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Technique: How do you Sit on the Ground (Comfortably)?


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  • #1317496
    Delmar O’Donnell
    Member

    @bolster

    Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio

    What is your preferred way to sit on the ground (with no chair)?

    I tend to sit on my knees/ shins/ ankles, knees fully bent, but eventually my ankles get tired of my feet pointing almost straight back in this position. So then I'll shift weight either left or right, drop one hip on the ground, using both arms to support with my palms on the ground. (Think Disney's Pocahontas at the beginning of 'Just Around the River Bend,' except I haven't silky long hair to blow in the wind.) But I've never gotten good at sitting on the ground for long, and eventually revert to lying down or standing up.

    I find the lotus position takes too much of the lumbar curve out of my back for long term comfort. This matches what my PT tells me, and that's to keep the curve in the lumbar region when sitting.

    What's your solution to comfortable sitting on flat ground, sans chair, sans rock, sans log?

    #2108296
    Mole J
    BPL Member

    @mole

    Locale: UK

    I find any style of lotus position takes too much of the lumbar curve out of my back for long term comfort.
    _______________________________

    That's because you aren't 'fit' enough structurally. (I wasn't either, but am now). Try Yoga or Pilates classes. It will help with all your hiking physio. The classses will teach you the awareness of bodily micro adjustments which are necessary(and take work initially) to strengthen your body to attain a simple sitting position (as practiced easily by non chair using peoples).

    Practice at home each day for a time. Start by sitting on a height to support your current posture. Foam yoga blocks are good – start on say 3 then work down to nothing over time (a month or 6 depending on perseverence – nothing is free)

    Hope this is useful

    #2108380
    Bill Law
    BPL Member

    @williamlaw

    Locale: SF Bay Area

    What's your solution to comfortable sitting on flat ground, sans chair, sans rock, sans log? Seems a very basic skill that I lack.

    Keep walking until you get to a rock, a log, or a chair. I carry a tripod stool so I can stop sooner.

    Sense to do likewise seems like a more basic skill. But such sense perhaps comes only with the old age that makes sitting on the ground less attractive.

    #2108381
    Delmar O’Donnell
    Member

    @bolster

    Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio

    LOL good one Bill. Yeah, I take advantage of logs and rocks when they afford themselves. Some of my recent desert hiking has been pretty durn featureless as far as good sittables are concerned.

    I doubt I'm your junior, age-wise. But since the UL ethos means less of everything, I assume it sanctions less common sense, too.

    How much does your tripod stool weigh? [EDIT] No, no, I take that back. I'm not going to start carrying a stool; you are tempting me and you should not.

    #2108398
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    A bear canister works great as a camp chair. Multi-purpose, and all that.

    I'm not sure, but I think you could use it as a beer keg, as well.

    –B.G.–

    #2108400
    Valerie E
    BPL Member

    @wildtowner

    Locale: Grand Canyon State

    LOL, so THAT's what we should fill my husband's Bearikade Expedition with: Beer!!!

    Nutritious, delicious, and hydrating! Hmmmmmmm, I wonder what that would weigh…there's always a fly in the ointment… ;^)

    Delmar, I carry a chair sometimes, being frequently in the desert. Yup, extra weight, but it sure is nice at the end of a long day (with a little bourbon in hand)…

    #2108407
    Delmar O’Donnell
    Member

    @bolster

    Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio

    Temptress! Get thee (and thy chair) behind me. I gotta enforce some discipline on myself at some point. No chair!

    (At least, not until I give in, and start carrying one.)

    Someone must have examined the art of successful ground-sitting?

    #2108415
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    I either sit cross-legged or I sit with my legs open but out in front of me or I pull them up to my chest. The best is when I find the perfect rock to lean my back against.

    #2108417
    d k
    BPL Member

    @dkramalc

    I think there was a thread on something like this a long while back…

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Seatless-strap-chair/

    #2108464
    Bob Shaver
    BPL Member

    @rshaver

    Locale: West

    I go light weight partly so I can carry a few extras, like a camp chair. I've been using this one for a year now, and my 64 year old bones think its worth a pound and a half.

    Flexlite chair

    Pics and review of this chair here:

    http://backpackingtechnology.com/backpacking-trips/backpacking-chair-rei-flexlite-chair/

    #2108467
    Gary Dunckel
    BPL Member

    @zia-grill-guy

    Locale: Boulder

    The best is when I find the perfect tree to lean my back against, while sitting on my 17 oz. cuben stool (Yellowstone is mainly a lodgepole forest, and those small-diameter logs are only good for hobbits and small kids). Sooo….BYO stool, if I plan to spend 2+ nights at one spot.

    Cache stool

    #2108468
    Marko Botsaris
    BPL Member

    @millonas

    Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

    Delmar, not sure if you are looking for hardware or yoga, but if you have pad there are thingies you can buy or make that fold them into into a passable chair, such as:

    http://www.basegear.com/thermarest-trekker-chair-kit-2012.html?gclid=CjkKEQjw5LWcBRCeh8uUlqqluN4BEiQAfr64cH5-zRXKTyze7Ns_eB713_rkzlcILEiIy-SK8RksogPw_wcB

    So technically not actually a chair, and multi-use, so a loop hole?

