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What Do an Onion and the Great Smoky Mountains Have in Common?

Smoky Mountains covered in snow in the winterHave you ever been told to “dress like an onion” when you go hiking in colder weather? We’re here to tell you, when you dress like an onion this winter, you won’t have to worry about being cold on the trails. When you’re hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, layers upon layers of clothing is the best way to stay warm this season. Here’s exactly how to be the warmest hiker in the mountains:

1. Remember: Not All Clothes Keep You Warm

Most people layer their clothing, expecting the layers to keep them warm and toasty while hiking on the mountainside. There are certain materials to wear to keep the wind and cool air out while holding in the pockets of heat. Believe it or not, most cotton clothes don’t keep you as warm as you’d expect!

2. Make Sure the Inner Layer Wicks Away

The innermost layer of clothes should be a wicking layer. Tops, bottoms and feet should be covered with some form of silk or wool. These materials do not hold any amount of dampness, so kids and parents can happily enjoy the trail.

3. Insulate with the Second Layer

The second layer of clothes should be a medium-weight wool, to hold in the warmth of the first layer. If the weather is extremely cold, a down jacket is a great idea to keep you warm in the Great Smoky Mountains!

4. Use the Outer Layer to Protect

The final layer should be the protection layer, keeping your body safe from rain, wind and snowy conditions. The final layer should not fit too tightly, for comfortability and to create pockets of warm air below the jacket.

The great part about dressing warm is that you can always remove layers if you get too hot. It’s always better to dress with more layers, and carry a backpack to put away any extra jackets.

For more ideas about how to create the perfect hiking experience for your family, take a look at Visit My Smokies’ page dedicated to all things having to do with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.