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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Listening Point - General Discussion :: Are sitting logs passé?
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06/14/2024 12:59PM
Banksiana: "Yes. But they make good firewood."

I dunno. It seems all those logs are usually soggy and rotten. I wish someone would change them out once a decade or so. I don’t carry a saw so there’s that problem.

06/15/2024 07:43AM
tumblehome: "Banksiana: "Yes. But they make good firewood."

I dunno. It seems all those logs are usually soggy and rotten. I wish someone would change them out once a decade or so. I don’t carry a saw so there’s that problem.


Soggy and rotten, easy to break against rocks (don't carry a saw either). I am stunned at how well the "soggy rotten" logs burn. Bust them up and the parts that hold together are usually resin-rich and loaded with BTU's. Add "rotten" wood to your fuel options and you'll never have problems finding fuel.
06/15/2024 01:45PM
Thanks for the photos, mates. Now I get it - you are supposed to use the logs in a horizontal orientation, not vertical. Much more comfortable that way. :)
06/16/2024 11:10AM
Interesting discussion. Some of us can remember when some BWCA sites had picnic tables. That ended because of the vandalism that destroyed or messed up some of them, but can remember seeing many where groups decided to carve their names into the wood. They also once had signs on the portages that told what lake they went to and how long was the portage.
06/13/2024 12:56PM
Stumpy: "
I won't give up "

Just a stumpy extension…
06/13/2024 01:06PM
I find many of the sitting logs are either too narrow, or deteriorated, or a bit splintery on my posterior. So I portage in my own, and refinish it every few years with a coat of Polycrylic.

06/13/2024 04:51PM
Interesting question, I will say that I see a deterioration of log chairs quality now, more than I did 15 years ago in the BW. Maybe the advent of these portable chairs have led to that possibility.

I like both.
06/12/2024 05:18AM
Best of both worlds

06/16/2024 03:14PM
I was happy to have the logs to sit on this past week when my 10 year old REI chair failed on me on my second night. I was able to “MacGyver” it with some Gorilla tape but it didn’t last the whole trip.
06/16/2024 06:53PM
The logs get a lot of use on our trips. I bring a chair but also sit on the logs and they get used as tables. No one else I’ve tripped with brings a chair.
06/10/2024 12:22PM
We use both and prefer sites with logs.
06/11/2024 07:04PM
billconner must trip where gravity is weaker.
06/10/2024 03:53PM
Sit in my Sunset but those logs sure are handy to keep packs and other gear off the ground.
06/10/2024 05:08PM
The logs also help delineate the fire area.
06/10/2024 12:33PM
plander: "We use both and prefer sites with logs. "

If you have ever sat in a Helinox Sunset chair you will never sit on a log again!
06/10/2024 06:05PM
DMan5501: "Chairs and Logs..... Simply the BEST of both Worlds...

Thumbs up!
06/10/2024 11:54AM
With the advent of camp chairs I find these things are no longer the way.

For the purists I suppose they serve some useful purpose. But a lot of the time they take up valuable real estate - especially on smaller sites.
06/10/2024 06:31PM
Die hard log guy. Not interested in a chair.
06/10/2024 02:18PM
While we bring chairs, I do like having the logs too. They are useful to put cups on, dry pfd, lean packs against. And when we go on day trips and stop for lunch at an empty site, we do actually sit on them!

06/10/2024 05:29PM
Chairs and Logs..... Simply the BEST of both Worlds...

06/10/2024 06:10PM
If only were I a few decades younger I would dump the chairs for the nostalgia of the log.
06/10/2024 08:35PM
Chair guy for 35 years now, as a college guy I didn't have much of a butt, and now I have old man nobutt. Best camping decision I made way back then to avoid log butt.
I don't mind the logs, they still have their uses, but I will thin out log monstrosities and enjoy their burning demise from the comfort of my chair.
06/11/2024 08:46AM
I love the logs, but I wouldn't hate it if they were generally a few more steps from the fire. It gives more room for the chair and lounging without burning your feet or getting smoked out.

