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Build a camp chair

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

chair.jpgRelax around camp by building a comfortable chair. It’s easy if you have the pioneering skills.


  • Three spars about 4 inches in diameter, two 8 feet long and one 12 to 15 feet long
  • Four sections of rope, one 30 feet long and three 3 to 4 feet long
  • 6-by-8-foot (or slightly bigger) tarp, folded into an isosceles triangle
  • Three heavy rocks slightly smaller than baseballs but larger than golf balls

VIDEO: See how to perform a tripod lashing.

Step One: Determine which ends of each spar are the thickest, and designate those as the base of each spar. Lay the two shorter spars together on the ground, parallel to each other, with each base at the same end and even with each other.

Lay the long spar down in the opposite direction, with its base at the opposite end from the bases of the shorter spars, with only about two feet of overlap at the tops. Keep them all parallel.

Use the 30-foot rope to perform a tripod lashing around all three spars.

Step Two: Fold each rock into a corner of the triangle-shaped tarp and twist to create a pocket that will hold the rock. Then tie one of the three shorter ropes around the pocket holding the rock by wrapping a few times and tying off the end with two half hitches.

Be sure to leave 2 to 3 feet of rope available. Repeat for each corner.

Step Three: Attach the tarp to the tripod by wrapping the remaining rope around each spar once or twice and finishing with a taut-line hitch.

The longest spar should act as the back leg of the chair, so attach the rope at higher point on that spar to create the back of the chair.

Step Four: Relax comfortably in your chair.

43 Comments on Build a camp chair

  1. The Pennsylvania Pioneer // February 14, 2008 at 9:03 am // Reply

    this is really cool im going to try it at the spring camporee

  2. i made this at my camp and everybody wanted to sit in it. it was really comfortable and it counted as my first class camp gadget.boys life rules!

  3. We are going to try to build this gadget on Saturday, any additional hints?

  4. go michigan!!! // January 30, 2008 at 9:29 am // Reply

    I am going to see if my troop wants to do this at summer camp for one of the pioneering projects because it looks cool and comfortable.

  5. Im gonna make this as soon as the winter is gone

  6. whateveryouwantittobe // January 28, 2008 at 9:16 pm // Reply

    Too bad it’s still winter. I’m gonna make this in front of the lake or the river and read with the relaxing birds, water. I’m gonna have one great summer.

  7. What are you going to do about the mistakes? For example, the ending knot in the vidio is not a clove hitch.

  8. i think i am gonna go try this in the woods

  9. this sounds awesome im gonna try it at summer camp =)

  10. this is cool cuz im a roap dude and this a cool thing to do for a meeting

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