Gear & Equipment
The Perfect (Home Made) Camp Table: for Kids and Cocktails
I've been around the block in search of the right small camp table. What got me started was this cool aluminum and steel table made by GCI. Wil and Wendy from Sierra Expeditions whipped it out during our New Years camping trip. At 19 inches tall, and 18 inches square, it proved to be the perfect table for our spawns.
Hanging out by the campfire, the two little girls sat down, ate their fruit and cookies, drank their juice, and made us happy by -- you know, being happy.
"And that's what makes it perfect, bro."
Well, okay, so the GCI table was out of the question. Byer of Maine makes a nice little side table that folds down, but uses scissor style legs. That wouldn't work for the kid's chairs.
Why not just make one, then? Sure, I know my way around a table saw and router.
All I needed was a plan.
So what do we need for a home made camp table to succeed?
- Good weather resistance
- Knock-down construction that's reasonably solid when set up
- Relatively compact for storage
General plans for the home made camp table are here:
Here we go. My wood of choice was ipe (pronounced ee-pay) - a dark, and virtually bomb-proof hardwood from South America. For the most part, the decking industry is largest consumer of ipe, and for good reason. Its density and resistance to rot are virtually unmatched. Digging a little deeper, I learned that ipe has a fire resistance rating identical to that of — are you sitting down for this? — concrete.
No lie. Concrete.
Got an outdoor project? Sure thing, ipe will do.
My slat design is really not mine. Several larger, mass-produced camp tables use the same concept. The legs screw into cross slats that stabilize the table top, and the whole thing rolls up once you release the legs. It's cool, it's simple.
Even though the wood is resilient, I still selected boards that would yield quarter sawn (aka vertical grain) pieces. For maximum stability, quarter sawn material remains, after all these thousands of years of human history, the best. I'll spare you the technical explanation.
Home Made Camping Table Pictures: