Photo by Maksim Moiseenko via iStock
Recovery gear is essential if you’re headed out on an off-roading or overlanding adventure. While you might not intend to get stuck, it happens! And when it does, you need to be prepared.
The question is, what recovery gear should you have in your rig? Furthermore, what is the best recovery gear?
I’ve spent a lot of time testing a lot of different gear from different companies, and I’m confident that the gear I have in my recovery kit is among the best there is. So, let me give you a tour of the recovery accessories I carry with me to serve as a guide for buying the right gear for your needs.
Each item I list below is something that I’ve personally used in the field, so I can attest to things like their build quality and functionality. While these items and brands are what I suggest using, you can certainly find similar items from different brands if you wish!
Table of Contents
- Start With a Winch
- Get an Upgraded Winch Hook
- Invest in a Winch Recovery Kit
- Recovery Boards are a Must
- Add a Multi-Purpose Shovel to Your Kit
- A Hi-Lift Jack is a Needed Addition
- Other Recommended Off-Roading Gear
Start With a Winch
The basis of your recovery kit is a good, solid winch. And when it comes to good, solid winches, you can’t get any better than Warn.
Warn is a tried-and-tested brand that’s been in business for decades. Their winches are trusted by millions of off-road and overlanding enthusiasts, myself included!
I have the Warn Zeon 10 winch on my 2020 Jeep Gladiator. With a 10,000-pound max line pull, it’s definitely overkill for my Jeep, but better to have too much than not enough, right?
This winch offers features like a 4.8 feet per second line speed, a 216:1 gear reduction ratio, and automatic operation with a handheld remote switch.
Likewise, this particular winch has a larger drum which helps reduce stress on the line. It also helps dissipate heat buildup faster, which is a nice bonus.
I wrote a review of this winch a while back, so check that out for more details, including a look at how easy it is to install!
Get an Upgraded Winch Hook
As you can see in the image above, I upgraded the winch hook on my Warn Zeon 10. The hook I decided to go with is the Factor 55 UltraHook.
This hook offers lots of benefits that make it a great addition to my recovery gear. For example, it has a secondary latch for improved safety, a 48,000-pound shackle pin mount, and a 31,000-pound hook throat opening.
Additionally, the Factor 55 UltraHook offers a safety latch retraction pocket that gives you a clear throat opening, and it has a close system shackle mount hole that’s machined directly into the body as well.
Other features include a titanium double shear pin that offers excellent durability and strength, as well as EPDM rubber pads to protect the fairlead.
Plus, I like the red color of the hook as it goes nicely with all the red accents on my truck (not that its color is a crucial detail!).
Invest in a Winch Recovery Kit
Another piece of recovery gear that I highly recommend is a complete winch recovery kit, like the Tackle Tuff kit I picked up a few months ago.
This kit has everything you need for a winch recovery:
- 30-ton break strength snatch blocks
- Two 30-ton shackles
- 30-foot x 3-inch recovery strap
- 8-foot x 3-inch tree saver strap
- Kevlar reinforced gloves
- Carry bag that doubles as a line dampener
Not only does the kit have a ton of goodies in it, but they are very well made. For example, the shackles and snatch blocks are forged carbon steel for strength and durability. The straps in the kit are 100 percent nylon, so they’re also extremely strong and durable. And with reinforced eyelets, the straps have improved load capacity as well.
I’ve only had to use this kit once, thankfully, but when I got stuck, I was glad to have it in my truck, along with the other items on this list!
Recovery Boards are a Must
Another essential recovery gear item are recovery boards. I don’t know about you, but when I think of recovery boards, I think of Maxtrax, so that’s what I have in my kit!
Specifically, I have the MKII version, which is made from fiber-reinforced nylon and has chunky cleats on it that grab your tires and the ground to provide excellent traction.
These boards are 46 x 13 inches, so they’ve got plenty of room for my big tires. These recovery boards also have a lot of mounting options so you can store them in virtually any spot – mine are on the roof of my Jeep.
With handles running down each side for ease of use, built-in shovels on either end, and a lifetime warranty, the Maxtrax MKII recovery boards are a perfect addition to your recovery gear kit!
Add a Multi-Purpose Shovel to Your Kit
Another must-have tool for your recovery kit is a multi-purpose shovel. And for that, there’s no better option than the Forrest Tool Company MAX toolkit.
This kit gives you tons of usability options beyond a shovel. You also get a:
- Broad pick
- Mattock blade
- Rake and hoe fastener
- 3.5-pound Hudson Bay ax head
- Combination McLeod
The 34-inch handle makes for easy maneuvering, while the six lock pins give you plenty of options for attaching different implements.
The kit comes with a leather ax sheath and a Cordura carrying case as well.
Beyond the functionality of this kit, you get a durable, well-made, and smartly designed tool to add to your toolkit. This is something that you can throw in the back of your truck without taking up a lot of space, yet offers you immense utility in recovery situations.
This gadget is made in the USA as well, which gives you that added bit of assurance that you’re buying a high-quality product.
Plus, if you’re a veteran and you order the MAX toolkit from the Forrest Tool Company website, you get a 25 percent discount. Nice!
If this tool is used and trusted by the U.S. military, you should have no problem trusting it to be one of the most reliable recovery tools you have in your kit!
A Hi-Lift Jack is a Needed Addition
A final piece of recovery gear that’s essential for your kit is a Hi-Lift Jack.
Like other well-known brands on this list, Hi-Lift is the cream of the crop in their particular niche.
These jacks are made of cast-iron, so they’re incredibly heavy-duty and durable. This particular model has a tested load capacity of 7,000 pounds and has a two-piece handle set, a top winch connector clamp, and it comes in three sizes that range from 42 inches up to 60 inches.
A jack like this can be used in many situations, too – pulling, winching, clamping, lifting, and much more. So, this isn’t a one trick pony that can only be used for lifting your vehicle. It’s a versatile piece of recovery gear that’s a must-have!
Other Recommended Off-Roading Gear
Photo by DieterMeyrl via iStock
While the items above are my essential recovery gear, there are some other items you might consider adding to your kit. Here’s a few recommendations: