How to Build a Rope-Plank Bridge

Rope-plank bridges are fun to stumble upon in out-of-the-way parts of the world. They are a very primitive way of building something that allows you to cross over an impassable boundary. They are fairly easy to build and a great way to provide a cheap, alternate route over your barrier. With a quick trip to the local hardware store, you'll be ready to start building your rope-plank bridge.

...
Rope-plank bridges are fun for traveling across nature's boundaries.

Step 1

Locate an area that is safe for building your rope-plank bridge. Scout a place that is firm enough to support the weight of the bridge on either end. You do not want your bridge to sag down to the area that is being crossed, so the supports on either end must be solid.

Step 2

Anchor your bridge on either side of the crossing by tying it to a tree, boulder or other solid object. You can also drive heavy stakes or poles into the ground to secure the bridge's weight. Tie a length of heavy rope to each of your supports, starting at one end.

Step 3

Toss the ropes to the other side of the crossing. Make a lasso out of your ropes if necessary. Be sure that they catch on something, as you must cross over to the other side. If there isn't a way over the crossing already, shimmy across the rope hand-over-hand.

Step 4

Secure the main support ropes on the other side of your bridge. Make sure that everything is firmly anchored into place before you begin laying the planks for your bridge.

Step 5

Gather enough planks to cover the distance of your bridge's crossing. The planks do not have to form a continuous surface the entire length of your bridge, but they should be placed close enough together for you to cross without falling through. Drill a hole near both ends of all the planks. Take the first plank and a short piece of rope. Slip the piece of rope through the hole on one end of the plank, securing it to the plank and to the main support rope. Repeat this step on both ends of your planks, securing each plank to both support ropes.

Step 6

Secure your rope bridge even further by adding handrails. Cut two long pieces of rope about the size of your main support ropes. Tie each end of the rope to one of the supports. Make sure this is secured higher than your plank support ropes. Run each handrail from one side to the other, pulling it tightly as you go. For added security, tie smaller lengths of rope from the planks to the handrail every couple of feet, alternating from one side of your bridge to another. You may now safely, but carefully, cross your rope-plank bridge.