Bind two sticks or poles at a right angle with Japanese square lashing, an easy and fast alternative to the square lashing technique that require clove hitches at the start and finish. This one ends with a simple square or reef knot, which is “usually learned when we tie the laces on our first pair of shoes.”
As with other square lashing techniques, you can create scaffolding, fences, a ladder, a bridge, an emergency stretcher, and more with Japanese square lashing. Mark the Braider shares how to keep the rope tightly wrapped and neatly lined up with this step-by-step demonstration.
Used by Native Americans and Pioneers, lashing is the term for fastening two or more sticks or poles together using binder twine or rope rather than nails. Lashing is a fun and easy way to construct shelving, racks, flagpoles, hooks, and many useful objects in your campsite without harming trees. It is more suited to established campsites, and is often prohibited in the backcountry. It is always a good idea to ask before building a structure.
Use only downed wood and leave no trace behind when you break camp. In your campsite, you would use downed wood to construct a structure, but for practicing your skills at home you can use broomsticks, dowels, bamboo poles, PVC pipe, or when available, pruned tree limbs. You will also need a spool of binder twine (or string, cord, rope, etc.) and your pocketknife to cut it. For your campsite, useful items might include a pruning saw (to cut wood to length) and a hammer or large rock for pounding sticks into the ground… Knowledge of basic lashing techniques will enable you to build many types of structures.
Watch these related rope, knots, and shelter videos next:
• How to tie a Figure 8 knot with Animated Knots
• How to make rope from grass
• An 18th-century No-Nails Survival Shelter
• Building a ‘bed shed’ sleeping shelter
• Professor Shoelace demonstrates the world’s fastest shoelace knot
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.