Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on January 3, 2018
Baby, it's cold outside, if you haven't noticed. This time of year, there's always a higher risk of sub-freezing temperatures, but for the last week or so, we've really been dealing with a cold snap in the Smokies, to say the least. Chances are, you have too, even if you are from outside our state.
Those of us who live here in the South aren't as used to dealing with this kind of weather as our northern friends are, so this week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines would like to share some tips for coping with days and nights when the temps get down into the single digits. Whether you're planning on riding out the cold at home or even braving the frigid air to spend some fun time in the Smokies, we've got a few ideas for keeping yourself safe and warm.
1. Layer up
This one's sort of obvious, but dressing in layers preserves your core temperature. An inner thermal layer with perspiration wicking is a good foundation for one or more layers. On windy days, a nylon shell that will protect you from wind and rain/snow is a good outermost layer. And don't forget about extra socks, thick shoes, gloves and caps. The extremities are the first to succumb to frostbite.
2. Eat for the cold
You may have made a New Year's resolution to shed a few pounds, but when it's seriously cold, that may not be the best time to watch calories. Eating extra healthy fats can rev up your metabolism, which helps heat the body. And we mean healthy fats, the kind you get from foods like olive oil, fish, nuts and avocados. Foods like soups, spicy dishes, and hot coffees and teas will also help you keep your core temperature up.
3. Don't forget the sunglasses
We usually associate cold weather with cloudy days, but a frigid, sunny winter's day can be rough on your eyes too. Especially if there's snow on the ground, it's not uncommon to deal with harsh glare reflecting off the white surface. So keep a pair of sunglasses on hand to deal with the sun.
4. Consider your pets
If it's cold for you, it's probably cold for them, even with all that fur. If your animal typically sleeps outdoors, this is definitely the time of year to bring him/her in for the night and possibly much of the day. If your pet is not typically an indoor animal, consider setting up some kind of temporary shelter in a garage or laundry room. Even when taking a dog out for a walk, experts recommend limiting their exposure to 10 minutes in sub-freezing weather.
5. Monitor heat sources
If you build a fire, make sure you keep an eye on it and that its embers are out before retiring for the night. Or at least make sure the screens are secure to prevent embers from casting sparks into the room. If you're using a space heater, it's important to follow all the safety instructions to prevent fire or even carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep heaters on hard, non-flammable surfaces and turn them off before leaving the house.
6. Mind the pipes
Setting your thermostat at the same temperature day and night will help keep your pipes from bursting. Also consider wrapping exposed pipes in towels and covering exterior spigots with some sort of foam shield device. It's a small investment of money and effort that can save you a lot of headaches.
Obviously, for anyone thinking about taking a spin on a zip line, Tennessee is not the place to try that out for the time being. That's why we're on hiatus for the winter. But we'll be back in the spring, when talk of icicles and dead car batteries will hopefully be long behind us.