I want to get a recovery kit plus learn how to use them. My gear consists of a fire extinguisher, a tire repair kit and a first aid kit. I know that is far from complete and enough to save me on the trail by myself. So I want to expand the kit. I have heard ARB Essentials Recovery Kit (RK11) maybe a good start as a basic kit. Is that enough or good quality? I have also heard Bubba Rope and soft shackles are good too.
The strap in the ARB kit is rated at 17,500 lbs and it is a kinetic strap. That is about 3x the weight of the LR4, is that enough? The Bubba rope is rated much higher (7/8" at 28,600 lbs). Is the snatch block only use on a winch line, not the recovery strap/rope? Since I don't have a winch, do I need that? Do I need a conventional static strap as well?
Can you help me build my recovery kit? Knowing what should be in a basic kit and what should be in a "well equip" kit will be very helpful.
Will there by another recovery clinic soon?
The replies above pretty much cover what I'd say. But to address your questions specifically-
Is the ARB Essentials recovery kit any good?
I generally trust the ARB name for stuff like this and have some of their gear myself. It isn't intended to be a complete kit but just the basics. Would I recommend it? No; I think the cost is high and at least in your case you don't need some parts. For example, the snatch block isn't going to help you since you don't have a winch.
I've heard Bubba Rope and soft shackles are good.
Yes they are - Bubba Rope fills the same role as the kinetic strap in the ARB kit (sometimes called a 'snatch strap') only better. This isn't to say the ARB strap is bad, but the Bubba Rope is softer with more stretch which makes for an easier load on the vehicles and can provide more 'sling shot' effect. The downside is it's more expensive and takes up more room when stored since you can't just roll it up like a strap.
Soft shackles are great but I view them as an addition to, not a replacement for, regular D-shackles. There are places they can fit where a regular shackle can't and their light weight can make them safer when say used in the middle of a rig under tension such as joining to lines or straps together (bad form to use steel shackles here), but they won't hold up well to sharp edges. Ideally you would have some of both but if you only have the budget for one, go with D-shackles.
As noted, the snatch block is for use with a winch. It is used to re-direct the direction of pull or to double the line back to your own rig and double the pulling power. Very useful, but only if you have a winch.
How you build your kit depends on how you plan to use the truck and your budget. If you expect to be out alone often a winch would be a good idea but with that comes significant cost not just for the winch but for the equipment to support it (extra rigging). A kinetic strap or bubba rope is great but only useful if there's an un-stuck vehicle to pull you free. If you travel in a group they are great. Alone it's useless. MaxTrax or similar can be very helpful in snow or sand, even mud but I find only to a limited extent. I carry 4 MaxTrax on my LR3 and have used them mostly in snow. BTW, there are cheaper alternatives to the MaxTrax brand but buyer beware - some are better than others. Many people carry only 2, but if you can afford it 4 is much better.
There is no best answer but let's assume you'll spend some time alone and some in a group. Let's also assume you're not going to install a winch, at least for now. With that in mind I'd probably go with something like this
Shovel - not a little folding thing but at least 4' long. It's not sexy but a shovel can solve a lot of problems with enough work.
2 or 4 MaxTrax - I'd go with the genuine MaxTrax brand
tow strap, 20-30' - this can also double as a tree strap later when you get a winch
D-shackles - 2 to start
Kinetic strap/Bubba Rope - your choice on brand; I have an ARB now but much prefer using the Bubba.
Hi-Lift jack - very versatile if you know how to use it
(consider adding a wheel mate if you don't have good lift points on your truck)
chain with grab hooks on both ends, 15' - generally useful, and can turn the Hi-Lift into a winch in a pinch.
Later I'd look to add a winch. With that, I'd add more gear.
Snatch Block - at least 1
D-shackles - 2 more
Soft shackles - 2
Tree strap, 10' (approx) - at least 1
winch extension line - 50' synthetic
I'm assuming you already have solid front and rear recovery points. If not, that's step one.
What do I carry? I'm not sure I can even remember all of it.
3 tree straps
50' winch extension
5 or 6 D shackles
2 soft shackles
2 snatch blocks
4 MaxTrax (on the LR3 only, not the D1)
probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.
This does remind me that I don't have a shovel in the D1 - need to remedy that before heading to Pismo!
Edited by DHappel, 11 October 2017 - 04:41 PM.