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New board game brings the Great Smoky Mountains into your living room

“Hike It” Smoky Mountain Edition captures the accomplishments and challenges of hiking, and puts it into a family fun board game.
Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 8:42 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Former Knoxvillian T.J. Swing missed the feeling of accomplishment he got from hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Now living in Cincinatti, winter hiking wasn’t really his thing. Swing tried to find ways to capture that hikers high, and decided that a board game could do the trick.

“I’ve never done a board game before and I’m not a big board gamer," said Swing. “I wanted to capture that experience of hiking, what it means to get from point A to point B over a numerous amount of days. Do you have the right gear? Are you watching the weather? All of that is in the game.”

After a year and a half of trial and error, “Hike It!” was born.

The game requires the players to move across the board, which happens to be a beautiful map of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and collect experience points by visiting scenic sites throughout the map. Cades Cove, Chimney Tops, and Charlies Bunion are just a few of the over 30 stops you can visit.

“So you can alter your routes you know go a little north on this trail grab Clingmans Dome, drop back down onto your previous trail, but as you go through this there’s also events that will happen just as in real life," said Swing.

Gear cards play a vital role, just as the gear you take on the hike can make or break you. Get cards for food, water, shelter, and tools. Be careful though, carry too much and you’ll have to slow down. Don’t carry enough and you wont make it till the end.

The weather even plays a roll, draw weather cards to check out your forecast. Thunderstorms will slow you down!

While Swing has finished the game, there is still one big step to take. He still needs just over $50,000 to have 2,000 units made. Something Swing hopes to accomplish through Kickstarter.

Backing “Hike It” currently costs just $29. If Swing’s goal isn’t met in the time Kickstarter allows, all backers get their money back. Swing says if the goal isn’t met, he will try again.

To back Swing and help get “Hike It!" into your living room, visit his page on Kickstarter.

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