I’m about to tell you my top 5 tips for doing a rope course and zip-line. But I should say upfront – I learned these the hard way! I’m not an avid rope course aficionado, I’m a mom that wanted to challenge herself. And it WAS a challenge for me to get through the Rope course at Go Ape, Plano Texas! But I am so very glad I did it!
When I was first invited to experience the Go Ape Plano course, I was excited about being able to tell you readers all about it. It’s always a joy to find more worthwhile things to do in DFW. But I was truly not prepared for what a spiritual and emotional journey it was in addition to a great workout!
Here is the thing. Unless you are one pretty bad dude, there are going to be at least some moments on the course that feel overwhelming. Push through. Go in with a positive attitude and dont give up in the beginning when it’s all still new and scary. Also, I went with girlfriends that were so bold, brave and excited about the course, that it helped calm my nerves. If you can experience the course with someone who feels confident about it, it will help you feel more confident too!
Side note: No judgement when you see how scared I was in the video below! I’m telling you, some people scream, some swear, and I call for Jesus about a million times! I was not in control of it. No side eye please! 😉
5 Tips for taking on the Go Ape Rope Course!
1) Wear gloves! Handling all the ropes eventually starts to callous your hands if you are not wearing gloves. I found the perfect gloves to wear were actually Bicycle gloves, because they have cushions on your palms, but they still let you grip with your fingers free! I’m so glad my friend suggested them. They are a must. My hands would have been ripped up without them!
2) If you are most nervous about jumping off obstacles and zip-lining, use the sit down approach. On most obstacles you can sort of pretend to sit, and your harness will eventually kick in and cradle you. Sometimes “sitting into a jump” can feel more secure. And while some obstacles are structured so that you can’t feel your harness until a moment of free fall is over – “sitting into” earlier jumps can help you build up confidence in your harness, allowing you to take that leap of faith with more confidence later! It certainly helped me!
3) Ask your guides questions during the course, and for help when you need it. Wondering what the best strategy is for getting across an obstacle? Yell down to your guide on the ground and ask! We got great tips from our guide on hand and foot placement on certain parts of the course, that really helped. But guides tend to only offer help if they see you struggling or you ask. So if you want to know the best way to get across, request their advice! Speaking of Struggling – the hardest part of the course for me was climbing up rope spiderwebs with my harness pulling me backward. I used all my strength on one, and still couldn’t quite make it to the birds nest. The guide then offered help, and took some of the pressure off the harness so I could climb. I WISH I’d asked for help sooner! I exhausted myself early on, and that depleted my energy on the next few obstacles.
If I had it to do over, I would have asked for help sooner!
4) Wear layers, and err on the side of less warmth vs. more. You are absolutely guaranteed to work up a sweat, and although you could wrap a jacket you tire of around your waist, you will probably be most comfortable if you dress a little cooler than you would normally. This tip is especially important if you plan to do the course in hot weather.
Also – remember to wear sunscreen and bug spray. You will not want to be swatting at bugs while you walk a tight rope!
5) Bring your own Water! Go Ape Plano has a water station next to each group of obstacles, and believe me we needed it! But if your rope course doesn’t have that availability, or you just want hydration at your finger tips – wear a water bottle holder and bring your H20 up into the canopy with you!
Want to see some point of view footage from the Rope Course? Check out the video below and you will get an even deeper sense of what the Go Ape course looks like in motion!
Have you ever done a rope course or zipline? Would you add any tips?
Many thanks to Go Ape USA for hosting me. All opinions are my own.