Editor’s Note: The following was provided by our friends at DMOS, an acronym that stands for “Do My Own Sh*t.”
What’s the easiest way to rescue your vehicle? Don’t get it stuck in the first place. But the fact of the matter is that if you go trail riding often enough, you will inevitably find yourself stuck. It’s all part of the adventure. But as long as you stay calm and come prepared, it won’t be a problem.
1. Assess The Situation
The first step you should take in rescuing your jeep should be to assess why and how you got yourself stuck. This one may seem intuitive, but you should always get out and assess the situation. By far, the two most common ways jeeps get stuck offroad are by getting stuck on top of something tall, or by losing traction and spinning their wheels.
2. High Centered
If you have found your Jeep resting on top of an obstacle, otherwise known as high centered, you have a couple of options for getting yourself unstuck. First, you may want to try backing out slowly until you are far enough away from the obstacle so that you can now see the trail and plan a different path.
But if you hit reverse and find that your Jeep isn’t going anywhere, there are plenty of other strategies you can try. Stack some flat rocks or sticks under your elevated tires, and then try to back out once you have grip. In this situation, you can even try using your jack to raise the floor of your Jeep before repeating the process of stacking rocks or branches under your tires.
3. Spinning Wheels
If your wheels are stuck, the first thing you should do is stop spinning your tires because that will just dig you in deeper and make it even harder to recover your Jeep. Again, try backing out over your original tire tracks. This will work a lot of the time because the mud and sand you will be driving on will already be compressed. Another technique you can try here is taking some air out of your tires. This will widen the tread and increase the tire’s footprint.
4. Dig Yourself Out
Sometimes, if your Jeep won’t budge you have to dig yourself out. Here is where a shovel and maybe even some MaxTrax will help you out. It is important to dig trenches in the direction that you’ll be trying to get out, for each wheel to follow the other and to not have to just climb vertically out of a hole. Once the trenches you’ve dug are good enough, fill them with MaxTrax. This process may take a couple of tries.
5. Have a Friend Pull You Out
If none of these options are working, sometimes what you need is a friend to help pull you out with a recovery strap. Don’t use too much torque, a gentle steady pull will be enough almost every time. Be sure to use a recovery strap, NOT a tow strap. A recovery strap is elastic and has a bungee effect, while a tow strap doesn’t stretch which can cause damage to your vehicle if you pull too hard. Also, do not use metal hooks because if a strap breaks, these will become a metal projectile flying straight at your windshield.
And ALWAYS carry the right recovery gear! You can find what you need at https://dmoscollective.com.