If you love ziplines, you may be wondering how you could build one at home. However, what if your yard does not have trees nearby? This leaves you with the question of how to build a zipline at home and without trees?
Build a zipline at home without trees by installing poles or posts to use like utility poles, metal poles, 8x8s, or 4x12s. You can also use other methods like large vehicles or other structures on the property like a storage container or barn.
Reading on in this article can provide a more in detailed list of what you need, what angles the zipline should be and ways to build a zipline at home with no trees present.
How Do You Build a Backyard Zipline Without Trees?
Building a zipline without trees follows much of the same guidelines as one with trees. There are adjustments needed but that will vary based on the needs and approach to building a zipline.
- Choose the solid structure that will be replacing the tree. This can be anything from a post to a telephone pole. Ensuring that they are sturdy and solid enough. However, if there are no poles available, you will need to install a permanent Anchor.
- Attach the cables, ensuring that they are not pulled and stretched too tightly.
- After the cables are attached to the posts or anchors, you will then attach the clamps and turnbuckles.
- Then you will tighten the cables accordingly based on the types of anchors and posts.
- Add the accessories needed.
When you decide to build a zipline at home deciding how it should connect will be the first process. Knowing and understanding the stabilities can help navigate the building process and time as you go.
The first thing to do is to determine how and where you want to build your zipline. Using the right anchors and tree-alternatives can influence how your zipline functions and what weight requirements could be.
These alternatives to trees are:
- Creating your own posts and anchoring them down properly.
- Using temporary methods like connecting to a car or a railing.
- Using an anchor
Check out this video where a guy used a couple 2×12’s:
After the anchors and the posts, or tree alternatives have been chosen, you will install the zipline much the same way you would to a tree. Using the steps below can help you build your zipline using no trees.
Installing your posts, you need to place a post into the ground about 4-feet. These posts need to be stabilized with concrete. Using a guy and ground anchor can help aid in how much tension is on the rope. It is typically installed about 12-inches from the top and as close to the zipline attachments as it can get.
Next is to install the cables and the ropes to the posts that are anchored into the ground. To do this you will need to get the following materials:
- Cable slings
- Endling anchor
- Cable clamps
To install the cables to the starting anchor, wrap the cable around the anchor and the first higher up post. After wrapping around the post/anchor, you will need to attach this cable to a turnbuckle. Cable clamps are used to hold the cables together and keep them held around the posts and anchors.
After attaching the turnbuckle to the cable sling and anchor, you will attach the zipline cable to the other free end of the turnbuckle running it all the way to the bottom where the zipline would end.
Finally, you will need to attach the zipline to the ending anchor by wrapping around the post and make sure to secure it with cable clamps.
Here’s a video showing how to calculate the anchor points:
What Do I Need to Build a Zipline?
Depending on the type of zipline that you are using can vary greatly on what supplies may be needed. Since there are several options, you must choose from, deciding what fits your needs can help omit any that are not beneficial to your home zipline.
Using a Post or Railing
The materials for this can be harder to find. When you use this method, there is a great chance that it will only hold kids and will have a weaker anchor.
You will need the basic materials such as cables and clamps to install these much the same way that you would if you were using trees.
No Poles or Posts
In cases that there are no poles or posts available that are already secured in the ground, you may need to use the permanent Deadman anchor methods.
The materials needed for this type of anchor and zipline method are:
- Solid anchors
These anchors can be either permanent or temporary if you want to be able to remove or move your zipline later.
Since there are other anchor types for different types of soil, the materials needed may vary. Earth anchors are great if there is soft soil like sand. The materials for these Auger and Duckbill Earth Anchors are slightly different. For example, instead of two anchors you would need four.
Materials for these anchors for sandy soil are:
Building Your Own Posts
Sometimes the only option is to build your own posts for your zipline. These can be sturdier depending on the material you choose for the posts.
Materials needed are:
- Two posts of your desired material (wood, metal, etc.)
- Wheelbarrow or trough
- Digging tools
These materials can vary based on your needs and what you are looking for when it comes to securing your zipline and who will be using it.
Thinking Outside the Box Ziplines
If you are looking for a quick and effective way to put up a zipline for a get together, you can simply use your car. Materials for this can vary but are only intended to be used for a brief time.
- Car jack
- Plywood boxes
This method can be safely used by making sure that the line is anchored and secured either by wood as well as the car or just the car’s towing ball.
What Angle Should a Zipline Be?
The most important thing, aside from making sure that the zipline is installed correctly, is the angle. The slope of the zipline is what helps the rider go at an angle. Too big of a slope and the rider can go too fast or have too much of a drop in the line. There is a recommended slope for ziplines that use a stop block.
This range of slope is usually at a 3-percent per 100-foot of intended zipline.
The tension of the cable can really influence your height and size needed for your zipline. Having a higher line can allow for taller riders.
The steeper the slope the faster a rider can go, so determining your post and anchor height to the slope degree is important.
After your zipline is installed, there are some accessories you may want to install as well before you start riding and using your zipline.
These accessories are:
- A Trolley that the rider holds or sits on. These can be added before or after your final installation of the zipline cables to the anchors.
- Braking systems are great to have for those ziplines that are bigger, or you would just prefer to have added security for the end.
- Seats and Harnesses are an important accessory to have, especially if you have a high zipline. These are attached via carabiner to the trolley.
There are several options to create a zipline at your home. From temporary to permanent, choosing the zipline that is suitable to your lifestyle and wants as well as to the location of where the zipline would be can create a fun atmosphere.
While it is more common than some might think, installing a zipline without trees is possible by using rails, posts, and even a car. While the car is a more temporary zipline, using wooden or metal beams or posts will be more permanent and stronger when it comes to getting the most usage from your zipline.
Installing a zipline is easy to do and does require some materials depending on the method of connecting sights and the anchors used.
The main thing is that once you install the zipline and it is set up correctly, you can have a ton of fun with friends and family at the next BBQ you have.