Build DIY Zip Line Kits from Home Depot
Everyone has a nearby hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe's. Whether it be the coronavirus mandate or you just want to spend some quality time with the kids, you decided you want to build a zip line in your own home backyard. What better thing to do than go to your local hardware store and pick up all the supplies. But assembling a zip line kit from Home Depot can be daunting, especially if you have background in the backyard activity. In this article we will go step-by-step on how you can properly plan with the zip line setup, the materials needed, how to install the zip line and some shortcuts you can safely take.
Preparing your Home Setup
The first thing you need to do is sit down and plan the layout. Sometimes this is hard for a DIYer, but you need to make sure you have a plan to your build. You probably have an idea of where your zip line is going to be installed. Ideally you have two trees. The first thing you need to do is see if the trees are suitable for zip lining. They need to have at least a 12 inch diameter and not be old, rotten, or rooted in sand. If you do not have trees, check out our article on how to install a zip line without trees. Where there is a will there is a way.
Next, you will have to measure the distance between your two anchors. You can either estimate, or use a walking tape measure to accurately measure. As you walk between your two anchors, keep a look out for anything that might obstruct the zip line or the rider. Objects such as branches, telephone wires, or terrain like a sudden increase in elevation. All of these things should be accounted for.
Once you have a place to install the zipline the next is gathering the materials. Here is a picture of the entire zip line assembly and we will be going through each part.
Zip Line Cable
Zip Line Cable is the most obvious material you need for the installation. Depending on the zip line length, please check out our cable size chart. Generally we recommend 1/4" or 5/16" and at your zip line length.
Here's a couple options at Home Depot:
5/16 in. x 150 ft. Stainless Steel Uncoated Wire Rope
1/4 in. x 200 ft. Galvanized Vinyl Coated Steel Wire Rope
1/4 in. x 100 ft. Galvanized Steel Uncoated Wire Rope
Zip Line Cable Accessories
You will need 3 cable clamps that can be found here. This is used to tie off one end of the cable. To help with tension you will need a turnbuckle. To wrap the tree you will need a cable sling.
Zip Line Trolley and Seat
Now it is time for the fun accessories. Unfortunately, Home Depot doesn't sell this at their store. You'll have go elsewhere for these things. You are looking for a trolley that fits your cable size. Then you can choose a seat or harness, depending on what you prefer.
Step by Step
Here are the basic instructions to setting up your zip line. A more detailed guide can be found on our website.
1. On one anchor, wrap the open end of the cable around the tree and secure it was cable clamps.
2. Walk the cable to the other tree. Attach the turnbuckle to the end of the cable.
3. Wrap the cable sling around the 2nd tree and attach the turnbuckle.
4. Attach the trolley, seat, and add any braking system.
A lot of common sense goes a long way with zip lines. Make sure the riders are secure during the ride. Test out your braking system first. You can add a bucket of water to the zip line to measure how fast it will go. Understand the weight limit for your zip line cable. Anything about 300 pounds on the zip line will put stress on the wire.
Zip Line Kit Recommendation
I understand that a lot of people are DIYers. That doesn't mean you have buy all the parts individually. Buying them separately allows you have to more flexibility but often times its easier to order as a bundle. Many zip line cables don't come in 50 foot increments. You don't have to worry about sourcing materials from different vendors. You don't have to worry about not having all the materials necessary to install the zip line.
We do sell backyard zip line kits that are pre-assembled, so you have everything at your finger tips. All of our kits come with all the fun accessories like swing seats, harnesses and braking systems. You can find all our backyard zip line kits here.