One of our favorite things to do in the evening after dinner and before bedtime is tree swinging in the Redwood Grove in Golden Gate Park across from where we live. This started after Jared took some tree climbing lessons a couple years ago (he’s been rock climbing for a long time too) and has become a regular tradition with friends and family. We found a beautiful spot in the Redwood Grove over a small hill that’s been so perfect that we haven’t found the need to set it up anywhere else.
It’s very portable, it’s all packed into a backpack for easy transport- we really could set it up anywhere! Often on camping trips and family road trips we take our tree climbing backpack along just in case we find a spot that’s perfect to set it up. It’s a fun way to get Henry’s wiggles out before bed and is always exhilarating to watch. Sure beats the regular old playground structures. Every time we set it up it draws a delighted crowd of all ages.
Here are some photos of how we do it!
Photography by Liz Stanley
Here’s how Jared sets it up (a disclosure here that Jared is very experienced with ropes, trees, and climbing. It would not be safe to try this at home without someone very experienced to set it up and supervise).
1. He ties a long, thin rope with a weighted end (it’s a specific rope for tree climbing) up over a very high branch.
2. Once that end is over he ties a very strong, larger rope to the end of the thin rope and pulls the thin rope all the way down until just the larger rope is over the branch. Thin rope is then removed. Essentially it’s just an easy way to get that heavy rope over a high branch (great for setting up a real swing in your yard too!)
3. The end of the larger rope is then secured safety around a nearby tree with a non-slip locking device.
4. Swinger is secured in a climbing harness.
5. End of the rope is tied into a belay figure 8 + fisherman’s knot, as you would when you sport rock climb. It is then hooked into the harness with a carabiner device (again, like rock climbing).
6. Swinger is now connected and secure to the rope. Helmet on? Time to swing!
Jared attaches webbing to another caribiner so it’s easy to push and swing the more adventurous ones.
A go-pro is a fun thing for the swinger to hold onto to record their epic tree swing:
We’ve taken kids of all ages. 2 yr olds just like to very gently swing, or hang. Older, more adventures ones are into the huge swings. Even adults get into it! Last Thanksgiving we had my parents and siblings on there swinging through the air with the greatest of ease!
Pro Tip: Stretching beforehand and Peter Pan costumes are highly encouraged
Seems really exciting and fun!
As you said it beats the regular playground structures for sure!
So cool! Love this
what a fun idea! i want to try that.
This looks so fun! Where are the pictures of you, Liz!?!
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