraps, insect bites and cuts
  • Knife or multi-tool – Again, probably not needed, but it doesn’t take up much space and you never know…

Happy hiking!

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