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Tabasco'10
10-06-2010, 19:50
Hey guys, I'm Tabasco (or Dan if we're going by real names here). I thru-hiked this past summer and now I'm at school wishing I was back on the trail!

Anyway- I need your help!

I'm working on an engineering project where my group and I are trying to create a backpacking chair that people actually want to use. The plan is to use hiking poles as the stays (in a design similar to the crazy creek) and a back rest of sil-nylon or some other lightweight material (which, potentially, will double as a stuff sack). I'm not sure if this describes it well, but the final design hasn't been made yet.

Basically, what we're trying to do is combine hiking gear that isn't used while in camp to keep weight down.

My main question is: would you bring along a pack chair if the chair only added a couple ounces to your pack weight?

Also, if you had any other suggestions as to what items in your pack are not used while in camp I'd love to hear them. That, and if you felt like you had any ideas on the overall design (or another want or need you have in camp) feel free to post them.

Thanks for the help!

johnnyblisters
10-06-2010, 20:01
BascoDan,

This seems like a really neat project, good luck! I got to sit in a "Monarch" this summer and was envious of that crew member.http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3664474 (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3664474)

Maybe something like that but UL (sub 1#) and uses my trekking poles and I'd carry it.

Mountain Wildman
10-06-2010, 20:32
Most Ultralight shelters use Trekking Poles to set up, including mine. I would definitely carry a chair that weighs only several ounces and gets me up off of the ground. But it would have to be usable without my Trekking Poles since I set my tent up as soon as I get to my camping spot. The crazy creek chair does not get me off of the ground. I have two backpacking chairs, The Monarch johnnyblisters mentioned, It weighs 21.2 ounces including it's stuff sack, And I have a Walkstool 18" model that weighs 27.6 ounces with sack, Both a little heavy and may get left home.
Also pictured below is a JerryChair, designed by a hiker I believe, It sounds like what you are describing.

sbhikes
10-06-2010, 20:33
Can you make it out of trekking poles and rain poncho?

Tabasco'10
10-06-2010, 21:11
I'd definitely like to get it below 1lb (except if its a combination of gear already in use). I really like the rain poncho idea (since if its raining I'm assuming nobody wants to sit outside), but the seat of the chair would need to be reinforced... that can be addressed though.

The trekking poles would probably need to be in the design, just because I cant see any other gear being strong/stiff enough for a chair (unless its like the thermarest/crazy creek design), but hey, I'll see what we can do.

Now, is getting off the ground a big concern? Or would you rather have a chair that gives back support/padding on the ground? Both would be ideal, but probably more bulky. Someone had invented hiking poles that convert into a beach chair-type-chair, but at ~1lb per pole its not exactly weight-efficient.

I like the monarch type chair though. looks cool- maybe we could improve/lighten that

leaftye
10-06-2010, 21:24
I would definitely carry a chair that weighs only several ounces and gets me up off of the ground.

Me too. It also has to be freestanding.

Mags
10-06-2010, 21:47
The chair I use weighs nothing. Of course, I don't carry it, either.


It's called a log. ;)

weary
10-06-2010, 22:54
The chair I use weighs nothing. Of course, I don't carry it, either.

It's called a log. ;)

Well, I sit on a lot of logs, but among the many pleasures of shelters is that most allow one to sit with legs drooping down or stretched out.

Wise Old Owl
10-06-2010, 23:03
Where was that hammock chair... someone made a tri hammock

bulldog49
10-07-2010, 08:28
Ultra-lite hiking chair = oxymoron.

mweinstone
10-07-2010, 08:36
the hiker pauses, puts his candy in his pocket for later,....and decides to sit for a spell. heck hes walked far enough. he pulls down his pants to his knees where no one is looking,.. reaches into the seat of his shorts or pants, and unsnaps a single snap. a drawstring is accesed and he sinches it locking a small toggle. now the pants seam to conform around his rear in a circular pattern. he farts,....and again,......and slowly,....he inflaters his buttchair. 10 minutes later. he pulls a releif valve while squeezing the gas out. tucks and snaps and hikes on.

mweinstone
10-07-2010, 08:43
hiker reaches into front pocket pulls out pocket. closes tiny zipper. squeezes pocket now become pump , several dozen times.....and the seat of his pants or shorts fills with air. baffels unzip in pockets to release air and return shorts to breathable. the ground works as cup holder in such a chair. im haveing nike look at this. the name would be" nike airyass"

mweinstone
10-07-2010, 08:49
its easy for me to be this great.i got lots of ideas. how bout this one,...chairs aint got no place in my world. im not a chair guy. what the hell is a chair and who wants them. folks who say to themselves,....im not happy with things. im gonna change everything starting with how i put my butt on the ground. then ill need an i pod. ooo oooh ,..and some nukes. it all starts with hateing the cold wet ground i love so dearly. haters. bah.

mweinstone
10-07-2010, 08:52
lets reveiw. chair+ ipod= nukes. gabeesh?

dirty wet ground + no chair= happy

unclemjm
10-07-2010, 11:41
Also pictured below is a JerryChair, designed by a hiker I believe, It sounds like what you are describing.

