Simple Ladder Bridge


  • 6 x spars 3.6m to 5m (12 to 16ft) long
  • 6 x spars 2.5m (8ft) long
  • 2 x spars 2m (6ft long)
  • light spars for ladder rungs
  • lashing lengths
  • large pegs or pickets


Start by making a tripod on each side of the stream/gully using two long spars and a shorter one that will be the back leg. The actual lengths of the spars will depend on the depth of the stream etc. Use either a figure of eight or a tripod lashing.

Lash horizontal spars across the long legs to form and A frame. They should be positioned so that they will be slightly higher than the bank when the legs are placed in their final positions.

Place the longer legs in the stream so that they have firm footings and are on line. Pull the shorter legs back until they are stable.

Drive a picket into the ground alongside and at right angles to the back spar and lash the two together.

The footways are ladders made from light spars lashed along longer spars. For additional strength fix the rungs on top of their supports. The ladder for the central span should be a good fit inside the A frame. The outer ladders should be narrower so that they will fit inside the centre ladder. It may be necessary to tie the ladders to the A frames to ensure they do not slip.

Finally, fit two hand ropes between the tripods as shown in the diagram.

Note: Since the design of the project the principles of Health and Safety have changed dramatically.
Caution should be exercised to assess the risks associated with this build and especially regarding possible falls from height, so handrails or belays and harnesses may be required.

To download the complete plan and design document please Click Here

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