By R. Maxine Lundquist
It’s true you don’t need to take much of anything when camping, and the younger you are the less you seem to need. Your body takes more abuse when you’re young. But as you grow older the ground seems further away (and harder), the air mattress more of a struggle to get up from, and stuff just seems more uncomfortable in general. Young or old, however, part of the enjoyment of camping is parking your butt in front of a campfire. Here are seven points to remember when selecting a camping chair:
1. Nature’s selection:
You aren’t without your resources in the forest when camping, if you have neglected to bring a chair. It doesn’t take much to fashion one out of a log if you have a chainsaw; you can even make it with a back. Just don’t lean back too far on it. Log chairs are unforgiving when it comes to weight shifts. The really great thing about them is that you can use them for fuel on the last day.
2. The chair you’ll probably go with:
By far the most popular choice is, however, the classic camp chair. If you are running short on funds there is no need to go all out on one; the average price is about 15 dollars; you can get them on sale if you look, for 5 to 8 dollars. Those are cheapo ones, though; they do the trick, but the more you spend on a chair the more comfortable it will be.
Camp chairs come in all sorts of shapes and with all kinds of conveniences. Most will have a handy mesh pocket in one arm rest for placing your drink. It’s also handy for a handful or three of peanuts to snack on when talking around the fire. You can also get them for your little ones, in their size.
3. Hikers need something to sit on too:
For the hiker there is always the folding camp chair; handy and easy to pack and carry.
4. You can always get fancy. Nothing wrong with that.
One chair that really appeals to me, and that I may eventually get if I save my loonies, is the camp lounge chair. I would only have to unfold the lounger and sit back and relax. It even has a foot stool that folds out.
5. Quick word of warning about bare ground:
If you decide that sitting on the ground is your preference (though why I can’t imagine), do make certain you have a ground sheet, tarp or blanket between you and the grassy or bushy area you are sitting on. Ticks and other unsavory creatures may otherwise view you as a kind of giant lounger/lunch counter, which puts a crimp in the whole camping experience.
6. And also about the need for an extra camp chair:
If you are going camping with friends, take along an extra camp chair, if you can. There always seems to be at least one person who didn’t think of bringing one or who forgot theirs. The one and only time we brought only enough chairs for ourselves, the two or three people who forgot their own were forever stealing ours when we got up to do something. Much silent resentment on our part.
Don’t forget to fold it up and place it under the tarp when you retire for the night; if it rains when you are sleeping the last thing you want first thing in the morning is to park your butt in a wet camp chair.
Especially when the coffee tastes so good.