How to Make Your Own Lightweight Tent Poles

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The market for camping and outdoor sport supplies has grown tremendously over the years and outdoor enthusiasts can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on camping gear and outdoor equipment. Making your own gear has become economically efficient and somewhat of a pastime for hikers, backpackers and survivalists. Most hiking and camping gear can be made from junk, scrap around the house, and what nature provides. A tent-and-pole shelter is the most important element for outdoor protection and survival.

Things You'll Need

  • Bamboo stalks
  • Sandpaper
  • Knife or hatchet
  • 50 feet of stretchable nylon cord

Making Lightweight Tent oles

  • Use thin, dried bamboo stalks to form your tent poles. The bamboo must be flexible and sturdy enough to support the weight of your shelter material.

  • Cut the bamboo into 1.5- to 2-foot sections to allow for easy carrying. Make longer cuts if you wish; however, longer dimensions are difficult to backpack through thick vegetation.

  • Sand down the ends of the bamboo to 2 inches from the cuts that you made earlier. Sand the bamboo to fit into the other cuts in a descending order. Start with the skinny portion (usually the top of the stalk) and work backwards towards the bottom, sanding and fitting each cut into the one before it.

  • Tie a large square knot in one end of a long piece of stretchable nylon cord. Run the free end of the cord through your first segment of cut bamboo.

  • Continue running the cord through the bamboo until all sections are in order. Tie another square knot in the end, leaving 1 to 2 inches of space between the knot and the top of the bamboo. Then fold the bamboo segments into a bundle and tie them with the remaining string.

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