And I didn’t even have to cut off my head!
Maybe it did cost an arm and a leg, but my downsized camp chair will save my back.
As mentioned in a previous post, I’d been lugging around an eight-pound camp chair on canoe trips for years. Its predecessor, which came with detachable rockers, weighed even more than that.
This wasn’t really a problem on casual canoe camping trips with short portages on relatively level ground. But, when I started going to Algonquin Provincial Park every year and facing more challenging portages, weight became an issue. Especially with the prospect of a three-mile portage on this year’s trip.
There also was a question of bulk. With the huge camo chair strapped across the thwarts, my tiny Old Town Pack canoe resembled the Beverly Hillbillies pickup truck. (Picture Granny in her rocker riding atop a heap of junk.)
I don’t care about style points, but the old chair was unwieldy to lug around. It’s no fun juggling a bulky chair, paddles and dry bags while trudging over rocky, muddy, hilly terrain. Unless you’re the person getting it on video.
Long story short, after researching camp chairs and consulting experienced paddlers and campers on the paddling & camping and camping communities on Google+, I settled on the Big Agnes Helinox Chair One. It weighs just two pounds. I ordered it directly from the company.
I received an email canceling my order and advising me the chairs were out of stock. In the meantime, Big Agnes (not her real name) tried to entice me to buy one of the newer models — one with a higher back, another with a swivel base. Both weighed considerably more, which was a deal killer. Although the swivel chair was tempting. It would have been great for sitting around the fire. When your back got cold, you wouldn’t have to stand up and put your butt by the fire; all you’d have to do is spin around.
Last week, a new shipment of the original chairs arrived and I ordered one. It arrived yesterday.
The verdict so far? Quite stable and very comfortable. However, the back leans a little more than I would like, but not enough to be a problem. I’m eager to try it in the real world, on uneven ground.
The only problem I foresee is getting out of the chair. When you’ve got a chair that comfortable, there’s always a danger of your campmates claiming it every time you wander off.