Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I decided to go camping by myself this summer.  I want two days of peace and solitude in the wilderness.  I've wanted to do this ever since my 2-day "solo period" during survival school, but I'm finally going to put it into practice.


Survival school taught me how to create a shelter, purify water, treat cuts, and deal with wild animals and lightning.  The only thing I fear is encountering a dangerous stranger, but Sha-mayn brilliantly told me to get pepper spray.  I ordered it from Amazon, and now I'm prepared!

The only question is whether to get this 1-pound camp chair.  It looks so comfortable, and has back support!  But it is going to add one pound (5% additional weight to my pack).

Also I already am departing from "survival mode camping" by bringing a tent and flashlight, and this just goes further down the slippery slope.  At least the tent has a functional purpose of providing warmth and shelter, and the flashlight helps with safety.  The chair is only for luxury.  It has no function other than making my back feel great.  What if this camp chair is the gateway drug to camping trips with pillows and hammocks?


Ling Wang said...

You could always opt for a seat like this instead
It could roll up into a bit of a pillow too!

Niniane said...

Ling, that REI chair is 1 pound 7 ounces, even heavier than the 1-pound chair I found!

Anonymous said...

You said, "I want two days of peace and solitude in the wilderness." A non-aching (... or less-aching) back is not inconsistent with that. In fact, it arguably contributes to your level of peace.

Perhaps it's worth examining what, if any, other reasons you want to go camping? And which, if any, of those a chair is inconsistent with?

I get that you're able to get by without a chair, thanks in part to what you learned in survival school. But are you looking to necessarily stay close to the survival school experience? By way of analogy, if you trained such that you can run 20 miles, does that mean you wouldn't ever want to drive less than 20 miles?

And separately, what's so bad about camping with hammocks and pillows? I get that there might be practical considerations: if one wanted to hike to a campsite, then maybe it would be too heavy or bulky to bring them along. But if there were no such tradeoffs, why not be a little more comfortable?

(Maybe there's some prejudice with regard to the word "camping," that somehow it necessarily excludes stuff like pillows. I wonder if you changed the word whether it'd be different. Like instead of thinking about spending a weekend "going camping," if one thought about "staying at an outdoor hotel." It's the same as camping, but with a hammock and pillow -- that is to say, totally different from camping.)

nowthatsamatt said...

I have the chair. Depending on where you're camping it can be good or bad, if the ground isn't solid it'll sink into it and become lopsided and uncomfortable. Really I can't think of a terrain aside from some wooden boards or logs that you set it atop of that it would be comfortable on.

Also about the pepper spray, sometimes it can be effective but even if it is it can take several seconds to blind. If you're out in the wilderness who knows what he'll do at that point. Can you not bring a firearm where you're going? They're relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of not having one.

Mark said...

I bet you would enjoy camping with hammocks and pillows too. I love backpacking but car camping is great too.

Niniane said...

@Anonymous of 1:12am,

My concern with camping with hammocks and pillows is that I will grow "soft" and rely on my hammocks and pillows.

I am concerned that I will become dependent on them, and lose my ability to camp in survival-school mode. Then I would no longer be able to carry all of my supplies and hike 15 miles in a day, cross a bunch of streams, hike through rain and snow, etc. I would be all "let's not go hike there, it's too hard to bring my hammock and pillows there".

Niniane said...

@nowthatsamatt, thank you for offering an opinion from someone who actually owns the chair in question! Very useful to know. I don't plan to carry wooden boards or logs, so I probably won't get the chair!

Perl Hacker said...

That sounds like a lot of fun! Personally, I'd forgo the chair. Instead of carrying 16 oz of chair, you could carry 16 oz of yummy snacks, or extra water. The supplies to build a sling-style chair hung from tree bough might weigh less than a fifth of that (a cloth triangular bandage and a length of parachute cord). You could easily build a wooden seat for it from dry scrap wood, if you felt motivated to do so. In any event, have a great time!

Niniane said...

Ha, "16 oz of chair"!

I hadn't thought about trying to build my own sling chair. That's a good idea. I will try it and see how it goes. I do have parachute cord. I use it to make a pack out of my blanket, so that I don't need to carry the extra weight of a pack. I can gather wood and use the parachute cord and a cloth to make a seat.

Anonymous said...

Ditch the pepper spray and go with this:

No one will mess with you on your camping trip. Then again you are worried about weight so it may not be ideal. But it will certainly make an impression.