This instructable is going to show you the exact steps you need to take in order to set up a backyard zip line kit at your very own home. If you will be following along, please make sure you have taken your item out of the package and familiarized yourself with the instruction booklet. Also, it would be a good idea to double check everything to make sure you have all of the proper hardware for the installation. You will be needing the zip line cable, also known as aircraft cable cut to the proper length and supporting the amount of desired weight. You will need a come along for applying the proper tension to the cable. You will need some wrenches for tightening the cable clamps and a wire cutter for cutting the wire. Also, you will need a ladder to get up the tree to hook this all up. That's basically it, so if you have everything you need let's jump right into step 1.
Step 1: Do an Inventory of your Hardware
The very first step to installing your backyard zip line is to make sure you have the right hardware for the install. You don't want to get halfway through the setup only to realize that you forgot something and now you have to go and locate a specific part. This is why it's important to take some time before the install and planning out your attack.
First, you want to make sure that you have all of the parts required for the install. You will need: aircraft cable, slings, cable clamps, a come along (if longer than 250'), a trolley, a turnbuckle, wooden blocks (to protect the trees), and some time and patience.
Slings are optional, as you can use a chain or you can simply wrap the zip line cable around the tree and then secure it with some cable clamps. You always want to install cable clamps in batches of 3 for maximum safety and security.
A come along will only be necessary if the ride is over 250', anything under 250 and you can simply use the turnbuckle to get the proper tension on the wire. If it's over 250', you will need a nylon sling wrapped around the tree which then gets attached to the come along, which then pulls the zip line cable taunt, allowing you to secure it with the proper hardware attachments (ie slings and cable clamps). This is all done on the high end of the ride, and the turnbuckle is used on the lower end. Once you have secured the high end of the cable with the cable clamps, you can remove the come along.
The wooden blocks are also known as tree savers. They are installed to help protect your trees and also to keep the tree from growing in around the zip line wire which would result in a hazardous situation.
The turnbuckle is used on the lower end of the zip line and is used to tighten the cable at the final stage to get it to the right tension. Don't forget to put the trolley on the zip line before you tighten up the wire...although most trolleys do separate and allow you to install them once the ride is up, it's sometimes easier to simply thread the zip line cable through the trolley prior to installation.
One final reminder, is to make sure that you purchase aircraft cable which supports the maximum rider weight that you intend to use with your zip line. You don't want to exceed the weight restrictions as this can end very badly, so please make sure that you triple check these numbers before purchasing your zip line.
That's it for step one, join us as we continue our installation in the next step, calculating ride length and height.