Social Distancing? You Mean Camping?

It’s been said that camping is the original social-distancing and we agree! Many of our visitors come to us because they want to ‘get away’ and ‘escape to the mountains’.  And while an obvious attraction of Pigeon Forge is all the stores and things to do, the good news is that in the midst of things shutting down for COVID-19, we have an opportunity to reconnect with the reason people were drawn to this area to begin with: the majesty of the Smoky Mountains and all the life that it’s home to.  

One of the best things about choosing Camp Riverslanding as your Pigeon Forge campground is that we are located right on the Little Pigeon River and just a few minutes from some of the most scenic drives in the world! We also have sports and camp activities that you can’t find anywhere else. Here is our guide on having some Smoky Mountain fun during your quarantine.  

Fishing on the Little Pigeon River:

Bring your rod and reel when you’re coming to Camp Riverslanding.  The Little Pigeon River has stocked trout as well as smallmouth bass in the 3lb range. Fly fishing will do well for the trout, or you can use lures, corn, bread or other bait for other fish.  If you don’t have a Tennessee fishing license then you can pick a day pass up at the gas station near the camp. Rainbow trout are stocked weekly upstream in Gatlinburg and can get up to 20 inches long.  Brook trout are a little smaller, but they are also rarer and more elusive than rainbow trout making them rewarding to catch. And if you forgot your rod or need some supplies then stop by the camp store to find what you need!

Tubing on the Little Pigeon River:

As the weather gets warmer the Little Pigeon turns into our very own water park.  Grab a tube from the camp store or bring your own and hop in! You can float down the rapids on the quarter mile in front of the camp, get out, and do it again. There are also a few spots to have a leisure float and soak up the sun. 

Camp Activities:

Did you know that Camp Riverslanding is the only campground in Pigeon Forge that has a tennis court? If you are looking to polish off your backstroke or just get the basics down then bring your rackets or check them out from the camp store, free of charge. We also have cornhole, basketball, swimming, an arcade with plenty of hand sanitizer, and more. And as night falls, light up the fire and cook some s’mores! There is always something for you and your family to do at Camp Riverslanding.

Foothills Parkway:

A short drive down Wears Valley Rd will bring you to the Foothills Parkway. Currently the Foothills Parkway extends over 30 miles through the national forest and holds some of the most scenic views in all of the Smokies. Dozens of pull-offs are available to stop and view the majesty of the Smokies.  

We are making Camp Riverslanding the safest place in America!

It’s been quite the day today as we’ve all continued to learn more about the COVID-19 virus situation. NO cases of the virus have been reported in Sevier County, but we are determined to ensure that Camp Riverslanding is the safest place in America right now. We are following all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control regarding commercial and workplace cleanliness.

Our staff has doubled and tripled up on all the cleaning. Our bathhouses are now being sanitized four times daily, all flat surfaces are being cleaned multiple times throughout the day, and sanitizer machines are available throughout the camp. All of our cleaning supplies and necessary items are already on site. Complimentary masks are available at the check-in desk for any guest who feels more comfortable with one, and hand sanitizer is free.

Best of all, please remember that you’ve got plenty of control of your surroundings at Camp Riverslanding. YOU control your camper – it’s not like a hotel room because YOU know who’s been in it and YOU keep it spotless. It’s not like a motel room or strange place you’ve never been — thankfully, it’s comfortable and just like home for you. And the great outdoors provides plenty of free space for you to breathe peacefully.

YOUR safety, well-being, and happiness is our highest priority. In order to make sure that you and your family enjoy your stay, we are quickly adding multiple FREE activities over the coming weeks, including more meals/snacks, games, children’s activities, and adult activities. We will make sure that you have plenty to do and your family will not be bored in our resort-like setting with our river tubing, swimming, heated pool, fishing, sports, games — we’re even adding more. You’ll be able to come in, park your RV, and not even have to leave the campground for your whole stay!

While we are taking all the earthly preparations possible, we truly are fully trusting in the Lord and in His divine protection. We believe that He is in control, and He is our refuge, fortress, and the One in whom we trust. May you and your family rest sure in the knowledge that the Lord loves you and is caring for us all.

We look forward to having you join us at Camp Riverslanding over the next days and weeks, friends. Please don’t hesitate to reach out by PM or phone if we can answer any questions. Watch our social media, website, and emails for updates as we continue to add more and more activities to help your family have a safe place for fun during this time!

November in the Smokies

Fall in the Smokies is far from over at Halloween. The temperatures may be dropping, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the Smokies! Since Camp Riverslanding is nestled away just minutes from the excitement in Pigeon Forge, here are some points for your to-do list if you’re visiting us in November:

1. No Pigeon Forge to-do list is complete without some mention of Dollywood, so let’s kick this off right! Dollywood is amazing year round, but absolutely magical during the holiday season. The price of admission is the same, but you and yours can experience Santa’s workshop, incredible light displays, and (of course) the rides, crafts, and food! Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas starts November 4th and lasts through January 1st. http://www.dollywood.com/themepark/Festivals/Smoky-Mountain-Christmas

2. Every year, all of Pigeon Forge twinkles with holiday spirit, thanks to Winterfest. This year’s event begins November 4th and runs through the end of February 2018. The whole city is covered in dazzling Christmas lights which can be viewed via trolley tours and there are plenty of other winter wonderland activities to take advantage of during Winterfest!  
https://pigeonforgewinterfest.com/

