Sit Down On A Hike

The 8 Most Comfortable Ways To Sit Down On A Hike

There is so much more to hiking than plodding away as fast as possible through nature. Sometimes it’s important to take a load off and rest those weary legs. A sit down in a peaceful and comfortable place can not only replenish your energy but also give you some time to enjoy your surroundings.

Unfortunately, nature doesn’t always offer much comfort when it comes to a good sit down. Many factors such as wet grass, stinging insects, pointy rocks, cold surfaces, and animal droppings are waiting to spoil your well-deserved rest. But fear not! The Mountain Network has compiled a list of the 8 most comfortable ways to sit down on a hike. Let’s dive in

Photo credit: Z Packs

1. A Sit Pad

Number 1 on our list and our top pick is a sit pad!

What is a sit pad we hear you ask?… A sit pad, also known as a seat pad or a camping pad, is a small, lightweight cushion designed to provide insulation and comfort when sitting on the ground or on other surfaces outdoors. It’s the perfect companion for tons of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or picnicking.

Sit pads are typically made from foam, closed-cell foam, inflatable materials, or a combination of all. Think of a very small yoga mat or camping mat.  They come in various shapes and sizes, but are usually compact, portable, and light, making them easy to carry in a backpack or attach to the outside of a pack.

The primary purpose of a sit pad is to provide a barrier between your body and the ground, offering cushioning and insulation from cold, wet, or rough surfaces. They can be especially useful when sitting for extended periods during breaks or meals while outdoors. Additionally, sit pads can serve as makeshift kneeling pads, back supports, or even sleeping pads in a pinch.

Sit pads are a pretty cheap and light addition to your hiking gear list that can make a huge difference to your comfort on the trail!

2. A Picnic Blanket

A good picnic blanket can be a godsend whilst out on the trail, providing seating for many people and also a barrier from the ground for an Instagramtastic picnic. It can also be folded up and sat on to give some serious cushioning and insulation from sharp or cold surfaces.

Although classic fabric picnic blankets are the easiest to find, there are more hiking-specific options available that offer water/cold resistance, are lighter, and pack smaller.

Not only a great way to sit down on a hike, but Picnic blankets are also highly versatile and can be used in unforeseen circumstances, serving as a:

  • A makeshift shelter
  • a thermal blanket
  • A ground cover,
  • A signaling device
  • A Towel
  • An amazing cape
  • A windbreaker

Pack a good picnic blanket on your next adventure and find out the many benefits for yourself!

3. Your Backpack

Sitting on your backpack is a great way to sit down on a hike as it offers a readily available seat, saves space in your pack, provides comfortable padding, and protects you from cold or damp ground. Just make sure that there´s nothing that can be squashed or damaged by your weight in the backpack before plonking yourself down on it.

We recommend facing the outside of the pack onto the ground or surface and sitting on the part that your back touches. This will ensure that you will not get a dirty or wet back when you set off again.

If you have a brand new pack or one with bright colors like packs from Cotopaxi this might not be the best option for you.

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4. A Camping Mat

If you are on an overnight hike or bivy camping then you will likely be carrying a camping mat. Although much larger and heavier than a sit pad, camping mats are a perfect way to comfortably sit down on a hike.

If you are out on a day hike, such mats can be a little heavy and don’t fit as comfortably into your pack but can provide seating for several people so can be ideal when sharing the equipment load.

If you have an inflatable camping mat, be careful about punctures. Uneven weight distribution on the mat or sharp outdoor surfaces such as thorns or rocks can easily puncture the fabric.

5. A Camping or Backpacking Chair

Although a little heavier and harder to pack, there is little that can rival a camping or backpacking chair when it comes to outdoor comfort.

These foldable inventions come in all shapes and sizes and offer hikers a way to keep themselves away from cold, damp, dirty, and uncomfortable surfaces often found in nature.

For those who favor comfort over being ultralight whilst out on a hike these chairs are a must!

The 8 Most Comfortable Ways To Sit Down On A Hike

6. A Tree Stump Or A Fallen Tree

Finding the perfect tree to sit on during a hike offers a natural, stable, and comfortable seating option. It provides elevation, and insulation from the ground, which is ideal for taking the weight off those tired legs. A solid tree stump or fallen tree is the perfect option for the hiker who doesn’t want to carry extra provisions and also makes the perfect throne for that “in nature” photo.

Fallen trees and tree stumps can be rotten and unstable or be a home to insects so check it out before sitting down and avoid a nasty surprise! You can also add a little extra comfort by covering the stump with some clothing.

7. Rocks Or Steps

If all else fails, finding a nice smooth rock to sit on can make for a good resting place. look for one around chair level with a nice flat top for your bum. Some natural glaciated rocks, sandstone, and dried-up riverbeds can produce some amazing and comfortable places to sit.

8. A Hammock

For those with the time to really catch some rest, the hammock is the ideal setup for an afternoon nap. Backpacking hammocks can pack up into small pockets and are very light but finding the perfect place to set up can be tricky.

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