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Camp Stools & Chairs

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,917
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80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#1
I'm not sure if others have noticed too, but in the last few years, camp stools have changed design. The human body didn't get redesigned, but seats did. Now, it can be difficult to find a camp chair where the seat is at normal sitting height. As I wander around the house here, seats are about 17"-18" high. I think that's because, when seated, the back of our knees are about that high?

There are characteristics of seats that height. First, the human body is positioned in a comfortable configuration. Knees and thighs - assuming they're still attached to each other - are in their proper places. Hips are too. IE: your lap is horizontal. Second, when sitting down, there's a place for your butt to land, you can see it, it's at a predictable height, and it's close enough to your standing height that your body doesn't have enough distance to travel that it can build up much speed.

The procedure for sitting down in most all of the chairs we encounter is pretty much the same, both at home or away. We approach a chair, turn around, touch our legs to it for confirmation, and sit down. Happily, when our butts get there, the chair seat reassuringly meets them. Mission accomplished.

Not so with many camp stools or chairs nowdays. Some - many? - of them are little, canvas baskets with their bottoms about 4"-6" above ground level. They are lower than those little, wooden chairs we had in kindergarten! Parents, did you ever go to your child's school for a "teacher conferences", and sit in those little things? Either because it was the only chair offered, or intentionally? CAN'T DO IT!! But, someone in the business of making camp stools thinks you can.

These little stools seep out ridiculousness from all angles. Not only are they very close to just sitting on the ground, the legs and framework are made of little, aluminum straws. Flimsy is the first thought that comes to mind. And, some of them are narrow. So narrow that, when a friend lends you a hand to stand up, the chair sticks to you and comes up too! What idiot designed this?

By the way, when trying to arise from a seated position of only 4"-6" above the ground, having a helping hand to get you up is only one of the options. Other options include gantry cranes and trapezes. In reality, most adults have to roll forward onto their hands and knees, in the dirt, and either try to stand up, or crawl to a nearby tree to pull themselves up! Seriously. Some of the best entertainment in camp.

And, that's the easy part. The act of sitting down into one of these is like sitting down when some prankster has pulled the chair out from under you. CRASH!!! A human body can build up only about, say, 5-10mph velocity in that distance. But the fall only terrorizes you. It's the sudden stop that does the damage.

A company named Helinox makes the most ridiculous of these contraptions. Where some sell for $45-$90, theirs go for $130 on up. Take a look at camp seats in the catalogues. If you haven't looked in a few years, it will get your geezer hearts started.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,803
31
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#2
Jack.....

I agree , all of the camping chairs/stools are for contortionists who like to sit at ground level or just above it. The three legged stools worry me , what if the forward leg breaks and rips threw the fabric seat ????

Backpacking where you have to carry everything finding a light weight , comfortable chair is almost a impossible mission. If you find one that is a good height it will get you in some way , cost , weight , bad construction ( Cheep ) or breaks easily. Down here in Florida the chairs legs will , slowly , disappear into the ground. You start comfortably and slowley get to the ...How Low Can You Go ????

After all these years I found one that can be a recliner , or basic chair , really light and you can adjust it to any position you want.
The draw back is you need two supports for it but being a Hammock Camper that is not a problem for me. The supports it is attached to do not sink but remain the same all the time.

https://www.southernpaddler.com/community/threads/4-8-oz-camping-chair.10564/
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,917
56
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#3
Thanks, Chuck. I forgot to mention about the tips of those spindly, little legs disappearing into the ground. Sadly, not all of the soils in the Great Lakes area have good load beating characteristics, and they sometimes disappear here too. I use a little, tin cup (muffun?) to support the back leg on my stool that has spindle legs.

Here are the only, two stools that I use.

Roll-a-Chair, $49.99 from Amazon. This has a seat back that you can have up or down. Made of mesh that dries quickly (instantly?). Four legs, with seat arranged diagonally. This is the most comfortable camp stool I've seen. No cross bar up front to press to the backs of your legs. Though the back leg bears the most weight and can sink in a bit, I bought the largest, rubber tip for crutches available and pot it on that leg. Sometimes use that little tin cup too. Not troubkesome now .

Rothco Woodland Camo Deluxe Stool, with water resistant pouch. $41.99 from ArmyNavy PX, (855)800-6262. This stool also has a back you can fold to up position, or leave fown. The pouch under the seat is habdy for stowing and carrying lunch on the river. The frame has crissbars in front and back for ground contact. MUCH more load bearing are. May come in colors other than woodland camo? Cross bar under kegs can get uncomfortable after prolonged seating. Wriggle around a bit.

These are the best (least worst) that I've found so far.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,917
56
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#4
I'm currently packing for a canoe trip. Gear is here in the living room. This trip, I'm carrying food in a 5 gallon pail with a Gamma seal on. (By the way, if you haven't yet discovered the Gamma seal, that snaps right onto a clean, plastic, 5 gallon pail - you have a pleasant surprise coming. Tightens and loosens by hand, makes water proof seal. Vunderbar!)

