How To: Set Up Your Own Slackline
The sun is beginning to shine and people want to be outside. If you have exhausted all the trails and are in need of something to push your limits, try slacklining. This is a great activity to test your balance and composure under pressure. It’s simple to set up and can be used anywhere from your backyard to a backcountry camp site. Here are some steps to get you started:
1. Gather your supplies:
- 15 meters, or more, 1″ tubular webbing for the main line.
- 2 more pieces of 3 meters of the same webbing for around the anchors.
- Carabiners that are climbing-strength and oval shaped. Getting the right safety snap hooks is fundamental to ensure that your pulley system is a success.
- 2 pieces of carpet, cardboard, or other sturdy material for protecting the trees from the webbing.
2. Select anchor points: A good length between anchors is about 15-20 feet. This area should be clear of sharp objects. Shorter spans are generally easier to learn on and allow for a lower line.
3. Build the Anchors: They should be able to hold 500-1000 pounds of lateral force. Ideal options include medium-to-large trees, cemented poles, and truck hitches. When using trees, protect the area of contact with the sturdy material. Wrap the loop of webbing around the first anchor about 2 feet off the ground for a 15 ft long slackline. (This will vary depending on how long your line is to determine the height off the ground.)
4. Attach the line to the first anchor: Wrap a tied loop of webbing around the anchor and attach a carabiner through the two end loops.
5. Set “line locker” and carabiner 80% of the way to the second anchor.
6. Build a – carabiner pulley system to secure the line.
- a. From the line locker, pass the webbing top-to-bottom through carabiner 1 attached to the anchor, then top-to-bottom through the carabiner with the line locker.
- b. Next, pass the webbing bottom-to-top UNDER the loop of webbing on the line locker carabiner. This creates friction lock on the webbing. No additional knots are needed.
- c. Pull tightly.
7. Tighten and test your line: Test the line by sitting or bouncing on it. This helps the stretch out of anchors and knots. Tighten the line until you can walk the middle of it without touching the ground.
8. How to release the friction knot when finished: By pulling the webbing in the opposite direction that you tightened the line, it will loosen. (This means pull the webbing away from the nearest anchor.)