Hourglass Tower

Report Copyright Infringement View in OSM UK View in OSM NZ


The Hourglass Tower in the 2013 National Jamboree Pioneering Area was set up as one of four tower displays.

“The Hourglass Tower is something of a classic for Scout pioneering. John Sweet’s excellent book Scout Pioneering describes it, and since then many Scout troops have built one.” (Read: Erecting an Hourglass Tower in Ropes and Poles.)

“The tower is constructed from two large pyramids interlocked together.” (Read: Hourglass Tower in Poneering Made Easy.)

As an interesting side note: by employing rope tackles in each of the lines marrying the two tripods, effectively tightening the connections was very easy to accomplish.

I have not created this information just migrated it from an external site - https://scoutpioneering.com/2013/08/06/jamboree-pioneering-area-hourglass-tower/



- 9 x spars 3.6m long
- 6 x spars 2.5m long
- 2 x spars 2m long
- 10 x light spars for the platform
- 26 x lashing lengths
- 3 x ropes 15-25m long for raising the platform
- 1 pulley suitable for the above rope
- Guy ropes
- additional ropes for the platform
- 1 ladder/rope ladder



Using 3 x 3.6m spars and a figure of 8 lashing, build a tripod.

Using square lashings, fix 3 x 2.5m spars across the butt ends. (a) This is the base unit - lay it on its side.

Prepare a second tripod with 3 more 3.5m long spars.

Feed one leg of the tripod through the apex of the base unit. Complete the top unit by lashing 3 x 2.5m spars close to the butt ends - this will form the handrail. (b)

Once the frames have been positioned correctly, lash the main spars together using square lashings. Note: although the spars cross at an acute angle, you must use a square lashing.

Add additional strength by lashing the apex of each tripod to the opposite main spars using a round turn and two half hitches. (c)

Build a tripod using the remaining long spars and hang the pulley to its apex. Position this about 10m from the tower. Fix the long ropes to the apex of the base unit and feed the upper one through the pulley - the other two ropes are used to keep the tower steady as it is raised.

Once the tower is upright, check that the top is level. Lower it again and make any necessary adjustments.

While the tower is horizontal, fit the platform by lashing the 3 x 2m spars about 1m below the handrail and lashing the light spars across them.

Attach the rope ladder to the platform and the lower horizontal spar.

Attach guy ropes to the main spars above the hand rail.

Raise the tower.


  • hourglass
  • pioneering
  • tower

Badge Links

  • Camper - Gadgets
  • Outdoors - Camp Gadget
  • Pioneer - Outdoors