No matter how cautious you are, getting stuck with your vehicle off the beaten track can happen to the very best of us. The best way to handle getting stuck in snow, sand or mud is to be prepared for that scenario at all times. The best way to prepare, is to equip yourself with at least two pieces of recovery equipment. Why two? Well because two is almost always better than one, and recovery equipment is relatively inexpensive, so better safe than sorry!
The two most reliable, yet affordable pieces of 4WD recovery equipment are the recovery tracks and the winch. One is simple, yet effective, while the other is slightly more advanced and even more effective. Let’s discuss both these pieces of 4WD recovery equipment in more detail.
Recovery tracks are usually made of molded plastics in order to provide friction for your wheels and help your vehicle gain momentum. I’ve seen plenty of people use a cardboard or carpet, which can work, but aren’t a reliable solution. Recovery tracks won’t slide or sink under the tyre, and then you hold them at the end, you can use them as a shovel. Overall, they’re an extremely affordable piece of recovery equipment, which is extremely compact and should be in every 4WD enthusiasts’ trunk. They can be folded and can be “nested” right into one another, so they won’t take much space in your trunk.
Winches are a must-have for everyone who ventures into terrain which has a high likelihood of getting you stuck. Winches are mechanical pieces of equipment, and you should always get tow straps, a snatch block and a tree saver strap alongside them. These extra accessories will allow you to get out of a pickle even when there’s nobody around to help you. As a general rule of thumb, the winch you buy should be rated at least 30% more than the weight of your 4WD. When hooking onto another vehicle to drag you out, remember to always hook to a recovery point or the frame of that vehicle, because bumpers can easily be broken when put under a lot of pressure, and they can fly your way and pose a great threat.
You don’t have to pick either of these recovery gear options. You may feel more comfortable using a hi-lift jack, and that’s perfectly fine. Bottom line is, it’s best to have options while in the middle of nowhere, and if you’ve ever been stuck, you’d rather have too many options than no option whatsoever!