I’ve written bunches about the upcoming trip for the summer. For that trip I got us a new toy. Well, toys. One for each of us.


It might seem really insignificant, but having chairs when camping is kind of essential. It’s something that we left behind for all the trips we’ve taken in the past. All the times we were around the fire sitting on awkward logs or stumps.

This is now a thing of the past.

I ran off to REI and picked up a couple of these chairs today. It looks big when it’s all set up. The way it comes is pretty impressive.

Just under 1 3/4 pounds each. If we were hiking this might be more of a deal breaker, but on the motorcycle volume is more of the enemy. Not just that, but we’ve lightened up significantly over the years.

Here’s the magic. Here’s how we take this pile of stuff:

…and turn it into this:

Just under 7 3/4 pounds. All the sleep stuff for a person — sleeping bag, pad, pillow, bag liner — and a chair packed into almost nothing.

Step one is obvious: roll up the sleeping pad. (Made in the USA by a local company: Cascade Designs! :-D )

Now, it’s just a matter of progressively adding everything to a Helen-2-Wheels stuff sack.

First the sleeping bag:

Next, the chair:

Now, I know I’m violating Helen’s rules of packing by adding some long and hard stuff in with the squishy stuff, but the pols are wrapped with the seat fabric and the ends are pretty well smoothed.

The sleeping bag crams in next to the chair:

The liner and the pillow finish off the lot. Just roll the top and squish it a bit and you’re done!

These strap onto the panniers and the tent goes across the rear rack. All done!

The one thing I do have to say is I’m also packing the stuff sacks for the chairs… It’s a hell of lot easier packing the way I just showed, but if the chairs are wet I’m not keen on packing the wet chairs next to the sleeping bag. But it’s a lot quicker to pack this way.