This trip, I'll just sit on the pail. Albeit, I'll have a folding, stadium seat and a Therm-A-Rest Lite-Seat in between. Very comfy, uses the pail for multi purpose, and has a back rest. It's a nice option in a canoe. Not so nice in a kayak. And totally out of the question on foot or on a bike. Nothing is 100%.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,803
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#5
Talk about sitting on a bucket..... When hiking in Bear territory most areas require a Bear Canister. NO !!!!! It's not a canister you stuff the bear in , it's a canister for your food that the bear can not get into.
The most popular and the one that I have is the Bear Vault 450 and I can get 5 days of food in it. The largest is the 500 and will hold more food and is taller.

They are ( in reality ) small barrels made from space age material , several different styles. They are also heavy but good for the safety of your food. In camp they can be used as a seat while cooking a meal.

https://bearvault.com/product-info/
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,917
56
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#6
Word on the trail around here says that anytime bears see a bag in a tree, they see "FOOD!!" They instantly go for it. I seal my food in the Food Saver type vacuum packs, then wash the packagrs in warm, soapy water with ammonia added.

I just toss the bag of sealed bags out on the ground. It doesn't smell like food to bears or raccoons; it smells like ammonia to them. Where I paddle are red squirrels, racoons, bears, and wolves. They don't bother the stuff.

Maybe it's just my bad cooking?
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,803
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#7
In the past I have made up what we called Coon Tubes. They are nothing more then some PVC tubing with a cap glued on one end and a screw cap on the other. A coon can't get in them. They were ideal for canoeing and protecting the food. They were mainly used to keep the smelly stuff in like cheese , sausage and anything else nice and smelly.
Watched a coon in the Okefenokee Swamp work for 15 minutes trying to get in it , before he lost interest and give up. Actually Bill Logan got it on film.

In areas which do not require the Bear Canisters I take one of these.
For hiking I got a Ursack Minor and to odor proof it I use a Opsak inside it. The opsak is basically a large zip-lock bag and it's odor proof.
The Ursac minor is a medium sized critter proof food bag ( Coon to rodent ) but not bear proof. I believe a black bear could get into it but he would have to work pretty hard to do it. They make bags which are Grizzle proof but we don't have then around here.

Ursack.....https://www.ursack.com/the-shop/
Opsak....https://www.ursack.com/product/opsak-odor-barrier-bag-2-pack/
Loksak...Opsak....https://loksak.com/opsak-2/
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,917
56
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#8
I like this. The thread began as a whiney rant, and has become informative. Good segue into a right direction. Whining sucks, even mine.

I like those products. I read that the bag outlasts the enclosre track, because the closure is lighter weight to be more plisble to sesl better. That raised a question kn my mind. To make the closure easier to operate, and maybe facilitate sealing, would lubing that track help? Say, Vaseline? Or, silicone? Something to experiment with, and maybe ask the manufacturer.

And let me repeat, a bit of ammonia on the OUTSIDE of sealed food packs provides both a deterrent, and "odor confusion".

I'm surprised that raccoon couldn't get into your PVC pipe. Raccoons up here can pick a three-number combination lock! Of course, it may take them 15-20 minutes.

There's a trail legend (outdoors version of an urban legend) here about a Ranger visiting a deer hunting camp. He asked if they'd brought along bear-proof containers for food.
"Heck yes!"
"Can you show them to me?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, we can't."
"Oh", the Ranger said. "Why not?"
"Damned bear couldn't open it. But when he left - he took the container with him!"
 
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oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,803
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#9
I have used the ammonia trick before but in a different style.
I had some coons raiding the trash can and getting into the garbage bags. Well I had a surprise for them on their next nightly visit. I placed some paper towels in the middle of a trash bag along with the garbage. The paper towels were soaked in ammonia and balled up. After they removed the lid and started to dig it must of released quite a bit of ammonia stink since everything was abandoned. The abandonment appeared to have been done rather quickly.

Now I have a pre-garbage can. The bags are placed in it before I transfer them to the plastic one and take it out to the curb.
It's a galvanized metal one with a metal lid. I put a bag in it , drop the lid on and then I take a chain under the handle and to each of the side handles. One end of the chain has a double end bolt snap on it. The snap on the end of the chain clips to the one handle . The other snaps to a link of the chain and to the side handle of the metal garbage can. There is not enough play in the chain to move the lid.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,803
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#11
Wouldn't surprise me to hear of the darned rascals ondoing those snap hitches. Their little hands are extra dexterous!!
If there is a problem child he gets the special treatment.
The Have A Heart live trap ( I have two of them , might call it double duty ) comes out and the little bandits get a free ride out to the river. No free food out there , they have to work , hunt , scrounge for every bite. Unless it's hunting season and then they can have a good time out running any dogs the hunters have with them.
Actually I do them a favor. They get to be on a standard coon diet and during the year they can get a lot of exercise jogging around the pastures out running any hounds.