3. Make this year’s Thanksgiving a Smoky Mountain Thanksgiving (you’ll be thankful you did!) Skip the stress of making your own 5 course meal for the whole family, and take your pick of incredible restaurant options in Pigeon Forge, including all the “dinner and a show” choices! Dolly’s Dixie Stampede has shows on Thanksgiving. https://www.dixiestampede.com/pigeon-forge

4. If a little cold weather doesn’t dampen your camping spirit, bundle everybody up and hit the trailhead. Hiking in November gives you incredible views of the world-renowned Fall colors of the Smoky Mountains, and that might be our favorite November opportunity! There’s nothing more rewarding than snuggling up around a campfire after a long day of hiking.

If you want to do something a little different this Fall, head for Camp Riverslanding. We can’t wait to spend November with you! Check out booking options here: https://portal.staylist.com/irm/?account=20


Camping With Your Dog

     We at Camp Riverslanding know that a family adventure absolutely includes our four legged friends! If you’re looking to bring your dog along with you, we encourage you to read on to learn some tips for a crew of happy (barky) campers.
     Before you pack it all up and head out, take some time to work with your dog and refresh some important commands. A reliable recall command is especially important, as well as a “leave it” command. You should be absolutely certain that your dog will come when you call, and won’t pick up anything they shouldn’t on a hiking trail. It’s also a good idea to make a visit to the vet before leaving town, especially if you have an older animal, to make sure your pet is up to the adventure. Double check that your dog is up to date on flea and tick treatment/wears a flea collar.
     Start slowly – if your dog (or puppy) is getting geared up for their first camping/hiking trip, start small. Do some research beforehand on what an appropriate length hike would be safe for your pup.
Take the essentials – your dog relies on water to cool down, so pack a collapsible or light weight water bowl and a water bottle just for them.
     Keep in mind that dogs shouldn’t carry any extra weight until they’re fully grown (this is another good reason to visit the vet before your trip.) If your dog is going to carry extra weight, make sure that their equipment is comfortable for them to wear and carry around and won’t cause blisters or other injuries.
     Invest a few dollars in a light for your dog’s collar, to keep him visible to you and other campers at night. Look for a flashing red one that is waterproof and sturdy enough to keep up with a rough and tumble dog!
    To an extent, dog first aid is similar to human first aid as far as bleeding or preventing infection. Again, your vet is the best resource for information, but look into bringing a dog specific first aid kit just in case of emergency.
     Be Prepared – Depending on what time of year you’re planning to camp, be aware that the temperature outside affects your dog just like you. Overheating or freezing are serious dangers for dogs, especially house dogs that have adapted to moderate, managed temperatures indoors. In hot weather, keep your dog well hydrated, and in cold weather bring along a dog coat and booties to protect their paws from ice and salt.
     Be patient – Just like every other aspect of being a dog parent, giving our dog camping experience takes time and patience. If your dog knows that they can trust you, you can train them to do anything.Your furry friend will be an outdoor pro in no time!

Camping Hacks Compilation

Roughing it should be fun! Here’s a list of some of our favorite camping hacks to make your camp life a little easier. Read on, and camp smarter.

Fire Starters:
– Stuff some empty toilet paper tubes with dryer lint for an easy, eco-friendly fire starter
– Corn chips (Doritos!) can also help get a fire started in a pinch
– Don’t forget to pack matches in something waterproof – might we suggest an old mints tin, or a small plastic food container. Glue a small patch of sandpaper to the container so you can strike them
– If you’ve got rogue some birthday candles hanging around at home, they’re more waterproof than matches

Keep it dry:
– Keep your toilet paper protected in an empty plastic coffee container or CD spindle. Bonus points if you cut a slit in the side to easily pull the paper out
– Instead of packing your coolers with ice cubes, pack frozen jugs of water. This will keep your food from getting soggy and as the ice melts you’ll have clean drinking water 
– Microfiber towels are light, compact, and super efficient
– Pack a pair of warm socks and keep them in your sleeping bag just for sleeping – this way you always have dry socks to keep your feet warm at night

Bugs at bay:
– A deodorant stick can help relieve the itchiness of mosquito bites
– Adding bundles of sage to the campfire will keep the mosquitos away (and make your campsite smell amazing)
– A prescription pill bottle makes a perfectly pocket sized first aid kit (band aids, antibiotic ointment, etc.)

Food:
– Collect condiment packets before your camping trip and take them with you instead of packing bulky bottles
– Tic Tac boxes are the perfect size for storing spices
– Check out our blog post on new s’mores recipes here

Safety Check:
– If you’ve got an accident prone camper, bring along some pool noodles (cut them open lengthwise) and cover up the awning arms to avoid head injuries
– Glow in the dark tape can be a life saver when it comes to outdoor walkways and stairs
– A headlamp attached to a filled water bottle or jug makes a perfect lantern


Can’t get enough? Check out these sites for some more awesome camping hacks!
https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/22-camp-hacks-from-rei-experts
https://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius?utm_term=.ai9XE0zVbO#.mo3Gy4wQ8M
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/30-brilliant-camping-hacks-wish-knew-earlier.html