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#3214679 - 10/11/19 11:31 AM Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques
DiRTY DOG Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 2617
Loc: West
A lot of us do some mild 4x4 or AWD in our trucks and SUVs to reach our hunting spots. I never plan on getting stuck, but... Weather and trail conditions can get you in trouble real quick, all it takes is a slick surface or a deep rut or a tree or boulder in the wrong place or a little too much snow etc. Getting unstuck can be challenging when you're alone or inexperienced.

What equipment should a regular guy (not a hard core 4x4 rock crawler) have in the vehicle for basic self recovery? Most weekend warriors don't have a winch. What are the most useful tools for most situations?

Also, where are the best resources to learn (self) recovery techniques?
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#3214684 - 10/11/19 12:12 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
DAA Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5178
Loc: Salt Lake City
Shovel, Jack, chains, tire plugs, compressor. Brain. Get you out of most stucks.

Winch, Pull pal, traction boards get you out of even more.

We used to do recovery classes once in awhile but it's been a few years since the last formal one we did. Local group near you may have something like that. Probably a lot of YouTube stuff out there I'd guess.


- DAA

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#3214685 - 10/11/19 12:15 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
DAA Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5178
Loc: Salt Lake City
I think winches are for regular guys and regular vehicles too. Most guys I know that get out there very far, very often, have them and have saved their own azzes with them.

- DAA

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#3214688 - 10/11/19 12:35 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
AWS Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 4844
Loc: NM
I use a 4x2 with positraction as my hunting vehicle. Being prepared to get unstuck is high priority for me. I ran 4x4's for many years and the few additional places I could get to aren't worth the hassle of 4w-drive.

I carry a 4 ton Lug-All hand winch, 75-100 feet of 5/8" nylon rope, 30 feet of log chain, HD tire chains(they work in snow and mud), a shovel, ax and buck saw.

When alone the nylon rope will stretch a long way with the winch and you can get back in the truck and the stretch will keep pulling if you can get the truck to move a little. No winch you can double the rope and stick a heavy branch through the middle and twist the rope to pull yourself out , again the stretch in the rope keeps pulling.

Nothing to hook to, you can drive stakes through the links in the chain for an anchor point, I carry screw in earth anchors to hook to(screw together repair links from the anchor to the chain) it takes quite a bit of pull to yank four of them out of the ground when your pulling 90 degrees to them and they are all the way in.

Use logs and a tree as a fulcrum, the longer the log the more pull you produce, I had to do this when my Bronco high-centered over a log in a deep puddle. you only move an inch or two at a time but it will get unstuck.

4x4's

Drive in 2 wheel drive until you get stuck use 4 wheel to back out. I've never figure out why a winch is on the front to pull yourself deeper into trouble, I'd put it on the back to pull myself back out.

My hunting partner backed my van into an irrigation canal and the rear wheels were hanging in mid air we were able to pull out with the gear I had. It was a long way from no where in SD.
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#3214696 - 10/11/19 01:37 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4165
Loc: Oakland County, MI
as soomeone who's pondered this in the past but is nothing even close to pro at it...if you're going out without a winch and know you're in a potential i could get stuck scenerio....

i've looked at the following for a possible recovery kit (and already have most of in my truck). i'm saving now for a winch since i refitted my bumper with an offroad steel bumper with a built in winch mount.

  • a good pair of leather gloves!
  • manual come along (~$50)
  • a heavy duty recovery strap (~$30)
  • a rug or other cable weight (minimize backlash if the come along cable lets go under stress)
  • a snatch block (power multiplier)
  • 2 or 3 shackles (~$20 for 2)
  • a tree saver strap (~$15)
  • a shovel
  • something other than your factory scissor jack (maybe a hi-lift, or even a bottle jack)
  • probably some traction mats - or some way to cut branches/etc to use like you would a traction mat (im thinking a larger hatchet, or reasonably sized limb saw).
  • spare set of dry clothing including footwear (sometimes getting unstuck is wet and messy!)


in the winter, something as simple as a bag of clay cat litter can be enough to get you out of a slippery jam. pool filter sand (coarse silica sand) is also a nice relatively coarse aggregate thats cheap (~$8/50 lbs at rural king/lowes, or your local landscape yard). this coarse (1mm ish size) sand has lots of bite on ice. as a bonus being inert natural products either are safe to leave behind on the trail once you successfully get unstuck.



besides youtube ... if i wanted to really learn to do self recovery stuff, i would find a local off-road group and do a few sessions with them. im sure if you explain what you want to do and then work with them to intentionally get yourself "stuck" while out on the trail you can learn a lot quick. i cant imagine a group of die-hard offroad guys wouldn't want to help a newbie learn some basic tricks.

