It can get awfully cold in East Tennessee during the winter, making it difficult to enjoy the stunning scenery that surrounds our South Appalachian home. But no matter where you live this winter, don’t let the cold keep you from enjoying the outdoors.

Whether you’re headed for the mountains, out for a day of hunting, or you’re just on the go through chilly temperatures, grab some beef jerky to help keep you warm during the long winter months.

How cold weather affects your body

Your body is constantly fighting to stay at the same temperature. Your core body temperature might fluctuate slightly, especially around going to bed and waking up, but you stay right at 98.6 degrees almost all the time. When the weather gets cold, however, this battle increases in intensity and many of your body’s natural responses kick in to protect your cells and organs from damage.

The winter months, however, leave you more vulnerable than other parts of the year. When your body temperatures drop, your blood thickens and increases your risk of clotting, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Being cold also leaves you more at risk of infection. When your body is fighting to stay warm, it’s more difficult for your immune system to fight off infections. That’s why people are more at risk of pneumonia, the flu, colds, and other lung conditions and coughs during the winter.

Your body also burns more calories when it’s cold to keep your body temperature at the appropriate level and to work harder to protect you from getting sick. An easy hike in the woods, for example, may drain you faster than it would during other parts of the year because you’re burning more calories than usual.

Staying warm with jerky

If you love being outdoors during the winter months, you know it’s a struggle to find ways to keep warm while you enjoy the winter sports you love. However, snacks like jerky can play a huge part in feeling warm even if the world around you is frigid.

Carbohydrates are usually the food that people start looking for in the colder weather. It’s the comfort in “comfort food” you want when your body needs to stay warm. But instead of eating simple carbs that your body will burn through quickly, jerky can provide the sustained warmth and comfort your body is craving.

Opt for Jerky instead of granola for outdoor winter activities

Have you ever tried eating a granola bar while out on the ski slopes or hiking through the snow? You may have the broken teeth to prove just how rock hard this snack can become as the temperatures drop.

Many of these granola bars freeze or harden because so many of them include sugary syrups to hold the bar together. This increases the sugar content of the bar and leaves you with a granite-hard snack when you need some valuable energy.

Jerky is also high in protein and important nutrients while also low in carbs, fats, and sugar. Granola bars, however, are typically high in carbs and sugars.

Beef for better health and sustained energy

Have you ever built a fire while camping or in your fireplace? You’ve probably noticed that small sticks and kindling pieces burn very quickly while a larger piece of wood burns slow and sustainably. You can create a fire with sticks that are gone in minutes, or you can build a fire with larger pieces that can last for a long time.

Eating protein and nutrient-rich jerky works the same way. Jerky provides sustained energy that lasts all day, while sugary, carbohydrate-heavy foods like granola bars burn fast and leave you hungry and ready to head home early.

Even if you’re not out on your next adventure, eating jerky is a great snack to get you through your workday or give your kids an afternoon snack. With jerky as your go-to snack, you’ll help keep your blood sugar levels normal and sustain your energy levels for longer periods. Jerky’s nutrient-packed qualities can also play a part in protecting your body from getting sick.

Jerky is a long-lasting healthy snack for hiking in the Smokies

Here in East Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the crown jewel of living in this beautiful part of the country. The mountains transform during the winter to become an outdoor lover’s winter wonderland. But part of the appeal of this national treasure is getting away from civilization for a little while, which means you need to be prepared.

Especially during the winter months, packing some jerky for your next trip to the Smokies is a great way to make sure you bring the sustenance you need to have a safe, full day in our beloved national park.

Here’s a pro tip. Take some of our Honey Jalapeño Beef Jerky to add some sweet heat flavor to a snowy day out in our local national treasure.

Fuel up this winter with delicious jerky

It can be tempting to just curl up with a blanket and crank up the heat on your thermostat when the weather gets cold. But instead of spending all winter indoors, get out and see the stunning East Tennessee wilderness. With your family or friends at your side, a good pair of gloves, and a backpack filled with delicious Crockett Creek handcrafted jerky, you’ll be sure to have the most adventurous winter yet. No matter your taste preferences, we’re sure you’ll find your next favorite jerky with Crockett Creek. From mild flavors like Original and Teriyaki to the extremes like Sweet N’ Spicy and Fire, we have the perfect jerky flavor for you. Along with beef flavors, we also feature exotic jerky in buffalo, elk, and venison varieties to satisfy your cravings for all-natural, delicious jerky. We even have our very own spice mix and marinade to add our bold jerky flavors to any meal.