Introduction: How to Build a Wilderness Survival Tripod

Picture of How to Build a Wilderness Survival Tripod

These instructions are meant to guide one in how to construct a tripod using natural resources and materials. Especially favored in Boy Scouts, survival tripods are all but essential when camping out in the wilderness, as their number of uses are nearly endless, from hanging a lantern or lamp at night, keeping cooking utensils away from the ground, as a frame for a tent, or even to keep food away from raccoons or other wildlife. Tripods quite literally form the backbone for any campsite, and it's this instructable's intention to walk anyone who's interested through the quick and simple process of creating one of these invaluable structures. 

Step 1: Required Materials

Picture of Required Materials

(Note: Dimensions, measurements and compositions reflect materials shown in the image. Size and width vary depending on intended purpose.)
1. 3 dowel wood poles 3 ft. X 1.5 in. (Green-tipped)
2. 3 dowel wood poles 2 ft. X 1 in. (Orange-tipped)
3. 100 ft. of 1/4 in. nylon rope. (While that much isn't necessary for a rig this size, you want to be certain that you have enough.)

Step 2: Tying a Clove Hitch

Picture of Tying a Clove Hitch

1. Stand one of the 3 ft X 1.5 in poles upright and measure to about 1/4 to 1/6 of its total length and mark it.
2. Tie a clove hitch knot around the pole at the point you marked and pull tightly. (Refer to lower left image.)
3. Take the other two poles of the same size and lay them on a flat surface next the knotted pole,
(Clove hitch instructions included in image to the lower right.)


Step 3: Lashing and Frapping

Picture of Lashing and Frapping

1. Take the long end of the rope and begin wrapping it around the other two poles, going "under and over" back and forth until you have made at least 5 to 6 passes around each pole. (See below image for lashing instructions.)
2. Now take the long end and wrap it vertically between each of the poles for several passes, wrapping over your previous lashings and adding significant strength to the rig. This is known as frapping. (Note that the image on the left is just the finished lashings while the one on the right is the finished frapping.) 


Step 4: Reinforcement.

Picture of Reinforcement.

1. Once the frapping is complete, the long end of the rope should be next to the original clove hitch knot. Use the remainder to tie several half-hitch knots around one of the poles to provide even more strength and stability. Doubling is recommended. (Directions included in lower image to the lower right)
2. Divide the remainder of the rope into 6 pieces, each at least 6 feet long.
3. Take the three smaller 3 ft. X 1 in. poles and lay them perpendicular across the gaps between the main body poles about halfway up and tie each of them to the main body poles with a square lashing at each of the six junctions. beginning and ending each one with a clove hitch and frapping each one at least twice. (Once again, instructions are included in the lower left image.)

Step 5: Conclusion.

Picture of Conclusion.

Now you should have something that resembles the image below. Bear in mind that tripods come in different sizes, but the basic building instructions are the same, making them quick and easy to construct and put to use, from providing the framework for you tent to storing your dirty laundry. Tripods are an integral part of any campsite and you won't have any trouble finding a use for one.

Citations:
1. Clove hitch instructions-http://familythornton.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/clove-hitch2.gif
2. Tripod lashing instructions-http://troop172newpaltz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/tripod-lashing.jpg
3. Square hitch instructions-http://bsar.org/files/Square-lashing.jpg
4. Half hitch instructions-http://howdidyoumakethis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/halfanddoublehitch.jpg

Comments

PAK88 (author)2013-10-19

Basic instructions on how to make a tripod out in the wilderness, something I quickly learned was all but essential when I was in boy scouts.

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