If you only had one luxury item...

8:23 p.m. on July 31, 2014 (EDT)
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There's been a forum on the heaviest luxury item that you bring, but I wanted to know if you only bring one luxury item, what would it be? It can be also thought of as this if you bring multiple, what is the one that you always bring?

Is it a camp pillow instead of using the bundle of clothes? Is it a book to escape reality...but isn't that the point of getting out? ;) Is it an mp3 player to jam out at base camp?

Just food for thought!

For me it's my frisbee. While it can double for other items if needed, you can never beat tossing a disc to end the day!

8:50 p.m. on July 31, 2014 (EDT)
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My luxury item---a playboy bunny.........

9:37 p.m. on July 31, 2014 (EDT)
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For me it would be my pipe and some fine tobacco. It used to be cigars on occassion but i found i prefer a pipe, and its cheaper by far.

11:52 p.m. on July 31, 2014 (EDT)
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Wolf among weeds IPA. Worth the weight.

5:28 a.m. on August 1, 2014 (EDT)
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How did i forget about the beer! I most often carry a good 6 pack or so with me as well.

5:31 a.m. on August 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Well one mans luxury is another necessity so its hard to say!

I like using groundsheets for my tents because I prefer a dry porch area, while some people dont care for the slight extra weight.


I carry a ipod shuffle, but its super tiny and has no weight, and since I hike alone I think its a necessity rather than a luxury but I could certainly do without it!

I guess the one thing I dont need but do take on overnighters/multi day when weight isnt the biggest concern is a MEC self-inflating foam pillow. I am super finecky with pillows even at home, so I like a good one while out. I have other pillows like a Mammut air pillow (39g and packs down to nothing), and MEC down pillow that pack smaller but neither are as comfortable as the self-inflating which is also bigger and heavier but I suppose thats my luxury item!

11:13 a.m. on August 1, 2014 (EDT)
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I am leaving for a trip this morning. The item is a half a bottle of good Canadian whiskey to share with my hiking partner of 28 years.

4:54 p.m. on August 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Replaced my pillow with a fleece-lined dry sack from ZPacks, so that can no longer be considered my "luxury item." I do use a full-length inflatable sleeping pad, but that also doubles as the frame for my frameless pack. Apart from my smartphone (that doubles as my camera, among other uses), there really aren't any luxuries I take with - most things are multipurpose and justify themselves several times over. I'd actually say - when tenting and not hanging - my tent poles, but even those can double as an emergency splint, etc. Moving to carry more multipurpose items is probably the single best decision I made in lightening my overall load. Ultimately, though? If it ain't comfortable, it ain't gonna be a good time, and something folks will want to do again. Pack what makes ya happy. My last solo trip was saved by the notebook and pen I brought along to journal with - and even those serve their purpose once the phone runs out of juice and I can't document my memories with photographs!

5:23 p.m. on August 1, 2014 (EDT)
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@ppine, wouldn't mind hiking with you!

@Eric, great point.  Doubling up would turn those normally "luxury" items into essential.  A pen and paper is a great one to add to the list!

9:04 a.m. on August 2, 2014 (EDT)
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Winter, deck of cards and a book. Tentbound always a risk. Canoe trips, beer to drag in a mesh bag.

2:34 p.m. on August 2, 2014 (EDT)
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For me it would be some sort of music player like a mp3 player. I rarely listen to music when outdoors, but at time think it would be nice to have like on rainy stay in the tent days.

6:35 p.m. on August 2, 2014 (EDT)
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Depending on the trip, I like to take special food.  Reconstituting dehydrated stuff gets old.  Give me some raw fruits and veggies, maybe some cheese and salami.  On some trips I like to marinade chicken and dice some veggies and toss them in a freezer bag.  I freeze them, carry it in the bag, and when it's dinner time I wrap it in some foil and cook it over coals.  I eat it my first night out on the trail - it's thawed out by then and it's a great energy booster for the next day! Tasty and filling too.

8:34 p.m. on August 2, 2014 (EDT)
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If you pack in a spirited, adult beverage, you will meet new friends and fellow hikers who will visit your campsite. The sound of the removal of a bottle-cork can be detected by others from a great distance.  I bring about 300 ml. of Jameson's 12 year-old; others quickly find me!  And this is NOT a luxury, but part of the sleeping system=nightcaps!

