What should I sit On When Hiking

What Should I Sit On When Hiking?

When planning a hiking trip, it’s important to consider what you’ll need to bring with you. Water, snacks, and a good pair of shoes are obvious essentials, but what about seating?

You might not think about it at first, but having a comfortable place to sit and rest your legs can make a big difference on a long hike!

In this article, we’ll explore some options for what you can sit on when hiking and why taking a moment for some rest is important.

The Benefits Of Having Something To Sit On When Hiking?

Having something to sit on when hiking can provide a number of benefits, including:

Rest and Relaxation

Rest and relaxation are essential for any physical activity, and hiking is no exception! While hiking, your muscles are working hard, taking a break to rest can help prevent fatigue and muscle soreness. Having something to sit on, like a log, a camp chair, or a cushion, can provide a comfortable place to rest and take a break from the trail.

Additionally, taking a few moments to rest and relax in a beautiful outdoor setting can be incredibly rejuvenating for your mind and spirit. Sitting on a comfortable surface allows you to take in the scenery and appreciate the natural beauty around you without feeling rushed or uncomfortable. Taking a break to relax can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be especially important if you’re hiking in a group or on a long-distance trail.

Overall, taking the time to rest and relax during a hike can help you recharge and enjoy your surroundings, making your hiking experience more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Improved Posture

Sitting on a proper surface when taking a break during a hike can also help improve your posture and reduce strain on your back and legs.

When you’re hiking, your body is in motion for extended periods, and your muscles are working to keep you balanced and moving forward. This can lead to muscle fatigue and strain, particularly in your back and legs.

Having something to sit on, like a cushion or a camp chair, can provide a stable surface that supports your spine and reduces the strain on your back muscles. When you’re sitting on a proper surface, your body is better aligned, and your weight is distributed evenly, which helps reduce pressure on your lower back.

Moreover, when you’re sitting comfortably, you’re less likely to slouch or hunch over, which can cause muscle strain and lead to poor posture over time. Good posture can help reduce the risk of injury and make your hiking experience more comfortable overall.

In short, having a comfortable surface to sit on during your hiking breaks can help improve your posture, reduce muscle strain, and make your hiking experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

What shoul I sit on when hiking

Enhanced Enjoyment

Having something comfortable to sit on when hiking can enhance your overall enjoyment of the experience in several ways.

First, when you have a comfortable place to sit and take a break, you can take the time to appreciate the scenery and wildlife around you without feeling rushed or fatigued. You can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, which can be a rejuvenating and inspiring experience.

Second, sitting on a proper surface can make you feel more relaxed, enhancing your mood and making you feel more positive about the hike. It can also provide a sense of comfort and safety, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area or hiking alone.

Third, a comfortable seat can allow you to socialize and connect with your hiking companions more easily. Instead of standing or sitting on the ground, you can sit comfortably and have a conversation or share a snack. This can be a great way to build relationships and make lasting memories.

Lastly, having a comfortable surface to sit on can allow you to take breaks more frequently without feeling fatigued. This can help you hike for longer periods without getting exhausted, and allow you to enjoy more of the scenery along the way.

Overall, having something to sit on can enhance your enjoyment of hiking by allowing you to relax, appreciate your surroundings, and socialize with your companions more easily.


Having something to sit on when hiking can also protect your clothes and gear from getting dirty or wet. This is especially important if you’re hiking in wet or muddy conditions, or if you’re on a multi-day hiking trip.

Sitting on a wet or dirty surface can leave you with damp or dirty clothes, which can be uncomfortable and even lead to chafing or skin irritation. It can also make your gear wet and dirty, which can be frustrating and reduce its lifespan.

Having a dry and clean surface to sit on can help prevent these issues and keep you and your gear in good condition. A camping chair or a waterproof sitting pad can provide a barrier between you and the wet ground, while a cloth or towel can be used to wipe down a wet surface before sitting on it.

Moreover, if you’re on a multi-day hiking trip, having something to sit on can help you maintain a clean and organized campsite. It can also prevent debris and dirt from getting into your tent or sleeping bag, keeping your gear in good condition for the duration of your trip.

Overall, having something to sit on can provide a layer of protection for you and your gear, keeping you dry and clean and making your hiking experience more comfortable.

So What Should I Sit On When Hiking?

There are several options for things to sit on when hiking both natural and man-made. Here are some of our favorites!

Hiker sitting on a rock

A Log or Rock

Sitting on a log or a rock is a classic and natural option for hikers. They can often be found along hiking trails and provide a sturdy and readily available seating option.