Not suggesting you need to bury yourself up to the windows in a mudhole or park your trans on a boulder... but put yourself into a limited scenario similar to what you might encounter in your normal travels without putting your vehicle at risk and have them show you proper rigging, etc on how to get out of that type of situation and do the full mock recovery otherwise by yourself.

i'm thinking like a really greasy hole/ditch that you 'slide into' with a couple tires, or maybe parking in some rocky ground that would require you too lift/pull yourself out of to simulate getting stuck on some debris you cant just drive over. or learning to use your recovery gear to remove stuff off a blocked trail safely (downed tree, rockfall, etc) that kinda stuff.

and god forbid you do really get stuck during your testing and cant get out yourself - you've got a group of folks there who can winch onto you, or hook a snatch strap to u to get you out safely while you're still learning and building your recovery kit & skills.

hth
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All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
This disclaimer will self destruct in 10 seconds.


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#3214697 - 10/11/19 01:45 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4165
Loc: Oakland County, MI
if you're looking for a pre-assembled kit that has a hunk of the smalller rigging stuff there are several on amazon for around $100 like this

https://smile.amazon.com/Recovery-Rigging-including-Strap,D-Leather/dp/B0725CKB83/
_________________________
All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
This disclaimer will self destruct in 10 seconds.


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#3214704 - 10/11/19 04:14 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
tawnoper Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 569
Loc: West coast
There is a difference between getting stuck and getting STUCK. The latter usually requires assistance or a good winch and something strong enough to anchor it to. One thing I always carried was a 12v compressor. I mainly hunt the desert, lots of sand. Amazing how much more traction you get (and a much better ride) when you air down. Once back to pavement air back up.

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#3214707 - 10/11/19 05:10 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: tawnoper]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 15324
Loc: S. Texas
Quote:
Drive in 2 wheel drive until you get stuck use 4 wheel to back out. I've never figure out why a winch is on the front to pull yourself deeper into trouble, I'd put it on the back to pull myself back out.


I'd rather drive in 4x4 and not get stuck in the first place; lot easier to avoid getting stuck than to get out once stuck.



Agree 100% on ability to locate winch on backof vehicle; that's why I got a receiver mounted winch that I can put on either end and even move from my truck to the jeep.

The winch, and a tractor jack, axe and shovel in brackets on bumper has taken care of most big problems.

For game retrieval, a 100 yard spool of 3/4" nylon rope and the 1500# ATV winch & telescoping boom on back hasn't failed me yet.





Regards,
hm









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If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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#3214718 - 10/11/19 06:51 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: tawnoper]
DAA Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5178
Loc: Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: tawnoper
There is a difference between getting stuck and getting STUCK. The latter usually requires assistance or a good winch and something strong enough to anchor it to. One thing I always carried was a 12v compressor. I mainly hunt the desert, lots of sand. Amazing how much more traction you get (and a much better ride) when you air down. Once back to pavement air back up.


Agree 100%. Been carrying a compressor with me since I was as teenager. I have a pretty nice onboard air setup on my Jeep, dual ARB, hard mounted, plumbed to a tank and air chucks inside each door, on the rear bumper and under the hood. Decent CFM and duty cycle, I've used it to seat beads and run air tools in short bursts.







But any compressor is better than no compressor. An MV50 can be had for about $50, or less if you find a closeout sale (I bought a pile of them for $25 each). Had a pair hard mounted in the Jeep for awhile.



One of those clipped to the battery will get 'er done.



Originally Posted By: hm1996


I'd rather drive in 4x4 and not get stuck in the first place; lot easier to avoid getting stuck than to get out once stuck.



I usually agree with most of what AWS has to say, but I agree with this 100%. The ability to keep up momentum and NOT get stuck, is way better than being stuck in 4WD. Which, happens sometimes if you wait until you are already stuck before putting it in 4WD.

A spot like this.



Better hit it in 4 else you'll be needing a strap or a winch.



Rear winch is a neat option. I have had to winch from the rear with a Hi-Lift and logging chain a few times. It works, but it's a slow process and a lot of rigging. Being able to plug in an electric in the rear would be nice.

