Give a gift this year that will produce memories for years to come. The holiday season is for giving and most times people forget that sometimes the best gift is not one you can hold, but is an experience that produces memories for a lifetime. Personally, my favorite gift I have received was the gift of flying a plane! I will never forget flying that plane, and feel the way I felt in that moment.
This holiday season, give a gift that allows you to make memories, give a weekend to remember with Coonhound Camping. Giving the gift of Coonhound's Camping experience will provide the comfort and full service that will allow you to enjoy your time off. Along with a wonderful package you will be able to be centered in one of the most beautiful places in the United States of America. So many wonderful views to see and things to do in East Tennessee that this will be the best gift ever! So make sure you don’t just give a gift this holiday season, give a gift, the Coonhound way!
This past weekend I went to Nashville to visit some family and while I was there I experienced the hustle and bustle of a big city. While I was in downtown, surrounded by all of the buildings, it made me miss the beauty of East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains. Now that I am back here, I thought that I would share some of the things I love and missed about East Tennessee.
When I think about East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains I think of this image; Looking out over the horizon and seeing the clouds roll off of the mountains like the foam on your coffee. Waking up to the sound of a creek flowing faintly and the birds chirping at the crack of dawn. Getting the fire started in the ashes of last nights fire. The silence of nature is like a drug in that it keeps you wanting more. I think about the nice people you encounter that is always willing to help. I think of the hidden getaways that are just waiting to be found. The early morning hikes to get to the peak of the mountain and the feeling of being on top of the world. Seeing the leaves change to the fiery reds in the fall and watching the flowers bloom in the summer always excite me. Not only the draw to the Smoky Mountains and the nature but the draw to towns like Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are as attractive. The more tourist heavy cities are always home to a good time and I love living near it. From walking Gatlinburg and seeing the shops downtown to going go-carting in Pigeon Forge Even though they are more populated, they are at the base of the mountains and are a 15 minutes drive to peace and tranquility in the mountains.
No matter what you want to do, East Tennessee has got you covered. Whether it is trying to go for a weekend trip to get away, a family trip, or just a quick hike, East Tennessee has got you covered.
With so many things to do in East Tennessee in the Fall it can be hard to decide where to go and enjoy a brisk fall weekend. I want to make it simple for you by providing you a couple of places that I have been personally this Fall. Hi everyone, it’s Jeremy here and I wanted to let you know a couple of my favorite places to go this fall.
I had the privilege of going to Dollywood this fall and experience all of the wonderful things it has to offer. For those that do not know, Dollywood is a family amusement located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and is owned by Dolly Parton. This park provided a great mix of thrilling rides with the fun fall activities. From high-flying rides all the way to the pumpkins found throughout the park, you will have a blast, no matter what age. I would recommend steering clear of the couple of water rides in the park for this trip though! This was the first time I had gone to Dollywood and it will not be the last.
Another place that I went to was Oakes Farm in Corryton, Tennessee. Oakes was a very wonderful place to take your family or a significant other for a photo shoot with the beautiful mountains in the background. If that isn’t for you then maybe you are interested in discovering which farm animal took ‘Farmer Joe’ as you find your way through the corn maze. Maybe you want ride the hayride to go pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. My point is that no matter what you are looking for in a fall day, you will find it at one of the 25 activities that Oakes provides. Along with the attractions it also had multiple places to sit and eat something from ‘Pappy’s Fry Shack’, ‘Farmhouse Grill’, or ‘Grammy’s Sweets & Treats’. I will be going back to Oakes in the future.
With all of the beauty in East Tennessee it is hard to pick what to do this fall. I hope this helps anyone with a tough decision on where to go!
Hey there everyone, Dalton Maddox here!
As I approach far more days of camping than likely any reasonable person would, I thought it might be handy to talk a little about the joys of backwoods camping. While we here at Coonhound focus more on vehicle accessible campsites for our business, we greatly enjoy getting off the grid now and again.
Backwoods camping requires a little more work and planning, and certainly isn't for everyone. Still the effort is well worth it. There is something magical, if not surreal, about becoming nearly isolated in nature. Being able to truly relax and take it all in can be a deeply peaceful experience that will almost certainly relieve the work day pressures of day to day life.
Not sold yet? That's alright I enjoy a good challenge.
For me personally one of the biggest advantages to hiking, backpacking, or canoeing to one of these backwoods campgrounds is the privacy. As my counterparts have mentioned, and I am sure many of you have experienced, summer camping gets busy. The Smokies are an absolute hot spot for warm weather fun. While this brings in a ton of great opportunities for enjoying your days off, relaxation can often become difficult. Well getting a little further into nature can alleviate this and allow for a more peaceful and private approach to camping.
While I fully understand this won't be for everyone, and I wouldn't dare think that one must backpack to enjoy amazing camping, keep these options in mind next time you're planning an excursion. Plus, if you think this sounds fun but just don't know what would fit your style, contact us and we will work to find the right campsite for you regardless of if you decide to camp with Coonhound.
Lastly just remember the great quote about "choosing the woods less camped" ... or something like that anyways.
Oh hi there! This is Connor checking in again, and I’m here to make a public service announcement: Rainy Days are underrated when it comes to camping.
Now of course, everyone likes a day when the suns out, and you’re able to frolic around the national park – ask the other guys, I’m quite the frolicker. But that’s just the thing. Everyone likes a sunny day. While we at Coonhound try to give our campers the best recommendations for uncrowded sites, the Smoky Mountains NP is the most-visited park in the nation and during peak season, there’s only so much you can do. I like making friends with the neighbors and inviting them over for a few burgers as much as the next guy, but sometimes you want to get out there for some peace and quiet. In my opinion, a little sprinkle in the forecast is just what you need to get that authentic experience.