I agree, the Jerry Chair fits your description perfectly. I have a couple, one was given to me last November and I purchased one in May that doubles as a hammock underquilt.

Do a thread search on HammockForums.net for JerryChair and you'll find pics and video links.

sbhikes
10-07-2010, 11:56
Some packs have removable stays. Perhaps you could make beefier stays that could be used for the chair and use the pack and sleeping pad for the chair. Some crazy ULers have been talking about how awesome it would be to have an UL external frame pack. Some actually like external frame packs. Maybe if it turned into a chair it would be deemed "multiple use" and therefore granted acceptibility to ULers.

leaftye
10-07-2010, 12:01
It shouldn't be too difficult to attach something like a stadium seat to an external frame pack to make a chair. I already use my trekking poles to prop up my pack as a seat back. Combine the two ideas and you'd have an off the ground chair.

tzbrown
10-07-2010, 12:34
There is a very good one described and a pattern on Hammock Forum

http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=11672&highlight=jerry+chair

It has been modified to be a pack cover and many other multi use items also

Trailweaver
10-07-2010, 16:34
I have back problems and it's difficult for me to sit on the ground "Indian style" so I would love a light weight chair. I've tried a couple, but none of the ones I've found are light enough and/or compact enough to backpack with. It would also need to be one (for me, anyway) that I could use inside the tent. I wouldn't use one that had to be put together with hiking poles. . . I don't use them. I really would be thrilled to find a comfortable way to sit up and read in my tent at night.

Torch09
10-07-2010, 16:46
I too have been working on designing a chair. It's got one leg. That's all i can say without divulging my million dollar idea.

Dogwood
10-07-2010, 19:15
Ultra-lite hiking chair = oxymoron.

It's in the same category as the UL cast iron skillet.

What's wrong with the UL rock, UL cliff face, UL tree stump, UL downed tree, UL edge of an AT shelter, UL backpack, etc to sit on?

I wish you well with the UL chair concept. Might be a hard sell to the UL community though.

Tabasco'10
10-07-2010, 22:13
It's in the same category as the UL cast iron skillet.

What's wrong with the UL rock, UL cliff face, UL tree stump, UL downed tree, UL edge of an AT shelter, UL backpack, etc to sit on?

I wish you well with the UL chair concept. Might be a hard sell to the UL community though.

I hear you there. The main idea of our project was to find multiple uses for the gear an UL backpacker would already be carrying- the chair just seemed like a good outlet where people have tried to make a "backpacking" chair, except it ends up weighing a pound. If your poles and your sleeping back stuff sack (or regular stuff sack) were capable of combining into a chair, why not use it?

In our project, we have to assess the problem and the need of a solution. In our eyes, the problem was finding a way of improving the ratio between camp comfort and a light pack-weight. The chair seemed like the best solution.

Now for the poll- we need input from the users (that means you, hikers!) to see if this is a need that should be addressed or not. So please- If you feel like you would take a chair that would add an ounce or two to your pack weight, please say so. If not, could you give a reason against it (and mweinstone's anti-tech argument is a damn good one- I know a lot of people go in the woods to leave everything behind... but I also know a fair bunch of you are gear-heads)

Thanks a lot!

Oh yeah, the Jerry chair is a great design that we were looking at, but it seems a lot of you are looking to get off the ground. We're hoping to make more of a chair than a pad (like leaftye's vision) and hopefully at a lighter weight.

Philip
10-08-2010, 02:55
http://www.zappos.com/therm-a-rest-compack-chair-pomegranate

I carry this six ounce chair/frame. It makes double use out of my mattress. I do worry about punching a hole in my mattress on a stick or rock, but so far I've managed to avoid any damage. As a precaution, I usually gather up some leaves/pine needles and make a pad, cover with my poncho, and put chair on that.

I wanna say I paid quite a bit less than the included link's price too by the way. Say $30 if I recall?

Forever North
10-08-2010, 03:35
With the prices on some of these chairs (are Nuts) today and plus having to carrie the weight. I just can't see me buying these chairs that are out there on the market.

Now to pay (Let say) $50.00 for a chair that is a part of your backpacking system where you are already carrieing the weight. Thats a great idea and I would like to see some of these chairs.:welcome

Tabasco'10
10-09-2010, 21:12
Thanks for the support Forever North!

