Although technically not camping chairs in that they have a different name, I think that they really belong in the same category. The reason for that is what we talked about in the “what are camping chairs?” post. A lot of people talk about these camping stools as camping chairs. It is something that you bring along when you are camping, and you intend to sit on it, therefore we insist that it is in the same category. Period!
Okay, with that out of the way we can start to talk about them. Camping stools are, as you probably know, a device that you bring along to your camping trip with the intention to sit on. They are usually very light and don’t take up a lot of space. The most common stool is made with three legs. Haven’t seen one? Here is a picture of one for you:
Why would people choose to bring along one of these stools to a camping trip when there are hundreds of other chairs to choose from, and all of them are more comfortable to sit on? Sure, the stools are not the best sitting surface you will ever own, but they are actually not as bad as they look. Most of the people who use camping stools are people who do medium to long walks before they make camp. They need their backpacks to be as light as possible. For them the heavier and more comfortable chairs are no competition for the small stools. In fact a lot of them actually think that the stools are too heavy!
In my own opinion I would have to say that I find it very strange to bring along one of these chairs when you can actually use a dead tree or a stone to sit on and it would not make that much of a difference. On very rare occasions have I actually seen that it would be useful to have a camping stool with me, but that is more the exception that the rule. One of these exceptions came up on a trip that I did with some friends a couple of years ago. We went far into the mountains to fish in a lake that we had been hearing very good things about. What we didn’t know was that there where no threes that far into the mountains, and on this particular place it was entirely flat and no rocks to be seen. When one of my friends then made a fire (with wood that he had been carrying all that way!) I finally got good use of my camping stool. But that is one of the very few times.
The conclusion would have to be that a camping stool is not very useful unless you are going to places without natural things to make chairs of often. Let’s put it another way: if I had the choice between a camping stool and a chair I would choose the camping chair without hesitation.