• Steven E. Overmyer

How to Get Unstuck

You like to think that you’re prepared for everything on the trails, hopefully you’ve got your spare tire, a winch, tire plugs, and even jumper cables. But even the most experienced riders can end up in a sticky situation. These tips will help you pull yourself out and keep on riding.

Sand Parachute

The sand parachute method is for when you’re stuck in the sand with no trees or friends to pull you out. This method can be used on most terrains, but it may be too labor intensive in anything but snow and sand. When you’re planning on riding in the sand you might want to bring a tarp, rope, a shovel, and a winch. First, you need to dig a hole in the front of your vehicle and line the hole with a tarp. Next, fill the hole but make sure you still have access to all four corners to the tarp. Now lash the corners of the tarp together with a rope and anchor your winchline to the rope. Finally, you just winch on out. Of course, you could pull the tarp right out of the sand, or end up ripping the tarp, but if you’re riding by yourself, an extra tarp and rope won’t take up too much space. Safety should always be the first priority especially when riding by yourself.

Deadman Anchor

To make use of this method, you’ll need your winch, a shovel, and some found supplies to give you an anchor point. This method is great for when you’re bogged down or just out of reach of the nearest tree. To make a deadman anchor you need a heavy log, a smaller log, and a pair of stakes. A spare tire or spare axle will do if you cannot find a log. Step one is to dig a trench in front your vehicle that’s big enough bury the bigger of the two logs, which will be known as the deadman. The success of this method depends on the size of the log and the depth of the trench. So, if you’re extremely stuck, dig the trench deep. You can strengthen your anchor by placing stakes in front of the log. You also need to dig a small trench for your winch line. Next you need to anchor your winch line to the deadman and run the line over the smaller log at the edge of your trench. Finally, bury your deadman, stakes, winch line and winch out as you normally would. If the trench is deep enough you should have no problem pulling yourself out.

Plank Tire

The last method is extremely simple yet effective. This works on any terrain but works especially well in the mud. If you can’t traction, you can lash a plank of wood or branch to your wheel. You only need to make sure whatever you use won’t interfere with your fender, suspension, or brake lines. Once lashed, give your vehicle just enough gas to turn the wheels. Every time the plank comes around, it should grab the mud like a paddle and move you forward. Be sure to move slowly and watch your wheel to make sure nothing will tear up your fender or the brake lines. This is a super easy way to get unstuck with little manual labor.

Riding solo may be your getaway or favorite hobby, but make sure you have all the tools necessary in case you wind up in a sticky situation. These easy tips will make sure you’re safe and have the freedom to ride where you please.

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