Oh hi there, Connor here with another little lesson we’ve learned while out with our guests. Oftentimes, if someone comes to us with a piece of equipment they already own, it’s a sleeping bag. However, most of these same people aren’t aware that there are different types for different weather. While this may seem like a small difference, the devil is in the details. The right bag could mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a restless one. As a result, let’s take a look at how to know if you have the right bag for your adventure.
Connor here! I’m the co-founder that has, fortunately and unfortunately, been studying abroad while we’ve been starting things up here at Coonhound. While I haven’t had a lot of camping experience living in a big city like London, I have honed my skills in the masterful art of packing light. I believe that, whether you’re traveling, camping, or going for a long hike, what is and, more importantly, what isn’t in your backpack makes a big difference. Here’s what I’ve learned going from London to Jerusalem and several places in between.
First, like any good southerner, I’ll use a lesson I learned from my mom. It’s the most obvious - don’t pack a lot of stuff. The way she helped me do this is by asking me to lay all the clothes I wanted to take on my bed. Then cut it in half. Once you’ve gotten down to only the essentials, cut it in half again. That’s how much you actually need. What this consists of should be, if you’re concerned about your appearance, things that are versatile and all go well together. I’d recommend sticking to one pair of pants (unless you have some particularly for hiking) for your trip. You might laugh now, particularly if you’re a guy, but buy into the miracle that is stretchy jeans. They’re perfect for any situation, and I have personally put them to the test, walking over 20 miles in a single day in them.
Secondly, to maximize your space I would recommend rolling up your clothes in tight cylinders, a trick many probably already know. What I recommend more, however, is to instead pack button-ups. Button-ups are the unsung heroes of efficient packing. They take up less space, look nice, and, most importantly, can be customized to the temperature. Hot? Roll up the sleeves and maybe unbutton a bit. Cold? Do the reverse. This way, there’s no need to bring both the long sleeve and the short sleeve - it’s a 2-in-1!
Speaking of temperatures, always bring something to cover up with. There’s nothing that can ruin your fun like being unexpectedly cold. Most times you don’t even think about how cold it can get, I certainly didn’t in Israel. Whether you’re in the desert or the mountains, the nights are much colder. Make sure you’re prepared. I think the best way to do this is to bring your rain jacket. This breaks the wind, covers up, packs well, and also means you don’t have to worry about the weather.
There’s a few more tips across the board I’d like to mention. First off, I’ve had success with packing cubes, but you should be careful to fill in the cracks between them with stuff also. Otherwise, a great way to stay organized. Second, re-wear clothes. It sounds like something your mother would scold you for, but trust me it’s not necessary to have a different shirt for each day. If you have a particularly long trip, buy a couple Woolite packets and give them a quick rinse in a sink. Otherwise, just mix and match! Lastly, stuff all those cracks between your packing cubes with some pocket-sized snacks! Snickers hit the nail on the head when they said, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” For your sanity and the sanity of your companions, keep those snacks locked and loaded at all times.
That’s all I have for now! I hope to see several people sporting the stretchy jeans, button-up, and rain jacket look munching on some cashews when I get back to the beautiful hills of Tennessee!
If you’re wanting to pack as light as possible for your next camping adventure try out Coonhound! Not only will you avoid the hassle and time-consuming process of setting up and taking down, but you’ll get top notch equipment and not have to carry a thing! Whether the Great Smoky Mountains are in your backyard or you’re flying across the country, camp with Coonhound and you’ll truly get the most out of your trip!
Waking up to birds singing the song of spring, the infectious, sweet, smell of dew mixed with the reminiscence of the campfire, and the sight of the spring sun peering over the trees, the spring has arrived. Nothing quite like the simplicity of nature to thrust you into the world outside of the city's hustle and bustle. We at Coonhound would like to personally welcome you to our favorite time of the year, "camping season".
This time of the year is best because you can truly enjoy your favorite trail, creek, or camping site again. The weather is finally warming up and whether you are getting antsy to get back into the mountains or you are looking to experience your first enjoyable encounter with nature, we would love to assist you, and your loved ones, experience a moment you will never forget.
With a wide variety of campers and camping stiles, we offer many different packages and miscellaneous items to assist, even the most experienced camper, enjoy their time in the mountains. So come on out, you never know the what type of adventure you will encounter in the woods this time. The world is your playground, so go play, with Coonhound.
Most people would agree that skiing is best left to winter and baseball is most enjoyable in the summer. Where there isn’t a clear consensus is camping. With the potential for snow, wind, and overall bone-chilling temperatures, many would say that camping isn’t meant for the winter. The truth is, with the right gear, winter camping can be one of the most rewarding outdoor experiences. Often it can be difficult during prime months to get a great campsite at some of the national parks' best locations. However, during the winter this isn't the case. Waterfalls, usually overflowing with people in the summer, can be a particularly beautiful experience during the cold tundra of the winter months and gazing from atop your favorite peak in the Smokies is truly unlike anything you’ve seen during peak season. Of course, nothing makes camping quite as enjoyable as a burning fire and some campfire-made hot cocoa during the chilly nights. In the end, as long as you bring the right clothes, and have a high-quality winter sleeping bag, the great outdoors can be a weekend getaway year round.
So, go and see that waterfall. Take that trail you’ve been on several times during the summer. You won’t regret it.
Stay tuned for our top picks for your winter adventures in our future posts, and be sure to check out our Luxury Winter Package with all the essentials to have a camping trip unlike any other, we’ll even throw in the hot cocoa!