Making a zip line for your dog is a great way to keep your pet safe. But it will also allow you both to enjoy your outing even more. Whether you’re camping, picnicking, or spending an afternoon in the park, a zip line makes the time you spend with your pup more relaxing and fun!

Ty the Shar-pei from on a zip line in a campsite

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Keeping our dogs safe, and abiding by the rules of many of the places we visit, means that Ty and Buster spend a lot of time on-leash. Though we’re always exploring new territory, life at the end of a six foot tether doesn’t provide the boys with a satisfying sense of freedom.

To give our dogs more room to wander while we’re camping, we devised an inexpensive doggy zip line!

Zip Line vs. Tie-Out

The zip line has a lot of advantages over cable tie-outs, which are often used to keep dogs from wandering off.

First, jumping up every two minutes to untangle your dog is a thing of the past. Ty and Buster were constantly wrapping their tie-outs around each other, the picnic table, and every tree, stick, and anthill in the campsite. It’s impossible to relax with those shenanigans going on!

Second, you’ll never again experience that gut-wrenching feeling as you watch your dog bolt to the end of their unforgiving cable tie-out. The zip line protects your pet from injury.

Third, the zip-line won’t trip you when you’re stumbling around the campfire in the dark.

READ MORE ⇒  Tips for RVing with Pets

Ty the Shar-pei and Buster the German Shepherd lounging in a campsite on their zip line

Materials and Assembly

Any hardware store will have the materials needed for the zip line. All that’s needed is some nylon rope and two spring clasps. The whole works cost us about ten dollars.

We chose a rope with a smooth cover, which makes it comfortable to handle when we’re setting it up and taking it down. It also has a bit of stretch for some shock absorbency to protect the dogs from a harsh stop.

Rod used his Eagle Scout skills to expertly handle the knot tying. He made quick work of the two bowline knots attaching the spring clasps to the ends of rope. Melting the fibers by passing the raw ends of the rope though a flame will keep them from unraveling. And – SHAZAM – the zip line is ready for action!

Coiled rope with snap clips attached to each end

Deciding On Length

The most difficult part of making your zip line will be deciding how long it should be.

Since we have two dogs, we decided on a 50 foot line. That give us plenty of length to attach the zip line at each end with the middle wrapped around a tree, picnic table, or post (whatever’s handy).


It take about five minutes to set up our zip line. In the photo below, we’ve wrapped one end of the rope around a tree and clipped the spring clasp on to the rope. Then, keeping the rope taught, we made one full pass around the middle tree, creating the short run where Ty’s attached. Then we wrapped the rope around a third tree (out of the frame) and clipped the spring clap back to the rope. That creates the longer run where Buster is attached. Giving the boys their own space keeps them from getting tangled around each other.

Ty the Shar-pei and Buster the German Shepherd from lounging on their zip line in a campsite

Ty the Shar-pei and Buster the German Shepherd from lounging on their zip line in a campsite

Connecting Dogs to the Zip Line

Pets should never be attached to the zip line by their collar, because it could choke them if they became tangled. We use Buster and Ty’s harnesses, which have a loop on the back to connect the leash. The final step is to slip a heavy-weight carabiner through the leash handle and snap it on the line.

Placing Ty and Buster’s water bowls near the middle tree allow them both reach them, and we’re done! Just remember never to leave your pal unattended on the zip line.

Ty the Shar-pei and Buster the German Shepherd from lounging on their zip line in a campsite

Ty the Shar-pei and Buster the German Shepherd from lounging on their zip line in a campsite

Have your tried a zip line with your pets? Please share your experience in the comments below!

READ MORE ⇒  US State Parks that Welcome Pets


Gear Used in This Post:
(Affiliate Links)

Ruffwear Front Range Harness

Alcott Martingale Collar

Alcott Weekender Leash

See all the gear we use to make traveling with our pets easier, safer, and more fun!



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  • Thank you for the details! Though we don´t use this camping, it is working wonders in our larger backyard so our dog can run without worrying he will get outside a fence! I appreciate it!