When I attended Magpul’s Backcountry Hunter’s Course last week, our group hiked 21 miles over three days in Washington’s Cascade Mountains with 30-plus-pounds on our backs. Naturally, we only carried what was necessary as extra ounces add up, but one thing you don’t want to skimp on is a good seat, or sitting pad. Here’s why.
1) As you take breaks along the trail every so many miles, you'll appreciate some padding even if break time lasts only long enough to rehydrate or eat a snack. Tip: Attach the seat to your pack with a bungee cord to ensure quick and easy access during those short stops.2) By evening you’ve burned ample calories and you're starving. Trust me: Nothing beats a good sitting pad once you’ve pitched your tent and fired up your Jetboil or other portable stove as you anticipate a yummy Mountain House (MH) freeze-dried dinner. By the way, be sure to try pouch of MH’s Chicken Breast and Mashed Potatoes or Beef Stew, maybe topped with a pouch of Apple Crisp or Neapolitan Ice Cream for dessert. After navigating the rugged backcountry all day, your body craves some creature comforts.
3) Now for the most important reason to bring that seat: for use during the hunt, of course. Patience is the name of the game in bowhunting. Once you set down your bow to glass, you may be at it for hours … and hours. Search out a good spot that breaks up your outline and includes a good back rest if possible. In super-cold temps, a good pad also helps to keep you warm and helps to melt some the snow!
Shopping for a new pad this season? I say the thicker, the better so 2.5 inches is good—and 3 inches is better. For starters, check out NEP Outdoors’ Therma Seat like the one on my back in this photo or Therma Rest options. For a one-stop shop, visit Cabela’s for your seat and, while you're at it, pick up everything else you need for your trip from activewear, Guidewear and hunting clothing to your gear and any last-minute accessories.