Loc: Tacoma, Washington
I'm going to make an assumption here....there's always something packed in the pack that could be described as luxury more than necessity. a camp chair is mine. It's something that I've always wanted( getting a bit too hard to be both relaxed and perched on a log, at the same time. and it would be soo nice to actually sit down and watch the world turn after the evening meal. Are there others who carry a chair, and what design? I've zeroed in on the Helinox ground camp chair. any one with experience with these? it's hard to pin down the actual stripped down weight from the advertising literature . but thinking it should come in at 17-18 oz...... any real life experience with these or chairs in gen.?
I too am a big fan of camp chairs. I have a Monarch Butterfly. Many people get weirded out by just having two legs, but it was a non-issue for me when I am sitting in it. It is very comfortable. Your feet really only provide stability and don't take load. The only time I notice having just the two legs is when I sit down. The chair topples over so it is a bit awkward holding the chair and trying to get your butt into it.
I did receive the Helinox zero chair recently as a gift, but I haven't verified any weights. It seems like a nice chair and does have four legs. The fabric isn't as heavy duty as on the butterfly but it seems fine (and I weigh more than the rated limit).
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I take a sit pad. As a back rest, I use a log, rock, tree trunk (check for pitch first!), or my pack propped up with my trekking poles. Works fine for me and weighs a lot less than a chair! For me, the extra weight doesn't justify the marginal (if any) comfort that the chair may provide. YMMV, of course.
The sit pad was also a dog bed at night when I had my dog. Right now it does double duty (instead of triple) as extra padding for my backpack as well as a seat.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
I carry a chair kit for my sleeping pad - and not a light one.
I used to carry a Thermarest Compack chair kit and fold over the full-length pad to make a chair. Then I discovered I could let it extend out through the bottom sleeve of the kit, so that about a fourth of it supported my back and the rest was under my legs and hips, like a lounge chair. Then I got nervous about puncturing the pad and started carrying a tent footprint to go under the chair. Total weight, about 12-14 ounces.
Then, for Christmas I got the Thermarest Lounger - a full-length envelope that lets me leave the pad inside full-time and eliminates the footprint. Weight is about 18 ounces. Heavy, yes. But, if I can still keep my total load for a weekend under 20 pounds, I''m fine with it.
The comfort of being able to sit with my back relaxed and my legs and stocking feet off the ground (and warm) has gone from luxury (five years ago, at 62) to near-necessity. I unclip the side straps and it turns into a sleeping pad, then clips back into chair mode the next morning - ease of use is also worth something to me.
Loc: Colorado High Plains
I have carried a couple different chairs in recent years. Mainly because I feel that I can really relax in camp, after a tough day of hiking, if I can lean back comfortably. My 1st was an aluminum beach chair which weighed about 2 lbs-Not light but quite comfortable. It didn't hold up too well so I had to pitch it after a few years use. This photo from the chairs last trip. A few years ago I saw a new chair, designed for backpacking, at REI and had to have it. It weighed 1lb, 11oz, still not light but..... Found it to be comfortable and used it a few times but it had one drawback-The feet were so small that one or two of them would invariably sink into the ground, unless it sat on rock. So it's semi-retired now.
Have also used the Bottom/Back, stadium type, that sits on the ground, and found it OK but not very light.
Lately I've been carrying a small square of my old ensolite sleeping pad, from the 70s, and it's doing a good job. It only weighs 4-6 ounces depending on how big of a piece I take. Not as comfortable as any of the chairs but it keeps my butt off the ground, gives me a wee bit of padding to sit on, saves the seat of my pants from the severe abrasion of rocks and logs, and also adds a little length to my 3/4 length neoair mattess.
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
Last week I received my Helinox ground chair. Without it's stuff sack, it weighs in at 1.3 lb. And packs down to 4.5"d x 11.5"..a bit bigger than I'd like but doable. I will take it on this summers hike. If I get totally disgusted with it mid way thru,I will ditch it in my cache bucket. Now if mother nature cooperates and this years record snow melts enough by mid Aug. all is a go.I will report on the chair afterwards. Thanks to all who replied.
I recently met a rather decent homeless guy shopping at a Goodwill stove. (He had just picked up a nice used pair of Danner boots I would have bought!). He walked or hitchhiked 100's of miles with his pack. He told me the best item he carried was his small folding chair.