How to Build Your Own Backyard Obstacle Course From Recycled Tyres
Posted by: Lydia on 12/12/2017
Many Australians keep their old set of tyres when they buy a new one. They tend to repeat the process every time they purchase new tyres, and next thing they know, they have a garage full of them. In the end, many people ultimately toss them without a second thought.
This is tragic. As a nation surrounded by beaches, with a desert in the middle and rainforests, mountains, and lakes sprinkled throughout, Aussies know more than a little about having fun outdoors. We’re made to be outdoors, and what better way to do that than by building a backyard obstacle course using those old tyres? Here’s how to turn your backyard into a real warrior training ground.
Obviously, the first thing you need is those tyres that are filling your garage. Any tyres that are in reasonably good shape but are too worn to use on your car will do very nicely here. In case you don’t have any used tyres on hand, it shouldn’t be too hard to find some. In fact, with over 1 billion tyres being retired from use every year, there is always a supply on hand.
If your family or friends don't have any spares, do a Google search for ‘used tyres near me’ and you’ll be sure to find some affordable old sets for sale. Depending on your course design, you’ll likely need to get some other equipment, too. The great thing about building an obstacle course is that the design is limited only by your imagination.
There are lots of fun designs you can come up with by making use of rope, wood, nuts and bolts, sand, and more. Beyond this, you can also seek out some unique accessories to make your obstacle course more fun: think witch hats, yardsticks, hula hoops, and soccer balls, and the appropriate games to tie it all together.
Do you have a dog that just can’t help himself? A cat that will become territorial? Thinking these situations out ahead of time is important when deciding what equipment is best. Doing so can help you avoid dog stains and smells, or a cat pouncing from on high. It’s also worthwhile to be aware of any other critters in your neighbourhood.
Most Aussie kids grow up aware that most spiders are not dangerous if you leave them alone and get mum or dad. Magpies can be temperamental little birds but ultimately don’t do much harm. If your environment has funnel-web spiders, snakes, or other dangers, plan carefully. To make it unattractive to creepy-crawlies, build the course in a spot where there’s lots of light and no dark spaces.
Once you have a rough plan in place, you need an assessment of what’s realistically possible. It’s great if you’ve drawn up a plan for an obstacle course that rivals ancient Egypt’s architectural wonders. But if your construction skills are more modest, it’s important to start small.
It may also be worthwhile to check in with your local council first. Nobody likes red tape, but sometimes it's necessary. Some local councils in Australia want to be informed when you build a cubby house, so if your course is sizeable, it can pay to check. Nobody wants to build a course only to have their creation taken down due to regulations.
Every great project requires some public input. Odds are really good you’re building this backyard course for some younger members of your family. Very strong views about obstacle courses are held among attendees of Australian kindergartens and primary schools. Be sure you take an opinion poll on your final design from these key supporters.
Consultation is worthwhile even if you’re not building it for the kids. You may be intent on having the best training zone for your at-home CrossFit exploits. If the design ends up pushing out your partner’s veggie garden or makes it impossible to get into the pool, it’s a risky build. Consultation is also good as it increases the odds others will help, rather than be mad at you for ruining the backyard.
Tests can be done in a variety of ways, and the best way is with a healthy dose of fun.
Got a cricket bat lying around? Give the structure a few hearty whacks with the bat to ensure it is sufficiently bouncy. Then give it a bit of a squirt with the hose and then check around it after a few minutes to see if water is pooling anywhere.
If it is, adjust the structure so no water features are accidently created alongside your new construction. It’s then time to put your Dunlops on and go for a bit of a test run to ensure the obstacle course flows well. Check as you go for any unexpected hazards. Many ankles have been sprained and knees scraped thanks to a poorly-placed tyre, so a test run is a must.
Your tyres might not be on your car any longer, but they can still wear over time. This is an issue for your obstacle course just as it is on the road. That’s why a regular inspection of your obstacle course is important to ensure it’s still safe to use.
Fortunately, you can have a lot of fun with this. It literally involves wandering around your yard and kicking the tyres. Provided they are not cracking and looking like they could give someone a nasty cut or ankle sprain, they should be fine. Be sure to check that any fastenings you have used (like bolts, nuts, and screws) remain solid and secure.
Once you’ve created and successfully tested your obstacle course, it’s time to have fun and celebrate. Show off your creation to the neighbourhood by getting your friends around for a BBQ, and be sure to pop some snaps of your new obstacle course on social media.
Whether you built your course with adults or kids in mind, it’s likely that all ages will want to give it a try. So be sure to have fun and enjoy it.
What other tips do you have for building a backyard obstacle course? Let us know in the comments below.