Making a Tripod Using Paracord

Posted by Stacy on 2/25/2013

Knowing how to make a tripod is a very useful skill to have in the outdoors.  This can be used to make a shelter, hang something over a fire, and more.  All it takes is some paracord and a few bits of wood.


David: Hey, everyone. This is David of David'spassage.com and I wanted to come with a quick video on something I picked up that--it's been really useful to me and I just thought I'd pass it along, and that's lashing tripods with paracord. Now, I made one up here. This is sort of a small scale model of what this can be used for, but you can get the gist of it. This is just a few dowel rods and some paracord, and I want to show you how to do this because I find--these can be really, really helpful whenever you're camping, when you're backpacking, and that sort of thing, because tripods are just incredibly strong. They're incredibly useful for so many things. I mean you got a big enough, you can use them to hang stuff over your fire. You can use them to hang heavy objects with off the ground. You get small ones like this. You build a few of them up and you can actually build frames for other things because they're incredibly strong if you build them right.

I'm going to go through and show you how to do this on a small scale and then I'm going to go ahead and show you how I did it on a larger scale and just show you a little bit of how strong these things can actually be.

First of all, to make a tripod, you want three poles of equal size. You don’t want your poles to be in different sizes, although if you remember in geometry class, three points make a plane. I guess there might be some use for an awkward tripod. For this case, you want your poles to be the same length. We're just going to start with the first pole. We're going to pole--it's called the clove hitch on that. I'm going to show you to do that up close.

Okay, so to start up, what you're going to do is called the clove hitch. Now, in order to do a clove hitch, what we're going to do is we're going to actually bring the string around and make an X with the string. Here's my tag end, coming around and making an X. I'm going to bring it through again. Bring it around again rather and I'm going to pass that end underneath that X. You can see that, okay. There is my X and there is that tag end coming right back around through. Now, my paracord, I like to put--if I cut it, I like to put a knot in the end there so that this unraveling doesn’t get too far. You can see that again. There is my X. There is the paracord coming back around through that. That's what called a clove hitch. Tighten that up. Make sure to pull that tight.

It's one of those knots that holds up pretty well, but it will come undone when you need it to also. Now that I've got my clove hitch, I'm going to go ahead and take my other three pieces of pole or rod in this case. I'm going to take that piece of paracord. I'm going to start to wrap it under and over, and under, over, under, over. I want to bring those, each one of those windings down to where I want them. I'm going to keep doing that for several times, each time bringing that wrapping down.

Now, depending on what you need this for, it determines so many times you wrapped this, but--I don’t really think you can wrap it too much just because the more times you wrap it the more strength you're going to have in it. With 550 paracord, you're looking at--if each wrap holds a little less--well, it would be less than 500 pounds. You start building up those wraps and it ends up quick, okay. Now, I've got a bunch of wraps on here. Let's come around. Make sure those are nice and tightened up together. Now, what I'm going to start to do is I'm going to take my tag end and with what's left of my paracord and start to wrap around those lashings, just like so. As you can see, if I pull tight, that's going to pull that paracord up. That's going to bunch it up. Pull those tight so those will serve as joints. I'm really tightening it together and one of those lashings are holding really tightly together. I can do that a few times there. Now, bring it over the other side. Do the same thing.

You can do this with bamboo too. I mean people make decorative tripods like this for their homes. Okay, now I got it wrapped. I got the lashings done. I go the lashings wrapped pretty tight in there. What I'm going to do now is just finish it off. Take this tag end and now, you can finish it a few ways. A lot of people like to finish it with an extra clove hitch so I'm going to go ahead and do that. Make my X. Bring my tag end around and pass under my X here. Tighten it down.

Now when it's done, any extra paracord that you have, you can go ahead and cut right off. Again, once you cut it off, I suggest put a little knot in it. Otherwise, what happens is this paracord tends to fray like that. Put a little knot in it and then just spread the legs out like in a tripod fashion, and there you go. The thing is super, super strong.

Actually, people use this sort of technique to make wilderness chairs. I've seen some people use this technique to make wilderness seats, just depending on how high the poles are. Again, you could take a pole, if you built four of these, you could take poles and put them in here. Suspend off the ground and make sort of a bed that's off the ground. You get two poles going this way on four sides, then some lattice, some cover boughs, whatever to soften up and make a mattress, a natural mattress and that thing will hold. A size like this would be perfect for it, but I made some in my backyard here. I'm going to show you that are pretty strong and they don’t look like they're pretty strong, but they are. I'm going to just give you a little show or a demonstration of how strong these things actually are.

Here's an example of a couple that I've just sort of strewn together in the backyard using taller poles. Same principle, 550 paracord. You can see. You could use this for shelter building also. These things are very, very strong. Just to give you a little bit of an idea, I'm going to go ahead and hang from myself on that one and kind of show you.

You can see I'm a big guy, about 250 pounds. I mean those things are only about an inch and a half thick, those poles. Again, just an extremely strong way to make something in the wilderness. You can use just a paracord. Again, it doesn’t take much to make it and they're extremely useful, extremely useful. My neighbor and buddy, Aleck, was over and when he saw me do that, he thought for sure I was going to fall on my butt but I had to prove him wrong because those things are really strong.

Anyways, thank you so much for watching. Again, I really appreciate your subscriptions, your views. I appreciate your likes on Twitter or Facebook, or whatever is going on there. Be sure to stay tuned and subscribe to my channel for more things that I pick up just as I'm learning stuff. A lot of you guys are learning stuff and I just love passing on stuff that I'm learning. I really appreciate the YouTube community. A lot of this stuff I just picked up even from just stumbling upon things that are already on there, and it's just really helpful.

One thing I would love to hear, if you have a use for these things, I mentioned cooking. I mentioned making beds off the ground and sort of primitive camping situation. You saw me hang from there. You could hang a deer from that, but if you've used one of these in a situation that I didn’t mention, I'd love to hear about it. Just let me know in the comments or if you have any ideas about how to use them. It would be really cool to get some ideas going in terms of what we can use these things for because it's just an extremely simple skill to lash those together. They're extremely strong and extremely useful. Again, this is David from David'spassage.com. Thank you for watching and we'll see you outdoors.
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