TikTok's Genius Camping Chair Hack Provides Instant Sun Coverage

Camping chairs are great tools for extra seating. From backyard barbecues to sporting events to campsites, the folding chairs are portable, sturdy options when other outdoor seating choices are unavailable. One of the negative aspects of these convenient seats is their lack of sun protection. Unless you are willing to pay more for a shade attachment, standard camping chairs do not come with any way to shield yourself from the sun.

Enter TikTok user Bo Johnson's simple trick to instantly add shade — no extra purchases necessary. In the video posted to his account, which has amassed over 6 million views, Johnson shows viewers an unfolded camping chair. He then zooms in on one of the chair's front legs, revealing a hole at the base that's the perfect size for holding the long pole of a beach umbrella. Coincidence? 

As depicted in the video, you can shield yourself from the hot sun by inserting a beach umbrella in the space between the arm and seat of the chair, right into the hole at the leg's base — providing instant shade. 

How to get the most out of this hack

The hack for adding shade to a camping chair is fantastic, especially if you already have a beach umbrella handy. "Tik tok teaches me sooo much," wrote one surprised commenter on the video. "I always wondered what those holes where for too," wrote another. While we can't confirm that's what those holes were intended for — and according to camping chair retailer TCEK, the holes at the base of camping chairs "allow you to stake the chair down to the ground, so it will not tip over," this hack proves that sometimes the best solutions in life are the simplest.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind to get the most out of the hack. When no one is sitting in the chair, the umbrella may tip over the chair due to the extra weight on one side. Prevent this by weighing the other chair leg down with an object that is heavier than the chair or staking it into the ground. If wind is a factor, put the umbrella down when rising from the chair to prevent the chair and umbrella from blowing away.

Camping chairs also have a habit of sinking into the ground, which can be made even more annoying with an added umbrella. Place the chair legs into small plastic containers with sturdy bottoms, or bring a mat or wooden platform to rest the legs on to prevent sinking. Some companies that make camping chairs sell a "ground sheet," but the idea can easily be replicated with items you have around your home — saving you time and money in the long run.