Imagine you have just hiked 8 miles, ascending 2500 feet up a rocky mountainside carrying a 70 pound pack. You set up your base camp, collect and filter water for the evening and night and catch dinner in a high mountain lake. Your trout is sizzling and ready to eat. Your legs, back and feet are sore from the strenuous climb. And there you sit, on the rocky ground, uncomfortable and sore. It sure would be nice to be able to sit in a chair like a regular human being at a time like this. But you comfort yourself by thinking ‘the extra weight of a camping chair would’ve broke my back on that hike.’
That scenario has played out for me many times in the past. What a luxury a camping chair would be after a brutal hike! I’ve asked myself time after time ‘is it worth it to carry all this added weight?’ That has to be answered by every camper/hiker individually – it is ultimately their back on the line. But does it have to be a difficult decision? Are there lightweight camping chairs on the market that would be a viable option?
Now, to find a backpacking chair that is a) lightweight, b) portable, c) comfortable, d) affordable can be quite a challenge. I ultimately had to compromise and sacrifice some comfort to gain lightweight and portable properties in my chair. Most folding camping chairs on the market weigh more than 5 pounds. For me, that’s just too heavy. I have found a few folding chairs that are light, but cost an arm and a leg. I ended up getting a Kelty camp chair off of Amazon.com for $24. My chair weighs one pound, but has no legs. So I still end up sitting directly on the floor, but I have back support and padding. The balance is difficult to achieve, but I am happy with my choice.
If backpacking is not your gig, there are heavy duty camping chairs out there that have all the bells and whistles (cup holders, headrest, reclining, foot rest, rocking). I appreciate a drive-in camp as much as anyone else, and these chairs can make life grand in the great outdoors. Coleman camping chairs are a great deal, and truly bring luxury into the camp ground. Happy camping!