Tripod Hand Washing Station

This wash station is sturdy, portable, and very useful when camping away from washroom facilities. Its design is a sound example of Scout engineering. Each of the three legs making up the tripod gets a lashed on support piece, and the wash station’s stability stems from the fact the design contains three triangles.

To start, you’ll need six good, straight sticks as follows:

  • two 2-foot sticks (3/4 inch to an inch in diameter) for the leg braces
  • two 4-foot sticks (3/4 inch to an inch in diameter) for the back leg and crossbar
  • two 5-foot sticks (3/4 inch to an inch in diameter) for the front legs

Page64 WashStation2For the lashings, you’ll need binder twine, or:

  • one 10-foot lashing rope for the tripod lashing
  • six 6-foot lashing ropes for the square lashings

You’ll also need:

  • bar of soap in a sock
  • small to medium-sized towel
  • two 3-foot cords
  • No. 10 can with a bail or 4-quart cooking pot with a bail

Here’s the assembly procedure:

Make the tripod. Using the 10-foot rope, lash the two 5-foot sticks and one 4-foot stick together with a tight tripod lashing. The 4-foot stick should be in the middle. Make sure the “butt” ends of all three sticks are even. Separate the legs and set the tripod up. This project’s success relies on a secure, well-tied tripod lashing.

Page65 WashStation1Lash on the braces. Using  the 6-foot ropes lash one end of the 2-foot sticks to the 5-foot legs and the other end of the 2-foot sticks to the 4-foot leg, with four tight square lashings.

Page63 WashStation2Lash on the crossbar. Using two more square lashings, tightly lash the other 4-foot stick to the top extended sections of the two 5-foot sticks to make a cross bar to hang the towel and soap-in-a-sock.

Add the soap, water, and towel. Tie the end of one 3-foot cord to the soap-in-a-sock and the end of the other 3-foot cord to the towel, and suspend them on either side of the 4-foot crossbar with clove hitches.

Hang the can filled with water to the end of the 4-foot stick extending from the front of the tripod.

During the outing, make sure the soap-in-a-sock is not left inside the can after use, and frequently change the water. One nice thing about using a metal container is that in cold weather, the can of water can be heated over a fire or on a stove.