7:36 p.m. on August 3, 2014 (EDT)
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Luxury - lying on the ground, perhaps on a high peak, on a cool, clear, dark night, looking up at a sky full of stars, viewing the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, picking out some of the planets, watching in the midst of  meteor shower and the sky "rains fire", hearing the crickets and other critters, maybe an owl as it silently drifts by overhead, while a nearby creek burbles, those sights and sounds that sharpen our senses in the clean cool natural air, unclouded by artificial chemicals - that's luxury. No need for manmade items or artificialities of our so-called "civilization". This is the "real" world.

6:20 a.m. on August 8, 2014 (EDT)
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When I was young we, too, carried a Frisbee, but my graying, wrinkled, friends no longer are amused by tossing the disk.

Whiskey is a standard part of my kit - a staple if you will -  so I don't consider it a luxury.  Same goes for smokes.  I find a music instrument is a great luxury, but I only bring one on occasion.  I have been known to schlep mini kegs of beer, fresh turkeys, roasts and even made multiple hauls so we could feast in style at a couple of base camps, but again these are the exceptions, not the things I always bring along.

I am the only person I know who carries a vial of bleach for kitchen hygiene, but I would hardly consider this a luxury.  (It amazes me others don't follow this practice, given most cases of gastro distress in the backcountry are the result of poor kitchen hygiene.)  Some would consider my penchant for bringing three changes of skin layers, and a wash cloth as a luxury, as I  like to clean up, once in camp.  Others would consider bringing a dining fly, in addition to a sleep shelter as a luxury, but I do that only when I anticipate rain on a trip.

If I considered the feedback of my companions, they seem to unanimously appreciate my camp site light fashioned from a 250 lumen LED headlamp.  Most of the venues we camp do not allow camp fires.  The lamp is a surrogate for that purpose.  It is suspended between two trees by a lightweight cord or fish line.  It casts a bright cone of light directly below for a well lit work area, and possesses a diffuser fashioned from a small Nalgene jar to provide a soft, low level, light to the rest of the immediate camp area.  It is nice to see the faces of your companions as you chat away the night.  I know it isn't much in the way of weight and volume, but it immensely adds to the ambiance of camp at night.

Ed

6:27 p.m. on September 7, 2014 (EDT)
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Helinox Chair One

It weights about 2lbs, but packs up small enough that I happily take it along on anything over a short day hike.  Literally every time I have left it at home to save weight I wish that I had it at some point in the day.
WP_20140723_16_01_56_Refocus.jpg

10:06 a.m. on September 8, 2014 (EDT)
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Jon,

Please tell us more out that chair. As I get older furniture becomes more appealing.

6:20 p.m. on September 9, 2014 (EDT)
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Looking back over my gear from this summers trips I find that several small luxuries seem to be sneaking into my pack with some regularity.

Mini binoculars, a very small amount of Yukon Jack, my journal, a camera, and an inflatable pillow!

On solo trips I may take a small MP3 player and possibly a paperback book if it is a long trip ( say two weeks ) and I figure on some down time. 

I do carry what is a lavish cook kit by modern standards and always have a bit of soap and a wash cloth ( or bandana ), but these are standard items for me and I do not consider them luxuries.   

 

 

1:47 a.m. on September 10, 2014 (EDT)
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ppine,

Lets just say that I took the chair out on a trip for the first time with two friends, and they both went out and bought one right after we got back.  It's different from most packable camp chairs because you sit high off the ground and it is stable on reasonably flat ground.  The frame uses tent-style pegs, it sets up very quickly (quick enough to set it up for a quick coffee break) and packs down to about the size of a forearm.  An added bonus is that the bag it comes with has several loops and lashing points, so it is easy to attach to the outside of a pack. 

The only downsides are that it is fairly expensive at around $100. I also read many complaints that the thin chair "feet" sink into soft ground.  I haven't experienced this, but some have got around it by carrying cut tennis balls or Powerade bottle caps to put under the legs.

8:50 a.m. on September 10, 2014 (EDT)
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A hot tub

10:21 a.m. on September 10, 2014 (EDT)
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rob5073 said:

A hot tub

 That's easy. There are lots of backcountry hot springs, if you know where to look. In Owens Valley along the East Side of the Sierra, there are lots of hot springs that are easy to get to when you come down from your climb or backpacking trip. One problem, though - many of them lie in depressed basins, hence collect carbon dioxide and other volcanic gases (there is a lot of magma underground there). People have died because of that. A few years ago in the Mammoth area, several rangers were doing maintenance down in one of the depressions and one died with a couple others passing out. Some recent articles on high volcanic risk areas have included Mono Lake, the Mono Craters, and several other areas near there as among the highest volcanic risk areas in the US, not much lower ranked than the Yellowstone "super-volcano"