Here are some considerations when using a log or rock as your seating choice:

  1. Stability: Before sitting on a log or rock, make sure it is stable and won’t easily tip over. Check for any signs of instability, such as wobbling or loose sections. It’s important to prioritize your safety and avoid potential accidents.
  2. Surface Inspection: Before settling down, examine the surface of the log or rock. Look for any sharp or jagged edges that could cause discomfort or injury. Clear away any debris or loose bark that may be present.
  3. Comfort: While a log or rock may not provide the same level of cushioning as other seating options, you can enhance comfort by placing a folded jacket or a small sitting pad on top. This will provide some padding and insulation, making it more comfortable to sit on for extended periods.
  4. Size and Shape: Consider the size and shape of the log or rock. Ensure it offers enough space for you to sit comfortably without feeling cramped or unstable. A wider or flatter surface may provide better support and stability compared to a narrow or uneven one.
  5. Location: Pay attention to the location where you choose to sit on a log or rock. Avoid sitting in areas that are wet, muddy, or covered in insects. Look for a spot that offers a pleasant view or a peaceful ambiance to enhance your hiking experience.

Helinox hiking chair

A Camp Chair Or Stool

A camp chair is an excellent option for comfortable and portable seating when hiking, but do add a lot of weight and bulk to your backpack. Are you willing to sacrifice some weight for a comfy seat?

Benefits Of Camp Chairs For Hiking

  1. Comfort: Camp chairs are designed with padding, backrests, and armrests, providing a higher level of comfort compared to sitting on the ground or natural surfaces. They offer support for your back and allow you to relax in a more upright position.
  2. Stability: Camp chairs are built with sturdy frames and reliable construction, ensuring stability on various terrains. They often have non-slip feet that help prevent sliding or tipping over, providing a secure seating option.
  3. Portability: Most camp chairs are designed to be lightweight and easily collapsible. They often come with carrying bags or straps, making them convenient to transport. You can fold them down to a compact size and attach them to your backpack or carry them separately.
  4. Versatility: Camp chairs can be used not only for sitting but also for other activities. They provide a convenient surface for enjoying meals, reading, or simply relaxing at your campsite. Some camp chairs even have built-in features like cup holders or storage pockets for added convenience.
  5. Protection: Sitting in a camp chair elevates you above the cold ground, reducing contact with dirt, moisture, and insects. This helps keep you and your clothing cleaner and drier, especially during wet or muddy conditions.

When choosing a camp chair for hiking, consider factors such as weight, size, durability, and ease of setup. Look for lightweight materials like aluminum or carbon fiber, and make sure they can support your weight comfortably.

Investing in a good-quality camp chair can significantly enhance your hiking experience by providing a comfortable and convenient seating option wherever you go.

A Ground Sheet or Tarp

A ground sheet or tarp can be a versatile and lightweight option for sitting when hiking. While primarily used for creating a barrier between you and the ground, they can also serve as a makeshift seating/picnic area. What´s great about a tarp or groundsheet is that you can share the space with your friends. Although a tarp is not as comfortable or supportive as other options, it’s probably the lightest, most practicable option, especially for groups.

Benefits of using a ground sheet or tarp for seating

  1. Protection: A ground sheet or tarp provides a protective layer between you and the ground. It helps insulate you from dampness, cold, or rough surfaces. By sitting on a ground sheet, you can avoid direct contact with dirt, rocks, or wet grass, keeping yourself and your clothing cleaner and more comfortable.
  2. Versatility: Groundsheets and tarps can be used in various ways, making them versatile piece of gear. When not in use as seating, they can serve as a shelter, a picnic blanket, or even a sleeping surface if needed. This versatility makes them a valuable addition to your hiking gear.
  3. Lightweight and Portable: Groundsheets and tarps are typically lightweight and easy to pack. They can be folded or rolled into a compact size, taking up minimal space in your backpack. This makes them a convenient option for hikers who prioritize minimizing weight and maximizing efficiency.
  4. Cost-effective: Groundsheets and tarps are often more affordable than dedicated camping chairs or stools. If you’re on a budget or prefer a simpler solution, using a ground sheet or tarp as a seating option can be a cost-effective choice.
  5. Easy to Clean: Groundsheets and tarps are generally easy to clean and maintain. They can be wiped down or rinsed off if they get dirty, making them suitable for outdoor use even in challenging conditions.

