Anyone who explores the backcountry has or will get stuck. It is just part of the unpredictable nature of venturing off the beaten path, which can include sudden storms (mud), deep sand, or that snow-filled mountain pass. Being properly prepared as an overlander includes bringing along a comprehensive self-recovery, or vehicle-to-vehicle recovery kit, and AEV just dropped a serious set of options. aev-conversions.com
AEV should be commended for paying attention to the details, including proper labeling of both minimum breaking strength and working load limit. The ropes are also color-coded at the working ends for the intended use, making it easy to grab the right one out of the bag.
Kinetic Recovery Rope
Often called a KERR or kinetic energy recovery rope, it’s an ideal solution for vehicle-to-vehicle recoveries, or with additional training, use in a semi-dynamic winching system. A KERR is defined by its dynamic properties, exceeding the stretch ratings of a typical recovery strap. The AEV kinetic recovery rope is a 7/8-inch x 30-foot unit with a minimum breaking strength (MBS) of 29,000 pounds. This makes the rope ideal for vehicles with an approximate GVWR of 5,800 to 9,600 pounds. Produced from reinforced, braided nylon, the end loops also include an additional layer for abrasion protection. With props to AEV, the rope is properly labeled with the intended use and load ratings. Manufactured in Canada. $189 | Additional Information Here
A recovery utility rope is an oft-forgotten tool and a critical piece of any recovery bag. Also called a rigging line, these are connection and extension tools with null stretch. They allow for non-typical rigging too, like roll bars, trees, and rocks. The AEV utility rope is made from Dyneema SK78 synthetic fibers with a double-thickness chafe and cut guard. This makes for a very durable and low-mass tool in a myriad of scenarios. The overall length is 10 feet, with an MBS of 19,600 pounds. This would work well paired with the KERR or a self-recovery winch. $129 | Additional Information Here
Editor’s Note: With the concentrated pressure point of a rope radius over a strap flat, this unit might not be appropriate for use as a tree strap on all tree types.
Winch Extension Rope
Even with 80-150 feet of winchline on your winch, trees or other recovery points may be (very) far away. Additional scenarios include recoveries with a multi-line pull and a pulley block or even multiple blocks. Made from Dyneema SK78 synthetic fiber, this unit will have null stretch and an MBS of 18,200 pounds, which makes this line suitable for a 9,000-pound to 12,000-pound winch (rigging configuration dependent with a 1.5-2.0 safety factor). $179 | Additional Information Here
Soft shackles seriously popular at the moment, and for several good reasons. Principally, it removes a significant amount of mass from the recovery operation (over a metal screw pin shackle), and it removes the hard metal component too, resulting in a lighter overall rigging, and fewer sharp/hard parts flying through the air in the event of a component failure. The AEV shackle is one of the more thoughtful units we have seen, with proper labeling of MBS and WLL and a thick chafe guard. Made in Canada from Dyneema SK78 synthetic fibers. $49 | Additional Information Here
Recovery Gear Bag
To tie everything together, AEV produced a high-quality, Made-in-the-USA gear bag that is just big enough to carry a proper recovery kit, yet not too bulky for most applications. Made from nylon with reinforced straps, they also spec’d a reinforced rubber bottom and a wide-mouth opening that holds its form for digging around. Bright yellow pulls are easy to see. $159 | Additional Information Here
Our “Essentials” AEV Overland Recovery Kit
For our purposes, we would include one winch extension rope, three soft shackles, two utility ropes, and one kinetic recovery rope. Additionally, we would source a winchline repair kit, two Van Beest green pin screw shackles, a synthetic line compatible pulley block, and/or a recovery ring that pairs with the soft shackles. Toss in a few pairs of gloves, a line damper/sail, and some eye protection, and this intentionally minimalist/essentials kit is ready for the backcountry.
Editor’s Note: Vehicle recovery is a skill that requires proper training and practice. Always use safety equipment and ensure that all connection points (including the vehicle recovery point) are rated to the task. And remember, getting stuck is part of the fun!