Camping Platform

In the 1970s there were a large number of Groups taking up a challenge by John Sweet to build multi-storey camping platforms. This is a basic design which could be adapted and extended to suit the available materials.


  • 17 x 6m (18ft) spars
  • 9 x 4m (12ft) spars
  • 2 x 3m (10ft) spar
  • 10 x 2.5m (8ft) spars
  • 2 x 2m (6ft) spars
  • 10 x 1.2m (4ft) spars
  • 2 x 1m stakes
  • 4 long ropes for guys
  • 51 lashing lengths
  • 4 tent pegs
  • Mallet


Prepare 2 identical frames using 2 x 4m (12ft) spars joined by 3 2.5m (8ft) spars – one at the top, one about 1.2m (4ft) from the first and the third about 0.5m (1ft 6ins) from the butt. Use a 3m (10ft) spar as a bracing between the lower two cross members. Tie guy ropes on either side of the frame, just above the middle cross member. (diagram A)

Prepare a third frame similar to the first two but without the top cross member.

Raise the first two frames approx 5m apart and put the guys in temporarily and tie ropes between the cross members front and back.

Place the third frame between the first two, a little under 2m from one of the uprights.

Lay 2 x 6m (18ft) spars on the bottom cross members of the frames. Adjust the distance the frames are apart if necessary and re-guy. Lash these two 6m (18ft) spars to the frames, one on either side.

Then repeat using another 2 x 6m (18ft) spars and resting them on the centre cross members. Lash them in place.

Cross brace the back of the platform using 1 x 2.5m spar and 1 x 3m (10ft) spar.

Lash a 4m (12ft) spar vertically to the front of the frame approx 1.5m (5ft) from the centre support frame.

Complete the platforms by lashing 6 or more 6m (18ft) spars between those already in place at each level.

Prepare a ladder using 2 x 4.0m (12ft) and 10 x 1.2m (4ft) spars and lean it against the top platform between the two vertical spars.

Lash the final 6m (18ft) spar to the top of the frames to create a handrail along the back of the frame.

Lash two 2m (6ft) spars to the top of the front of the frame either side of the ladder to complete the handrail.

Drive in 2 x 1m stakes either side of the foot of the ladder and lash 2 x 1.2m (4ft) from the top of the stakes to the verticals either side of the top of the ladder to provide handrails.

Cover the platform with any suitable material to make it more comfortable – planks of wood, bracken etc then pitch your tents. You should be able to get 2 basic 2/3 person dome tents on each level.

To download the complete plan and design document please Click Here

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls