When hiking out to a campsite, the extent of our comfort depends on how much we can carry on our person. Sleeping bags and pads, tents, spare clothes, gear, and even basic cooking equipment all need to be stored efficiently and, often, items considered to be luxuries are left behind. There are items, however, specially designed for backpacking, and are comprised of lightweight materials or are able to be broken down and packed without taking up much room. Seating for your campsite is an item often considered a luxury, as many simply opt to rest on the ground, a rock, or a log or stump. While there’s nothing wrong with this, there are several options for seating that can be taken along with minimal weight and size.
What you rest your backside on while camping really depends on your campsite situation, as well as how far you’ll be travelling to get there. For example, if you’re at campground where you can simply pull your car or RV into a site, then obviously you won’t have any trouble. However, if you’ll be hiking a considerable distance to a site, or backcountry camping, then you’ll need to take that into consideration, especially when it comes to loading your pack and carrying your gear.
There are two basic designs when it comes to camp seating: stools and chairs. Stools are great for longer hikes because they can usually be folded into themselves and packed easily. Redhead, for example, makes a small, lightweight, collapsible stool for outdoor camping. However, some find the small stools designed for such circumstances to be uncomfortable, in spite of their portability. In consideration of this, Byer’s TriLite stool utilizes the same folding design, but instead of a triangular seating area, implements a sturdy, hammock-like seat, as well as a triangular piece of webbing fabric at the bottom of the stool’s legs. This keeps the stool from sinking in sand or soft dirt. The TriLite is also available in two different sizes.
Other than stools, there are several chairs that can be used at a campsite, some of which are more easily transported than others. No matter what, a chair won’t be able to fold into itself and slide into a pack, but there are models that are lightweight enough to be carried while hiking. The GCI Outdoor Everywhere chair, for instance, is a small chair that folds in half and rests near ground level during use. The chair also possesses padded lumbar support and can be adjusted for different positions. If you’re able to carry something a little larger, the company also makes the Express Lounger, a chair that sits a little higher. This model is designed for casual, short trips to a campsite, though.
While logs and large rocks do perfectly well, as far as seating goes, being able to take a comfortable seating option along with you is one of those luxuries that, if you’re able to enjoy, you should. There are several chairs and stools from other companies that offer comfort and portability on the trail, so don’t necessarily confine your shopping to the ones listed above. Any outdoor retailer will have a variety of products on which to rest your backside, and you should have no trouble finding one that suits your fancy.