How-to

How to Be Prepared to Get Unstuck: Accessories Guide for Off-road

How to Be Prepared to Get Unstuck Accessories Guide for Off-road

I will discuss aftermarket accessories that I feel are important for safe and responsible off-roading. Safe, because they will help you and your 4-wheel drive be better prepared for trail difficulty and terrain variety. Responsible, because they allow you to take responsibility for your actions by upgrading to minimize environmental impact and ensure that you get back home.

Using a kinetic recovery rope
Using a kinetic recovery rope attached to frame-mounted tow hooks

Besides a tool kit, map(s), and some primary emergency items, the three most vital things to have when travelling the backcountry trails and roads are:

Managing a kinetic recovery rope attached to frame-mounted tow hooks:

  1. Frame-mounted tow hooks, one in front and one in back. A Class III receiver hitch mounted in back counts.
  2. A recovery rope as long as 2″ x 30′ long, the type with loops on the end, instead of hooks. Hooks are for towing, not recovery.
  3. A Hi-Lift jack with attendant hardware.

I’ll explain everything? Just hold on a doggone minute! For instance, you are driving a backcountry trail and you accidentally slide into a deep rut and unfortunately get stuck. Yes, it’s that easy! Do you: a) give up, walk out and try to find a tow truck (for about $400); b) grab an old blanket and throw them under the tires hoping it’ll work; c) ask your partner to push on the bumper, or d) have a practical plan and suitable equipment to get unstuck and move on merrily on your way?

I like d), don’t you? Large tow bills, spinning tires only digging you deeper, getting your family and friends muddy, or straining aback, all make being prepared and having the right equipment look like the best alternative.

If another truck shows up, or you are travelling with a buddy, the recovery rope comes in handy. You should not wrap a rope or any other recovery tool around the stock bumper, your steering components, springs, spring hangers, or axles. Only use a frame-mounted tow hook, or make use of a short sling and tuck it up around the frame, keeping away from wires and hoses. After that, you should connect it to the recovery rope with a fitting“D” shackle. The other vehicle can then yank you out. The strap absorbs the impact, enabling the yank motion.

Never use a chain, underrated rope, or worn strap. Don’t use ball hitches. I’ve seen people yank bumpers off, use dog chain leads and clothesline, all to no good. I’ve seen trailer ball hitches go through radiators and break a cylinder head. The square tube of the Class III receiver hitch will accommodate the looped end of the recovery strap. Slide it in and use the pin that comes with the hitch to hold the loop.

how to use the Hi-Lift Jack as a winch

The Hi-Lift Jack and accessories can be used as a hand winch too. An average Hi-Lift Jack is rated at 7000# and can be used to lift the vehicle not to mention hand winch it out. But I strongly suggest you not to get in a situation like that and be prepared to get unstuck with the Best Offroad Winche for the Money reviewed on my website.

pull pall land anchor
Pull-Pal a portable land anchor

By connecting the jack between the vehicle and the Best Ground Anchor for Winch point, using properly rated slings and chain, you can pull the vehicle out, either forward or backward.

pull pall land anchor in action
Pull Pall land anchor in action

Don’t try to use a recovery strap with this method. The strap stretches too much. For this method, you will need two slings (2″ x 8′), 25 feet of chain, and three 3/4″ “D” shackles to start with. All the hardware should be rated at a higher capacity than the jack. Most 4-wheel drive shops or an industrial hardware supply company will carry the needed items.

Happy off-roading, don’t be a stick-in-the-mud!

About the author

Mattew Brodie

Hi there! This blog was created to share my off-roading, gear-related knowledge with those interested in the field. I’ve worked as mechanic for years and have been a devoted off-roader for as long. Now, I’ve decided to combine the two and share my experience with passionate audience. I do not claim to know it all – but when something new hits the surface, I will be on it to research its ups and downs. Call me an off-roading nerd if you like, and as long as you can find something useful in here – you are heartedly welcome!

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