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Testing a light chair in Mt. Baratxueta EA2/NV-068

Motivation
Jorge EA2LU and I decided to go for our first 2022 activation to Mt. Baratxueta, a short hike although steep in the final part.
I took the chance to bring a new seat I have not used before. Some details about that further on.
Activation date January 3rd 2022.

Weather was foggy and when we reached the summit, the low clouds gave excellent scenery:

Hopefully there was little wind that morning and temperature was not very cold.

Setup
Jorge used his inverted L random wire and KX2, running in 5, 7, 10 and 14 MHz, mainly CW plus a couple of S2S in VHF with Alain EA2/F5ODQ/P, activating two summits in the north of EA2/NV.

I separated a bit and used my EFHW for 7 and 14 MHz SSB, and I chased some S2S in CW as well. Also had the S2S in VHF with F5ODQ, doing very well in these two summits; Alain is a keen hiker.

The sky was clear during the morning and I could see the lovely Pyrenees range with some snow:

Testing a collapsible chair
Jorge brought his tripod camping chair, as usual.
I also have a similar chair but find it a bit bulky, weight is about 900 gram.

As today’s summit is a grassy area I decided to grab a new chair I had not used on a mountain; it’s a foldable Trekker chair, that uses a foam sleeping mat as for the cushion:

When dismantled I put the collapsible frame inside the mat roll, hanging from my rucksack:

Total weight is 470 gram, therefore I saved some weight.
Result was satisfactory, although I could only use it on flat surfaces.

We finished glad with the activation and the chair.
See you soon from a new one, 73 de Ignacio

14 Likes

I find a chair almost essential. I can sit comfortably on the ground but getting up can be a struggle! I have a Helinox One Chair which is just under 1Kg in its bag. You can get much cheaper copies but I can’t comment on them.

The legs will sink into soft ground but I have the mesh extra which prevents sinking. They also now make the Chair Zero which is only 500g - but the price is on the heavy side. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I’m absolutely happy with my yellow Thermarest Z Seat that weights only 63g and insulates well when one sits in the snow:
https://www.thermarest.com/ie/seating/seats/z-seat/z-seat.html

I usually try to sit on a slight slope with my legs pointing downwards. I then put my rig on my backpackpack, allowing me to operate the rig from a comfortable position.

Since I use my smartphone to log the contacts, I have it strapped to my right leg, by using a home-made “magnet leg strap” inspired by @K6ARK:

73 Stephan

3 Likes

Hi Ignacio, I have a similar tripod stool. I have used it but the main problem I had was that the legs sink into soft ground. My go to option these days is a foam sit mat - light and fairly fool proof (providing you look after it in the wind!). However I have just bought (myself for Christmas) a Helinox ground chair that I hope to try this week. I suspect the foam will remain the most versatile option in terms of weight and pack ability.

I also have the sleeping mat chair you mention, but only use that for backpacking/camping when I have a full sleeping mat with me.

2 Likes

Hello Ignacio and Jorge, thanks for your report and photos, a pleasure to read. :+1:

Cheers to to you both and HNY :beers: :beers:

73 Geoff vk3sq

Yes, that also happened to me when using the tripod camping chair.
That’s why I looked for an alternative chair with a wide support over ground like the one I tested.

Correct, I have used that option many times in the past.
Instead of buying a mat, I cut my own piece out from a sleeping mat: it’s cheap and easy to obtain a handfull number of seats!
You are right, they fly away if you don’t look after in the wind. I added a cord to one corner tied to my rucksack, hi.
The only issue with such flat sit mat, is that they lack from a resting back, and as I get older I miss it when seating for long time. Ageing creates new needs…

73 de Ignacio

Ps: I forgot to mention that the brand of the tested seat is Thermarest, just for info.

2 Likes

This is the Helinox ground sheet I use. It folds up very small and fits inside the bag where the chair is kept.

Thanks fer info John, nice add on under the seat to prevent from sinking.
I see in the specs that a Helinox Chair One weights 960 gram. Again a bit high for what I would prefer, although your chair looks comfortable.

73 de Ignacio

1 Like

They do one at 500g - but it is expensive. :slight_smile:

Using a tripod chair since half a year.
Yes with about 900g is a bit too heavy and as John wrote, it will sink into soft ground and might loose the plastic protection.

But it offers better protection against ticks than the other approaches mentioned.

Well I’ve just christened the Helinox Ground Chair on Mellbreak. Very comfy and didn’t sink into the ground. It is low (which I personally find good as it helps me get out of the wind), so getting out of it is not very graceful! But let’s be honest; few of us would be in a condition to grace the front page of Vogue after a typical activation! I was going to get my wife to photo me in it, but it started to rain so I forgot in the rush to pack up. Next time…

1 Like