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Having a camping chair when going to camp is a huge bonus. It helps you relax after all the heavy lifting you did to set up your camp.

However, camping chairs, like any chair, can be bad for your back if used improperly or for extended periods.

Sitting in a camping chair for prolonged periods can put unnecessary pressure on your lower back, leading to discomfort and pain. Some camping chairs also lack proper lumbar support, contributing to poor posture and strain on the back muscles.

Taking regular breaks and stretching your muscles is essential for minimizing the risk of back pain when using a camping chair. You can also look for chairs with proper lumbar support and adjust the chair to your body’s needs. You must also mind your sitting posture and avoid slouching or hunching over.

Why is a Camping Chair Bad For Your Back?

First and foremost, sitting in any chair for a long time can place pressure on the lower back and contribute to discomfort and pain. This is not specific to camping chairs but rather a general concern for anyone who spends a significant amount of time sitting.

However, some factors specific to camping chairs could exacerbate back pain. For example, some camping chairs lack proper lumbar support, leading to poor posture and strain on the back muscles.

A few other factors can also make a camping chair terrible for your back.

Let’s look at them.

No Lumbar Support

Lack of support can put a lot of strain on your back. Camping chairs are designed to be easily portable and foldable. So they lack proper lumbar support for your back. Sitting on such chairs for long hours makes your spine curve unnaturally, leading to back or shoulder pain.

To avoid this problem, place a small & light pillow to support your back. It isn’t a permanent solution, but still effective.

Incorrect Posture

Sitting in my camping chair, I often find myself slouching or hunching forward, which puts extra strain on my lower back. Camping chairs often force you into an awkward posture, and sitting in an incorrect posture can cause enormous back pain.

If you’re sitting on uneven ground or on a slope, you may have to sit in an awkward position to keep yourself from falling. This can also cause discomfort and pain over time.

That’s why it’s necessary to sit correctly. Always sit upright and keep your spine straight to avoid such problems in the future.

Low-Quality Material

As an avid camper, I’ve used my fair share of camping chairs. Apart from other factors, the material of your camping chair can contribute a lot to your back pain.

Frames of budget camping chairs use low-quality aluminum or plastic tubings. This causes them to bend when you sit on them, which again disturbs your posture.

Such chairs also lack proper cushioning for your back and shoulders as they’re made from hard materials. If you sit on such chairs for too long, you’ll be prone to back pain.

To solve this problem, always try using premium quality camping chairs. Though they don’t come cheap, but have a strong base that can sustain your weight and support you.

Limited Mobility

Camping can be exhausting at times, and the thought of sitting in your camping chair after all the work can be enticing. But you need to be careful here.

Sitting on a camping chair for too long without moving will block the regular blood flow inside your body. This leads to stiffness and pain in your back. Sitting in my camping chair for extended periods, I often find my back stiff and sore due to limited mobility.

So, whenever you’re camping, try taking a short walk or stroll once in a while to keep your body active.

Tips to Avoid Back Pain on a Camping Chair

Now that you know why a camping chair can cause back pain, let’s move on and check out some tips to avoid back pain while using your camping chair. These tips will help you avoid back pain and have a mesmerizing camping experience:

Use a Camping Chair With Proper Back Support

As I mentioned, back support is crucial to avoid back pain while sitting on any chair, let alone a camping chair. Therefore, always buy a camping chair with a proper back support system. Opt for chairs with lumbar support and an adjustable backrest.

If you already own an old chair without back support, you can use a pillow or cushion to support your back.

You can also bring a lumbar cushion with you. This cushion fits perfectly into the curve of your lower back and provides extra support to your spine.

Use a Footrest

Using a footrest can help you maintain good posture and reduce the strain on your back muscles. You can use a small stool, a cooler, or even a pile of books as a footrest. Place your feet on the footrest, ensuring your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your hips are slightly higher than your knees.

Maintain Correct Posture

Your sitting posture contributes significantly to the pain in your back. So, when you sit on your camping chair, don’t forget to maintain a proper posture.

Try sitting up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your feet flat on the ground. Keep your knees at a 90-degree angle, and make sure your hips are slightly higher than your knees. Avoid slouching, as this puts unnecessary pressure on your back muscles.

Take Regular Breaks

When sitting for long periods, taking short breaks in between is crucial.

Get up and move around every 30 minutes to an hour to get your blood flowing and reduce the risk of stiffness and discomfort. You can take a walk, stretch your muscles, or do some light exercises.

Drink Enough Water

Staying hydrated is essential while camping, especially when most of your time is spent sitting on a chair. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps and stiffness, leading to back pain.

So remember to bring sufficient water and drink plenty of it throughout the day to keep your muscles hydrated and healthy.


Using your camping chair for extended periods can incite back pain very quickly. You’ll need a good quality camping chair if you’re going camping.

A low-quality camping chair can cause back pain due to various reasons:

  1. No lumbar support
  2. Low-grade chair material
  3. Incorrect/bad posture
  4. Limited mobility

The back pain from your camping chair can ruin your trip, but it doesn’t have to. To reduce the chances of back pain, you can do the following:

Remember, your back health is important, so take care of it!

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