What to Pack for the Smoky Mountains: Your Cabin Vacation Guide

September 22, 2017

In addition to being up in the mountains away from traffic and crowds, these luxury cabins offer cozy accommodations and top amenities. One of the cabins I stayed in had a movie theater in the basement!

If given the choice between a hotel room and a cabin vacation, I’ll always choose the cabin. A Smoky Mountains cabin vacation is unlike any other. 

However, if you’re about to embark on your first cabin vacation, you’ll need to know what to pack for the Smoky Mountains. For the ultimate cabin vacation, you’ll want to bring the following items:


When preparing for your Smoky Mountains vacation, always consider the season and weather. As a rule of thumb, packing layers is a smart decision. Since cabins are up in the mountains, early mornings and nights tend to be the chilliest.

Use the following clothing list as a foundation and add/remove items based on the season:

  • Undergarments
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Sweatshirts/Sweaters
  • Pajamas
  • Wool Socks
  • Socks
  • Hiking Shoes or Boots
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves/Scarf

If you prefer to plan by the outfit, make sure you pack an outfit for:


While a hotel may provide complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and other bath amenities, most cabins do not. With this in mind, remember to bring these toiletries:

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Eyewear
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Hair Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Soap
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Makeup
  • Hairbrush
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair Products
  • Personal Medicines

Double check with the cabin company to see which items they provide, as some may provide a starter kit of bath supplies.


Since your cabin includes a fully-equipped kitchen, you must supply your own food. I recommend visiting a grocery store when you arrive to ensure that none of your food spoils on the trip.

Once at the grocery store, be sure to buy the basics:

  • Meat
  • Milk
  • Water Bottles
  • Eggs
  • Coffee
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Dessert
  • Alcohol, if of age

To keep costs down and spirits high, make a list of meals prior to your trip and bring a grocery shopping list. You’ll know exactly what food to buy at the grocery store and what to pack for the Smoky Mountains.

Chairs on a Deck Overlooking the Smoky Mountains - Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA


Cleaning Supplies

When staying in a Pigeon Forge hotel, you enjoy daily cleaning service and housekeeping. Cabin companies do not provide this amenity. Meaning, you are responsible for cleaning up all messes and keeping the cabin tidy.

You can either pack these cleaning supplies or purchase them when you arrive in the Smoky Mountains:

  • Napkins
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Cleaning Sprays
  • Dish Soap
  • Febreze
  • Laundry Detergent/Pods
  • Dryer Sheets

Most cabins include a starter pack of paper products and cleaning supplies. However, if you are traveling with a large group or are visiting for several days, your supply may run out.

Outdoor Gear

When determining what to pack for the Smoky Mountains, do not forget about your outdoor essentials. The greater Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which features endless hiking trails, nature walks, picnic areas, and so much more. Plus, with white water rafting, horseback riding, zorbing, and ziplining also in the area, you’ll be outside for the majority of your vacation.

By packing your outdoor gear, you’ll be set for whatever adventure comes your way while in the Smoky Mountains. Remember to bring:

  • Hiking Backpack/Daypack
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Hiking Poles
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Hammock
  • Sports Equipment
  • Umbrella
  • Ponchos
  • Rain Jacket

If you have a specific outdoor excursion planned, take the time to determine everything you may need for that trip and pack it!

Miscellaneous Items

Depending on your travel preferences, you may also consider packing these miscellaneous items:

  • Laptop and Charger
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Books
  • Musical Instruments
  • Pet Items for Pet-friendly Cabins
  • Camera and Batteries
  • Cooler for Drinks
  • DVDs
  • Board Games

It’s in your best interest to double check the amenities provided by your specific cabin. From movie theaters to game rooms, these cabins have it all! If your specific cabin has a movie theater or DVD player, bring your favorite film for a movie night by the fireplace. Or, bring your top board games for an exciting game night with everyone.

Know What to Pack for the Smoky Mountains

With all of these items packed in your car and suitcase, you’re set for a memorable cabin vacation in the Smokies. Remember to plan out your trip with Tripster Pigeon Forge for the best deals and travel advice!

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