If you'd like to experiment with studio flash configurations but you're short on the space or money to buy heavy-duty flash stands, this video tutorial details how to make portable flash stands using lightweight tent poles.
The design relies on sturdy but lightweight tent poles to provide support for your flashes and/or flashes with a soft box. The creator of the design, Peter Karlsson, put together two videos demonstrating first how the stand functions and then how it is constructed:
The end product is smaller, lighter and less expensive than a traditional light stand. It does have shortcomings, though, mostly due to the lightness. You can put a flash on it, for example, but you couldn't safely put a strobe on it. It's also, as he notes in the video, a poor match for an outside shoot on a windy day. For portability and ease of packing, though, it's a great stand for flash-based photography.