If no winch, then what is needed for basic recovery?

Joined
Apr 13, 2016
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889
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Hey folks,

I'm new to trails and am buying this stuff for the first time. So far, I picked up:
- 60 inch hi-lift jack
- a Max (ax with shovel and rake attachment)

That is all.

I've got flares and first aid and fire extinguisher and stuff like that but nothing to unstuck the truck.

I've read about different straps and ropes (kinetic vs non) and chains but I'm on a budget (both items above are used) and can't go out and buy all of the available items especially since I'm not exactly sure how they are applied in a recovery situation.

I'm only looking at very basic trails that a stock 80 could do and when searching, it's hard to tell the difference between necessity and nice to have. I need a recovery 101.

What's in the necessity column in your opinion?

Thanks in advance for any replies!

-- Beej
 
Joined
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889
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Phoenix, AZ
Ok but a man's gotta make an effort to pull his own weight:rimshot:

What do I bring t the table?
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
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Canton, Michigan
What do I bring to the table?
Honestly, if you're new to trails/off-road adventures, I'd have a wingman in another vehicle along. At least for the first several journeys.

If you can't afford a winch, which is what you really need for solo trekking, you're going to pay heck getting your vehicle unstuck on your own. With the vehicle mounted winch, you can operate both the winch and the vehicle simultaneously. Tough to do with a come-along, hand winch, or when using the hi-lift jack as one.

Definitely get a couple recovery straps. No need for anything fancy, but I'd recommend 30', and rated for your vehicle weight. You can find them all over the internet for a decent price. Hooks and shackles too. Inspect your vehicle for good recovery points.

Of course, the obvious solution to recovery problems, is not to get stuck in the first place.....
 
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Enderby BC
 
 
97% of my wheeling since my first vehicle, an FJ40, was all alone. Sure I got stuck 5 or 6am more times than I can count but I learnt a lot and it has provided me with the skill to not do that so much or at least sight a line and say "no thanks".

It's only in the recent few years I've had a winch that worked so before that I would pack:

Two lengths of chain (expensive chain can be found at garage sales for cheap) - good to wrap around rocks or situations where you don't want any stretch or kenetic energy stored within (drops if it breaks as opposed to turning into a lethal whip). Also nice that you can extend a line and use the slotted hooks to make a chain loop on the ends so you don't need extra gear such as shackles

2 shackles. Used for everything.

Stock jack for when I need the vehicle safe and stable.

Hi lift with a block of wood to put underneath.

A ratchet strap to wrap around the axle and frame so you don't have to max out the lifting.

Static strap. These can be cheap and often found on sale. I got one made in Canada years ago for $80 that's rated for 40,000lbs. If you keep sliding around then attaching a strap to your vehicle is very quick and helps direct your line to get out. Good in case someone drives by so you can get a tug. Also has enough stretch that when your hi lift is used as a come along its tension can often pop the vehicle out or at least allow you to drive out with the constant pull the tension is providing.

1 tree saver. Don't be a jerk and kill a tree because you did something foolish like getting stuck by yourself.

Shovel and a mattock when the ground is frozen or rocky

Axe and saw are a must. You can make roads in the muck and quickly clear brush for anchor points.

Sometimes I pack a come along if it's gonna get hairy. Mines a bigger one and they cost some dollars but are much cheaper than a winch. Less than $200. You can do the apply tension on a strap as though someone is tugging you out trick or pull your vehicle over while on a hi lift trick with these. Often this tool gets you out a couple inches at a time between resetting tension but is all else fails this usually works.

Water and energy bars. If you're stuck for eight hours and it's a real digging fest you're gonna need fuel. Clif bars and the sort store for years, keep one or two in the console.

With that I could get out of anything I could get into by myself.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
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flat earth Midwest
 
 
Find a pair of 4-ton or 5-ton comealongs with as much cable on them as you can find. Make sure your straps and chains add up to at least 100' assuming you're in country where a tree can be commonly found. These will still come in handy even after you get a winch, as some pulls need a tie off or otherwise a second point to be a successful recovery.

And make sure the spare tire is good.
 