7:07 p.m. on September 10, 2014 (EDT)
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Bill S said:

rob5073 said:

A hot tub

 That's easy. There are lots of backcountry hot springs, if you know where to look. In Owens Valley along the East Side of the Sierra, there are lots of hot springs that are easy to get to when you come down from your climb or backpacking trip. One problem, though - many of them lie in depressed basins, hence collect carbon dioxide and other volcanic gases (there is a lot of magma underground there). People have died because of that. A few years ago in the Mammoth area, several rangers were doing maintenance down in one of the depressions and one died with a couple others passing out. Some recent articles on high volcanic risk areas have included Mono Lake, the Mono Craters, and several other areas near there as among the highest volcanic risk areas in the US, not much lower ranked than the Yellowstone "super-volcano"

 Actually now that you mentioned hot springs...........Texas is geologically inactive but down in Big Bend Nat Park there is an area of the park where a hot spring is located.  Another reason now for me to go there!

10:02 p.m. on September 10, 2014 (EDT)
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Jon 2,

My son has the same chair, but it was purchased through the BSA for MUCH less than $100. I am also envious of it, and will be getting one soon. My only complaint is that on uneven ground i feel you really have to be careful. It feels like it's going to break (but never has).

3:06 a.m. on September 16, 2014 (EDT)
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About backcountry furniture:

A stool consisting of three layers of blue foam pad glued together and velcroed to the lid of a bear canister makes a fine camp stool.  I have tried all sorts of backcountry furniture.  First there were the camel stools,  a triangular shaped seat supported by a tripod leg configuration.  It can be light, but is somewhat squirrely.  Then there is the scissor legged folding stool.  One of the lightest options, but lack of a back rest means dismounting to doze or veg.  Then sometime in the 1980s the slinglite was invented.  (A later, slightly heavier version of this design goes by the name of Crazy Creek.)  the slinglite is by far the most comfortable chair if you want to kick back.  It supports your full body, including a head rest.  I often fall asleep in this chair, it is THAT comfortable.  While the Helinox Chair One has a back rest it does not provide support for your head, hence you can't fully recline and doze.  On the other hand the slinglite's low, near the ground set up is a pain in the butt to get in and out of, not well suited for camp activities like cooking or fire tending.  There are other more substantial (heavier) furniture designs, but the ones mentioned herein are the best lightweight solutions I know of.  Given the trade offs of the various designs, I will bring the slinglite if I intend to do some serious vegging; otherwise I prefer the bear canister stool, as it is very light and cheap (only the blue foam pad) if you already carry a bear canister.  It gets you off the ground, is easy to get in and out of and easy on your bottom.  I have been known to bring both the slinglite and the blue foam bear canister stool on base camps - now that's luxury!

Ed   

11:40 a.m. on September 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I've been thinking about bringing along a little stool I use for disc golf. Really light and I picked it up from a flea market "store."  Very light weight and packs about as tight as a Smart bottle and comes in varying sizes.  Nice to squat on a stool, easy to get up and the ground won't be a factor.  Something like this...


stool.jpg

1:32 p.m. on September 16, 2014 (EDT)
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My husband has an REI Flex Lite Chair, which is similar to the Helinox Chair. It packs down to about the size of a Nalgene. He brings it on every trip we go on that is a reasonably short distance and I Deebo it everytime he brings it. It is really comfortable! So, lucky me, I get a luxury item AND I don't have to carry it.

I do carry my own special luxury item when we have a group of friends with us, a game called Kan Jam. It is really fun! I found a collapsible version for about $15 at Walgreens. If you are interested, you can also get it from Amazon.

7:20 p.m. on September 17, 2014 (EDT)
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A couple pounds of fresh, raw shrimp.    

8:35 a.m. on September 20, 2014 (EDT)
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There's two things I have to have on a trip..My MP3 player and a Book.I love the hiking and eating but when its inbetween dinner and lights out..I need those 2 things...

3:18 a.m. on September 22, 2014 (EDT)
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kombucha

10:44 p.m. on September 24, 2014 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

There's two things I have to have on a trip..My MP3 player and a Book.I love the hiking and eating but when its inbetween dinner and lights out..I need those 2 things...

Denis, I use to carry a book as well. Anymore, I carry a "retired" smartphone (no calling or texting) with e-books on it. It allows me to have several books (fiction, non-fiction, and my Bible), plus I can play a Sudoku before bed. Because I only pull it out to read, the battery lasts me about 5 evenings.

In your case, you could use the phone for music as well. I always think about playing music, but then I worry about missing something cool.

10:50 p.m. on September 24, 2014 (EDT)
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I guess my luxury item is my hammock. If I truly wished to be an Ultralight hammock, I could automatically cut 4lbs if I 1) Dropped the hammock (3lbs), 2) Dropped the UnderQuilt (1lb), and 3) Switched out my big Grand Trunk tarp for a smaller, lighter one.

Then I'd just have to go back to sleeping on the ground, under a small tarp on a Z-light foam pad. Nope! I'll carry the 4 additional pounds and have my hammock.


(Oh, and, yes, I know there are lighter ways to go with a hammock. I've tried them, and have decided to stick with my current set up for the time being.)

4:39 p.m. on September 25, 2014 (EDT)
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Great thread!

I can't decide if Mike is being serious with the raw shrimp...I guess it depends on the time of year:-)

10:11 p.m. on September 25, 2014 (EDT)
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On a recent 7-nighter, I took a disposable 16 oz water bottle and filled it with Scotch. I rationed it so carefully the first few nights, knowing I'd be in trail shelters night 5, 6, & 7. 

How great to get everything settled in my own camp then have my little evening treat, but when I broke it out for others in the  shelters, talk about trail-magic! Holy Cow.

It wasn't near enough Scotch to get anyone anything beyond "warm", but conversations grew and so did the fleeting friendships. Too bad my little luxury didn't make it to night 7.

7:41 a.m. on September 26, 2014 (EDT)
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Wow, you got a lot of mileage out of that pint devian. I often bring a bag of Irish along and also find that just a sip or three is all that it takes to  be glad I brought it.

Unfortunately on a lot of trips I'm spent by the time I make camp and go right to bed after dinner. My wife loves those trips because I bring the whiskey back home to share with her :)

8:03 a.m. on September 26, 2014 (EDT)
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G00SE said:

denis daly said:

There's two things I have to have on a trip..My MP3 player and a Book.I love the hiking and eating but when its inbetween dinner and lights out..I need those 2 things...

Denis, I use to carry a book as well. Anymore, I carry a "retired" smartphone (no calling or texting) with e-books on it. It allows me to have several books (fiction, non-fiction, and my Bible), plus I can play a Sudoku before bed. Because I only pull it out to read, the battery lasts me about 5 evenings.

In your case, you could use the phone for music as well. I always think about playing music, but then I worry about missing something cool.

 I've thought about taking a note book or something to place a book but I don't know if I would use it...I do like paperbacks that I get cheap and I can read something and recylce it..about down loading songs to my phone.Its a work phone the company pays for so I don't download things if their paying for it..I just use 2 apps..I haven't even got FB on it so the company won't get mad...

3:05 p.m. on September 26, 2014 (EDT)
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It is hands down my inflatable pillow.  Its nice and light.  Plus, I have been sleeping much better on trips having a dedicated pillow.

1:33 p.m. on September 27, 2014 (EDT)
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Jon 2 said:

Helinox Chair One

It weights about 2lbs, but packs up small enough that I happily take it along on anything over a short day hike.  Literally every time I have left it at home to save weight I wish that I had it at some point in the day.

I like this idea, thought one is not likely to be added to my bulging pack anytime soon.  I've often thought it would be nice to have a comfortable chair to sit in while relaxing in the backcountry.  But I'm already battling the tendency to carry more weight than I'd like, so I'll continue to sit on rocks, logs, or the ground :).

6:46 p.m. on September 27, 2014 (EDT)
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Most of what I bring could be considered luxuries...but my long-handled spoon makes eating more efficient...and anything that allows me to be more efficient (lazy) in camp seems more like a tool than a luxury. Similarly...my phone is my camera/book/MP3/movies/game  device (luxuries)...but it is also a light source + GPS + compass + FM weather radio (I have an FM receiver in mine)...as well as being a phone and a rescue device when I have service...so it does not seem correct to exclude it either. For my luxury item I tried to think of things that serve no other purpose than pleasure...like Daniel's Frisbee and Jon's chair.

1) If I am going as a group I often take a small lantern http://www.coleman.com/product/4aa-pack-awayreg-lantern/2000009291?contextCategory=MiniLantern to prevent everyone from blinding one another during group activities.

