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How to Build a Camp Table Between Trees

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


Keep your stuff out of the dirt by building a table for your camp. It’s easy if you have the pioneering skills.


  • Two spars up to six feet long (or long enough to be lashed to both trees) and about 3 inches in diameter
  • Several shorter spars, the number depending on the distance between the trees
  • Two sections of rope, both around 25 feet in length
  • Four sections of rope, each around 50 feet in length depending on the diameter of the trees (Each can be made with two sections of 25-foot rope tied together with a square knot, or a sheep’s bend knot if rope is of two different diameters)


Step One: Pick out two trees up to five feet apart with nothing between them. Have one person hold one of the longer spars horizontally across both trees. Tie a clove hitch around one spar right next to the tree, then use a square lash to attach the spar to the tree.

Step Two: Repeat the square lashing to the second tree at the other end of this spar, and repeat the whole process with the second spar on the other side of the tree. The lashings on both sides of the tree will have to overlap each other to ensure that the spars are level with each other.

Step Three: Lay the shorter spars across the two spars that are now attached to the trees. Lash the shorter spars to the longer spars with a floor lashing.

Step Four: Enjoy your new camp table.

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38 Comments on How to Build a Camp Table Between Trees

  1. alexthekid // July 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    very cool!

  2. dylmeister // May 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm // Reply


  3. skymasterson // May 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm // Reply

    Nice. I going camping and this will be helpful.

  4. it helps you to make a table

  5. 1 merit badge till Life! // February 5, 2012 at 12:54 am // Reply

    thts so cool.!

  6. i can do that without the trees

  7. How much weight would the table hold?

  8. Nice table.

    Why are the adults building this? Where the BOY Scouts?

  9. It looks cool I’ll have to try it out sometime. πŸ™‚

  10. A First Class Scout // June 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm // Reply

    This is really cool! I can’t wait to use it on my next campout.

  11. Awsome!:)

  12. I might build it. πŸ™‚

  13. brother of eagle. // October 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm // Reply

    lashings are completeley IMPROPER!!! but if you do it right it will save you the expense of buying and or bringing a camp table. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  14. I love the idea but how much rope do u use :(.

  15. falcon 5.0 // July 2, 2010 at 10:58 am // Reply

    I just use super glue

  16. The Man with the Banjo // June 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm // Reply

    Neat. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

  17. In spite of any negative comments, if this method is sound then by all means use it. Many Thanks

  18. The lashings shown ar not properly tied. In the sqoare lashing the clove hitchis not secured and the rope is not kept parralel. I the table top the lashing is not even close to the proper way!

  19. I agree with cowboy

  20. I love the whole idea! Except my scout master tought us about the whole leave no trace thing does this leave any marks on the tree. And do you have to use any specail knots like the bowline or square knots?

    • brother of eagle. // October 17, 2010 at 9:20 pm // Reply

      well if you dont tie it too tight it wont ant the only other knot you really need to use is the clove hitch. πŸ™‚

      • Ranger Dan // August 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm //

        You make a very good point. The article should have pointed out that it should be made only with downed wood and should be removed when done with it. LMT

  21. This video really gave me some ideas for our meeting next monday. We are having a competition to see who can create the best camp gadgets and I wanted to make a table. So THANKS!!!!

  22. patrol leader 5 // March 8, 2009 at 11:29 am // Reply

    This camp table and all of the other pioneering projects for this webpage are great ideas for things to do around camp and for getting requirements for first class.

    • star scout a.s.p.l // October 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm // Reply

      yeah and keep workin towards eagle dont stop! my bro is eagle and i almost gave up but i perservered and made star and almost life!

  23. dear peeps doing this video i once saw in an old issue of bl (or the manual) a rope bride where instead of planks of wood hey had a bundle of sticks and i really wan o make i in my back yard bu i canon get my hands on the instructions plz help or somebody reply whit a link or something becuase really waned to do it today but alas i failed

  24. Scout 1596 // May 29, 2008 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    This really seems like a cool thing to do. I can’t wait to try this on my next campout!!!:) πŸ™‚

  25. first class scout bo351996 // March 24, 2008 at 12:26 pm // Reply

    THis will really help me and other scouts with my woodman’s for fire crafter. and my troop can earn some extra points on camp inspections

  26. Over time I’ve learned the universality of the clove hitch. To answer my previous comment (6-Robin), the square lashing begins and ends with clove hitches. So does the floor lashing. It begins and ends with clove hitches too.

  27. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a video speaks a billion more. However, this video series is less instructive than the flagpole where each step is completely illustrated. For example, in Step One we begin with a clove hitch and proceed with a square lash to attach the spar to the tree but the video does not show how to end the square lash. Also, the other video does not show how to start and end the floor lashing. Regardless, we do learn and have some ideas to build a camp table through the videos. For that we thank Aaron Derr, Kevin Liles, and the Boys’ Life magazine for educating us.

  28. tHAT WAS wonderful

  29. this is awsome i alwase need a good table on camp outs

  30. Im going to recomend this to the socuts that are working on First class, this seems really cool.

  31. This will really help me get my first class rank. thanks

  32. This (second) video is less confusing than the description in the Handbook, I think.

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