Take a Hike

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When it comes to hiking, a little prior planning can go a long way. Bluegreen has a few pointers for you and your next hiking trip.

The first step you take should always be telling someone where you are going. Let your family or friends know what trail you’ll be on and when you expect to return home. As a general safety rule, it’s also a good idea to use the buddy system and hike with a companion whenever possible. Don’t carry around a lot of extra weight. Limit the contents of your backpack to 25 pounds to lessen the strain on your legs, shoulders and back.

What To Pack When Going Hiking

Hiking-First-Aid

Bottled water—You’ll need to stay hydrated, so carry your own. If at all possible, avoid drinking from the springs, streams and lakes along the trail as these sources can be contaminated.

Essentials Bag—Maps, compass, flashlight, sunscreen, bug repellent, matches, whistle, pocketknife and biodegradable toilet paper.

Snacks—Nuts and dried fruit are both good choices because they’re not perishable and contain the carbohydrates you’ll need to stay energized.

First Aid Kit—Keep it small and filled with practical items like bandages, antiseptic and aspirin.

Rain gear—When hikers get wet, they can still suffer from frostbite and hypothermia, even when temperatures don’t fall below freezing.

Hiking-Boots

What To Wear When Hiking

Put on a few thin layers of clothing. That way, if it gets too hot, you can safely remove layers. Wear something soft like cotton close to your skin. This type of material will easily absorb perspiration. Consider a light windbreaker or a fabric that breathes for the outer layer. Of course, you will also need two other essential items for your hiking adventure—a thick pair of socks (they help prevent blisters) and a comfortable pair of boots.

Look But Don’t Touch When Hiking

Poison ivy, poison sumac, nettle and slithering creatures with sharp fangs and venomous bites all present danger on the trail. So play it safe and admire from a distance. Beside, hiking etiquette states that you should never remove anything in your path.

Hiking-Couple

So now that you know the basics of hiking, where are you going to go? You’re never far from a great trail when you spend your vacation with Bluegreen.

Shenandoah National Park is about an hour and 45 minutes from Shenandoah Crossing in Gordonsville, Virginia. The trip is well worth it if you want to see some scenes right out of a movie. Rose River Falls and Jones Run Falls are too beautiful to miss.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to some of nature’s most breathtaking hiking trails—more than 150 to be exact, with close to 800 miles of picturesque scenery to trek across. Laurel Crest is just 10 miles away in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Gatlinburg resort, MountainLoft, is three miles away.

If you’re hiking through Las Vegas, head up to Mount Charleston. Its 3,000-12,000 foot change in elevation allows for cool mountain breezes and temperatures 20-45 degrees lower than the sweltering 100-degree temps below.  At just 35 miles northeast of Club 36, it’s a nice change from the desert heat.