Yes, remove the stick. It may have a quick disconnect for the PTT. If not you will have to install one. Rear seat attachment bolts can also be setup for quick removal. A cover is available from ACA for the rear stick opening.
Thanks for info on rear stick opening cover. I was going to Velcro an upside down metal dog bowl! If my reading of the regs is correct, to carry a rear seater legally one would have to have a rear seat? With the stick removed you can still load a lot of stuff with the seat in place, as a compromise.
Just remove the rear seat (quick release pins), fold it up and stow it in the way back and put it back in when you get there. Or just pile stuff all around it. Sounds like a fun expedition. They will haul more than the book says we can.