Did you know that zip lining has become increasingly popular over the years? So popular that now you can even buy one for your backyard! Years ago zip lining was thought to be only for thrill seeking travel enthusiasts, but companies such as Zip Line Stop have brought all of your vacation fun from the exotic islands of the Bahamas to your own backyard! This is exciting because it gives children an opportunity to experience the same thrill of flying through the air, free as a bird, and not a care in the world. It allows children to discover who they are, confront their fears and conquer them all while feeling liberated. Every kid always dreams of building a zip line, and most of us have tried it. That however can prove to be unsafe, hence the introduction to backyard zip line kits.

Zip lines have been proven to be beneficial for children because not only does it increase confidence levels but it helps to bridge friendships with other children. Once a zip line is set up it’s like a magnet for neighborhood kids, it’s almost irresistible because it’s seen as such a high adrenaline activity. This will help your child make new friends and I guarantee they will be the talk of the school; everyone will want to come over your house. Not to worry either, all of the zip lines either come with a harness, a seat, or handlebars on the trolley — this makes it worry free for parents. Many of the trolleys actually have built in speed control trolleys as well, this helps slow the rider as they are descending the ride. This is great for young children because they are able to positively maintain their speed while riding the zip line. It gives them a sense of control and confidence in themselves.

Riding a zip line is such a liberating experience that it has actually been researched as a way to treat PTSD as well as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The science behind the research states that the conscious act of freeing the mind and losing control while still maintaining safe positively reinforced the brain and rewires it to actually overcome fear. Although the research is still in its early stages, there are obstacle courses that feature zip lines popping up all over the country to assist in those affected by PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Buying a zip line is simple; first you’ll need to determine the length that you need. You’ll have to find two sturdy anchors in your yard that are preferably on a decline. The decline or grade will serve as the momentous force behind the speed of your zip line. Your anchors should be two sturdy trees at least 6” in diameter with no visible signs of rot. You may also use posts, just be sure they are sunk in the ground half the length of the post and filled with concrete. (There are blogs that discuss how to do this) Once you have found the perfect anchors it’s time to measure. Remember that old saying “Measure twice, cut once?” Well, it’s time to put it to use! Make sure you measure accurately; although most zip lines come with an extra 6 foot of slack on either end it is important that you measure the distance correctly. It’s okay if you’re a little over — you can wrap the excess around the anchor or cut it. On the other side, if you’re under you’ll be out of luck!

After measuring figure out if you have a steep enough downgrade in elevation. We recommend a 6% grade difference in the slope of the two anchors. If your slope isn’t steep enough or you don’t have a hill at all, don’t worry many people run into this problem. You may opt to build a platform that features either a ladder or steps that are about 3–5 feet off the ground, depending on the length of the zip line. You may be able to eye-ball it, but either way once you buy your zip line and set it up you will have it at a point right before you tighten it permanently to do test runs. The test runs will enable to you see how fast your zip line is moving and whether or not it needs to be adjusted or not.

Once you’ve figured out your grade, done your measuring, and found sturdy anchors you’re all set to embark on your mission to find the best possible zip line kit for your outdoor space. Kits range in sizes from 50–500 feet and have a variety of attachments. One of the most popular is the harness attachment, while others prefer the disc seat. Almost all of the trolleys feature handlebars so that the rider will not just be hanging loosely but rather have a firm grip on the trolley. As a mentioned before some of the Alien Flier kits actually feature built in speed control within their trolleys.

I would recommend buying a complete kit if it’s your first purchase and you’re fairly inexperienced with zip lines. Kits are great because they contain everything you need start to finish to set up your zip line. If you’re interested in looking at all of the options available check out: zip line kits. There are so many options available and so much room for customization. It isn’t uncommon for people to purchase multiple zip lines for their property or even to create elaborate platforms that feature tree houses or other cool features. Believe it or not, some people even build zip line for their dogs…yes its true — we didn’t believe it either, but it’s a thing! I guess all I’m saying it that there is something out there for everyone it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. What works for one person might not necessarily be what works for you, so do your research, talk to your family, make your preparations and buy yourself an awesome backyard zip line. Your kids, their friends, your dog, and your family will thank you. Now, go on and be a hero!

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