I've been to the Smoky Mountains twice during this pandemic; once in the late spring and once in the fall. Between these two trips, I've gathered a bit of information that may be helpful on your next cabin trip. Please keep in mind, this is in no specific order. I just relay the information as the revelation comes to me!
1. Pack Flannel
What are the cabins and the woods without flannel. Something about the outdoors just screams flannel. Rumor has it, "A flannel a day keeps the bears away," (LOL), but no seriously, this is the time to let your inner lumberjack out. So head to Pinterest, hit the search bar, take your screenshots, and get to packing!
2. Bring Comfy/Cozy (Preferably Cute) Socks
Cabins = wood … literally. You're staying in the mountains, in the woods and the cabin of course, is made of wood. Not sure if your former science teacher told you, but heat rises. From my experience, it seems to be even truer when staying in a cabin. The floors tend to be the last thing to warm up. So pack your socks, glide across the floor like nobody's watching and live it up!
3. Load up on Hand Sanitizer and Masks
Hello people, it's a pandemic! There's no way that you, in your right mind, would think I wasn't going to mention hand sanitizer and masks. While you can keep it cute and comfortable in the cabin, when you go to explore and have a little outdoor fun, this is when the sanitizer and masks becomes essential. The truth is, there are many people who still don't take this pandemic seriously. This means, it is up to you to protect yourself. Wear your mask, practice social distancing, and when you can't physically wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer. I was slightly paranoid after seeing many people with no masks, so I'd wash my hands and use sanitizer because I'm not about to play with Covianna!
4. Snacks on SNACKS
This may seem like a no brainer to most, but it wasn't for me lol. I travel on the road a lot, so I can drive 5-6 hrs. with just water and little to no snacks. I've learned that snacks actually serve as a just in case type of deal. Generally when I go on road trips like visiting the Smoky's, I'm meeting people. You can't dictate when people get there, if they'll stop on the way, etc. So it's good to have snacks because you never know when you'll be left waiting on people or if you'll get stuck in traffic or driving hours on the backroads. Bottom line, get the snacks. Period!
5. Immunity Boosters/Shots (Store Bought or DIY)
Again, we're in a pandemic! I cannot stress this enough, but I find it interesting, that this is the part of taking care of yourself that most people tend to neglect. Although they are not pictured, vitamins are beneficial as well. Washing your hands and wearing masks are great, but it is important to recognize that what you put into your body is the foundation of defending your immune system against what tries to go in it. Obviously, since I'm a vegan, I would also emphasize eating raw, whole fruits and vegetables. Despite it's importance, I'm smart enough to know a lot of people won't eat their fruits and vegetables as much as they should and they'll find as many as excuses as they can to not eat them. So with that being said, love yourself and your body. Add some immunity boosters/shots + vitamins to your daily routine.
6. Load the Console with Napkins
Listen … I can go into details, but I won't. I love you enough to drop this little gem. With that being said, just take my advice and get those napkins. I don't care if they're from your fast food bag or the grocery store. Put them in the console. In case of emergency is a real thing and you'll thank me later!
Hope this was helpful. Have fun, but more importantly, stay safe!