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The Gearzette


- August 16, 2022

Whether you’re planning an extended overland adventure or are looking at tackling a few 4x4 (or soft-roader friendly) day trails you need to get kitted for recovery. You simply don’t know when – and on which type of terrain – you might get stuck. Rest assured, even the most experienced off-roaders get bogged down, which is why they carry the necessary gear to get them out. Read on to find out what you need on your recovery gear list: 

© Craig Rhodes-Harrison

1. Mobile traction plates​

These lightweight and tough recovery devices are highly versatile and a must for any adventurer. From sand, mud, and rocky terrain to snow, they provide the traction you need to get out of a tricky, sticky, or slippery situation. Check out any episode of Sidetracked Australia’s series on Tasmania, or watch Front Runner collaborator, Corey Seaman’s episode of Find Anywhere, to see how these use integrated teeth that grip into a tire's tread to provide traction. In addition, the MAXTRAX MKII’s feature a nesting design which ensures they can be stacked and stored in such a way that you can maximize packing space on your rack while still having easy access. To take that storage efficiency to another level, mount them (or TRED Pro and other popular recovery devices) to the side of your rack, using Front Runner’s Recovery Device & Gear Holding Side Brackets. 

© Craig Rhodes-Harrison

2. Hi-Lift jack bracket​

The hi-lift jack can be an intimidating device and was traditionally very much reserved only for hardcore overlanders. This has changed a lot over the past few years and for good reason - for changing tires in tricky recovery situations there is no better piece of kit. However, it can be an ungainly accessory to store and transport. Front Runner’s Hi-Lift Jack Bracket is a 2-piece locking bracket that offers a solid, convenient, and accessible way to do this. It bolts easily to the side of your roof rack and, thanks to its heavy-gauge stainless steel construction, is off-road tough.

© Craig Rhodes-Harrison

​3. Spade​

Can you dig it? No really, jokes aside, a good spade should be very close to the top of your recovery shopping list. Trying to free up a buried wheel out of sand, mud, or snow using your hands is not only time-consuming and ineffective but also dangerous. In addition to its many recovery uses, its versatility extends to the campsite for things such as safely putting out fires, leveling tent-pitching sites, and digging latrines. Front Runner’s Spade Axe Edge is a popular option. Much like other recovery items, you want it safely stowed, but easily accessible when traveling on- and off-road. Front Runner’s Ratcheting Spade/Shovel & Paddle Mount is the way to go.

© Craig Rhodes-Harrison © Craig Kolesky

4. ​Wolf Pack Pro Recovery Kit​

Rigging, towing, and winching are integral parts of recovery. The correct straps and connectors are not only crucial for smooth, successful recoveries but for operator safety too. Front Runner’s Wolf Pack Pro Recovery Kit is a great value, all-around package. Packed conveniently in the versatile Wolf Pack Pro, it features essentials to cover various recovery situations, including a Snatch Strap, Winch Extension Strap, Tree Trunk Protector, and Bridle as well as Shackles and Gloves.

© Sidetracked Australia

5. Tire Inflator​

Lower tire pressures improve traction in sandy and muddy conditions and, once stuck, slightly deflating a tire is often the trick to getting out. Back on harder terrain, however, you need to be able to re-inflate your tires. Pair up the Rough & Tough 2 Cylinder Air Compressor with a Spare Wheel Inflater to do this quickly and accurately. It is also invaluable for re-inflating a plugged flat tire after you’ve suffered a puncture.