2) In colder months I sometimes bring a couple of reusable hand-warmers http://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Wamer-Emergency-Zone-Brand/dp/B00BFWKGI8...in a fleece cozy next to my core they distribute low levels of heat for several hours...and they do so without the chance of spillage that comes with a Nalgene filled with water...and none of the waste of the disposable type.

3) If it someone's birthday (and I know about it) I bring a larger cook-set and a small candle so that I can steam or dry bake a small birthday cake https://www.trailspace.com/people/jrenow/?content=photos&photo=gsi-steam-bake-2 + https://www.trailspace.com/people/jrenow/?content=photos&photo=gsi-steam-bake-5.

4) I am a lover of good coffee...so sometimes I do this https://www.trailspace.com/people/jrenow/?content=photos&photo=current-river-2009-07--15-019 ...but it is usually Via nowadays.

7:49 p.m. on September 28, 2014 (EDT)
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Adam Jepson said:

Depending on the trip, I like to take special food.  Reconstituting dehydrated stuff gets old.  Give me some raw fruits and veggies, maybe some cheese and salami.  On some trips I like to marinade chicken and dice some veggies and toss them in a freezer bag.  I freeze them, carry it in the bag, and when it's dinner time I wrap it in some foil and cook it over coals.  I eat it my first night out on the trail - it's thawed out by then and it's a great energy booster for the next day! Tasty and filling too.

 Absolutely Adam, I love doing that for a great first nights meal!

10:09 a.m. on October 6, 2014 (EDT)
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I just bought two Helinox chairs for $75 each from Campsaver.

Just bought a Luxury Lite cot from the inventor. It is a 20102 prototype and cost $99, now made by Thermarest.

I would bring the chair backpacking. The cot will get used on canoe trips and truck supported fishing trips. I plan to keep going out there after my friends have given up and joined the bridge club.

1:19 p.m. on October 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Exped Synmat7 Delux. Heavy by BP standards but comfortable as heck. Nothing beats a good night's sleep after a long haul.

3:08 p.m. on October 15, 2014 (EDT)
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I want a light weight backpackers solar powered microwave!

9:01 p.m. on October 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I like my shuffle mp3 player but because it's so small and light I almost always have it so I can't count that. But I think my Alite Monarch @ 22 ounces may be my favorite extra.

8:21 a.m. on October 17, 2014 (EDT)
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Whats an Alite Monarch?

10:24 a.m. on October 17, 2014 (EDT)
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It's a camp chair made with backpacking in mind but requires users to balance on the chairs 2 legs which is easy to do while both sitting upright or reclining. Some complain about difficulty in getting up from the low chair.

http://www.rei.com/product/846402/alite-monarch-butterfly-chair


01-01A-BLU5-4.jpg?1350567874

12:33 p.m. on October 17, 2014 (EDT)
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I used to carry a Crazy Creek chair that was similar but had no legs.


Crazy-Creek-chair.jpg

The side straps could be adjusted to the users lean ratio. Makes a good water bottle insulator as well in a day pack or a laptop carrier. The small black webbing piece on the lower left side is to hold the closed chair together. Weighs about 30 oz

9:16 p.m. on October 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Nice multi-use piece Gary.

2:44 p.m. on October 19, 2014 (EDT)
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I always multi-use item for other things. I see so many other carrying extra things like pillows, extra drinking containers, etc. I use my spare clothing in my sleeping bag stuff sack as a pillow or sometimes my camelbak blown up with air , I use my 1 qt cook pot for a eating out of container,drinking cup, storage container to keep things like matched/lighter dry, my spork, stove and other items that will fit inside. 

Instead of carrying sandals to cross streams I wear running shoes which are my hiking shoes. 

There are so many things I carry that have more than the purpose they were made for. 

3:30 p.m. on October 25, 2014 (EDT)
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I just bought two Helinox chairs for $75 each from Campsaver....I would bring the chair backpacking...I plan to keep going out there after my friends have given up and joined the bridge club.

 

I bet you are really going to like those chairs. We also have two of them, got them from the same place at the same price and have used them for a year now. I have used many chairs for the outdoors and some for backpacking. Helinox Chair One beats them all.

We used the Slinglight chairs for about 10 years with the headrests too, nice but not near as comfortable to sit in as the Helinox Chair One.

At two pounds the comfort of these chairs is phenomenal. They really cut the fabric right for both seat and back support. They are easy to get up and down in. That is one item that really makes any camp seriously comfortable for us.

6:51 a.m. on October 26, 2014 (EDT)
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