How to Make a Camp Chair

How to Make a Camp ChairA comfortable seat is often the last thing an average camper considers when thinking about packing the car. Frame chairs take up a lot of space, and they are not always comfortable. Folding stools have no back support and limited capacity. The ideal chair falls somewhere in between all of these choices---lightweight and collapsible, with enough support to hold your weight, yet comfortable enough to kick back in and relax.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging


Things You’ll Need:
  • Material
  • Knife
  • 6 feet of small diameter rope
  • Two coils of rope 10+ feet long
Step 1
Choose a piece of material for the chair seat. It should be sufficient to hold your weight. A sleeping bag, tarp, raincoat, parts of an old tent---any of these will do.
Step 2
Do not bother to cut the material to a specific size unless space is a consideration. This will allow you to use the material for multiple purposes when it is not in use as a chair. The ideal size for comfort will vary, depending on your height, weight and personal preferences.
Step 3
Cut two pieces of small diameter rope, each 3 feet long.
Step 4
Hold two corners (if the material is rectangular, use the corners on the short sides) and gather the material between your hands. Twist it slightly and fold it over (doubled on itself) 6 to 8 inches to form a loop. Hold the material in your left hand, grasping it near the bottom of the loop.
Step 5
Use whipping to create a stable loop in the material for your anchor rope. Take one of the 3-foot rope sections in your right hand. Tuck one end of the rope into your left palm, then lay the rope out over the material to form an open loop and again tuck the rope into your palm. What you should have is the loop of fabric with a loop of rope lying on top, each resting in your left hand.
Step 6
Use your right hand to grasp the body of the rope. Begin wrapping the rope tightly across and around the mass of rope and material. Begin under your thumb and wrap toward your body, away from the loop. Wrap each coil in a neat row, just below the previous pass. Make at least eight to 10 coils.
Step 7
Pass the free end of the rope through the rope loop. Leave it hanging and loose while you find the opposite end of the rope and pull. Once the rope tightens, you may tighten from both ends if needed. Add a simple square knot for greater security.
Step 8
Repeat steps 4 to 7 with the opposite end of your material.


Step 1
Run your anchor rope through the loop and tie it securely.
Step 2
Locate an overhead branch at least 4 inches in diameter. Toss your anchor rope over the branch. Catch the free end and tie off to the tree's trunk. Repeat with the rope on the opposite end.
Step 3
Before tying off the second rope, shake in enough slack to achieve about 1.5 feet between the positions where the two ropes cross the branch. The overhead draping of the rope will support the chair in an upright position. If you do not trust a single branch, you can drape over two branches with similar spacing (1.5 feet).
Step 4
Adjust the slack to allow the chair to hang at a height that allows you to enter and exit comfortably, without becoming tangled. Three feet from the ground is an average starting point.

Article Written By Alice Moon

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.

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