Traction board strapped to roof rack of 4x4 Jeep.

The Best Recovery Gear to Get You Unstuck

If you like to go off-roading, you know that getting stuck is a part of the game. Travelling on unmaintained terrain means that your vehicle will face the toughest of obstacles which could lead to you getting stuck in mud, high centered, or otherwise immobilized.

Although it helps to avoid getting stuck in the first place, you need to have the gear to get yourself unstuck.

Check out our off-road recovery gear list for you next adventure.

Recovery Boards

This is my go-to recovery tool, especially since I usual venture on the trails without any other vehicles besides my own. A traction board is the simplest way to get yourself unstuck from sand, mud, or snow.

When your wheels are so dug into the terrain that they are spinning, stop and grab your traction boards. Slip them in front or behind your stuck wheels, whichever way you are trying to drive out. Slowly drive forward or backward, without spinning your tires, and you are home free.

Usually, two should be enough to get you vehicle unstuck, but some people carry four for all four tires.

I recommend the Maxsa Innovations Escaper Buddy Traction Mats.

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For tips on how to use your Traction Boards check out our article How to Use Recovery Gear.

Recovery Straps

Another piece of equipment you should always have in your rig, a recovery strap. A recovery strap is a simple way to get unstuck, over a hill, or through tough terrain. If you wheel with a buddy and have a recovery strap, they can pull you out of harm’s way.

Let’s say you get stuck in a mud pit. You would simply attach the recovery strap to the front or back of your vehicle and then to your friend’s vehicle. Next, they drive and pull you out with you giving your car gas for support.

Make sure that you have recovery points to attach the strap to, as attaching the strap to unsecured parts of your car is a good way to rip your car to pieces. Also make sure that once you are unstuck you slow down as to not crash into the vehicle that is recovering yours.

I recommend using the Rhino Recovery Strap.

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For tips on how to use your Recovery Strap check out our article How to Use Recovery Gear.


Another helpful piece of gear to have, especially if you are driving alone. A winch is a great tool that is attached directly to your front bumper. When stuck you can simply tie it to a secured object such as a tree and slowly pull yourself out with the mechanized winch. This way you can pull yourself out of trouble without another vehicle.

Off road trail cleared of downed trees by winch.

Winches are also helpful for clearing trails as well. If there are downed trees a winch can easily pull most logs out of the road and allow you to continue on your journey.

If you are interested in purchasing a winch I recommend the Smittybilt 98695 XRC 9.5K.

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For tips on how to use your Winch check out our article How to Use Recovery Gear.


In the unfortunate event that you do get a flat, you will need to put your spare onto your vehicle. To do this, you will need a jack to lift your car up and replace the tire. Make sure that you have a jack with you at all times.

For a standard floor jack that is high-quality and great for off-roading, check out the Pro Eagle Off-Road Jack.

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A larger jack such as a high-lift jack may be necessary in certain situations. If you get high centered on a rock a high lift jack could be your saving grace. Please note, that you must have a metal bumper or rock sliders to use a high-lift jack. If not, you could seriously damage your vehicle.

For a high-lift jack I recommend the Hi-Lift Jack.

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Full Sized Spare Tire

Mud covered Jeep with spare tire on top.

Many of you have probably heard this before, but if you are off roading, you need to bring a full-sized spare. If you get a flat tire on the trail from the many obstacles or sharp objects, you will need to replace it with a full sized tire. Not only would a smaller tire make it hard to ride on the trail, it can cause some serious damage to your vehicle.

Always make sure that your spare tire is the same size as all the other tires on your vehicle.


In some situations, on the trail, you get stuck and the best option is to get out and dig. Let’s say you get stuck in the snow or on an icy road, a shovel would be a great way to clear out the road and be on your way. Additionally, it can help you out of mud, sand, or rocky terrain. Having the ability to move the terrain in front of you gives you another option to try when you are stuck.

Shovels are also great for camping. It can help you build a fire pit among other camping activities. Make sure you have one in your rig for your next trip.

I recommend the Bully Tools Round Point Shovel.

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For a list of other Overland Gear, check out our article The Best Overland Gear.


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