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Briar Patch Outdoors

How to Build a Field Travois

by George Hedgepeth

Heavy loads, such as firewood or a downed deer, can be more easily transported using a travois. To quickly make one of these labor saving devices, take two straight poles about 14 feet long and 2-3 inches in diameter, and bind them together at the butts (the heavy end).

Spread the poles so they are 4 feet or so apart about 5 feet from the bindings at the butts. Tie a cross member that spans between the two poles here. It may extend out a foot or so from each side if one wishes. This will call for a pole about 6 feet long.

Down 3-4 more feet, attach another crosspiece. This one will need to be about 9 feet long. These two crosspieces will be where the load is attached.

To use, simply tie the load to the frame in a balanced fashion, attaching it to both of the crosspieces. Then step into the space between the apex of the two long poles and the shorter crosspiece, lift the point to chest height, and start dragging.

The completed travois will look like a giant letter "A" with two cross pieces. It takes only three poles of around 14 feet to make this load bearer, and maybe 8 feet of cord. It will travel smoothly in fairly open country over spring grass, fall leaves, or winter snows. It will make a 100-pound or greater load much easier to transport.

(click to enlarge sketch)

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Briar Patch Outdoors
219 Holmes Street
Durand MI 48429
(989) 288-0168

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