Here’s Everything You Need To Know Before Going Zip-Lining
We’ve all been there. You’re driving along the most beautiful mountain road when you see a sign boasting about the super-cool, super-fast, super-thrilling zip line up around the corner. Zip lines are a blast. However, you are zooming through the air high above the ground, so there is some risk involved.
Sparing you the grizzly details, there have been some scary tales passed around the internet of injuries and even fatalities on zip lines. So to stay safe, before you strap in, here’s what you should keep in mind.
1. Stick to the professional courses.
We hope this is obvious, but skip the zip lines that are haphazardly constructed in someone’s backyard. If it’s not a legit business enterprise, it’s not a good idea.
2. Watch for a safety demonstration.
Even if a zip line is set up to serve customers, you still want to do some more vetting. A good way to know if a place is on the up and up is if they do a safety demonstration before letting you on the course.
You should get a run-down on how the equipment works, how to land and the best ways to hold onto the harness (and the zip line itself).
3. Make sure you have a helmet and a harness.
In order to launch yourself across a steel cable, you need two things on your body. You need a helmet (to protect your head from the steel cable) and a harness to strap yourself to said cable.
4. Always stay clipped in.
When you’re up high, you always want to be strapped into something. Most official zip lines will have two clips attached to your harness. You’ll always have one of those clips attached to a platform or cable. That way, you’re secure even when being transferred from the sturdy platform to flying through the air on the cable.
5. Listen to your guide.
Not to be dramatic, but your life is in your guide’s hands. If they say move away from the edge, move away from the edge. You’re probably not in danger (even if you topple off a ledge, you’ll just dangle there — you’re clipped in after all), but if they have to worry about pulling you back onto a platform, they can’t fully focus on the person zipping.
6. Know your limits.
Zip line guides really have seen it all before. They’ve seen screamers, cryers and people who freeze up in the middle of a high ropes course. But if you’ve got a serious fear of heights, be real with yourself. You know what you can handle.
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