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How to Build a Cooking Tripod

The tripod is the most simple freestanding pioneering structure. It is most often used to raise items off the ground. A well-built tripod can safely suspend a pot over a cooking fire.


  • 3 hiking staffs (Item No. 1443 at for tripod legs
  • 10-foot lashing rope (or 20 feet of binder twine folded in half) for tripod lashing
  • Cooking pot with a bail handle
  • 5 feet of cord to suspend the pot over the fire from the top of the tripod


1. Lay the three poles alongside each other, making sure the butt ends are lined up evenly, and tie a clove hitch to one of the outside poles.

2. Wrap the short end of the rope around the long part several times to lock the clove hitch in place. Then wrap the long end of the rope around the poles six to eight times, laying the turns of rope neatly alongside one another.

3. Make two tight fraps (turns around the wrap to pull it tighter) on either side of the center pole.

4. End with a clove hitch around an outside pole.

5. Spread the posts of the tripod into position, crossing the outside poles under the middle pole. See how in this video:

6. Using Leave No Trace principles, build a small cooking fire between the tripod legs. Keep the fire centered a safe distance from the legs.

7. Hang the pot over the fire by tying a bowline in the cord, forming a fixed loop large enough to fit easily over one of the tripod legs. Pass the other end of the cord through the pot’s bail handle and tie a taut-line hitch to suspend the pot over the fire at the desired height.

Find out how to tie all the knots featured here at

7 Comments on How to Build a Cooking Tripod

  1. Thank you!

  2. When would this method be better than direct oin the coals with a Dutch oven?

  3. I wonder if you can make popcorn over it

  4. Thank you, I have been looking for new ways to cook over the fire. I liked how you explained it in depth and how you added easy to follow pictures.z

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