That said, I'll take the logs to no logs EVERY SINGLE TIME!
06/11/2024 10:17AM
I'm also a fan of the logs, as I will leave the chair behind on some of my solo trips. There's a nostalgia with the logs as well, as I was tripping before helinox-style chairs gained popularity.
06/11/2024 10:33AM
I always take my folding chair, the comfort is worth it for this old guy. But I do like log seating also, but much prefer it to be double log.
06/11/2024 06:21PM
As a lifetime member of The National Log Association, I say you can have my sitting log when you pry it from beneath my cold, dead arse.

Really, if a site has them, I'll probably use them. If there are convenient rocks, I'll probably use them, too. My wife prefers her Crazy Creek, but we always try to keep gear weight low enough to continue single-walking portages.

06/12/2024 07:40AM
Yes. But they make good firewood.
06/12/2024 08:11AM
I don't bring any chairs
06/12/2024 08:40AM
I bring the chairs, but like the logs for setting stuff on. Keeps it up off the ground.
06/10/2024 01:26PM
ockycamper: "plander: "We use both and prefer sites with logs. "
If you have ever sat in a Helinox Sunset chair you will never sit on a log again!"

06/11/2024 02:25PM
alpinebrule: "If only were I a few decades younger I would dump the chairs for the nostalgia of the log."
I think age plays a role for sure! The log never bothered me 40 yrs ago. I may have a different underneath then I used to…
06/11/2024 01:12PM
I have a bad back, so I always take a chair and never sit on the logs. But I do use them for setting packs, equipment, cooking supplies, and other stuff on. I'd miss them if they weren't there.
Savage Voyageur
06/11/2024 03:56PM
The logs are useful for putting gear on them, always need more space to set gear on. Personally I couldn’t care less about the logs because I bring a chair in a bag. I also bring a crazy creek chair pad that can be used as a nice seat on any log.
06/11/2024 03:30PM
one rule I find always true about BWCA campsite fireplace logs..... is that they are NEVER the appropriate distance away from the fire grate... always either too close or too far away and ultimately make the fire pit area much more cluttered and confined than it needs to be
06/11/2024 03:33PM
They are usually put there by the forest service. At least back in the day… my first time getting permit checked they were patting their backs for putting them there. They were some big logs. I think some fire grates were put were they were so they didn’t have to move logs.
Helinox wasn’t a thing there back then…
06/11/2024 06:01PM
Forget logs and regular chairs for sitting. I prefer my collapsible rocking chair. some extra weight, but well worth the trouble for this base camper.
06/12/2024 06:39PM
After about 3 days with my bony behind, I cant sit on a log anymore. I always bring a Helinox or REI lightweight chair.
06/11/2024 11:41PM
I typically use a chair for sitting though the logs make great tables/gear storage spots to keep stuff up out of the dirt/rain spatter. They are also often my ‘first seat’ as I change socks/shoes/pants after traveling before unpacking & setting up camp. I think by this point they’ve become a ‘regular feature’ of BWCA campsites.
06/12/2024 09:11AM
Z4K: "Best of both worlds

I usually put the log on top of my chair.

You way is OK too, I guess...
06/13/2024 07:50AM

I won't give up
06/12/2024 07:57PM
Z4K: "Best of both worlds

Oh, wow! This is a big "duh" for me. The standard helinox chairs sit too low for me but never thought of this. Why I didn't, i'll never know but I like it!
06/13/2024 10:14AM
I consider my Helinox chair one of the best items I've ever taken on a canoe trip. And I'm seriously NOT overstating it.

Those who say that sitting on a log is just fine aren't lying. With no alternative, a log will work better than standing or sitting on the bare ground. (I just hope you have a little pad.) However, a chair like a Helinox (or similar) at the end of the day is pure comfort. They're pricy, but if you make the investment, you'll forget about the cost very quickly.
06/13/2024 08:23AM
Mostly logs but as I get older a chain is very nice.