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When you are in the Smoky Mountains this season, don’t let the cold weather get in the way. There’s so many cold weather myths floating around, so we decided to reveal a few truths about the cold weather in the Smoky Mountains. Here’s what we found:
- MYTH: You shouldn’t exercise or go hiking in the cold.
It’s important to make sure you’re dressed well when you choose to go running, walking or hiking in the cold weather, but it’s definitely not harmful to get out there in the colder temperatures. In the cold temperatures, you will most likely experience faster speeds which will burn more calories in a shorter time frame. So, actually, a shorter hike may be even better in the winter than the summer.
- MYTH: You don’t need as much water to stay hydrated in the winter.
Actually, this is very untrue. Your body needs just as much water to stay hydrated in the winter as it does in the summer months. If you are planning to go hiking, it’s a good idea to pack more water than you expect you’ll need. If you happen to get on the trails and you run out of drinking water, you should immediately go to a location where water is safe. At this point, you shouldn’t continue hiking and you should return to your vehicle or a visitor center for more water.
- MYTH: Sunscreen in the winter is useless.
This is definitely not true! We recommend packing sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses when you visit the Smoky Mountains this winter! To get technical, the Earth is actually closer to the sun during the winter days. Even though you may not feel the effects of the sun on your skin, you are actually being exposed to more of the sun’s rays than you think. Even further, if you are hiking in the snow, the sun will reflect off of the snow and hit your face.
- MYTH: You may catch a cold if you spend too much time outside.
Even though it appears to be logical, you actually can’t catch a cold from the cold temperatures. It’s an old wives’ tale; viruses and bacteria can cause a common cold.
- MYTH: When your car is covered in frost, you should splash it with hot water.
When you splash hot water on a cold windshield, you’re practically asking for the windshield to crack. When the extremely cold and extremely hot surfaces meet, they can cause tension on the windshield, resulting in a crack (or if you already have a crack in the windshield, it will expand).
If you’re visiting the Smoky Mountains in the winter, you may want to pack an ice scraper, just in case your windshield is a little icy in the morning. Most of the time, the weather is warm enough by mid-day that you shouldn’t need an ice scraper, but some of the cabins in upper elevations get a little more snow than the lower elevations.
For more myths like this one, you can check out the USA Today article about 9 winter myths here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/06/kostigen-weather-myths/19946433/
Planning a Vacation Around the Weather in the Smoky Mountains
Are you worried about the weather in the Smoky Mountains? Luckily, at Visit My Smokies, we have our own meteorologist who shares the weather twice a week. We upload the videos to our weather page, so you can always have the latest weather forecast.
Check it out here: http://www.visitmysmokies.com/area-information/travel-tips/weather/
We can’t wait to see you in the Smokies!