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thoughts on packing a camp chair?

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thoughts on packing a camp chair?

Old 07-31-12, 09:20 AM
  #1  
Rambo
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thoughts on packing a camp chair?

Hello all,

I'm leaving for a 6 day, 5 night tour of the GAP & C&O towpath in a few weeks and I've been debating on weather or not to bring a camp chair. This is the chair I have.

http://www.aerostich.com/camping/cam...l-a-chair.html

I use it often when doing over night rides on a motorcycle, but I'm debating weather or not to bring it along on the bike trip. It's not so much the weight (it's 2.5 lbs) or even the space it takes up. I'm concerned with having an extra item to carry with me on the train back to pittsburgh from D.C.

Do you think it's worth the extra comfort around the camp fire or know if it will be a hassle bringing it on the train with me back to the burgh?

thanks in advance for your comments....
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Old 07-31-12, 09:28 AM
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All of the hiker/biker campsites on the C&O Canal have picnic tables, but sometimes they are taken up by someone arriving earlier. Once in awhile, you'll get groups that completely take over the sites. So you may want your own chair. Also nice if you plan to have a campfire. The one you have sounds pretty heavy though. I would look into getting a lighter one, or leaving it at home. No experience with the GAP.
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Old 07-31-12, 09:37 AM
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yeah, when I bought it weight wasn't an issue because it was for motorcycle camping. I don't have the extra dough to buy another one before the trip without the wife giving me a mean look if/when she sees it. So the option is to leave it home and have no chair or bring it along.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:09 AM
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I took my bear cannister on a couple of trips because I figured even if I wasn't worried about bears, it would make a decent camp stool and keep other critters out of my food. I never found a campsite that didn't have a bench or picnic table. I don't carry it anymore.

I did, however, recently pick up a couple of Pocket Chairs (http://www.amazon.com/Allstar-Produc.../dp/B004P33I70), and, while they don't actually fit in my pocket, they easily slip into a pannier. Possibly not much lighter than your chair. Not great, but better than nothing when nothing is what you have, although, as I said, I have had good luck in finding seating when camping. However I've never done the GAP & C&O.

There is a temptation to put this in my bag on my next trip, but there is also a lot to be said for leaving behind items that, at best, might only have occasional use, especially when they add significant weight and volume.

Only you can decide whether how much you're willing to put up with to have an assurance of a seat. I waver. My hammock tent can double as a chair, though, so it may suffice. Can't really pull up a hammock around the campfire though. Someone else can speak to finding seating on your route, but you will have to decide how much not sitting on the ground is worth. My thinking is that it's not worth the trouble, but that doesn't mean I won't make the opposite choice when I pack up.

Here's one that might not break the bank and looks to be half as light as yours: http://www.jacksrbetter.com/shop/camp-stool/
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Old 07-31-12, 10:17 AM
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I use a small piece of closed-cell-foam placed under my sit-bones. It cushions and insulates me from a hard, cold, or wet surface. It weighs only 1.4 ounces and doubles as a packing cushion.

Your chair is bulky and at 2.5 pounds quite heavy, IMO.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:48 AM
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REI has lots of options. I have this one, which doesn't weigh much or take up much room. No back rest, but provides a comfortable place to sit.

http://www.rei.com/product/765283/rei-trail-stool
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Old 07-31-12, 11:01 AM
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I brought a Crazy Creek chair, more often It was a closed cell foam sit place
than it was snapped into its L shape to be a chair with back support.
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Old 07-31-12, 11:15 AM
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Backpackers have been using these kind of chair accessories for at least 20 years. They're inexpensive, lightweight and work better than you'd expect from just looking at the pictures. It's an easy choice for anyone already using a Thermarest type pad sleeping pad:

http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-re...-chair/product
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Old 07-31-12, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I use a small piece of closed-cell-foam placed under my sit-bones.
Me too. I combine a 3/4 length inflatable sleeping mat with a 1/3 length foam pad. Together they form my sleeping mat but the foam gets used on the ground, for sitting and for generally putting stuff on so it doesnt get lost.
When my inflatable gets a leak, I have a backup.
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Old 07-31-12, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Backpackers have been using these kind of chair accessories for at least 20 years. They're inexpensive, lightweight and work better than you'd expect from just looking at the pictures. It's an easy choice for anyone already using a Thermarest type pad sleeping pad:

http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-re...-chair/product
+ 1

I got one of those last year from REI and used it on two short tours. Taking it with me again next week. Works great, weighs just 9.5 ounces (the 20-inch model) and packs up nicely taking up not much more room than my tent poles. Having a chair with a backrest on tour is priceless to me (lower back issues). If you're carrying a Thermarest pad already this is a great addition. (OP - Sshhhh - what the wife doesn't know won't hurt her).

