There are certain tools and recovery equipment that everyone should carry. It's irresponsible and dangerous to hit the trail unprepared. Having the ability, knowhow, and tools to extract your vehicle from a sticky situation is not only smart, it makes trail runs safe.
Tire Plug Kit
Every 4x4 rig should have a quality tire plug kit in the glovebox. This kit from Power Tank comes complete with all of the parts to repair nearly every common tire issue seen on the trail. Why You Need It: Flat and torn tires are common on the trail. Information: Power Tank, 209.366.2163, www.powertank.com.
The recovery kit includes gear that makes vehicle extractions easier and safer, such as winch extension, a stainless steel ball bearing snatch block, a Super Yanker tow bridle, two shackles, and a rock guard for protection and abrasion. Why You Need It: Quality recovery gear will get you out of jams. Information: Master Pull, 877.797.0202, www.masterpull.com.
L Power Puller
The More Power Puller is a safe and durable portable ratcheting system that's great for off-road recovery when a manual pull or tug is needed. The unit is solid, made of cast iron, and uses 5/16-inch flexible wire rope. Why You Need It: Great for side winching while the vehicle's main electric winch is in use. Information: The Wyeth-Scott Co., 800.743.4521, www.wyeth-scott.com.
The Pull-Pal is a recovery tool that's used as a standalone recovery point and anchor. It is constructed from heavy-duty steel and is available in ratings from 6,000 to 16,000 pounds. Why You Need It: Sometimes rigs get stuck when there are no natural winching points around. The Pull-Pal makes up for the lack of trees and rocks. Information: Pull-Pal, 970.963.4507, www.pullpal.com.
BubbaRope is a snatch rope that uses kinetic energy to tug stuck vehicles out of precarious situations. The rope will safely pull rigs out of sand, snow, and mud. Its urethane polymer coated for protection and has a 52,300-pound rating. Why You Need It: BubbaRope is great for pulling larger vehicles with smaller rigs. Everyone needs a good snatch rope. Information: BubbaRope, 877.499.8494, www.bubbarope.com.
D-Ring Recovery Hitch
Quality steel D-rings and hitch-receiver D-rings make winching easy and safe when properly connected to your vehicle. Why You Need It: Every trail vehicle needs a recovery point, and D-rings and hitch-receiver D-rings make recovery easy and safe. Information: Off Road Trail Tools, 520.579.2079, www.offroadtrailtools.com.
Summit's self-storing retractable Pingel 16-foot strap is a retractable towstrap that features an adjustable hook and loop closure and a safety breakaway. If a vehicle that's being towed or pulled suddenly stops, the hook and loop closure breaks away, preventing dangerous metal from flying through the air. Why You Need It: To safely pull and tow vehicles off the trail or sand. Information: Summit Racing Equipment, 800.230.3030, www.summitracing.com.
ARB's recovery damper is protection from a flying snapped winch cable. The damper absorbs most of the energy from a cable or strap, reducing the recoil. Why You Need It: Safety should come first when winching. Every winch line under load needs a damper to protect from snapped cables not only those using the winch but also any passengers. Information: ARB USA, 425.264.1391, www.arbusa.com.
If you four-wheel, you will dig your rig out at some time or another. The Tri-Fold Shovel form Rugged Ridge is a handy digging tool that's compact and easy to store in any trail rig. Why You Need It: We have dug more vehicles out by hand than we would like to remember. You will, too, without a shovel. Information: Rugged Ridge Offroad, 770.614.6101, ruggedridgeoffroad.com.
This quality ratcheting strap is tough and dependable and doesn't stretch like cheap ones do. The ratchets stand up to heavy loads and have a 2,800-pound rating. Why You Need It: The straps are great at keep suspensions from uncompressing while you're jacking up a vehicle. Information: MasterCraft Safety, 800.565.4042, www.mastercraftsafety.com.
In addition to providing excellent hand protection, these M-Pact 2 safety gloves fit great. They are designed with an impact-absorbing molded rubber finger protection, reinforced fingertips, a padded palm, knuckle protection, and high visibility. Why You Need It: Splinters from wire winch rope hurt like hell, and your hands need protection when digging, winching, and moving boulders around. Information: Mechanix Wear Inc., 800.222.4296, www.mechanix.com.
A Hi-Lift Jack is an invaluable trail tool that's great for jacking up lifted vehicles with large tires and getting them unstuck from weird terrain. The Hi-Lift can also be used as a manual puller and winching tool. Why You Need It: The Hi-Lift picks up where the tiny factory jack left off. It's great for lifting stuck vehicles over large objects. Information: Hi-Lift Jack Co., 812.384.4441, www.hi-lift.com.
Tug & Snatch Strap
Warn's nylon webbing absorbs the shock of heavy pulls, while elastic rebound energy aids in quick recovery. These straps are built from tough, high-quality nylon webbing that encases a red warning marker to indicate any damaged webbing. End loops are reinforced with abrasion-resistant Cordura wear pads. Why You Need It: It's imperative to use high-quality straps when tugging and snatching vehicles from danger: Information: Warn Industries, 800.543.9276, www.warn.com.