The jury’s still out on whether getting bogged and the subsequent recovery is a necessary part of the 4WD experience. Some people love the problem-solving challenge of recovery. Others would rather continue on the journey and completely avoid the hassle. What everyone will agree on, though, is that a recovery kit is essential for every 4WDing adventure. If you don’t have a 4WD recovery kit, make sure you pick one up from a fishing, camping and outdoors specialist like MOTackle before your next adventure – click here to see their range. Here’s what you can expect to see inside, allowing you to be prepared for any mishap or misadventure.
At least two D or bow type shackles are essential in any recovery kit. These tough little tools are responsible for joining and connecting most of the recovery equipment to the vehicle, so they are vitally important. Make sure your shackles are rated to at least 4t. There are smaller shackles available, but they’re not suitable for 4WD recovery kits.
The snatch strap is a long strap of elastic woven nylon webbing. This is one of the primary pieces of equipment used in vehicle recovery situations where a second, mobile vehicle is available. The two vehicles are connected via the snatch strap and the mobile vehicle pulls the strap tight. The kinetic energy in the strap should then pull the immobile vehicle free. You’ll need about 9m of strap for it be effective. An 8t rated strap should be suitable for most applications.
Tree Trunk Protectors
Trees provide good anchor points when it is necessary to winch the vehicle out of trouble. However, the high tension involved and tough wire of the winch can cause damage to the tree. A tree trunk protector – usually made of thick polyester – is designed to distribute the load from the winch more evenly across the tree. It eliminates the risk of ring barking and ultimately killing the tree.
Winch Extension Straps
Winch extension straps are used to extend the reach of the winch cable, highly useful in situations where there is no suitable anchor point in the immediate vicinity. Polyester straps are most suitable, as they don’t have any elasticity or give. Winch extension straps are available in a variety of lengths – anything 10m or greater is likely to suit most applications. A 4t rating or higher is advisable.
A snatch block is used to reduce the load on the winch, effectively doubling the winch’s capacity. They are also useful in situations where the winch point is not directly in front of the vehicle. When buying a snatch block, ensure that it is appropriately sized for the cable in your winch. An 8t rating or higher will suit most 4WD conditions.
As there’s a lot of equipment being used at high tension during the recovery process, a pair of heavy-duty work gloves is recommended for safety. Thick gloves reduce the risk of pinching or tearing of the flesh.
There are other items – equaliser straps, drag chains, joining straps, A-frames and hand winches – which can be useful in general 4WDing. But at its most basic, a recovery kit with shackles, a snatch strap, a tree trunk protector, a winch extension strap and gloves will enable you to manage most recovery situations.
What’s the most daring recovery you’ve ever pulled off? Did you use the standard equipment, or something a little out of the ordinary? Share your experiences!