12 (Or So) Must-Have Items For Your Recovery Box
One of the reasons most of us wheel is to get away from the hustle and bustle of civilization. There's no feeling quite like conquering a tough trail and being rewarded with a unique view from the top of a pine-scented mountain or a windswept deserted beach.
When planning one of these forays, we have to be cognizant of the fact that when we leave civilization we're also leaving its conveniences. Out in the "sticks," even the simplest of breakdowns can turn into a major drama. We go where wreckers and rollbacks fear to tread, and if they do tread, it's going to be very expensive to have 'em come rescue our hide. And don't think you're immune because you drive a brand-new rig. Breakdowns and stucks happen to both new and old rigs alike.
Bottom line: We have to be prepared to fix or recover our rigs without any outside help. In an effort to help you reach that goal, we've compiled a few products that will help you save yourself.
Tires have a much higher failure rate off-highway. We're all painfully aware of that fact. Make sure you have a spare tire and that it's aired up and ready to roll.Since there's no guarantee that the spare won't go flat too, it's also a good idea to carry along the Safety Seal Off Road Tire Repair kit. The kit comes with everything you need to plug a tire including a T-handle probe spiral, a T-handle insertion tool, lube, and Safety Seal repairs. Naturally you'll need a way to refill the tire with air. A good option is the Quick Air 2 portable air compressor by Sun Performance Products. This mid-priced unit includes hose, air chuck, and power cables, and it'll give you a limitless supply of compressed air. Another cool option for backcountry tire repair is the 48-piece Slime PowerSpair kit. It includes everything you need to get moving again including a 24-ounce bottle of Slime tire sealant, a heavy-duty 12-volt inflator, and 25 feet of air hose. The kit also has everything needed to plug a tire, and it even includes valve cores and a valve-core removal tool. The best part is: all of its contents are housed in a rugged hard-sided case.
When exploring the backcountry, you may need to be able to recover your vehicle without any outside assistance. We highly recommend outfitting your rig with a winch. The price you'll pay up front will be worth it the first time it saves your bacon. You'll need a winch accessory kit like the one offered by Warn (PN 29460). It includes a recovery strap, gloves, a shackle choker chain, a snatch block, a tree trunk protector, and a camouflage case. Another good winching accessory to consider is the Pull Pal. This foldable portable anchor creates a solid winch point in almost any type of terrain. This device ensures that you have something to hook your winch cable to even if there are no trees or boulders available. We've used it and it works great. Whether you have a winch or not, a Hi-Lift jack should also be a part of your recovery arsenal. We recommend ponying up the cash for the optional Off Road Base because it alleviates jack sinkage on soft ground. We also think the optional new Lift Mate is pretty slick because it allows you to lift your rig by the wheel using the Hi-Lift jack. The Hi-Lift can also be used as a hand-operated winch. The Max Multi Purpose Tool by Forrest Tool Company is a good trail recovery investment. At its core is a Hudson Bay-style axe with 34-inch handle, and this axe can be morphed into seven different tools. Finally, at the very least you need to pack along a stout snatch strap. ARB offers three straps that range in strength from 17,500 to 33,000 pounds. The elasticity of these straps creates kinetic energy that will actually aid in the recovery, and it also helps decrease the likelihood of vehicle damage.