AWS mentions a system for ground anchoring and he is spot on. I like the Pull Pal. Here's a video of it in action on a coyote hunt over a dozen years ago. My Jeep sure was cute when it was little...

Link in case the video embed doesn't work.

https://youtu.be/kITNN7-ngNg

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kITNN7-ngNg" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

That Pull Pal has saved my shanks on a number of occasions in the treeless desert.

In my truck, which doesn't have a winch, I keep some cut down T posts and a bundle of nylon rope in one of the Ram boxes at all times. And sometimes throw the Pull Pal in the bed too. I use the T posts and rope in the military extraction "picket fence" style, pounding them in a row and roping them top to bottom one to the next.


Originally Posted By: Plant.One


  • a good pair of leather gloves!
  • manual come along (~$50)
  • a heavy duty recovery strap (~$30)
  • a rug or other cable weight (minimize backlash if the come along cable lets go under stress)
  • a snatch block (power multiplier)
  • 2 or 3 shackles (~$20 for 2)
  • a tree saver strap (~$15)
  • a shovel
  • something other than your factory scissor jack (maybe a hi-lift, or even a bottle jack)
  • probably some traction mats - or some way to cut branches/etc to use like you would a traction mat (im thinking a larger hatchet, or reasonably sized limb saw).
  • spare set of dry clothing including footwear (sometimes getting unstuck is wet and messy!)



besides youtube ... if i wanted to really learn to do self recovery stuff, i would find a local off-road group and do a few sessions with them. im sure if you explain what you want to do and then work with them to intentionally get yourself "stuck" while out on the trail you can learn a lot quick. i cant imagine a group of die-hard offroad guys wouldn't want to help a newbie learn some basic tricks.




Some of the items on that list will be most useful if another vehicle shows up, not for getting yourself out. But, they are a good idea. I have on quite a few occasions been "saved" by someone else who happened along, only because I had the yank strap or logging chain and all the rigging gear to make it happen.

A couple of words about a couple of the items... On the come-along. Your odds for a good outcome will be greatly increased if you carry something better than a <$50 tool.

In my truck, I carry a 6 ton unit from Wyeth-Scott:

https://www.wyeth-scott.com/

AWS mentions a similar heavy duty unit he carries. You can get chicomm knockoffs for much less and for as often as most will use them they are still orders of magnitude better than a sandwich frame come-along.

And on the recovery strap... They come in a very wide range of quality and designed uses. Two basic kinds, tow strap - no or little stretch, and yanker or kinetic - designed to stretch.

Yankers are way better for recovery than tow straps. Way better. Gentler on the rigs, too. We used a 30K LB ARB kinetic strap to get this free this beached whale of an Excursion. It was amazingly gentle.




Whatever kind of strap you get, just make sure it doesn't have metal hooks on it. If the strap breaks - and cheap ones very often do - those hooks can become missiles. Seen two back windows blown out by them.

And yes, a friendly "hey can anyone help me" shout to your local 4x4 community will probably get you out with some experienced hands for some fun, informal practice time.

While we haven't done formal classes for a long time, our local group does these kinds of runs fairly often. And often at the request of a noob. You'll get to see all kinds of gear in use and all kinds of experienced advice. A few pics from one such run I led last winter.






- DAA

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#3214721 - 10/11/19 07:04 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: hm1996]
spotstalkshoot Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 1536
Loc: so.mn
Here I only get stuck in the winter, rarely does anyone have a winch(most always a single vehicle). Usually no good trees or other anchors and ground will be froze solid. A good shovel, a bag of gravel or pea rock and plenty of fluids because you will sweat shoveling a truck out. When I travel to other areas I have to equipment different. I always carry a 30' tow strap, but to save time helping a stranger.

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#3214722 - 10/11/19 07:06 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
Wyoming Winchester Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 231
Loc: WY

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#3214746 - 10/12/19 10:01 AM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
DAA Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5178
Loc: Salt Lake City
Just bragging on a friend a bit...

But the rig that pulled this Excursion out.




Is my friend Dan in this Ram.




This was on the annual Ghost Town Tour I do every year. Dan has been on all of them. And that damage to the front corner and passenger mirror, happened earlier that day - he's not afraid to take that full size ANYWHERE! But he got to use his big 30,000 lb ARB yanker a lot on that trip. We had a bunch of mud stucks the last day.

But anyway, the bragging. Dan's rig is the centerfold in the current issue of FourWheeler (Dec. '19).




