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Get Unstuck: Winching Accessories

Now that you’ve got a winch and know how to use it, it’s time to expand your recovery capabilities by stocking your rig with some useful winch accessories. It’s easy to get lost among the many choices available for every type of winching “extra,” so here are a few basics that you might want to consider.

Tree trunk protector – wrap this around a live tree and hook the winch rope to the protector loops using a D-ring. This strap protects the tree from damage during winching operations in self-recovery situations.

Recovery strap – made of nylon webbing, this strap is used to pull another vehicle as it absorbs the shock of heavy pulls and elastic rebound energy assists in quick recovery. WARN cautions against using a recovery strap in a winching operation and recommends that a tree trunk protector be used instead.

Snatch block – this is essentially a pulley that can double the pulling power of your winch, or it can be used to change your pulling direction without damaging your winch rope.

D-rings – also called shackles, these provide an easy way to connect cables, straps, and snatch blocks to your rig and/or your recovery point. I have both steel/zinc-plated D-rings, and a rope D-ring which is handy if more flexibility is needed for attachment.

Leather gloves – always good to have in your vehicle if needed – protect your hands from cuts or rope burns during winching operation.

Also consider:

A ground anchor or pull-pal – I have this 12,000 lb. capability beast of an anchor (it weighs about 60 pounds so I didn’t take it out of my Jeep for photos). A ground anchor is useful in recovery situations where there are no readily available anchor points. The sharp triangle end digs into the ground (or sand, mud, snow) as you pull, thereby creating a solid anchor point. I haven’t had a chance to use this yet myself but it got great reviews.

A damper, which helps prevent rope recoil in the event of rope failure. I don’t carry this myself, but I do have a variety of blankets in my Jeep, including moving blankets, which could be placed over the winch rope instead.

What winching accessories do you carry in your rig? Do you have anything to add to this list? Share in the comments below!

Happy Trails!

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