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The thrill of off-roading comes from tackling the worst that nature has to offer and, in turn, accepting the risks and hazards that come with off-roading. One of the most significant hazards is getting stuck while in the middle of a trek. It can be incredibly dangerous if you aren’t able to call for help, but luckily, you can take certain measures to save yourself. Here’s what to do if you get stuck while off-roading.
One of the major culprits of vehicles getting stuck is the inability to gain traction in conditions like mud or heavy snow—instead, your wheels simply spin and dig you further into trouble. You can solve such traction issues fairly easily, however, by bringing along traction pads. Place traction pads behind the wheels of your vehicle so that you can reverse and give the tires something to latch onto, creating the momentum you need to get unstuck.
If someone is around and able to help you out, one of the best ways to do this is with recovery straps. You should only need a couple of recovery straps to do the job properly; just be sure they’re in good condition and capable of enduring up to three times their gross weight. Otherwise, they’re liable to snap in the middle of your rescue efforts.
In practice, simply attach the recovery straps to the recovery points on your vehicle and the vehicle helping you. Once you hook these up, place both vehicles into first gear, and the helping vehicle will begin to drive forward. As it pulls your vehicle out, push gently on the gas pedal until it comes free and regains traction on its own.
Finally, if you still don’t know what to do if you get stuck while off-roading, the all-mighty winch is your last resort. When you attach it to a suitable anchor point, the winch should be able to get you out of almost any sticky situation. A good anchoring point would constitute something like a thick tree, but it’s a good idea to have a winch anchor with you in case there’s nothing suitable in the environment to anchor your winch to. Once you’re anchored, put the vehicle in drive and slowly winch until your vehicle comes unstuck. It may sound simple, but winches can be dangerous for the inexperienced. Make sure to practice in a safe environment first to better understand how to use a winch.