Pretty cool.

But a shout out to your local 4x4 fanatics should hook you up with folks like this in your area that will be happy to help you learn the ropes of recovery. On the Ghost Town Tour I do every year, we have everyone from guys like Dan and even professional adventurers that do this kind of stuff full time for TV shows and big time expeditions around the globe, to the newest of noobs just learning to air down tires for the first time. Everybody has a lot of fun. The old hands enjoy teaching a trick or two and the noobs enjoy learning them.

- DAA

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#3214748 - 10/12/19 10:20 AM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DiRTY DOG]
GRIZZLYONE Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: So Cal
Dang! you boys is hard core.
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Coyotes shot no waiting.
Them mountains for animals and savages.

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#3214763 - 10/12/19 01:08 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: DAA]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4165
Loc: Oakland County, MI
Originally Posted By: DAA

Originally Posted By: Plant.One


  • a good pair of leather gloves!
  • manual come along (~$50)
  • a heavy duty recovery strap (~$30)
  • a rug or other cable weight (minimize backlash if the come along cable lets go under stress)
  • a snatch block (power multiplier)
  • 2 or 3 shackles (~$20 for 2)
  • a tree saver strap (~$15)
  • a shovel
  • something other than your factory scissor jack (maybe a hi-lift, or even a bottle jack)
  • probably some traction mats - or some way to cut branches/etc to use like you would a traction mat (im thinking a larger hatchet, or reasonably sized limb saw).
  • spare set of dry clothing including footwear (sometimes getting unstuck is wet and messy!)







Some of the items on that list will be most useful if another vehicle shows up, not for getting yourself out. But, they are a good idea. I have on quite a few occasions been "saved" by someone else who happened along, only because I had the yank strap or logging chain and all the rigging gear to make it happen.


A couple of words about a couple of the items... On the come-along. Your odds for a good outcome will be greatly increased if you carry something better than a <$50 tool.

In my truck, I carry a 6 ton unit from Wyeth-Scott:

https://www.wyeth-scott.com/

AWS mentions a similar heavy duty unit he carries. You can get chicomm knockoffs for much less and for as often as most will use them they are still orders of magnitude better than a sandwich frame come-along.


ya i sure wasnt suggesting anything on there was perfect or ideal. but sometimes you gotta start with a budget item to get you there which is why i listed those price points - knowing it was entry level equipment prices. for someone just putting kit together and not going to be using it often (and ideally not at all).... i'll let someones budget and needs drive the decision on quality, and thanks for sharing a much better option on the come along!


Quote:

And on the recovery strap... They come in a very wide range of quality and designed uses. Two basic kinds, tow strap - no or little stretch, and yanker or kinetic - designed to stretch.

Yankers are way better for recovery than tow straps. Way better. Gentler on the rigs, too.
<snip>


Whatever kind of strap you get, just make sure it doesn't have metal hooks on it. If the strap breaks - and cheap ones very often do - those hooks can become missiles. Seen two back windows blown out by them.


as noted a kinetic strap is much mo better for being recovered by someone else - but a basic tow strap can be used as a lightweight extension to get to an anchor point during self recovery. is it ideal? probably not, but in a pinch... any port in a storm and all that.

ive use a lot of just regular 20,000-30,000lb tow straps to get folks out of the ditch over the years. buyin me a new one used to be my fee for pulling my buddies out when they got in a jam in the winter up north with my old K5. used to get some cryin about it of course - you dont have a strap already? (no, ive never needed one to get unstuck tt2) -usually right up until mentioning they could always call the tow company and pay them instead of buying me a new strap.



have ya'll used a short-ish kinetic in conjunction with a tow strap before to kind of have the best of both worlds for folks with limited space in their kit?


Quote:

While we haven't done formal classes for a long time, our local group does these kinds of runs fairly often. And often at the request of a noob. You'll get to see all kinds of gear in use and all kinds of experienced advice. A few pics from one such run I led last winter.






- DAA



looks like a lot of fun!
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All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
This disclaimer will self destruct in 10 seconds.


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#3214764 - 10/12/19 01:09 PM Re: Off road vehicle self recovery equipment and techniques [Re: Wyoming Winchester]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4165
Loc: Oakland County, MI
Originally Posted By: Wyoming Winchester


thats badass man. thanks for the link.
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All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
This disclaimer will self destruct in 10 seconds.


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