Display a little patriotic pride by constructing a rustic camp flag pole to fly Old Glory at your next camping event. You can also use this pole to fly a unit banner or decorative pennant. This project requires knot-tying skills and two or more people to put into place. It is a great project for Scout units of any age. See resources below for how to tie the knots used in this project.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Two wooden poles, about 15 feet long and 2 to 3 inches thick
- Four sturdy tent pegs
- Rope, at least 100 feet
- Knife to cut the rope
Select a spot for the camp flag pole, ideally an area with plenty of open ground. It should not be in a high traffic area; you don't want people tripping over your support ropes.
Lay the wooden poles on the ground, parallel to each other, with about 4 feet of the poles overlapping. Secure the two poles together by using the rope to tie a clove hitch toward the bottom of the overlapping portions. Then lash the poles together by wrapping the rope tightly around the two poles about 15 times. End with another clove hitch. Cut the rope.
Repeat the lashing at the top of the overlapped part of the poles. Cut the rope.
Cut two 12-inch segments of rope and reserve for securing the flag to the pole. Cut the remaining rope into two equal lengths. Secure the long pieces of rope to the middle of the pole with a lark's head knot: fold the rope in half, pass the folded part of the rope under the pole, pass the ends of the rope through loop of the fold and pull tight. Repeat so that two lengths of rope are secured to the middle of the pole.
Attach the flag to the top of the pole by threading the short pieces of rope through the flag's grommets and tying to the pole with square knots.
Next, stand the pole upright and have one person hold the pole in position. Stretch the ropes attached to the middle of the pole out in four different directions, forming a tepee shape. Hammer a tent stake into the ground about 8 feet from the pole for each rope and tie the ropes to the stakes. Use a taut-line hitch to tighten the ropes.
Tips and warnings
- The poles can be harvested from private property, or you can purchase closet rod poles or 2x2 lumber for this project.
- PVC pipe could also be substituted for the poles.
- For best results, bring wood for the pole from home. Most camp grounds will not allow you to cut fresh wood and finding the right size "dead wood" branches will be practically impossible.
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