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What comes into your mind when you think about your next backpacking trip?
Like us, maybe it’s independent, free-spirited low-budget traveling.
(A bit like car camping but without the weight, and usually a wee bit more tiring as you’re carrying all your gear with you).
So, you’ll need a collection of useful, lightweight backpacking gear such as a stove, water bottle, and sleeping pad, lightweight tent or hammock but…
What Should You Sit On When Backpacking?
You’ll need a sitting pad – it’s much better than sitting on the cold hard ground after a day on the trails!
And the best part?
You can use your sitting pad for other purposes.
You could even use it to layout your electronics, sleep on at night – or spoiler alert – nothing to do with backpacking – keep it in your trunk for the ball game.
Some are pretty versatile.
It’s wise to get yourself the best backpacking sit pad you can find – and that’s where we can help.
Fortunately, we’ll show you the gear you need, and why a backpacking chair is such a key piece of kit.
Related: 10 Best Backpacking Chairs
Q. What gear do you need for backpacking?
Check out this great little video here at YouTube
It doesn’t matter whether you’re going for a few weeks, a month, or a year. The most important thing is for you to have the right camping gear with as little weight as possible.
So, what kit do you need to get the most out of your trip?
Since you’ll be going cross country, you need to bring a backpack. I would advise you get a lightweight backpack with enough space to hold all your accessories. Shop around, and dig deep for this – it’ll make or break your trip.
Also, don’t forget a rain cover – the last thing you want is all your precious belongings getting a good soaking the first time it pours down.
Next, you need to bring a camp chair kit so you don’t have to sit on the cold, hard, and sometimes wet ground.
We’ve all been there right?
Why is this important?
Well, ultralight backpacking will be a challenge because you’ll be hiking as well as carrying all your camping accessories.
Obviously, when you’re tired at the end of the day, it’d be good to have somewhere comfy to sit wherever you rest – preferably off the ground.
Sitting on a log or on the ground can be pretty uncomfortable.
And you had a hard days hike – give yourself a break now.
And that’s why we recommend you take a good lightweight backpacking chair or sit pad.
You should also carry with you a backpacking stove.
Particularly, one that has a lightweight design. Make sure to plan and pack enough food and fuel – especially if you’ll be miles from anywhere.
Not everyone has Bear Grylls appetite for hunting and gathering!
In addition, you’ll be bringing a lightweight tent. And a sleeping pad and sleeping bag.
Don’t forget your kitchen supplies.
But most importantly, get the best quality hiking boots you can and get them professionally fitted if possible – again – dig deep, your feet will thank you every step of the way.
Q. How do I prepare for an ultralight backpacking trip?
If there’s something we’ve learned about backpacking over the years – it’s that preparation is the key.
Fail to prepare and you’ll have to prepare to fail, as they say.
What makes preparation so important?
Well, backpacking is an activity in the Great Outdoors.
Meaning you’ll face some unpredictable challenges while you’re out there – some tougher than others – it’s not for the fainthearted.
But if you’re well prepared you’ll be in the flow and life’ll be good.
Let’s show you how to prepare for your trip.
First, you need to decide exactly where you want to go. That’ll determine to some extent what you need.
Honestly, some backpacking trips prove more challenging than others. Choose a route based on your skills and abilities. Make sure you’ve mapped it out and researched the area.
How else do you need to prepare?
Make sure you have all the necessary supplies.
Keep a checklist of the items you need to bring so you don’t forget anything vital (matches is my all time favorite thing to forget!).
See our Camping Checklist here.
When you’re putting together your own checklist, make sure you prioritize the essential items.
Those you absolutely can’t do without in an outdoor environment. They’re the ones you should pack first.
Bring enough food and water.
Try to confirm in advance whether there are good water sources near to your planned route.
If there are, you won’t need a large water bottle, but have a think about a water filter or tablets.
Really important – check for any necessary permits required in the area you’ll go backpacking.
Here’s the deal:
There are areas that require you to get yourself a permit in advance, while in other locations you can only apply on-site.
You need to tell someone where you’re going, when you’re going, your planned route, and how long you’ll be away. Give them a contact number if you can.
Why’s that important?
Someone will always know where you are and should anything happen to you, they’ll know where to start looking.
If you have an accident, rescuers will have an easier time locating you.
Q. What is a sitting pad?
By now, you should know TopNotch recommends you have a cozy place to sit when backpacking – for round the campfire in the evening, or with your morning coffee watching the sunrise.
Basically, a sitting pad is an ultra-lightweight piece of camping gear you can use as a seat and a buffer between you and the ground. Of course it also comes in handy when you’re taking a rest break while hiking and don’t want to sit on the wet ground.
Usually a sitting pad is a small foam pad, to provide extra cushioning.
Additionally, you can find foldable sitting pads, which also have excellent ventilation for hotter climes.
In case you’re wondering why most backpackers prefer to carry a sitting pad, here’s why:
For starters, they’re super comfortable.
Secondly, they’ll have a lightweight design, which makes them easy to carry on any trail.
As if that’s not enough: sitting pads also serve multiple purposes.
Their compact design also allows you to use them anywhere.
If you’re a sports fan you can keep your backpacking pad in the trunk and take it along to the stadium for the ball game or hockey match.
Way to make everyone around you jealous eh?
However, before you decide on which sitting pad’s for you, make sure you carefully compare them all to make so you choose the best.
Here at TopNotch, we noticed that there are certain brands most backpackers opt for.
The most popular option was a Gossamer gear sit pad. But there are those who choose a Bushcraft sitting pad, while others prefer a Reflectix sit pad.
But if that the case, we have a treat instore for you.
We tested the best on the market – and there are a few popular brands on there and a couple of curve balls – so make sure you take a gander.
Look at the options in our Back Packing Chair Review, then choose the most suitable one for your needs.
Conclusion: What Should You Sit On When Backpacking?
To sum up:
Ultralight backpacking can be a wholesome, exhausting, enchanting, thrilling outdoor adventure.
However, it can be super tough if you don’t have the right gear with you.
This is why we always advise backpackers to prepare super well for any trip. If you’re a beginner backpacker, it’s more important than ever.
There’s one thing you can be sure of:
Hiking all day will tire you out.
To the core.
The solution to tired and aching limbs?
A comfortable, versatile place to sit after a long day on the trail.
Grab yourself the best ultralight backpacking sit pad or a camping chair today...
You can thank us later! 🙂
Related: 10 Best Backpacking Chairs