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How to Use Lashings to Build a Comfortable Camp Chair

Scout sitting in a homemade camp chair made with tarp and lashings

Relax around camp by building a comfortable camping 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


Step 1 lash together three poles to start the camp chair

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 2 Put rocks in each corner of tarp to build camp chair

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 3 attach tarp to tripod to make camping chair

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 camp chair, so attach the rope at higher point on that spar to create the back of the chair.


Step Four: Relax comfortably in your camping chair.

57 Comments on How to Use Lashings to Build a Comfortable Camp Chair

  1. thanks for th help i need a good camp chair

  2. Is it comfortable.?

  3. GoldenSwagDragon38 // July 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm // Reply

    Thats Awesome

  4. GoldenSwagDragon38 // July 5, 2017 at 3:16 pm // Reply


  5. nice

  6. Love The chair, Too.

  7. I love Boy’s life!!!!!!!

  8. awesome chair guys you did a awesome job at doing this . 🙂

  9. Scoutmaster778 // November 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm // Reply

    Great idea. That would fulfill the “Build a useful camp gadget” requirement and lashings at the same time!

  10. Where did you find such nice logs whith out leaving NO trace!!,Answer that one!!!!!!!

    • Think about it // November 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm // Reply

      You bring the logs with you. Or you take them from stuff that was removed for timber management. Or you harvest trees designated for removal.

  11. Where are you camping

  12. i think its cool but it looks hard

  13. Mr.McAwesome // October 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm // Reply

    Getting a hammock isn’t as fun s sitting in something that you made

  14. I’m gonna combine the Chair and tabble for sleeping

  15. the designated bad a // July 22, 2011 at 12:07 am // Reply

    dude this was awesome i am going to go sleep in mine

  16. now we know how to recycle those out door chair seats when the cheap frames fall apart!! another use for a light but strong! bamboo poles!

  17. I’ve been making a camp chair for my troop at every summer camp for the last three years, but mine doesn’t use a tarp my troop weaves an actual chair out of rope and then we add a foot rest and it’s the most amazing chair ever. My troop won second place at a pioneering weekend with my chair a few years back.

  18. this was fun but hard i finally finished

  19. Cool, but i dont have tarp=<

  20. awsome chair

  21. The Man with the Banjo // June 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm // Reply

    This is cool 😀 but I don’t like knots 🙁

  22. I use this same idea to build a water filter system. I tie 3 levels on the tripod. The topmost of burlap to filter leaves, sticks etc, the second level of fine cotton to filter dirt, the lower level of very fine cotton covered with charcoal to remove everything else. I have a bucket underneath the lowest level to catch the clean water. I still boil it afterwards but the tripod water filter removes alot of the impurities. Pour the water into the top layer and let it leach down through the layers. When the clothes become clogged, clean them or replace them.

  23. That looks totallly cool. It also looks cozy. I should make one because all the other Scouts and my friends keep on Olying their chairs! It looks easy, but can you use it in the winter and any other season or just one!???

  24. dude wit no name // October 26, 2009 at 2:09 pm // Reply

    i dont know whether to use this i need an idea this is the only 1 but that guy says it doesnt work

  25. Takes a bit of trial and error to get the tarp at the right level and is all according to personal preference and comfort-level.

  26. cool video i want to try that! it looks comfy

  27. Charles Dad // June 13, 2008 at 1:23 am // Reply

    Our Cub scouts built three of these in about two hours. We gathered the poles a few days in advance and stripped the bark off. With a Boy’s Life Magazine close by, we followed the easy directions and were proud of our accomplishments when all three worked well. We even discussed how to change the design to make a hammock to sleep in. Thanks Boy’s Life, this was one of our best meetings.

  28. I tried this and by using the end of a long rope to tie the tarp to the spar and tying the ropes to the spars at the same level the chair was better than a hammock and can be easily madde on a camping trip.

  29. bob bo bill // March 22, 2008 at 3:43 pm // Reply

    this looks comftorbal but complicated to build is there a simpler way of doing so

  30. tenderfoot3 // March 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm // Reply

    O.K. ya’ll I tried it(because it stopped raining) it works great!

  31. Wow, that’s a most instructive video on how to perform a tripod lashing! A second video on how to prepare the tarp and to tie it to the spars is not shown. However, it is clear enough for me to do it with the assistance of the written instructions. In the flagpole video I learned to tie the taut-line hitch to the main line. In this video I learned that the hitch can also be used to tie a rope to a spar. The grip is good enough to hold the tarp without sliding down. I am just wondering whether Hurt Bottom had tied the taut-line hitch correctly to the spars. By the way, thank you again for the instructive video.

  32. Hurt Bottom // March 2, 2008 at 6:49 pm // Reply

    I tried making this at the last two campouts.

    It didn’t work.

    The tripod is fine, but when I attach the tarp, it slids to the bottom.

    It still hurts.

  33. Its cool.

  34. Now this is preety cool im going to bulid this next trip.

  35. It’s raining outside, but when it stops, i’m trying this!!!

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

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

  37. 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!

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

  39. 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.

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

  41. 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.

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

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

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

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

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