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What recovery gear should I pack for off-roading?

Essential gear for every off-road adventure

When heading off the beaten track, it's important to make sure you have a good 4WD recovery kit on board, not only to make sure you have an enjoyable weekend but also as a safety precaution so you don't end up stranded in a sticky situation in the bush out of phone signal range or kilometres from the nearest town. The nature of 4 wheel driving means you're likely to get stuck at least once on you're trip, it's all part of the fun, that being said the fun stops pretty quickly if you don't have the gear on-board to get un-stuck. You can easily cause damage to your vehicle, injury to yourself or leave tracks banked up with a long queue of cars if you aren't prepared to tackle the terrain on your 4x4 adventure. To make sure you're properly kitted out for your trip, we've put together a quick summary of the essentials you don't want to leave the black-top without.

Snatch Strap

Snatch Strap

Think of snatch straps as the key ingredient when putting together your 4WD recovery kit. Snatch straps allow you to connect your vehicle to others in your convoy and pull you out of bog holes, through water crossings, out of ditches, up steep rock-steps or any other tricky terrain. A snatch strap is only useful if you're heading away with more than one vehicle, however for safety's sake we recommend always leaving with at least one other vehicle anyway.

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Shackles

Shackles

To hook up your snatch strap, you'll need a shackle. Keeping a range of sizes on board allows you to connect to a range of different size tow points, recovery points or winch hooks.

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Recovery Points

Rated Recovery Points

When connecting your snatch strap to a vehicle, you'll want to make sure you're hooking up to a properly rated recovery point. These points are tested to deal with the extreme tensile strength required to get heavy vehicles unstuck. Connecting a shackle or snatch strap to the wrong part of the vehicle can result in damage to either vehicle as well as injury to either driver if the strap breaks loose.

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Shovel

Shovel

Although it might seem a bit primitive, having a shovel on-board your 4x4 is a great way to get your vehicle out of trouble or just make the snatch recovery quicker and easier. Shovels are great for digging material out from under your vehicle if you've diffed out or bottomed out, it can also be used to clear sand, dirt or mud away from the front tyres to insert recovery tracks. If you need to do some track building to make tricky rock steps a little easier, your shovel can be used to move dirt and rocks in place so you can cruise up to the summit easily.

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Recovery Tracks

Recovery Tracks

Recovery tracks are a must-have when heading costal for some sandy beach driving or up into the mountains in seek of fresh snow, however they can also come in super handy in most other terrains. Recovery tracks offer additional traction on terrain which lacks grip such as snow, sand or mud.

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Air Compressor

Air Compressor and Deflator

Using a tyre deflator and air compressor to fine-tune tyre pressures is crucial when 4 wheel driving, while we can't really consider this recovery gear, it's still an important piece of the puzzle. Airing down your tyres before you head bush is done to decrease the chances of getting stuck in the first place by allowing your tyres to work to their full potential with a larger footprint, better traction over rocks and heaps of extra grip in general.

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Work Light

Torch or Work Light

If you're getting stuck into some night driving or heading to camp after work and daylight is dwindling, you'll want to make sure you have a decent light source on-board to air down your tyres and potentially recover your vehicle on your way to that perfect remote camp spot.

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