    #2108470
    Alex H
    BPL Member

    @abhitt

    Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW

    I rarely find a rock or log or tree in the best location to take in the view. I am of the Colin Fletcher recline with legs in the sleeping bag while cooking, reading,viewing, etc. school. The thermarest chair kit (6 to 10oz. depending on model)is worth every ounce to me, especially in the desert.

    #2108472
    Marko Botsaris
    BPL Member

    @millonas

    Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

    f

    Plus he has a great way of turning his external frame into a seat with his staff. Nick Gatel shows how here:

    http://popupbackpacker.com/backpacking/trip-reports/a-nostalgic-hike-with-chuckawalla-bill/

    I tried to do that after reading The Complete Walker III using trekking poles and a ULA pack – not so good.

    #2108497
    Delmar O’Donnell
    Member

    @bolster

    Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio

    All these chair temptations. I can feel my resolve weakening, as the urge to sit becomes overwhelming.

    > http://www.instructables.com/id/Seatless-strap-chair/

    (Or for $38, the Vitra Chairless)

    d k, you genius, thank you for this link. I have two 40" length 1" straps with fastex buckles, so I was able to try this by connecting them together. It appears you need at least 2 yards of webbing for this strap "chair" to go around knees and back. It really puts a lot of support right in the lumbar region where I need it. I sat happily on the ground a long time with this.

    This strap "chair" also allows me to relocate quickly, which is important, since I often birdwatch while sitting. The interesting birds always show up behind you.

    The two straps together are 2.4 oz, not bad. One can be worn as a belt. Coupled with my CC foam pack frame/sit pad (1.4 oz) this may make a comfy dual-use sitting rig. Not counting dual usage as belt and pack frame, this approach would add just 1.2 oz of extra carry to the pack for the single extra strap.

    Very happy with all the suggestions so far. Thanks, BPL.

    PS: Here's a photo of me with my new strap chair. Notice the large smile on my face.

    strap chair

    #2108517
    d k
    BPL Member

    @dkramalc

    Happy to help! I like the idea of using the sit pad with it.

    You look pretty happy in that picture ;-) Though maybe you should get out of the sun; you're looking older by the minute…

    #2108525
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    One way :
    ULA seat
    this is the ULA Circuit but should work with most packs.
    The pack is upside down so that I can sit on the rolltop to keep the pack from sliding back. Easier again if your pack has a lid.
    The pole tips are held in place by the pole loops.
    (if you need you can dig a small "pocket" under the pole handles)
    BTW, I have never done that in the bush , I just read the thread and thought that it can't be all that difficult , so i shoved something in my pack , collected the sticks and went outside and set it up.
    Another 5 minutes I will never get back.
    This is what I do in reality :
    Sitting

    #2108527
    Marko Botsaris
    BPL Member

    @millonas

    Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

    Oh, nice! I have to re-try that.

    I noticed if I put my bear can at the bottom of my Kalais the pack stands up by itself. Maybe when the can is more or less full I can use it (er, the pack) as a seat back, or maybe even rock back a bit.

    #2108547
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    It depends on which way the bear canister goes into the pack. For some, the canister goes in with its axis vertical, and that would leave a flat place on the bottom. For some, the canister goes in with its axis horizontal (side to side). That leaves a long side on the bottom. For others, the axis is horizontal (front to back), and that also leaves a long side on the bottom. Because all bear canisters and all packs are different, you have to experiment to find out what works as a back rest.

    –B.G.–

    #2108550
    Richard Cullip
    BPL Member

    @richardcullip

    Locale: San Diego County

    Delmar – I saw this comfy chair option over on High Sierra Topix Comfy Chair Option

    Lawn Chair Option

    Lawn Chair Option 2

    #2108574
    Valerie E
    BPL Member

    @wildtowner

    Locale: Grand Canyon State

    OMG – I saw that guy in the backcountry at the bottom of the North Rim Grand Canyon in 2005! I couldn't believe it…

    #2108617
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    I thought we resolved this a while back :)

    sitting 1

    Even if you find a tree or rock there is no reason to lean against them… practice leaning forward

    sitting 2

    sitting 3

    I suppose that if one is going to carry a chair, stool, air pump, knee pads, etc. then you might as well get one of these…

    pack propped

    So you can do this…

    backrest

    Or this (ditch the shelter unless it is raining or snowing)…

    no tent

    Of course, when I get old, I might have to spring for a lawn chair.

    #2108621
    Marko Botsaris
    BPL Member

    @millonas

    Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

    I liked the second to last picture from your blog Nick. Because your pack is mostly blocked from view, and green, it looks like you are advocating using a spiny yucca plant as a seat back. Very badass.

    #2108644
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    Well the spiny seat thought is deflating.

    I thought it was some sort of mystical desert aureola.

    #2108651
    Delmar O’Donnell
    Member

    @bolster

    Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio

    >I thought we resolved this a while back :)

    Ya, Nick, I caught your last lecture on this same subject. I think you missed the part where your audience commented that some of us do not have the same sitting flexibility and options that you do. My PT'ist takes a dim view of any posture that reduces the lordosis in the lumbar region, and your "sitting forward" recommendation does exactly that–it takes a lot of the healthy curve out of the lower back. Sitting as you do in the top photo is not recommended for everyone, although we're impressed you can do it and be comfortable. Gotta SYOS (Sit Your Own Sit).

    The pack-as-backrest is brilliant, gotta try that. And the bottom photo of the full-on chaise recliner is the ultimate. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm going to start carrying a rock about that size so I can make a similar camp setup.

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