Here’s how to complete a square lashing in half the time

Making tight wraps and fraps when tying a square lashing can take some time, but not with this method.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some camp hacks that the BSA’s national camping subcommittee has shared with us. This week, we’ll show you a quick and easy way to tie the most commonly used lashing at camp. Special thanks to Larry Green for the tips and text below.


The most common and frequently used lashing is the square lashing, which gets its name from the fact the wraps are “square” to the poles. Square lashings bind poles that are in contact and cross each other at any angle from 45-degrees to 90-degrees. There are various types of square lashings, and when tied tightly and correctly, they all do the job.

Most commonly used in the pioneering area at our national jamborees is the Mark II Square Lashing, which has been widely adopted for its simplicity, speed and efficiency.

  1. Begin by placing the poles in the desired position. Fold your lashing rope in half. The midpoint of the rope is placed around the vertical pole and just under the crossing pole.
  2. Now work both ends of the rope at the same time to make three wraps around the poles.
  3. After completing the three wraps, bring the two ends down between the poles in opposite directions to make two frapping turns around the wraps.
  4. Pull the frapping turns tight and complete the lashing by tying the two ends with a square knot. It’s that simple.

Scouts introduced to this method of forming a square lashing respond enthusiastically that it’s much easier to tie, and indeed a whole lot faster. The natural outcome of learning the Mark II Square Lashing is the increased ability to have fun building more things using ropes and poles.

Watch the video of this technique below.

About Michael Freeman 121 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is associate editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.