What are your top 3 tools to bring for a recovery situation?

old .45

Very interesting reply (s). My list: good full size shovel ( not real sharp you could cut a tire or damage something under your frame) bottle jack (hi-lift if you have jacking points) air compressor for airing up after airing down, set of traction boards, chain, shackles,(several) tow strap(s), all for use with a hi-lift for winching. head limp, gloves, water, training, ask others and use common sense, don't hurry as you could cause yourself unnecessary (and get hurt) problems. Learn how to use any kit that you plan to take with you.cheers!


My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
1 Lockers,
2 Shovel,
3 Winch

4 Cell Phone,

When all else fails....



Expedition Leader
Yes, I definitely think general know how and discipline is important. I have learned a fair amount from other people I wheel with, but where else do you guys get training?

Shovel comes to mind as an easy grab for a tool, especially if your alone you definitely want a reliable one--along with a traction board. Do you that use shovels prefer short compact on longer shovels with more leverage?
I would check with I4WDTA as they are certified to know how to teach and have the skills.

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Reviewing our last 6 years of wandering about in an EarthCruiser EXP weighing between 11,000 and 13,500 lbs for around 65,000 miles, we've actually been stuck (couldn't go forward or back) four times that I can recall. We self recovered each time. Based on what we actually used in those recoveries and what those experiences suggest we'd need in future situations our list would be:

1. Rear winch, extension lines, straps, shackles and blocks (I consider all those one unified tool).
2. Front winch.
3. Shovel.
4. Appropriately sized Pull Pal anchor.

I realize that's four items while the OP asked for 3. However, our truck doesn't leave pavement without these four!



In my opinion, especially in snow country, the top three are:

1. Shovel;
2. Tire chains (for all four tires if your rig can handle it);
3. Recovery strap with shackles.

The first two will get you out of a lot of jams, especially if traveling by yourself. The third option will get you out of even more serious stuff it you have a travel buddy in a second vehicle.
Winches are great but I've been in many situations, especially in the snow, where shovels and chains saved me and the winch just wasn't very usable...


I've used the air compressor a lot and rarely needed anything else. It's so important I recommend a spare.
Yep, I carry a spare. Let some air out, if you are still stuck, let some more out. I have driven out of mud and sand with zero showing on the pressure gauge, first gear, low range, just treat the throttle like it was an egg. Better still, let the air out before you get bogged.
This is "Big Red", the largest sand dune in the Simpson Desert in Oz. It is typical to hear screaming engines and spinning wheels from many vehicles trying to get to the top. That is totally unnecessary if you get the pressure low enough. The OKA weighs 6T.
From the bottom. See all the turn around tracks from those who did not make it?
Across the top. Very soft sand.
OKA196 motorhome
Stoked to see the first couple responses related to training, training on equipment, vehicle, and medical. Not saying everyone can afford it or should do it but a proper and professional recovery training course will teach you everything you need to know about the actual "tools" that will go with the plan and execution of a safe recovery.

I was fortunate to go through some pretty epic tactical recovery courses in one of my old units where we concentrated on a variety of vehicles from UTV to full on 68ton armored vehicles. Everything is based around the first couple points of this thread and the actual tools that are appropriate and effective follow for each specific event. No recovery is the same IMO.

On that note, I would say a good route selection plan starts the day off right.

Actual tools; there are a ton that can be used a million ways with proper training and experience. Properly trained hi-lift kit usage with MaxTrax (with or without good hard-point shovel) can get you out of just about anything in my opinion.

Love me a snow shovel for my dune time.
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