Pack These Essentials

You should find linens, towels, toilet, paper and dish soap in most cabins. But we noticed a few essentials that you can't always count on.

1. Good cooking knives. Most cabins have cheap knives that are so dull that they're dangerous to use. Bring one good chef's knife and a paring knife if you plan to cook.

2. Coffee filters and coffee. Some cabins supply them. Others don't. Don't spoil a relaxing morning by having to run into town for your wake-up cup.

3. Laundry detergent. Many cabins have washers and dryers, but few supply detergent. More often than not, they do supply dish soap and dishwasher detergent.

4. Paper towels. Cabins usually supply at least one roll. But you can always use an extra.

5. Beach towels. If you plan to go swimming or tubing in the summer, bring one or two towels from home. Many cabins request that you use theirs only for bathing.

6. Hair dryer. This is a rare find in most cabins and a necessity during cold months.

7. Matches and newspapers (for wood-burning fireplaces). Many cabins supply one night's worth of firewood complimentary. But often they lack kindling, which makes starting a fire challenging.

8. Breakfast and late-night snacks. Even if you plan to have meals in town, you'll won't want to navigate mountain roads every time your stomach growls.

9. Toiletries. Unlike hotels, you won't find tiny bottles of shampoo in most cabins. The soap is usually cheap and itchy.

10. Wine opener. Pack a corkscrew if you want to enjoy a bottle of wine. Many cabins lack this item. You can pick up a bottle of local wine (sweet flavors dominate here) at the Apple Barn Winery in Sevierville or the Mountain Valley Winery in Pigeon Forge.