Ducking Stool


  • 1 x 5m (15ft) spar
  • 1 x 3m (10ft) spar
  • 2 x 1.8m (6ft) spar
  • 5 lashing lengths
  • 2 short lengths of light line
  • 1 tyre
  • Pegs and mallet


Take the 2 x 1.8m (6ft) spars and the 3m (10ft) spar and do a tripod lashing approx 1.5m (5ft) up from the butt of the long spar.

Using a lashing length, put a simple whipping on the top end of the 3m (10ft) spar. To ensure that the rope does not pull right through the whipping when put under strain, when you tuck the running end through the loop, continue round the spar and go through the loop a second and then a third time. It is essential that the other end of the whipping (the standing end) is long enough to tie a rolling hitch around the 5m (15ft) spar ie approx 1.5m (5ft).

Take the standing end of the whipping and tie a rolling hitch around the centre of the 5m (15ft) spar. The distance between the spar and the whipping should be approx 0.3m (1ft).

Attach the tyre to one end of the 5m (15ft) spar and two lashing lengths to the other.

Decide where you are going to place your ducking stool and make a hole in the ground using a tent peg. Stand the 3m (10ft) spar vertically in this hole and arrange the other two legs of the tripod so that their butt ends rest on the ground between this vertical pole and the river.

Drive in tent pegs at the base of the 1.8m (6ft) spars and lash them together to prevent movement.

To operate

With the 5m (15ft) spar parallel to the river, someone sits in the tyre. Two Scouts then pull on the lashing lengths hanging from the other end and swing their friend over the water, ducking him or her as they feel appropriate.

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