Can my backyard accommodate a zip line?


You have some space in your backyard, the weather is getting nice and you're wondering if your backyard can accommodate a zip line. Well, it really depends. If you are contemplating getting a zip line you need to read this article to make sure your zip line is safe. I'll talk in depth on the requirements your zip line site needs. Let's jump right into it.



Step 1 - Determine what is going to anchor the zip line

The most obvious answer are trees. These trees should be 12 inch in diameter around its trunk. Doesn't meet these requirements? Don't do it! It's not worth it. You don't want your rider falling halfway down the zip line because your tree snapped. Also, to apply more common sense, do not choose any trees that are rotting, dying, or have exposed roots. If the tree is in loose soil, use extreme caution. You can use tree savers to ensure any zip line wire around the tree doesn't chip the bark. But what if you don't have trees in your backyard?

Your next best option is a wood post. This post must be 12 inches in diameter, just like the tree trunk. It must be 4 feet in ground, or 10% of post length plus 2 feet (whichever is greater). Concrete must surround the post by 6 inches.


You can also utilize a wooden post with a guy anchor. Just like before the wooden post must be sunk 4 feet into the ground or 10% of the post length plus 2 feet. It also needs to be surrounded by 6 inches of concrete. The biggest difference here is that the ground anchor only needs to be at least 8 inches in diameter.


Step 2 - Determine the slope of your zip line cable

The height from the beginning of the zip line to the end will determine the amount of speed and slope you choose to have. Generally we recommend having a slope of 3% to 6%. So a 100 foot zip line will have a total of 3-6 feet in height difference and a 200 foot zip line will have a 6-12 feet difference.

You can go more into details here.


Step 3 - Cable Size

Follow this chart to determine the best zip line length for your needs.

ZIP LINE LENGTH
RECOMMENDED CABLE SIZE
CLAMP TORQUE
UP TO 200'
1/4"
15 LBS.
UP TO 500'
5/16"
30 LBS.
UP TO 1000'
3/8"
45 LBS.

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