Folding Wooden Chair – $65
I’ve had one of these chairs for twenty years and it goes everywhere with me. It’s my seat around the fire in camp, my office chair in my tent during bouts of bad weather, and, when I sit on a foam pad, my warm chair for the cold nights of late-fall and early-spring.
This type of chair has a long history with the history of guiding in Maine. Back in the day, a guide would remove the bow seat in a canoe and have the sport sit in one of these where the bow seat would be. Having their center of gravity low was helpful in order to not have them flip the canoe when they hooked a fish or otherwise got excited. The lower the center of gravity, the less-likely they’ll tip the boat.
I still use it in a canoe like this, to sit low. As part of our testing program, I’ll often ride in a boat while someone is demonstrating their skills with a paddle or pole. With my butt in this chair, it keeps me up out of the water in the bilge, but low enough to give the poler some extra help with their balance.
We based it off an old design, but added an inch to the rise and a few inches to the width in order to accommodate larger bodies. We also made them a bit heavier, but more rugged, by using larger pieces of wood for the base. They come unfinished; you add the oil or varnish of your choice, or leave it be to weather naturally.
No one who has ever gotten one has regretted it. And unlike canoe seats that are caned, these are easy to fix. If you break a slat, you can simply replace it. You don’t have to know how to cane.
They’re great for around camp, great on the trail and great in a canoe. And also great on a pickup tailgate. Again, I take mine everywhere. And unlike the crappy folding chairs with metal legs and nylon seats that all the big box stores sell, these things last. I’ve not seen the metal/nylon chairs last more than a season; I’ve taken my wooden chair on every expedition I’ve been on for twenty years and it’s still going strong.
I usually have one at the field school and can get more if you’re looking for a few of them.