Simple Camp Table

This small camp table can be comprised almost completely of Scout staves. It is 100% functional and provides a convenient raised surface for personal, patrol, or general use. It’s simple design makes it quick and easy to set up, and it is remarkably stable.

Make the table legs. Start by lashing together four Scout staves into two sets of shear legs with 6-foot manila lashing ropes. If you prefer, square lashings can be used instead of shear lashings. (In lieu of Scout staves, straight poles an inch or so in diameter are just fine.)

Lash on the table top supports. Next, with two square lashings, lash a 2-1/2-foot stick to connect each set of shear legs about 30 inches off the ground. (A Scout stave cut in two is ideal.)  This will form two A-frames, one for each side of the table. Make sure each of these support sticks are lashed on straight and at the same distance from the bottom end of both sets of legs.

Securely hold up the A-frames. This is surely the best part. Find the midpoint of a 20-foot line. At about two feet away, tie a clove hitch at the top of one of the Scout staves of one of the A-frames. Repeat this process on the other side attaching the line with a clove hitch to one of the Scout staves of the other A-frame.

Secure each end of the 20-foot line to stakes driven into the ground on either side, about 5 feet away, so the line extends out evenly from each end of this table framework. You can use round turns with two half hitches, taut-line hitches, or rope tackles. Here’s the beauty of this configuration: you can manipulate the distance between the A-frames by adjusting the clove hitches, and provide optimum stability to the table by placing a good, reasonable strain on the line at each stake. It will stand up in an impressively rigid fashion.

Lash on the table top. Finally, lay 12 Scout staves, (or similar poles) side by side, on top of the 2-1/2-foot support sticks, and using binder twine, lash them on with floor lashings.




Boys’ Life Article

Large Camp Table

The Drawing
The Drawing

A design for this table had been on the drawing board for quite some time. Well, a day before the site was set up for a special Scout Campcraft program, it was decided to build one as a functional showpiece.

The Table WIth Flags a-Blowin'.
The Table WIth Flags a-Blowin’.

We sank four 6′ spars two feet into the ground for the main corners, and sank eight 4′ spars a foot into the ground for the rest of the upright supports. Between the corners we lashed two 10′ lateral spars, and for the two long benches and the sides of the table top, we used six-footers. The table top itself was comprised of 4′ platform spars, and the side seats, 3′ ladder rungs. Since the 10′ lateral spars were really too long, we compensated for the unexpected space between the 6′ bench spars and the ends of the ten-footers by dispensing with the back rests, and instead lashed on a flag at each corner.

The Large Camp Table for the Frontier Days Program
The Large Camp Table for the Frontier Days Program (Click on the image for a LARGER VIEW.)

What a piece of work! It stayed up for three weeks and repeatedly got plenty of heavy use on a daily basis. The Floor Lashings regularly needed adjusting, and served as a perfect location to pass on the Double Floor Lashing technique to program participants who applied it later to building rafts. The 4′ vertical uprights soon worked themselves to a slight wiggling state, but continued to furnish their necessary support. Also, during the three week period, due to the heavy adults who loved to seat themselves at this rather elaborate piece of camp furniture, occasionally various Square Lashings had to be tightened up as well. Nevertheless, with all the strain, rain, and wear, this version of the large camp table happily stayed intact.