If you’re thinking about getting into the 4×4 life, off-roading, or overlanding, it’s inevitable that you or someone on your team is going to get stuck. This can be a true disaster or a minor inconvenience depending on how prepared you are, and there is no excuse for not being prepared for this…it WILL happen.
Below is a list of the recovery gear that I carry with me while offroading.
Gloves are essential. If you’ve ever pinched your skin before, you will know how painful that can be, especially on your hand. They also prevent abrasions, cuts, and other trauma to your hands which is pretty much guaranteed while doing a recovery. Just put them in your kit and USE them. Your hands will thank you.
Instead of chains or tow straps, the new go to recovery tool is Kinetic Ropes. Basically a 20-30ft rope with elastic properties.
D-Shackles are heavy but still have their place in your recovery bag but soft shackles are lighter and far more versatile.
Not all vehicles have nice recovery points but a lot of people who get stuck do have a tow package with a hitch receiver. I keep a recovery hitch attached to my Jeep and I carry a spare one that I can quickly attach to another vehicles hitch receiver.
Although very bulky, traction boards are a great tool for self recovery. Especially if you don’t have a winch. Shove them under your tires and drive over them. Just don’t spin your tires on them, or you will melt the grippy bits and turn them into smooth planks that are now useless.
When using a winch, it’s very common to need to attach to a sturdy tree and this is when a Tree Saver Strap is required. NEVER throw your winch line around a tree without protecting it. You will seriously damage the tree, maybe even kill it, and you will also damage your winch line.
Tow Straps also come in handy when towing another vehicle on snow or ice for short distances but they should never be used to do a recovery when “yanking” is required. They don’t like being shock loaded and those hooks can become dangerous flying objects.