Smoky Mountains Gameplay

Welcome to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smokys Game

is the full experience of hiking in the wild. Whether you are playing next to a campfire on a cool fall evening or in the comfort of your own living room, you will get the experience of all the joys and struggles of the Backcountry. Cut across the Backcountry using a Map and Compass. Speed up your hiking with Poles. Prepare for the Snow Danger Zone with Snow Gear. Hike to the top of Charles Bunion or be the first hiker to reach Grotto Falls. You can barter gear with your friends or buy Gear with Food Units. Welcome to the Backountry! It is a unique game experience.


Backcountry was built in the wild. There are many types of hikers and each has a different approach to the wilderness. Your character determines your advantages and disadvantages in the game and will drive your strategy.

The Rookie The rookie is not very experienced in the wild. As the rookie, you have decided one thing: you will not go hungry. You pack enough food for two- or three! Candy bars, soft drinks and can food load down your pack. You begin the trip with 20 food units. Your reading before hitting the trail assured you that you needed some Bear Spray. However, you forgot to bring your brand new $250 boots (oops!) and show up in Toms. Rockin’ your iPod is cool, but not as cool as feet without blisters. Good luck surviving the wild!

The Light HikerYou are a pro! You’ve spent so many miles on the trail you know exactly what you need- and what you don’t. You’re the type who saws off your toothbrush, uses tablets instead of a filter and hike at a blistering pace. You can rest when you die. You brought your trusty hiking poles to speed things up. You also breeze by Junctions- no stopping! You know exactly where you are going and won’t let anyone stand in the way.

The MountaineerHeavy packs mean nothing to you. You are prepared for anything. You brought snow gear in case there is a blizzard to weather. You are strong, seasoned and wise. You might hike a bit slower than some, but no one on the trail can handle a pack like you!

The_OrienteerAfter plenty of years in scouting, you know how to handle a map and compass. You have the unique advantage of cutting across the Backcountry and speeding your hike at Orienteer bushwhacks.  You plan to see everything the Smokies has to offer.

The NaturalistMany hikers refuse to stop and smell the roses. Not you. You see the beauty of the Backcountry.  The trek is less about miles and more about the views.  Your Binoculars give you bonus points for every Scenic Point you obtain. Don’t get lost looking at the scenery! There are still miles to hike.

Great Smoky mountains GameGear

Gear is essential to navigating the wild. Some gear on the trail has special value and adds benefits to the hiker’s journey. When the piece of gear is lost, so are the benefits. But take heart! You may always barter with other players or make purchases with food in the Backcountry Store. An essential part of the game strategy is to weigh the benefits of the gear against the cost and the weight. Some examples of gear in Backcountry are: Backpacks, Stoves, Filters, Poles, First Aid Kits, Snow Gear, Bear Spray and a Map and Compass.

Smoky Mountains Board GameFood

You’ve got to eat to live! As you hike, you must put in Food Units every roll.  You can also use food in trades with other players or in buying gear from Backcountry Stores along the trail.  Be careful to use bear bags and ration food, or you will find yourself rolling one die and hiking slowly on the trail!

Scenic Points

The beauty of the backcountry is one of the best parts of the journey!  With this in mind, you are challenged to be the first hiker to arrive at Scenic Points like Cade’s Cove, Clingman’s Dome, Shuckstack Tower and Grotto Falls.  If you do, you will gain bonus points. In the Smokies Edition, if you have binoculars there is an added point bonus.


backcountry board game

Danger Zones!

Beware, the trail is full of difficult challenges.  You must navigate raging rivers, deep snowy passes and forests filled with bears.  These cards can really set you back. Don’t go unprepared!

Board Game about BackpackingAdvanced Play

If you are ready for a greater challenge, try the advanced play.  You must pass through Weight Checks and you can track your mileage for an added bonus!  The experienced player will love venturing into all the nuances of the Backcountry.