Ingenious Clothes Drying Rack for Camping




About: I believe in giving our Scout youth repeated opportunities to engineer and orchestrate the construction of useful pioneering projects. Building pioneering projects contribute to the development of self-estee...
You’ve got to love this design. It’s compact, it’s sturdy, and it’s ingenious! Go to the source.

This drying rack is based on suspending two concentric, equilateral triangles to make six cross sections for hanging wet clothing or towels during a long term encampment, and there’s no reason you can’t put it up on an overnighter if there’s a practical need. All that’s been said before regarding the advantages of this kind of campsite improvement apply to this simple camp gadget:
  • It takes up less space while drying more wet things.
  • It eliminates the clutter of clothing and towels haphazardly strewn around on tables, tree branches, tent platforms, or overcrowded on a disorganized array of drooping clothes lines.
  • It can be set up in a location where there is the most sunshine.
  • It’s especially useful when camping in an open area with few trees.
Materials (adapt these as you like)
  • 3    4′ x 1″ sticks
  • 3    5′ x 1″ sticks (Scout staves are ideal)
  • 1    6′ x 1-1/2″ to 2″ straight pole for the upright
  • 1    30″ pioneering stake
  • 8    camp gadget lashing ropes (6′ to 10′)
  • 3    15′  support ropes
  • 3    small stakes

Step 1: Lash Together the Triangles

Start by lashing together two equilateral triangles, one smaller for the top (three 4′ sticks), and the larger one for the bottom (three 5′ staves). Use square lashings. One easy way is to lash two at 90° and then bend them in and tie the third square lashing to make the triangle. This yields a nice, tightly-lashed triangle.

Step 2: Erect the Upright.

Pound in a pioneering stake and lash the 6′ pole to it securely with two tight strop lashings or round lashings. Making this upright stand up vertically without moving or wobbling at all is a key to a good and sturdy clothing dryer. So, solidly pound in the stake and make sure it’s as straight as possible. Also, make sure the lashings are well-tied and tight.

Step 3: Start Assembling the Rack

Lay the triangles on the ground over the upright, first the larger triangle, and then the smaller one on top.

Using rolling hitches, tie the three 15′ support ropes to the top of the upright.

Step 4: Continue Assembling the Rack

Tie each corner of the smaller triangle to a support rope so it will be suspended about 5′ above the ground. Use clove hitches which can be adjusted as necessary to assure the triangle hangs evenly and the 4′ sticks are horizontal. Continuing with each of the three support ropes, repeat this process for the larger triangle so that it will hang about 4′ above the ground.

Step 5: Anchor the Support Ropes

Hammer in a small stake a couple of feet out, in line with each corner of the bottom triangle. Using the remaining length of the support ropes, attach them to the stakes with a simple taut line hitch. This will further stabilize the clothing dryer and enable you to make fine-tune adjustments to the way the triangles lay. (You can also just make them fast to the stakes with a roundturn with two half hitches, or another clove hitch.)

Step 6: A Sturdy Clothes Drying Rack With Six Sides

Any questions? Click here.



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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Nice! Might try something like this at summer camp this summer.

    The only thing I don't like about this design is the staked-out lines at the base, which create a tripping hazard. How about securing the guy lines to the base of the center pole? If they are all reasonably taut, it might keep it from swaying (although it might still spin a little).


    4 years ago on Introduction

    How about using a tripod in place of the center pole? It would require a couple more (longer) poles, but overall it would be more stable and a lot easier to set up, especially in hard or crumbly soil.

    1 reply
    Larry Greendropkick

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I think you've got something there. Lash together a tripod, and lash on six crossbars in place of the concentric triangles. I'll look into proto-typing a design. Thanks!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I've been camping for over 50 years and the best campsite ideas still come from the Scouts! Now if you can figure out how to make a camp cot comfortable, I'd be grateful.

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I recently saw a really great idea for more comfy camp sleeping. If sleeping on the ground in your sleeping bag then you dig some holes for your hip and head area. I haven't tried it yet but I really think that would work out GREAT. Go figure, lol.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I'll try it. Thank you! BTW, if you ever use campfire heated rocks to warm up your sleeping site, let them sit an hour or so to let the humidity evaporate from the soil first or you will end up with a soggy sleeping bag like I did. I also use them to chase out the little bitty scorpions that like to burrow just under the ground...(this was in Nevada - 125 degrees during the day, 45 degrees at night.)


    6 years ago

    how about hanging the clothes from natural tree branches??

    1 reply