Introduction: How to Make a Rope Swing
Swinging on a rope swing in a local wood, at a campsite or in your own garden is a classic way to spend sunny afternoons relaxing outdoors. Rope swings are a cheap and easy way to have fun and can last a lifetime.
To make the swing, you will need:
*Some rope, at least 5mm thick
*A heavy object, such as a small rock
*A tree branch or other support strong enough to hold your weight
*A tire, a plank of wood or a smooth, reasonably fat stick
Step 1: Finding a Place for Your Rope Swing
It is essential that you find a suitable place for your rope swing. Ideally, you want to have it on a slope, over a drop or over a stream, river or lake so you get the feeling that your actually flying. A tree is the best place for it, but you could hang it from some type of support.
*Choose a place where you cannot swing into anything, i.e. the tree/support itself
*Make sure that the branch/support that you are using is not dead or dying/rotten or rusting
Step 2: Hanging Your Rope Swing
When you have found a suitable tree, get your rope and your heavy object. Tie the end of the rope to the object and throw it up over your chosen branch/support. Take the other end of the rope and tie a strong loop. Untie the object from the rope and feed the end of it through the loop and pull. The end with the loop should get pulled up to the branch/support and form a strong fastening. You could also double up the rope instead of tying a loop, as shown in the picture, but you end up with two ends of rope.
It is a good idea to check the rope is securely fastened before you use your swing by pulling down on the rope hard.
Step 3: Finishing Your Rope Swing
Now, you should have a dangling rope with an end that you can hold onto. There are four ways in which you can finish your swing:
*A loop swing
This is a swing for standing on, and is ideally used for smaller swings. If it is used for a large swing, then it can be dangerous and unpredictable and you are likely to get into a fast spin.
Comfort rating: 2/5 Practicality rating: 2/5 Overall rating: 2/5
*A tarzan swing
This is the most basic type of swing. A large knot for holding onto or sitting on is tied on the end of the rope. This type of swing can be used next to a lake or a river, so you can jump off into the water.
Comfort rating: 1/5 Practicality rating: 2/5 Overall rating: 1/5
*A tire swing
This type of swing is good for just about anything, wether it is for sitting, standing or possibly holding onto. It also tends to be the most comfortable; sitting on a plank or a stick can get rather uncomfortable after a while. The only drawback is that you need to have a tire, which can be hard to get hold of.
Comfort rating: 4/5 Practicality rating: 5/5 Overall rating: 4/5
*A seat swing
This type of swing can be used for either sitting, standing or even holding onto (like a trapeze), and only requires a smooth, relatively thick stick or a plank. You can either attach both ends of the stick or the plank to the rope to create a more stable swing, or just have a basic knot in the middle to hold it up. It is also easy to replace if the seat gets damaged.
Comfort rating: 3/5 Practicality rating: 5/5 Overall rating: 4/ 5
It may also be a good idea to tape or (if using nylon rope) melt the ends of the rope to stop it fraying.
Have fun and enjoy your rope swing!