A winch is basically a spool with a hand or a motorized gear drive that allows you to pull your vehicle if it gets stuck in mud or ice when there’s no tire traction. Bullhide 4×4 carries a range of quality WARN winches, along with other brands, that will help you get the job done. Make sure the winch you buy has the ability to accommodate the weight of your ATV or SUV. You may need to purchase a mounting plate to properly mount the winch to your vehicle.
High-Quality Gloves & Warm Clothing
Gloves will protect you not only from the cold but from the winch while handling it. Gloves will shield your hands from the sharp barbs and abrasion that may happen when handling winch rope.
It’s also important to make sure you have gear that will keep you protected from the elements, whether that’s a good winter jacket, an extra Bullhide 4×4 sweatshirt, or base layers to keep with you in case you get stuck, be sure to plan for the weather.
We know Colorado weather can be unpredictable, so pack food and water. In case of an emergency, or if you find yourself stuck in traffic, food and water can become detrimental to your safety. Any time you’re headed off-road, regardless of season, make sure you’re taking essential survival gear.
If you get stuck and need to check the engine or change a tire, a bright light is critical to help you see what you’re doing. Additionally, with the shorter days in the winter, it’s important to have quality lighting on your vehicle that will help you see through the dark during inclement weather. Vision X-branded products sold at Bullhide 4×4 offer a variety of lighting options for your off-road and automotive needs, including LED lights, headlights, flashlights, and more. Don’t forget the extra batteries or make sure your light is charged before heading out!
Shackles, recovery points, ARB Treds, shovels, and kinetic straps. These are all things you’ve probably thought of. It’s important to be ready for everything from pulling a disabled car out of traffic to crossing a snowdrift. While we already talked about winches, and with them being the first recovery tool often coming to mind, these other options can be cheaper alternatives, or gear that is nice to have in addition to a winch.
Kinetic straps help to provide a running start when getting out of mud, sand, or snow. The energy created by your vehicle stretches the rope up to 30% and acts like a slingshot when pulling the vehicle out of whatever predicament you find yourself in.
Traction boards are great options as well, but when all else fails, a shovel can be helpful both on its own and in addition to recovery straps and other tools. The great thing about adding a shovel to your off-roading gear list is that it has so many uses from smothering fires, to being handy in bathroom breaks, you can’t go wrong with this tool.
Most importantly, don’t go alone and don’t forget to tell someone where you’re going and when you intend to be back. Consider adding radios, CB’s or satellite phones in case something goes wrong while you’re out. This will help to ensure your safety, a cornerstone to a good time off-road.
Bullhide 4×4 provides a choice of tires specifically designed for snow and ice. Many of the tire brands we carry are tested in multiple environments, to safely get you through the toughest terrains.
No matter what takes you on the road, take the time to make sure you have items in place to do it safely. If you’re unsure what you need for your specific vehicle, we’ll help you find the right items to address your needs.
Covers or Tarp for Winter Storage
If you’re parking your vehicle outside, it would benefit you to put a tonneau cover over it. For pickup trucks, a cover will protect the cargo and there are plenty of options to make sure your gear is accessible from under the cover. You may also want to investigate smaller items like window deflectors to help keep precipitation out of your vehicle.
So, what’s the best tool? Experience.
We often see two mistakes when people work to perform an extraction. First, is the failure to slow down, and take time to ensure recoveries are performed safely, causing less harm than good. Typically, there isn’t a real reason to rush, unless the vehicle is at risk of rolling down a cliff or on fire.
The other issue that is incredibly common, is people having way too many cooks in the kitchen. Put one person in charge of recovery, typically the driver of the vehicle performing the extraction. Others should stand back a safe distance and help when asked by the person designated in charge.
No matter what gear you buy, it won’t do you any good if you’re not sure how to use it effectively. Take time to understand your recovery points and make sure all of your gear works before you hit the trail, that way in the case of extraction, you can feel calm and put it to good use.