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Recovery Gear

The essentials for overlanding.

Recovery gear is essential part of overlanding. Everyone wheels at their own comfort level and abilities (hopefully) but recovery gear is the same for all of us. If you've never been stuck, then you've never been wheeling.

Here is what I always take on the trails:

Winch: If you spend any time on roads rated harder than forest roads, this is essential alone or with a group. Sometimes a winch is the only solution as angles and space do not allow for kinetic ropes or other methods.

Kinetic rope: If you overland with another vehicle, this will be your fastest method to get unstock. This is essential if you’re in sand, snow, or mud but may be limiting in rocks or mountain passes (see winch).

Tow strap: The only time I choose a tow strap over kinetic is in heavy rock crawling situations when I need a more controlled pull. A tow strap also works great as an extension for a winch line or kinetic rope and as a tree saver for larger rocks.

Tree savers: Without a tree saver you will often find a winch useless. Trees and rocks will easily cut through winch lines. A tree saver will keep your winch line safe and can take more abuse from bark or rocks.

Traction boards: If you go out alone in sand, snow, or mud; recovery boards are a must have as you may not have anything to winch from. These are often a last resort as it’s a slower and dirtier job. If you’re with a group, a kinetic rope is faster and cleaner.

Soft shackles: You should always have at least 3 soft shackles. This is the safest method to tie a rope or winch to your bumper and/or a winch point. You need to make sure your bumper points can fit a soft shackle.

Metal shackles: I often carry a metal shackle just in case someone in my group doesn’t have a recovery point that will work with a soft shackle.

Deflator/pressure gauge: When I just started, I used twigs as deflators (and you still can). If you’re stuck in sand or snow, just deflating may be enough to get you out.

Hi-Lift (and hi-lift base): I use my bottle jack whenever possible, but I always carry a hi-lift as I have been in situations where if I didn’t use a hi-lift in a recovery, I would incur substantial undercarriage damage.

Retention pulley or snatch block: This will allow you to change the direction of your pull. Useful when vehicles are in awkward positions:especially on mountain passes.

Shovel, axe, sledgehammer, and saw. These are essentials that our team often carries when exploring new or unknown trails.


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