When using a ground sheet or tarp as a seating option, ensure that the area is relatively flat and clear of any sharp objects. You can also fold or layer the groundsheet for added comfort and insulation. Consider using it in conjunction with a lightweight sitting pad or cushion for extra comfort if desired.

Overall, a ground sheet or tarp can provide a simple and lightweight seating option while hiking, offering protection from the elements and versatility in various outdoor situations.

A Backpack

Believe it or not, your backpack can double as a seat! Simply find a flat area on the ground, place your backpack on its side, and sit on top. Just make sure your backpack is sturdy enough to support your weight and won’t tip over. Also, don´t sit on your sandwiches!

We prefer to use our backpack as a backrest, sitting on a pad and leaning back against it. It´s the perfect setup for that after-lunch nap in the sun!

what to sit on when hiking

A Cushion or Seat Pad

A cushion or seat pad is a fantastic option for providing comfort and support when sitting during a hike.

Types Of Seat Pads

There are various types of seat pads available that can enhance your sitting comfort while hiking. Here are a few common types:

Foam Seat Pads

Foam seat pads are lightweight and provide excellent insulation and cushioning. They are usually made of closed-cell foam, which offers insulation from the cold ground and protection from rough surfaces. Foam seat pads are durable, easy to clean, and provide a comfortable seating option.

Inflatable Seat Pads

Inflatable seat pads are compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry in your backpack. They can be inflated with a few breaths or by using a small pump. Inflatable seat pads offer adjustable cushioning, and you can adjust the firmness to your liking. They are typically made of durable materials to withstand outdoor use.

Self-Inflating Seat Pads

Self-inflating seat pads combine the convenience of foam and the adjustability of inflatables. These pads have an internal foam core that expands and fills with air when the valve is opened. You can further adjust the firmness by manually inflating or deflating them. Self-inflating seat pads provide a balance of cushioning, insulation, and comfort.

Gel Seat Pads

Gel seat pads contain a gel-like substance that conforms to your body shape, providing excellent pressure relief and cushioning. They are effective at distributing weight evenly and can alleviate discomfort during long periods of sitting. Gel seat pads are heavier than other options but offer superior comfort.

Heat-Reflective Seat Pads

Heat-reflective seat pads are designed to reflect your body heat back to you, providing added warmth and insulation. They are particularly useful in cold weather or when sitting on cold surfaces. These pads often have a reflective metallic coating on one side and insulation on the other.

Benefits of using a cushion or seat pad

  1. Comfort: A cushion or seat pad adds an extra layer of cushioning between you and the ground, making sitting more comfortable. It helps alleviate pressure points and provides a softer surface for extended periods of sitting.
  2. Insulation: A cushion or seat pad can provide insulation from cold or damp surfaces. This is particularly beneficial during colder weather or when sitting on wet ground. The cushioning helps retain body heat and prevents discomfort caused by cold or moisture.
  3. Lightweight and Portable: Cushions and seat pads are typically lightweight and easy to carry. Many designs are compact and foldable, allowing you to easily pack them in your backpack without taking up much space. They’re a convenient option for hikers who want to minimize weight and bulk.
  4. Versatility: Cushions or seat pads can be used on various surfaces, including rocks, logs, or the ground. They offer a versatile seating option, allowing you to rest comfortably wherever you choose.
  5. Additional Support: Some cushions or seat pads are ergonomically designed to provide additional support to your back or tailbone. They can help improve posture, reduce strain, and alleviate discomfort during prolonged sitting.

When selecting a cushion or seat pad for hiking, consider factors such as thickness, material, and durability. Look for options that are made of lightweight and moisture-resistant materials, such as closed-cell foam or inflatable designs. These materials are easy to clean, dry quickly, and provide sufficient insulation.

By using a cushion or seat pad, you can enhance your sitting experience while hiking, ensuring greater comfort and support during breaks or when enjoying the scenic views along the trail.

A Piece Of Clothing

Another option for something to sit on when hiking is a piece of clothing, such as a jacket or a fleece. While not specifically designed for seating, they can provide a layer of insulation and protection from cold or damp surfaces.

To use a piece of clothing as a seating option, simply lay it on the ground or over a rock or log. Depending on the material, it may not offer as much cushioning as other options, but it can still be a useful and lightweight solution in a pinch.

However, it’s important to note that using a piece of clothing as a seating option can potentially damage or soil the fabric, especially if the surface is rough or dirty. So, it’s recommended to use a designated seating option, such as a portable camping chair or a sitting pad, for optimal comfort and protection.

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