Camping photo

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You don’t need one of those cheap pop-up tables for your next trip. Here’s how to use paracord and a basic lashing technique to build a camp table just about anyhere.

Step 1: Eyeball the width of the tree and drive a pair of sharpened sticks waist-high into the ground the same distance apart and 2 to 4 feet away from the trunk. These will become your two table legs.

Step 2: Have a buddy hold a 2- to 4-foot branch horizontally against the tree and one of the table legs. Join the two sticks at a right angle with the paracord using a simple square lashing. (See below.) Repeat for the other table leg and lash the horizontal supports tightly to the tree trunk.

Step 3: Starting with a square lashing at each corner, wind the paracord in a figure-eight pattern over and under a grillwork of sticks to form a tabletop. Finish with a couple of half hitches.

Be Hip to the Square


1) If it has been a while since your Boy Scout days, here’s a refresher on square lashing. First, tie a clove hitch on the table leg right below the horizontal stick.

2) Bring the running end around the tag end, and weave the paracord under and over the crossed sticks, as shown, four times, being careful to keep the wrap snug.

3) Now frap the lashing: Run the paracord around the wrap, on top of the back stick and behind the front stick, several times. Finish with another clove hitch.

Illustrations by: Jason Lee