Spending the day out in nature bopping down the trails is freeing, recharging, and exciting all at the same time. After all, it’s one of the main reasons we bought an offroad capable vehicle. It can also be scary if you get yourself stuck and are not prepared with the proper recovery gear.
No one wants to get stuck when you are wheeling. Having the right recovery gear though could be the difference in you spending hours waiting to be recovered or even worse, having to spend the night on the trail. Fact is, it’s not a matter of if you will get stuck, it’s a matter of when you will get stuck. If you have the proper recovery gear and equipment, you can have yourself back on the trail in no time, turning that stressful situation into a minor inconvenience. You might even start to look forward to recoveries.
So, the question is, what recovery gear should you have and how do you use it?
One of the first upgrades that we recommend to our students in our beginner’s off-roading class is a good winch. We recommend Warn winches, but there are many good brands out there that fit your budget. If you are going to be wheeling, a winch should be on your list of upgrades. Trust us, it will get used and will make your life and those you are wheeling with so much easier for when that recovery situation pops up.
A good basic recovery kit to build out should include these 8 items.
1. A set of soft shackles or hard shackles.
Personally, we carry both hard and soft shackles. These are used when connecting up your winch, tow straps, tree savers, and snatch blocks. Without these, it is going to make that recovery a lot harder.
2. Tree saver.
A tree saver wraps around the base of the tree when hooking up a winch to the tree. It does a couple of things. One, it does not damage or kill the tree. We are big on the tread lightly principles at ORA Offroad Adventures. Leave no trace behind, that includes cutting the tree with your winch cable. The tree saver prevents that. Two, it prevents damage to your winch cable or even worse, breaking your winch cable from the friction of it rubbing against the tree.
3. Snatch block.
A snatch block is handy in a couple of different situations. If you need a bit of extra pulling power, and if you are at an awkward angle when trying to winch out of a situation. Think of a snatch block as a pully. When a snatch block is added to the equation when winching, it can double the strength of you winch. So, when you get really stuck and the winch is just not doing the job, throw a snatch block on and watch what happens. A snatch block is also good for when you need to change the direction of the winch cable. When you are winching, it is always good to get as straight of a line as possible to prevent damage to your vehicle and winch. Fact is that a straight line when winching is not always possible. Sometimes it can even be at a 90 degree angle. This is where the snatch block would come into play. There are a ton of videos out there showing great examples on how snatch blocks are used. You can also find explanation videos on our YouTube channel as well.
4. Tow strap.
A tow strap can be used if you need a few extra feet on your winch line, incase you have a long winch to do. It can be used as an extra tree saver if needed. It can also be used to pull people out when stuck, or towing people off the trail if they break down.
5. A shovel.
A shovel is handy if you need to dig you tires out of the sand or mud a bit. Also, good to have in case nature calls and there is no bathroom around.
6. Work gloves.
A good set of leather work gloves, or mechanic glove are a must. You should always wear gloves when doing a recovery. Not doing so can result in injuries to your hands. No one wants an injury on the trail. Remember, and ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.
7. A good first aid kit.
Always have a good first aid kit in your vehicle when on the trail and know how to use it. You are the first responder in an emergency when out wheeling.
8. Fire extinguisher.
One of those items that will not be used a lot, but if that situation pops up, you will be glad that you have it.
Most survival or emergencies are a lot worse that they should be, usually because people are under prepared for a situation. Wheeling is a lot of fun and safe if you are prepared for when a situation arrives. So be sure to have the proper gear and make sure its in good working order before that next wheeling trip.
Don’t cheap out when it comes to recovery gear either. Last thing you need is for your recovery gear to break when you need it most. We have tested lots of different brands of recovery gear in our off-roading 101 classes. We have found that Rhino USA recovery gear has stood the test of punishment and time. You can find all the gear mentioned above at the link below.
Be sure to use the code "oraoffroad" at Rhino USA at checkout for a discount.
Click here for your recovery gear needs