It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of kit on the market. You’d be forgiven for thinking dream destinations like the Cape or the Kimberley simply aren’t attainable without the latest and greatest wi-fi Bluetooth dongle-activated coffee machine. The truth is though, in most situations, you’re better off equipping yourself with good kit, rather than heaps of kit. To help cut through the BS a little we’ve knocked together our 5 must-have 4×4 recovery accessories worth ponying up the bucks for. So have a read, reconsider if you really need that billet titanium winch damper, and let us know in the comments what your must-haves are.
1. Recovery Boards (Exitrax, for the win!)
What to expect on the price tag: Around $100-$300 a pair, depending on the model.
Why you need ’em: These are like the Swiss Army knives of the 4×4 world. Designed with an innovative grip profile, Exitrax ensures your tyres latch on, giving you that push when in slippery terrain like mud or sand or snow too actually. Pretty much anywhere you’d want to go 4x4ing. Plus, their UV-stabilised material means they won’t wear out anytime soon.
Other uses: Beyond recoveries, they can double up as a ramp or a platform when dealing with uneven terrain perfect for levelling the camper
2. 12V Winches
What to expect on the price tag: Anywhere from $500 to $2000, depending on the beast you choose.
Why you need ’em: Whether you’re waist-deep in a mud pit or dangling on the edge of a creek bed, a winch is the muscle you need. Think of it like a get-out-of-gol-free card that’ll punish you with a 5-minute recovery for a silly mistake, not an 80k walk out for help. Opt for one with a robust motor, good warranty, and solid IP rating so it can handle being offroad.
Other uses: Clearing pathways from fallen logs or, in a pinch, helping to tension a slackline for some campsite fun.
3. UHF Radios for Co-ordinating Recoveries
What to expect on the price tag: From $100 for the handheld ones to $400+ for the more robust units.
Why you need ’em: When your buddy’s 4×4 is knee-deep in slush, and hand signals just ain’t cutting it, a UHF radio steps in. Crystal-clear communication is crucial, especially when precision and safety are at stake. There’s more dangerous than old mate hitting the loud pedal when you asked him to brake.
Other uses: Scouting ahead? Radios are perfect for keeping the convoy informed. Plus, listening in can offer valuable intel from other off-roaders in the area.
4. Recovery Kit
What to expect on the price tag: Around $400-$500, give or take.
Why you need ’em: All the recovery kit in the world won’t do you a lick of good if there’s no way to actually connect it to your rig. A basic recovery kit with a winch extension strap, a snatch strap, tree trunk protector, a few bow shackles, and a winch damper will get you out of just about any situation you can find yourself in.
Other uses: In a pinch, they can help secure gear, but remember snatch straps are designed for dynamic forces, not static loads.
5. Rated Recovery Points
What to expect on the price tag: Budget between $50-$200.
Why you need ’em: These aren’t just flashy accessories. Properly rated points ensure that, when the force is applied, the load is distributed safely. Avoid generic tie-downs like the black plague; you want a point that’s been tested and rated for your vehicle.
Other uses: Honestly, their main job is crucial enough. But let’s be real, they also give your 4×4 a more rugged look!