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Old 07-31-12, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post

Here's one that might not break the bank and looks to be half as light as yours: http://www.jacksrbetter.com/shop/camp-stool/
I bought 2 of these at dick's sporting goods when they were on sale for 3 dollars a piece. I've had them over 5 years and they're still around the house for when we camp. Great chair, but a little on the heavy side unless I got a cheap knockoff, which is entirely plausible considering the price I paid. : )
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Old 07-31-12, 12:54 PM
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I have a bad back and really need the support and relaxing position that a camp chair brings. I find sitting at a picnic bench a strain on the back and its not comfortable to lean by back into the table. I purchased an A-lite Monarch camp chair, about a pound and it packs nice and small, yet has the back support I need.

www.alitedesigns.com
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Old 07-31-12, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
I rode with a fellow last year that had one of these things and he almost had to fight me to get my arse out of it since it was so comfy.
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Old 07-31-12, 01:25 PM
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You guys are going to get me into way too much trouble if you keep posting these cool chairs!!!!
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Old 07-31-12, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
You guys are going to get me into way too much trouble if you keep posting these cool chairs!!!!
Its easier to ask for forgiveness then permission! Besides, prorated over the next 20 years of touring, your yearly cost is only $3 this year!
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Old 07-31-12, 06:35 PM
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Just depends on who you are and what's important to you. I met a fellow with a more ordinary aluminum camp chair who was averaging about 90 miles/day. He looked pretty comfy lounging. He said when he gets to camp, he just wants to sit somewhere comfy that's not wet. But I'm not that guy. I just want my legs to not hurt so bad when I have to go long, so I go light.
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Old 07-31-12, 06:56 PM
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I have and use the Thermarest chair and have been happy with it. If the weight doesn't bother you haul it along, you can always leave it behind next time.

That Monarch is sweet...might have to get one of those....

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Old 07-31-12, 10:22 PM
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I'd just take a folding closed cell pad, like the z-rest: http://www.amazon.com/Therm-a-Rest-Z...eywords=z-rest

$15, 2oz, will fit in a pannier and make picnic table benches much more comfortable.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:52 PM
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Hi All,

I wanted to pack a camp chair, but couldn't find the right one. I'm going to look at this next time: https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/De...y/HelinoxChair

Tom
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Old 08-01-12, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I use a small piece of closed-cell-foam placed under my sit-bones. It cushions and insulates me from a hard, cold, or wet surface. It weighs only 1.4 ounces and doubles as a packing cushion.
That is my approach too. A camp chair would be nice but cannot justify the extra load given the amount of use it would actually get.

Andrew
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Old 08-01-12, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I use a small piece of closed-cell-foam placed under my sit-bones. It cushions and insulates me from a hard, cold, or wet surface. It weighs only 1.4 ounces and doubles as a packing cushion.
If I were to carry anything to sit on it would be either that or just a 18" square of plastic sheet or tyvek. That said most places I have toured I have not really wanted for a place to sit all that often, but I guess that is because when I am ready to lounge around I just lay down in my tent or bivy. When there is no picnic table there is usually a log, rock, stump, or similar to sit on while preparing dinner or what ever.
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Old 08-01-12, 05:05 AM
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i usually carry closed cell foam for a sitz pad, but have also hauled an aluminum camp chair.

THIS design is hella comfortable.... the slinglight. and thermarest made the "cradle lounger" for a season or two....



I say, if you're doing a pleasure tour and don't mind the weight, bring it!
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Old 08-01-12, 06:21 AM
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if you have trees around your camp site you can also consider just sitting on the side of a lightweight hammock. You can get one that weighs less than a lb these days can't you?

. . . or if you camp in a hennessy then you're good to go. ; )
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Old 08-01-12, 06:50 AM
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This is why I've always loved this forum. You get all ranges of view points here. Now i'm thoroughly confused.

but seriously, it's great to here arguments from both sides....exactly what I was looking for when I posted this. Thanks again to everyone that took the time to weigh in. If nothing else, I will be more comfortable with my decision to take it or not, but still haven't decided.
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Old 08-01-12, 07:27 AM
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One thing with Aerostich is you know it's high quality. I use their Darien jacket/pants for my IBA adventures and it has never let me down.

As for your chair - I need back support so a stool type chair isn't gonna cut it for me. Some of the other light weight options look doable.

Good luck with your GAP tour!!!
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