An adventurer doesn’t play it safe. When it comes to overlanding and off-roading, the thrill is in the challenge, the journey and the exploration.
But if you happen to get your bracket on your suspension caught, discover that you’re high centered or that your tires are stuck in a mudhole, you’ll need the right gear to make a clean recovery.
In today’s post, Artemis Overland in Springfield, Missouri, gives you the best overlanding recovery gear, along with some helpful tips.
Best Recovery Gear for Overlanding: The Go-To's
Quick n’ Easy Rescue Gear Tips When Overlanding
Good Driving. We all know that the best recovery gear is the ones you don’t use. Not getting stuck in the first place is your goal. That comes from good driving and an experienced eye for terrain.
Location. If you’re overwhelmed with choices, ask yourself one question: “What’s the minimum I need to get off the trail and near a place where I can call AAA for a tow into town?” Are you off the grid or on it, near a national park or reserve?
The level of recovery gear (basic or advanced) really depends on the terrain — are you in snow, sand or a muddy forested area? You might not need the fanciest or most expensive recovery gear, especially if you’re only using the basics.
Training. And even then, there’s one caveat… If you don’t know how to use it, that rescue gear is useless. That’s where training and practice comes in handy.
The classic winch. It’s one of the most important recovery tools to bring with you. Whether you’re adventuring through muddy, sandy or snowy terrain, a winch can get you out, whether alone and using an anchor point like a tree or boulder, or by another vehicle.
If you’re starting out, there’s no need to get fancy. Just make sure you have a front bumper winch attachment.
You’ll need to be able to pull yourself out of a bind, even with no one else around. It can even be hooked around fallen trees to remove obstructions on your trail.
There are various types of winch accessories to consider taking with you. It’s up to personal preference. You might find that you genuinely need them all.
Winch Shackle, Thimble and Hook
Winching is a dangerous activity. Using a thimble, shackle and hook helps mitigate the risk of being hurt while performing a recovery.
Hooks are better for winches that have chains, shackles are ideal for recovery straps and thimbles are needed every time you’re using a shackle on your winch system.
These are all of the must-have winch accessories when it comes to making a recovery!
99 percent of the time, your winch will come with a fairlead. In case it doesn’t, get one asap. You’ll need one to hook up to your front or rear bumper for effective recovery.
Winch Line Extension
For advanced trails, a little extra reach is a lifesaver. The winch line extension allows you to extend your pulley block for a redirect or a 2:1 system. The tow strap can also be a winch line extension.
A rope retention pulley can be used with a soft or hard shackle, as a 2:1 or 3:1 pulling system.
Winch Extension Strap
If your anchor point is simply out of reach, you’ll need an extension to bridge the gap. When it comes to buying a winch extension strap, let’s just say it’s better to be prepared than stuck without one.
Winch Line Repair Kit
Though not as common as you might think, winches break. In that event, you need to rapidly repair/splice a synthetic winch line.
Winch Recovery Storage Bag
A winch recovery kit is a great way to get all of the essentials in one purchase, your shackles, gloves, tow strap and more. And it gives you an easy place to store it all.
Rigging Plate, aka Load Distribution Plate (LDP)
A rigging plate helps to lighten the load put on your individual winch line, allowing for multiple directions to winch applications to be put on.
Winch Line Damper
This accessory is designed to “dampen” the slingshot effect of a broken recovery line (you don’t want that breaking off and flying towards you).
Wireless Remote Wench
If you want an accessory that makes you feel cool (James Bond level cool), get a wireless remote winch. Just remember that batteries die. So if you have a wireless, make sure you’re also packing a regular one for backup.
Recovery Straps: “Snatch Strap”
Recovery straps are usually made with nylon fabric that can stretch. It’s also a lot lighter to carry than chain links connecting between vehicles. Where you apply your strap will depend on your vehicle. You can apply your strap and buckles on the roll cage or front bumper of your jeep for an easy pull.
The tow strap (made with polyester) doesn’t stretch as much as a recovery strap. They also break more easily, so it’s not recommended you pull a stuck vehicle using only a tow strap. It’s better for towing a moving vehicle along for a ride back into town.
Tree Saver Strap
Wrapping your winch line around a tree and pulling is a big no-no. You’ll ruin the tree and make your rig work harder to pull out the stuck vehicle. The tree saver disburses the weight load and makes it easier for your vehicle and the tree.
Be warned. These recovery straps are short, about 6-12ft in length. For tree saver straps, make sure you pack some extra shackles, hard or soft — doesn’t matter.
Shackles (Hard and Soft)
You can never — and I mean never — have too many shackles packed on your trip. Otherwise known as a clevis, they can attach to another vehicle, snatch block, a tree saver strap or recovery strap.
You absolutely must have shackles on your trip. It's better to have too many than too little.
Shovels - the Krazy Beaver Shovel
I know what you’re thinking, “a shovel isn’t recovery gear!” Perhaps. But you’ll definitely need a shovel. What kind?
We suggest buying a Krazy Beaver Shovel. It’s an affordable offroading shovel with some “teeth” on it — that’s why it’s known by its famous Twitter handle: “#murderspork.”
The Krazy Beaver Shovel’s sturdy, ergonomic design and lightweight frame make it a perfect companion for digging you out of mud, dirt, snow or something else.
Gloves - Pack a Spare
You don’t want to come back home with burns, abrasions or marks on your hands. Get some appliance workman gloves — and pack a spare! Gloves are incredibly useful when performing vehicle rescue or recovery.
The spare set of work gloves are for any fellow traveler, park ranger or kind samaritan who may happen to stop by and help you out.
It’s important to keep your recovery gear organized and easy to reach. After all, what’s the point of packing it when you can no longer find it?
A recovery bag gives you the opportunity to organize and consolidate your recovery gear in an ergonomic manner.
Kinetic and Static Recovery Rope
Unlike a static recovery rope (which doesn’t move), a kinetic recovery rope can stretch up to 30 percent, which is incredibly helpful when your anchor point is far away. Consider packing both types just in case.
Tire Repair Kit
If you get a flat in the middle of nowhere. It’s over. That’s it. Tire repair kits are essential. You’ll need to consider safety and the tools you’ll need to repair a punctured tire.
Air Down/Air Up Tool - Flat Tire Avoidance
If you’re traversing through diverse terrain, moving from jagged rocky surfaces to flat, wide open spaces, you’ll need to air down your tires to gain traction, then air them up again for better mpg.
Blowing a flat is probably one of the first worst-case scenarios you think about when overlanding. That’s why you need the tools to avoid and mitigate this potential setback.
- Pressure gauge. This is a slower method. But you can check the pressure at any time.
- Valve stem tool can remove the valve stem but the air leaves quickly (be careful).
Auxiliary air compressors are a great way to air back up in a cost-effective way.
First Aid Kit
Of course, this one is a given. Whenever you’re camping out in the wilderness, your health and safety are the first priority. First aid kits and packs are something you should have in easy-to-reach places. They should always (no matter what) be brought with you just in case.
Make Artemis Overland Your #1 Destination for Gear & Accessories
Our experts can help you find and install the perfect gear for your vehicle. For more questions regarding locating best overlanding recovery gear for your next trip, visit our store at 616 W. Tampa St. in Springfield, Missouri.
Or contact us at (417) 501-1190 for additional product information.