We're wondering how many people live nearby the White Mountains in NH and are interested in testing our design once we get a prototype. If you are, please leave a comment or email me with some contact information at penach010@gmail.com. If there's room in the budget, we'll be happy to pay you a bit to go hiking!

Thanks a lot guys! And don't forget about our survey (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WWJLKRY)!

Wags
10-09-2010, 23:23
you may be able to pull it off if you can create a rain skirt out of the chair sil and using your poles as the frame...

ocourse
10-10-2010, 12:55
you may be able to pull it off if you can create a rain skirt out of the chair sil and using your poles as the frame...

That's a very good idea Wags.
I took the survey and I will be interested in the results. I am a 55yo hiker and I find my time on the trail is more limited these days, so hikes are shorter now but there is more time at a campsite for sitting around. That, along with my aging bones might indicate that there is a market for a system that only added a few ounces to the pack weight. I have been working on a system on and off for years but haven't really needed a seat until lately.

Kerosene
10-10-2010, 17:14
Building on sbhike's 'use a poncho with trekking poles' idea mentioned in Post #4 above, this would be an interesting feature incorporated into Cedar Tree's Packa (http://www.thepacka.com), especially if you could rig it to work while you're wearing The Packa! :-? It makes for a long day when everything is soaked and you're eating a cold lunch while standing up.

Tabasco'10
10-10-2010, 20:56
ocourse gave us a great idea- we updated the proposal for our product so that the demographic is hikers over 40, especially those with back or knee pain while hiking. Now I know that not every hiker over 40 has problems like these (and that hikers under 40 get sore too), but our prof. told us our demographic should be smaller.

So to sum things up, if you are over 40 could you please give your feedback on this idea? Also, if you hike near the White Mountains in NH (particularly around Hanover) and want to test our invention please email me at penach010@gmail.com.

If you want, we updated our survey to take into account age. That may be an easier way to give your opinion, but just posting on the forum would work too.

Thanks a lot- you all have been really helpful!

leaftye
10-11-2010, 00:10
you may be able to pull it off if you can create a rain skirt out of the chair sil and using your poles as the frame...

Or make it double as a backpack awning to provide shade or even rain protection. There was a guy at the pct kickoff with something like this that he appeared to be developing.

Tabasco'10
10-21-2010, 00:20
Hey guys,

Just wanted to update you on our progress. We got a pole design down (As seen in the pics) and we're going to start working with the aluminum hiking poles now. This is just a basic prototype where the three sections of the design are equal (roughly) to the 3 sections of a hiking pole. This is the most stable configuration we were able to find.

We're still working on the pack cover, but we got some ultralight cuben fiber material we're thinking of using. It looks pretty damn cool- if you've never seen it before, it seems unbelievably light. We'll be doing strength testing on the material soon.

We're still looking for more testers- for the prototype when we get it and also just to pick your brain a bit. If you're anywhere near Hanover, NH please give me an email at penach010@gmail.com. Thanks for the help!

-Dan
http://www.flickr.com/photos/55033307@N06/5100936291/

Tabasco'10
10-21-2010, 00:24
Pic (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55033307@N06/5100936291/)
This should work, sorry! There are more pics in the album from different angles. We put a piece of cloth over this and sat in it. Pretty damn comfortable for a prototype.

Mountain Wildman
10-21-2010, 01:00
Tabasco,
I just sent you an e-mail.
The design in the pictures looks promising but I wonder if there is a potential for damage to the hiking poles, I have the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Poles and though they are very strong when used as intended, Separating the 3 sections
and sitting on them or leaning against them could cause bending or warping, But I guess that really depends on how evenly supported each centimeter of each pole section is to provide even pressure or at least minimal pressure on vulnerable areas.
Looks promising though!!

Wise Old Owl
10-21-2010, 20:08
I think this is as UL as you can get.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsyObLoraPw

Tabasco'10
10-21-2010, 21:36
I actually own a pair of the BD Trails- its what we're using as a benchmark for hiking poles. We'll make sure it works with those (if not, we'll have to make new poles and we'll have a whole lot more work on our hands).

That is a damn lightweight chair... but I wouldn't exactly want to cut down 3 small trees every time I got into camp to make it. Thats just me though- I haven't gotten into bushcraft all too much.

Vonzo1974
11-19-2010, 22:46
I have a bit of a bad lower back due to a minor birth defect with some of my back bones. If I sit too long without back support it becomes agonizing. I happened upon this site while researching chair ideas. The Jerry Chair seems like a plausible solution. A hammock chair might work too so long as it would give good back support and there was a tree near the fire. Last trip I dug a hole for my butt, propped up a big old flat rock with a log, leaned back and somewhat relaxed. Sore butt, but my back felt ok. After a little whiskey my butt didn't hurt so bad.

