Setting up a basic (“primitive”) slackline

(NOTE* This now exists as a video too)

WHAT: Rigging a 3:1 primitive slackline.

WHY: Because ratchets are lame, and this setup is cleaner, lighter, and fun.

HOW: This assumes you already have all the gear needed for a primitive setup.  If you need to build a primitive setup, see: this link.  We’re going to be using line lockers, which are discussed in detail here.

I’ve made some “print quality” flyers (one-page, front and back) for how to setup a 3:1.  As I revise them, I’ll update them here (with the final version in 600dpi).  View the medium-quality version of the current flyer…

…and the back side of the flyer…


  1. BobMarche says:

    Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

  2. OutdoorJunkie says:

    Could you gain mechanical advantage by adding a biner on the walk side of the pulley system? I need to setup by myself and this requires 3 guys. EDIT: I will do this with my tension cell and see if there is any difference. I expect not, but stay tuned!

  3. Alex says:

    Hey, great info! One thing I didn’t get was how to tie off the remaining slack on step nine. Could you elaborate on how to do that? Thanks,


    EDIT: Use two half-hitches. I’m going to make a new version of the video soon that includes this, and also the “how to detension the line” aspect.

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