This lightweight camp table made from tent poles, weighs just 2 lbs, breaks down in seconds to fit in a pack, and is an essential food prep and cooking stand for camping in areas without picnic tables.
This versatile work surface is perfect for cooking because it is close to kitchen counter height (home counters are typically 36 inches). At 30" tall this table sure beats having to tend to a stove on the ground.
Some ultra light backpackers may consider a table an unnecessary luxury who's weight they can forgo. For me, the utility and convenience this little table provides is worth it.
When I camp I am willing to do with out the Lazy Boy, the Zenith, and the microwave..... but at least let me keep the TV Tray Table.
The 14" diameter work surface is more than adequate for cooking with a stove, mess kit and water bottle. Note: Be sure to check the Instructables link in step 10 for two light weight stove designs that have been used with this table.
Photo four on this step shows the table easily supporting the weight of 9 liters of pop.
Step 1: Description
The table structure is primarily old tent poles (Our Boy Scout troop found itself with an excess of tent poles because the fabric portion of several tents had to be retired over the years). Being strong and lightweight they were too good to throw away.
A fabricated wood block couples the tent pole arms and legs to complete the table's support structure. The complete structure weighs 1 lb. including the wood block and all the hardware and stakes.
The actual table top is a pizza cooking tray. The one I found had pre-punched holes for crisping the pizza (which has the benefit of making it lighter) and although it is steel, it only weighs 1 lb. I am on the lookout for an equivalent 14" diameter aluminium tray which would reduce the weight by about 1/3.
I found that the 14" diameter is a good workable size. Anything larger would require a wider leg stance to maintain stability and besides, 14" is the largest size that will fit within the width of my pack.