Tabasco'10
11-19-2010, 23:24
Hey everybody,

We finally got a prototype done. You can see the pics here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/22530180@N05/sets/72157625302936425/)

We got the pack cover/seat to about 4.8 oz and the poles to be around 12 oz (this is about 2.3 oz heavier for the poles compared to stock BD poles)

For part of our project we're trying to assess "cost" of the product. How much would you pay for this product if you were to buy it?

Any other comments/questions would be great.

Thanks for the help!

burntoutphilosopher
11-20-2010, 09:50
tabasco i was skeptical that this would grow into anythign special... then i saw those pics and WOW

greta job man, you should do great in the innovation industry

buz
11-23-2010, 10:03
The chair itself looks pretty comfy, good job on that. The pole holders are obviously prototypes, so they could likely be made lighter/simpler. I really like chairs that are off the ground, so this is a winner in my book. Drawback for me, is my poles don't really like to come apart, leki 3 piece brand, they will for sure, but doing it is a bit of a chore. And then putting on the bits to make the chair to the poles, then taking it off, daily, if thru hiking, could get the better of me.

Great effort to multi-task with them thou. Just not sure it would be too much of a hassle. Maybe not once you got the process down. Sitting down after a long hiking day is real nice. Nice job so far.

Black Wolf
12-19-2010, 18:02
although I'm carrying an external pack...I'm currently working on a design that will allow me to use the packs frame as a part of my chair design...I'll be posting on YouTube when I have it complete...

Don H
12-19-2010, 22:31
Matty, you should patent "The Fart Chair". And maybe an adapter to inflate the NEO (I'll give you that idea, just send royalties).

Swordpen
03-23-2013, 00:02
Tabasco

i love your idea. I have hip arthritis (both of them, 1 replaced). I always carry a camp stool with me, I am using a Walkstool Basic, 23 oz. It is 20" high. Its my one backpacking luxury.
A normal standard kitchen chair is 18" high. Now I know, thats a lot, but I'm stuck otherwise I couldnt move (from getting stiff on a hard surface), without sitting on something comfortable, & with bad hips its very difficult to get up off the ground (without the sickening sound of hip crepitus/ bone crunching on bone sound, going on & possibly an "I got you" sharp pain my hip wants to deliver at unexpected times during getting up, sigh).

As its 2 years after or so that you posted, I think I've seen you all brought this idea to fruition.

My only suggestion is to add shock pole hiking poles to your offering, as this is what I also use, I wouldn't hike without them (too painful).
Thank you for thinking of us arthritics, theres a good special place in heaven for people like you. Any physician will tell you, to keep active even if you have arthritis. :)

GuitarMaster5001
06-14-2013, 13:58
I can't access the Flickr page. It says it's private....

QiWiz
06-15-2013, 11:27
I hear you there. The main idea of our project was to find multiple uses for the gear an UL backpacker would already be carrying- the chair just seemed like a good outlet where people have tried to make a "backpacking" chair, except it ends up weighing a pound. If your poles and your sleeping back stuff sack (or regular stuff sack) were capable of combining into a chair, why not use it?

In our project, we have to assess the problem and the need of a solution. In our eyes, the problem was finding a way of improving the ratio between camp comfort and a light pack-weight. The chair seemed like the best solution.

Now for the poll- we need input from the users (that means you, hikers!) to see if this is a need that should be addressed or not. So please- If you feel like you would take a chair that would add an ounce or two to your pack weight, please say so. If not, could you give a reason against it (and mweinstone's anti-tech argument is a damn good one- I know a lot of people go in the woods to leave everything behind... but I also know a fair bunch of you are gear-heads)

Thanks a lot!

Oh yeah, the Jerry chair is a great design that we were looking at, but it seems a lot of you are looking to get off the ground. We're hoping to make more of a chair than a pad (like leaftye's vision) and hopefully at a lighter weight.

I would definitely carry a chair that added only 2 ounces to my pack weight. I volunteer now to test any prototypes you come up with. The most comfortable sort-of-light chair that I have tried is this one (but still a pound and a half, so too heavy for most backpack trips): http://www.rei.com/product/829239/rei-flex-lite-chair

Grinder
06-15-2013, 12:21
HOI (Hog on Ice) has developed just what you are asking about. It's documented herein somewhere. I've seen it.

The only negative is that it requires a tree or other upright pole for structure. That makes setting up next to the fire or conversation group a bit problematical sometimes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXOFR1DjRRw&list=PL181F32B1D0667AAF&index=3