Joined
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Phoenix, AZ
97% of my wheeling since my first vehicle, an FJ40, was all alone. Sure I got stuck 5 or 6am more times than I can count but I learnt a lot and it has provided me with the skill to not do that so much or at least sight a line and say "no thanks".
Dude. Thank you. Most of my wheeling will indeed be solo. That is, I might have a few buddies or gf with me but I'm the one with the truck. This list is awesome. Thank you again.
 

cruzerDave

Land Shark Outfitters
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Not sure what exactly that shovel you described looks like, but I would pack a dedicated one that is COMFORTABLE to use - seriously, go dig for 15 minutes somewhere with it. I've seen too many people buy junk that breaks, way too short, or so ineffective that they might as well get down and claw at the dirt. I have used a shovel dozens of times - my hilift as a come-along zero (just jinxed myself).

Go out to your truck with your hilift and lift it. Not sure what bumper you have but you might mangle it. Maybe you have recovery points to attach, maybe not. Look at hilift's wheel strap - I use mine instead as I had factory bumpers which would've crumpled.

+1 on axe, saw, tree-savers, static line, and def. buy a recovery line so a passing rig can give you a yank safely. Def. have plate/plywood to set the hilift ON - if you're stuck in mud, guess what that small hilift base is going to do in that mud....

Then you get into all the survival stuff, which is a whole other thread;)

Now you see why people make/buy storage drawers... I have one dedicated to my rig & recovery, one to survival/camping gear.
KISS Drawers- Full.png

Any time the fam wants to head out into the woods (or SHTF) I am ready to go!
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2016
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Delaware
MaxTrax aren't a bad idea either but for the price you could buy a decent winch.

There is a few vids on YouTube also that demonstrate winching with a hi-lift.
 

hj 60

JT1W0HJ6000960839
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Aug 1, 2012
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Netherlands Hengevelde
 
front&rear lockers to make sure you get better stuck than before, and I like WOII sandladders most because it is like driving uphill, out of the hole, just throw them before wheels and drive. cheap alternative are FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) boards.

But it depends all on the soil you are driving, the hilift is very nice but tends to go sideways when halfway and it is bloody heavy and sinks in mud/beach sand. I hate working and no progress, just a bit more effort can make all difference.
Mostly I look what is around: some tree strump to put under the wheel, rocks, spare tire, etc. Getting the car up is sometimes no progress.
From most effort to less I think the order is:
manage group of beer zombies with ropes> ground anchor> hi-lift> hand winch> sandladder> air lift> electric winch> stay on concrete

FRP:
 

crikeymike

Exit Offroad - Dobinsons Specialist
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Miami, Florida
 
 
 
Recovery points on the vehicle, 2 d-rings, and a good snatch strap. My first 2 years of wheeling, that was everything I needed, as long as someone else was around to help pull me out. You also said you're running basic trails, so basic vehicle repair tools would be needed, to fix or change a spare. Grab a tire repair kit and an air compressor.

Anyone that ever asked me to help them get unstuck, but with a chain, was denied assistance. I'd use the straps I had, that way I wouldn't damage my own car and I knew where the strap came from and what it was capable of doing. I've seen recovery points, spring hangers, and bumpers ripped off, all from incorrect recovery methods, and with chains. I agree that they don't hold energy, but they rip whatever they can if the moveable object (the stuck car) doesn't want to move.

Blocks of wood for your jack are essential, 2x4 or 2x6, and a few of them. If you blow a bead, it's probably from a root, or in mud, or some tough situation, and if you have to change a tire right there, you'll have fun getting the jack to not sink.

True solo wheeling? A winch or come-along (hand winch). You can buy a winch for a bit more than a come-along these days.

Have fun man. The early days of wheeling were my favorite for sure, before I drove vehicles with every bell and whistle on it. I haven't had to do a self-recovery in many years.
 

musthave

Desert Dune Offroad
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AAA platinum. $149 a year and they guarantee to tow you from anywhere up to 200 miles. It’s worth it.
 
Joined
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Milano - Italy
 
If you are start going off road , the first "tool" that I personally will bring is a safe ride mind .
Then all other hard ware recovery stuff .
First and most , don't get stuck .
Second , getting stuck is not fun and can be dangerous .
D rinds , a rope , hi lift , shovel and sand ladders will do great for the first years .
When you are at high school , lockers .
And eventually at university , a winch .
Un less you love to pull ropes and do 2 km in whole we.
Personally , I did 10 years of Africa , with no winch .
It is not a must have .
Just my 2 cents .
 
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