Frederic Nuyttens

Self Recovery Tools and Tips

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As i am often going for short and small trips in the desert alone (not ideal, i know, but i stay near to the road), i've spent some time looking at the self recovery possibilities for desert sand. Our Aussie friends seem to have extensive equipment and tools to deal with getting stuck in the sand.

I'd love to hear your inputs and feedback on the available equipment such as:

* Maxtrax recovery board. The original or alternatives, or selfmade.

* Hi-lift Jack.

* Deadman anchor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxnwAkMh9U8 

.....or other anchor such as your spare wheel.

* Winch on your vehicle

* Others...

Would love to hear what works best in our Middle-East environment without breaking the bank. I always carry 2 recovery boards made from scaffolding platform that helped me out a few times already. 

Edited by Frederic Nuyttens

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Your single and MOST important recovery tool that can help you get unstuck 75% of the time is the good full-size shovel. Not the foldable one, not the small spoon size for decoration, but the one laborer uses with a metal scoop and wooden or metal handle for proper displacement of sand. If you are lone surfer then I will highly recommend carrying two shovels, one with normal length and another one with longer length in case you need to reach deeper under the vehicle.

Trust me in my 12 years of off-roading experience, I have seen people carrying the world in their car but except a proper shovel that alone can save the day so many times. See the last year desert training video in the gallery where we taught people getting unstuck from a crest with the help of shovel only.

Second most important addon for self-recovery is the winch, that can pull you out from any sticky spot, provided you are ready to bury your spare wheel and hook the winch.

Maxtrax recovery sand mats or a similar one you will only use when stuck in the super soft sand and if you are an experienced off-roader and know how to crawl out with engine LO power and constantly turning steering with the quick interval of accelerations up to 2k RPM,  you will never need those tracks. I bought them too and hardly used once or twice out of fun and it's still eating dust.

Last but not least advise for a lone surfer is to drive wisely and not be too adventurous, as mother nature always strike when you are least prepared.

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