Going out Solo, Recovery options.

Funny because most survival/recovery gear is hopefully never used.
There are a lot of expeditionious vehicles out there that have crap festooned all over them that has never been used and will probably never be used because many of the owners are posers. When I looked on the AEV web site for a used Pull Pal, there were several "used" ones in "as new" condition. Lots of other examples, like the pristine, shiny Rovers with sand ladders strapped to the side. I live near Los Angeles, so I may see a higher percentage of local twits than one would find in other parts of the country.
Looked at pull-pal, then choked on the price. I did something cheaper, more secure and works. Used just after Christmas for the first time in the mud. I got four 36" tent stakes (the kind for party tents) two three hole stake bar. 12" of chain with shackles on both ends. Tent stake hammer. Drive two stakes on the end holes about 45 degrees from your pull, drop the other 2 90 degrees from that so that they are in a v facing your vehicle. Connect the winch and I was out. I paid $72.00 in parts and no worries of welding breaks, low pull point, and very versatile.
Can you elaborate on this? I had a Pull Pal years back. I sold it (and now regret it, although I dont miss its bulk and weight) and am interested in what you are referring to here.
Is there anything out there that would make you comfortable with going out on your own?
Maybe try not to get stuck? And if you do, then deal with it.

During the 13 years I was living in my 2wd Toyota truck I got stuck a lot, with no one around for miles and nobody knowing where I was (and no cell). A couple times it was broken truck parts (oil pressure sender, fuel pump), but many times it was sand and mud. Getting unstuck was always an adventure. I had no recovery equipment except a small shovel and a tire pump. Always got out eventually. Sometimes it took several hours. Airing down makes a massive difference. Scrounge the landscape for stuff to stick under the wheels. Only once did I require help (the fuel pump). I hiked out to the main dirt road and flagged someone down who towed my truck to town.

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
The OP question is solo recovery not communications or survival.

What is your vehicle of travel and its traction set up?

Im in the SW and travel to very remote area for several days at time in my 7000#Land Cruiser. I worry very little about getting stuck and never have been for years. I do have a very capable vehicle locked F&R, air down any time I hit dirt and dont do stupid things. I would think with a proper set up vehicle your only worry be mud. In the SW if you find bad mud like Utah when its raining there seems to be winch points or you just wait a hour or so until the ground absorbs it.
I agree with the caveat that it all depends on the vehicle setup & driver experience (i.e. have tried some of the tires that I see on this board and (IMO) they are for street use, not for backcountry extraction). Besides mud there are a few areas with some tire and horsepower intensive powder sand; some decayed granite and snow requires similar setup and driving techniques...
A winch and accessories is a fair start,
When added to locking differentials and good high traction (not all terrain) tires in a light weight vehicle with adequate horsepower, reliability, RPM potential and fording height, along with driver experience there should be little concern.
I will add that burying a tire, for a winch point, may require a pick mattock, in addition to the recommended shovels, for some ground types.
A compressor capable of reseating tire beads (that came off after airing down to 4psi or so in an attempt to achieve mud/sand/snow floatation) should be added to the list (most bead lock wheels only lock one bead).
Along with a heavy duty first aid kit (NOT an ouch kit).
Good, well broken in, hiking boots are also something I agree with along with clothing for the weather and adequate supplies to walk out (always have a fall back plan; and the stay/go decision may be critical).
I see dependence on others/rescue as some thing that might be nice but should never be relied upon.

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Expedition Leader
Is this similar to the military 'marker panels' placed on the hodds, cabs or tops of vehicles to identify friendlies to an FO/FAC?
Yep; I kept the survival kit out of my boat when I sold it (the guy had his own with newer dates). I actually carry most of that kit in my truck, broken down instead of in the bulky orange tube. I've replaced teh flares and smoke signals once but I'm sure they're out of date again, no big deal for land use and I've never had an out of date flare not work.

The flag I have is like this one: https://www.westmarine.com/buy/orion--distress-flag--136734?recordNum=4 It's 36"x36" so a couple of magnets or even duct tape in a true emergency and I can put it on my roof or hood. Looks like they have a simple "HELP" flag now too. https://www.amazon.com/Orion-Safety-Products-740-Emergency/dp/B007CEV4I4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1489212244&sr=8-2&keywords=orion+signal
As a teacher I usually have a bit more time off than friends and family so I end up going out alone as well...A few general points and then some specific ones:

1) Keep your vehicle in good working order. Sounds obvious but when you wheel alone your truck MUST work.
2) File a flight plan with your family before going out, and with people who might be able to unstuck you should you get stuck. If no one knows where you went then ....
3) Get a HAM mobil unit and know if there are any repeaters where you're headed
4) Consider a satellite phone, I don't have one but I wheel with several people who do. I'll likely get a sat phone when I begin taking my little boy our wheelin.
5) Get as long of a winch line as you can. I have a 100' foot line, an ARB winch extension strap, and I carry my old winch line as well , in total I have around 300 feet of line which just gives you access to more anchor points.
6) Carry a shovel
7) Carry a sleeping bag, food, and extra water at all times. If you get stuck you might have to spend the night there


If you travel alone, you just have to accept that something might go wrong. You'll never be able to fully eliminate the chances of something happening , all you can do is stack the deck in your favor as much as possible...

Wheeling alone has a lot of perks I must say , you set the pace, choose the route, and no one kicking up dust in front of you!

Here's a trip report I made of wheelin the Rubicon in a day by myself:
Yeah, what they said ^^^^!


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Yep; I kept the survival kit out of my boat when I sold it (the guy had his own with newer dates). I actually carry most of that kit in my truck, broken down instead of in the bulky orange tube. I've replaced teh flares and smoke signals once but I'm sure they're out of date again, no big deal for land use and I've never had an out of date flare not work.
Be careful using those marine flares in a terrestrial situation. The ones I've had for our boat burn well past contact with the surface. In the ocean that's not problem since the water extinguishes them. In many terrestrial situations it could be a wild fire waiting to happen.

I carry 3 16" steel concrete stakes pound in 45 degree angle away from vehicle in a 10" triangle base facing winch. Flat side of stakes facing winch. wrap your tow strap around tip once and right and left strap ends around corresponding base stakes making sure loose end are even and pointing towards stuck jeep.attach loops thru strap ends to winch cable and tension. place blanket or winch blanket on cable. pull yourself out. Traction boards are easier but for 15 dollars this will work if you already have winch. I have boards now but keep stakes in jeep in case I forget to put them on jeep. I have used this method as a Fireman for rope rescues and to get my tracker and jeep un stuck in Glamis sand when I forgot my compressor to air down.