Overlanding Recovery Boards – Do You Need Them?
Overlanding recovery boards, do you actually need a set of these and how useful are they? Many years ago when I lived on a farm in the UK I managed to get a tractor stuck in mud, I was 13 years old at the time and instead of admitting immediate defeat and getting towed out by what would have been a very disgruntled Father I did what I had seen before on the farm and got on with collecting all manner of objects to stuff under the wheels.
Two hours later I was out, head to toe in mud but my efforts worked, I’d created my own traction and got out of a sticky situation.
Overlanding in Spain as with anywhere else in the world throws up surprises all the time, you just never know what’s around the corner. Spanish mud has the consistency of clay, the dust in the campo is very fine and when it gets wet it just sticks to anything. Getting bogged down in the campo clearly isn’t ideal and all you really have at your disposal is more mud and some rocks at best, creating a purchase for your tyres is almost impossible.
A couple of years after moving to Andalucia we managed to get our A6 estate stuck in a field, it was like getting bogged down in glue, four wheel drive does not help.
“better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it”
In our view, traction boards/recovery boards are one of those things to have – better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. This kind of gear falls into the same category as all that stuff you have to get going again, like portable jump starters and puncture repair kits it’s something that you can manage yourself, the alternative is being stuck potentially in the middle of nowhere and being right up s**t creek.
Budget overlanding recovery boards: Our traction boards are a budget make, we spent €80,00 euros for a pair and they sit strapped to the roof as a permanent fixture because we do not plan on using them unless we have to. Obviously with a bigger budget you can go for the likes of Maxtrax or TRED, both are excellent according to owners reviews and quality will be infinitely better, we just couldn’t stretch to €300,00 euros when we had other stuff to think about too.
Our aim is to have all the gear required to get out any given situation, traction boards form part of this thinking, having gear like this also gives you the confidence to get out there and be self sufficient removing that ‘we don’t wanna get stuck out here’ doubt.