Use it or lose it. If ever that axiom holds true its when winching. Sure, lots of times you only pull the cable to hoist your nimrod friends rig out of a ditch after he unsuccessfully tried to show off for the girlies by driving with his feet. But other times its to prevent a nasty rollover, keep you from spending the night on the trail with hungry critters, or tackle a make-it-or-break-it obstacle.
So what are these tools and how do you use them? First and foremost is a winch rated to about 1 ½ times your vehicles loaded weight (for most fullsizes that means a 9,000- to 10,000-pound winch) and a winch mount that isnt going to rip off during a pull, sending a 100-pound missile at someones head.
Thankfully, most of the other tools youll need most are available in kit form. For a list of some of the manufacturers who offer winch accessory bags, see the sidebar, One Stop Shop, below. For our purposes, we simply went to our local 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers and picked up a Warn winch accessory bag to show you how to use these recovery tools.