Getting out in the garden and enjoying the sunshine with your kids is the perfect way to make the most out of the holidays - so why not complete the experience with a rope swing? Setting up a swing in the back garden is something that kids and adults can enjoy time and again, but before you get installing the necessary equipment, it's important to consider the correct type of rope, tree and even the knot you should tie. That's why Rope Warehouse have put together a go-to guide on how to put up a rope swing safely and effectively, with a few straightforward tips.
What Rope Should I Choose?
Getting the right rope for your rope swing is probably the most important aspect of the building process. As your rope is going to be outside all summer- if not the year round - it needs to be durable with little or not stretch, strong enough to hold an adults weight and preferrably weather and UV resistant. We recommend either regular strand polyester rope or braided alternatives that can withstand outdoor exposure whilst providing a great deal of strength. You also need something that's affordable too! We recommend our reliable 3 Strand Polyester Rope available here.
How Do I Find The Right Branch?
When looking for the right spot to build your rope swing, the strength of your branch is the second priority on your list. You should tie a rope to a well established, solid hardwood tree with a tough horizontal branch that doesn't swing around too much. Avoid excessively bendy branches, fruit trees and other softwood trees that are prone to snapping easily - we suggest an oak tree or similar due to the high wood density.
What Knot Should I Tie?
You could drill an eye bolt through the branch and attach a carabiner, but the easiest and most cost effective way to attach a rope swing is with a secure and sturdy knot like a double running bowline knot or an equivalent slipknot. These knots are the most appropriate because they allow room from the tree to grow naturally when the swing isn't being used and wont strangle the branch.
Attaching The Seat
A small sturdy log is ideal for attaching to your rope swing. Either look around your house, garden, log basket or garage and find something that's strong and dense enough to support your weight. The best knot to use is an effective binding knot like a double constrictor knot - great for temporary or semi-permanent fastening jobs - so if needs be you can replace the log at a later date if it becomes worn out or breaks.
Some Handy Swing Safety Tips
If you've got young children make sure you always supervise them when they use the rope swing. Ensure that they swing off into an open clearing, in a straight line, and remove any potentially hazardous obstacles that could get in the way. Periodically check the tree and rope swing branch, looking for signs of damage, splitting or other weaknesses.
Check that knots haven't come loose and the rope hasn't frayed over time. If you've attached your rope to an eye bolt and carabiner then you may be able to store your rope over the winter, but if you've tied your polyester rope straight to the tree then we advice that you keep an eye on the rope's condition and replace when necessary.