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Packing List for Family Day at Max Patch

I won’t be writing about our first Summer Adventure Day because it was a total flop. Yeah, we were pretty much all in bad moods, and when we showed up to pick strawberries, there were none to pick. I’ll be calling ahead next time!

Luckily our second Adventure Day totally made up for it. We’ve spent a couple of family days at Max Patch Mountain in North Carolina, and it’s officially one of my favorite things to do. Number one, it’s free. Number two, our phones don’t work there. Number three, the views are breathtaking and I get to spend all day taking pictures.

Here’s what you need to pack to enjoy a full day at Max Patch. We watched lots of visitors take the short hike up, grab a few pictures and go, but we prefer spending the day disconnecting from the world and reconnecting as a family. We met our friends at the summit and threw out our quilts and ate and played and lounged for the entire day. I’m ready to go back!


  1. Camera. Obviously! The 360 degree view will leave you speechless when trying to describe it to others. You’ll pictures will take care of that for you. And make sure to grab a family picture. A selfie just won’t do because you’ll miss out on all the scenery. There should be plenty of people at the summit to ask someone to snap a shot for you.
  2. Sunscreen. There’s no shade and the elevation is 4600 feet so you’ll need it! 
  3. Wipes. I recommend stopping at the bathrooms about halfway up the gravel road and that’s all I’m going to say about that.
  4. Food. We always eat lunch up there, and the hike will have you ready to eat as soon as you hit the summit, so I recommend packing more than you think you’ll eat. Our snacks disappeared fast!
  5. Chairs. If you have enough hands to carry all the gear, chairs are helpful to spend the day lounging on the mountaintop. 
  6. Quilt. Spread it on the ground for a tickle fight or wrap up in it if there’s a cool breeze.
  7. Jacket. Even on warm days it’s cooler there and the wind can get intense!
  8. Kite. This kept our kids entertained for hours. Plus it made for beautiful pictures. :)
  9. Dog. We can’t claim Amos as our own, but we’re so glad Sadie brought him!  
  10. Soccer and Wiffle Ball. We almost lost the soccer ball to the mountains a few times, but the kids had a blast running around the bald. The wiffle ball bat was barely used for it’s intended purpose, but it was worth it’s weight in gold for entertainment value. 
  11. A Clear Head. This isn’t exactly something you can pack, but it’s something you should prepare for. Leave your phone in your car, and leave your troubles behind you as you hike up the mountain. Embrace what’s directly in front of you, and be present in the moment with your favorite people. I’m betting you don’t get the chance to do this very often, so welcome the opportunity to be fully there.

If you’re heading out from the Knoxville area, it takes about an hour and a half to get there. Once you get off the interstate, you’ll drive on a gravel road for 30ish minutes. Pro tip: don’t roll your windows down to feel the mountain air or you’ll spend the next day cleaning all of the dust out of your car. Not that I’ve ever done that before ha!

Also, be super careful not to miss any turns on the gravel road. We’ve been two times and two times we’ve missed a turn and gotten lost for a few minutes. Here are some good directions to follow.

Last thing, Max Patch gets packed on the weekends, so consider going early or on a weekday!

How are your #summeradventuredays going? Max Patch has been the biggest hit so far for us, but we’ve got some more adventures in store this summer!