Not prepared v. Kinda prepared v. Prepared ??

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ce4460

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Here's my dilemma, which I'm sure many of you face - when you can't afford to buy needed safety equipment, should you look for short cuts? Let me give an example.

I think most would agree that a winch is a desired tool out on the trail. Recently, I bought and installed a Warn Winch only to find out I needed a Hawse offset Fair lead and a synthetic cable (the Reason is not important here). The fact remained, I didn't have the extra $500 to put into the equipment prior to the 2016 OTG. Nor did I have another $400+ to buy quality recovery kit. So what did I do? I skimped. Leaving the unfinished winch to fester in the back of my brain, I bought a Hi Lift, a single, less expensive, recovery strap, and shackles. I know there will be others to help at OTG if I should run into trouble but that doesn't alleviate the need to be as prepared as I can be.

So the question remains, should an individual buy lessor quality gear, simply to have it in case of emergency, or should they rely upon others to provide the needed security and save their money to do the job right. The bottom line now is, I'm out $275 purchasing a bandaid when I could've set aside that money to properly outfit my rig after OTG.

Of course, I decided to go with the minimum, knowing I'd ultimately need a Hi Lift. Now I have the 'embarrassment' if you will, of having a winch with no cable and does nothing and gear of lessor quality (which I would normally not buy).

Have you faced this dilemma? How did you deal with the problem?
 

1Louder

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You can't solve all recovery issues with a winch, a hi-lift, a recovery strap, insert another item here alone. Different tools for different jobs. Buy what you can afford and build you recovery kit as funds come in. Each piece is useful. Of course you need to learn how to use each or they are just mall crawler shiny objects.

There is nothing wrong with relying on others for help as you build your recovery kit.
 
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Winterpeg

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I only use the "less expensive recovery straps".... use proper recovery techniques so everyone is safe if/when things go wrong and/or break and you'll be fine.

I've never been too offended to lend someone a piece of equipment. If it became a habit I'm sure I would tell them to get their own but once in a while isn't an issue. I'm not rich and neither is anyone else I have gone wheeling with.... we all do what we can with what we have.
 

ce4460

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Don't get me wrong, there's nothing about relying on others, particularly in a group like ours. There's a lot of expertise out there. I just feel a responsibility to be as prepared as possible. In my opinion, the approach of doing what you can is best, relying on others for the rest. I'm sure my rig will never be 100% like some out there.if I get there, I'm sure I'll be ready for my next project.
 

TreXTerra

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The single best thing you can do to be prepared is use your brain to make a decision. If you have brand new mud tires, lift, lockers, winch, and traction mats, then maybe that bog you need to cross is an acceptable risk. If you don't have that gear or the risk is too high then you need to make the smart call and find a detour or change your plans.

The best gear in the world won't get you out of some situations, even a winch is only useful if you can attach it to something. I don't have a winch on my vehicle and I've never needed to be winched out of anything because I keep within my limits. "If this goes completely sideways, can I self rescue?" If the answer is "no" then don't do it.

Cheap safety gear is often a liability - but not always. You don't need an ARB dampner blanket for your winch line or recovery strap, there are cheaper options or you can make one yourself. Hell, you can even drape your recovery strap over your winch line in a pinch. On the other hand, cheap unrated shackles might let go and severely injure or even kill someone.
 

Maxterra

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Just a slow and steady approach is what's needed in outfitting your rig.

Been working on mine for about 8 years now, and still a long way to go to have everything I "want".
Hi lift is essential imo. With a chain and the post attachment like what comes with the Extreme model, you can use it as a come along if needed. Hi lift adapter is nice, but not absolutely needed. Base pad is a great idea, for both the hi lift or a bottle jack.
I'd recommend the wheel lift adapter first, as trying to get a wheel off the ground from lifting from the slider is tough and risky.
You have to lift it high enough for the suspension to droop out first before he tire leaves the ground.
Tow strap and a couple of shackles is about #1 item (25'/30').

As previously stated, don't go places beyond your limits or without help.
I've never got helplessly stuck where I couldn't self recover (yet). My winch is typically used for somebody else. Haven't used the maxtrax yet, but I'll get two more as money allows.
Will either build or buy a pullpal unit, but it takes up room I don't usually have. Need a few more shackles and a med length strap after our last recovery I decided.

Fire extinguisher, first aid kit, small shovel, tarp, tools, bottle jack, etc are essential items..
I always carry enough camping and survival gear to last several days out if I can find a water source.
I feel that my SPOT messenger unit is very helpful on my solo trips. Family can follow my progress and know where I am. Many places in my area are far from any cell service, so to me, that's essential.

Just keep at it as funds allow and drive smart[emoji106]
 
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ce4460

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Thanks for the feedback. Its reassuring that I'm taking the right path. Sometimes it's nice to know you're not alone, because it can feel frustrating when you just can't do what you want - can't make everything happen as quickly as we'd like. We all try though, and that's a big part of the fun.
 

ce4460

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I have to say, the one time I felt unprepared during 2016 OTG was during egress from the mountain. Frankly, I didn't have a good sense for where I was going, nor did I have a good understanding how to get off the mountain. My plan was to follow those who knew. Big mistake. When it came time to leave Bald Mountain, it seemed like there was at least 2 or 3 ways to go. Unfortunately, I initially went the wrong way highlighting in my mind how unprepared I was. In the future, I will have a strong sense of navigation and will not rely on others to do the homework.
 
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1Louder

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I have to say, the one time I felt unprepared during 2016 OTG was during egress from the mountain. Frankly, I didn't have a good sense for where I was going, nor did I have a good understanding how to get off the mountain. My plan was to follow those who knew. Big mistake. When it came time to leave Bald Mountain, it seemed like there was at least 2 or 3 ways to go. Unfortunately, I initially went the wrong way highlighting in my mind how unprepared I was. In the future, I will have a strong sense of navigation and will not rely on others to do the homework.
Even if I have a GPS track I always record a new track. I also plot Waypoints for spots that may be easy to miss. Goo lesson to learn. Besides even when I am leading I have missed a turn and folks following the same track correct me. It can be easy to do.
 

ColoradoPacific

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I'm a "prepper" before any other hobby. Have been for years. My opinion on this is a very solid "it depends."

I know, clear as mud right?? Well, here's the thing: Some things are absolutely worth spending good money on. Other things can be had for cheap, or you can make due with something lesser with just a little bit of ingenuity. A winch is a powerful and extremely useful piece of equipment. But it's one that can be devastating if it fails. So, winches are worth spending good money on. Recovery straps are another great piece of kit, but with some intelligence and patience, you can do a lot with a rope or a chain.

In my opinion it really boils down to an educated decision on each piece of gear. Can you do the same job with less? 2x12's and kitty litter will work every bit as well as a fancy new set of MaxTrax, but cost almost nothing. A cheap winch may work fine, or may fail catastrophically, sending your rig cartwheeling into a ravine. Probably best to save up for a high-end option. Any kind of off-roading or overlanding involves certain calculated risks. When it comes to budgeting for gear, take care in those calculations. Know what you can and cannot do without, as well as what you can and cannot get away with.

Ironically, as your knowledge and skills improve, you will need to rely less and less on the expensive gear that could save your butt.

In the end, I'd rather have one really nice rifle that works perfectly than 10 guns that frequently misfire. At the same time, I'd rather have a pallet full of MREs than one $500 camp stove and a cooler full of perishables.

Weigh your needs and experience with the inherent risks that a piece of gear is designed to deal with. Make an educated decision, and NEVER go somewhere without at least letting someone know where you'll be and when you'll return.