Ziplining is a popular activity that happens all over the world by many different people. Whether you’re an adventure-seeking adrenaline junkie or are ziplining for the first time with a group of friends and not quite sure what to expect, ziplining is a fun activity that almost anyone can try and enjoy.
If you’re looking to cross ziplining in PA off your bucket list in the new year, we have everything you need to know before getting started.
What is ZipLining (a brief history)?
While the exact start of ziplining isn’t known, the earliest records of ziplining activities give us some ideas about how it all began. Some 2,000 years ago in mountainous regions of China, India, and Japan, people used primitive ziplines to traverse the land faster and safer. By ziplining across the area instead of walking, they could easily avoid dangerous terrain that could cause blockades and transport additional materials with them.
Years later, biologists studying wildlife in the Costa Rica rainforests used ziplines to safely observe the forest floor without disturbing the land’s ecosystem. While these uses of ziplines were daily utilitarian, not long after the biologists’ use, ziplines became used as tourist attractions. Today, more than 400 registered places to go ziplining contribute to the activity being a popular adventure for people of all ages.
Is Ziplining Safe?
Though ziplining might seem a little scary at first, you can rest assured that it is a great experience when done with a reputable company. Be sure to ask the location where you plan to zipline about their safety measures and how to prepare yourself for the ride. Though the zipline is secure, you should also take some precautions when soaring through the air at high speeds.
- Be sure to listen to your guide and wear all the safety equipment.
- Never jump off the platform until you’re instructed to do so.
- Wait until other zip line users are cleared before you take a turn, and always pay attention to safety briefings.
- Avoid using the zip line if you’re pregnant, over the weight limit, or have other health impairments.
Ziplining Equipment List: What Equipment is Needed for Zip Lining?
When you go ziplining, you’ll be wearing special equipment to keep you secure and enable you to soar at high speeds down the lines. Don’t worry about purchasing these items, as companies like Refreshing Mountain provide this to you and regularly inspect this equipment to ensure high quality and safety guidelines are met.
Here is some of the equipment you will use during your ziplining activity and that you may want to be familiar with:
- Helmet: Helmets are worn on your head to protect your skull from injury. Helmets should be free from any cracks or damage before putting them on and firmly strapped to the top of your head. Your guide will ensure your helmet is on correctly and ready before beginning your ride.
- Harness: The harness is crucial and allows you to attach to the zipline via a rope attachment. Your guide will inspect Harnesses before your first zip line adventure, and they should be in a comfortable position, free of broken stitching.
- Lanyards, Carabiners, Pulleys, and Trolleys: While you don’t need to know each piece, they are used to safely carry you down the zipline. Your guide will make sure your equipment is free from damage and ready for use.
Zipline Experiences: What to Expect
First and foremost, expect to have even more fun than you think you will. Ziplining is a thrilling activity that even those who may be nervous always enjoy. When you’re beginning the ride, you will be attached to a cable strung between two points, usually trees or other tall structures. As you take off, you (and the expert team at your facility) will use a pulley system to zip down the cable at high speeds, experiencing the thrill of flight while securely zooming through the trees.
The experience can be exhilarating and a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Not only is it perfect for groups of all sizes and ages, but it’s an excellent activity for those wanting to have fun with their group or experience the benefits of team building.
Read more about a Refreshing Mountain team member’s experience overcoming her fear of heights while ziplining with us.
Zip Line Tips For Beginners
Once you’re familiar with zipline equipment and understand the basics of zipline safety precautions, you can still do a few things to optimize your zipline experience, especially if it’s your first time doing so.
Here are some essential tips for beginners:
- Wear close-toed shoes. Flip flops will go flying, so be sure to wear shoes that are securely attached to your feet.
- Choose comfortable clothing. Being comfortable is important; you don’t want your clothes to fly off in the air or get tangled in the ropes.
- Empty Your Pockets. You don’t want things flying out of your pockets, so be sure to empty your pockets before you begin.
- Don’t Take Selfies. While we all love a good selfie, taking photos on the zipline is not recommended, as your phone could fly out of your hand.
- Wear Sunscreen and Bug Repellent. As a precaution, we often recommend using sunscreen and bug repellent for your ride since you’ll be up in the trees.
Plan your ziplining adventure at Refreshing Mountain
For those local to the Central Pennsylvania area, your friends at Refreshing Mountain are here to answer any other questions to ensure you feel confident and competent in taking your first ride. Ready to try it for yourself? Book your fun adventure now!