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Wrangler Tools, Gear, Tow Hooks, & D-Rings

Written By: Louis Orellana

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As an adventurer taking the road less traveled can potentially put your jeep in some sticky situations. While you can always chance to wait for help the experienced rock crawler knows its better to be an active part of your own rescue. Loading up on the right recovery gear can save you a lot of time and headaches while conquering the great unknown.

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Whether you have a YJ, TJ, or JK Wrangler, the tools and recovery gear for your Jeep are all the same. In this information guide, we’ll discuss a variety of tools and recovery gear commonly used in a variety of situations throughout various generation of Jeeps. These are tools and recovery gear you should always have in your Jeep if space permits, but especially when hitting the trails. Most items can be used in conjunction with a winch or without.

How Can I Get Good Recovery Gear?

Recovery gear consists of essential items that will help assist with the recovery of your Jeep that is either stuck in mud, water, snow, sand, or any other terrain. The gear in this list can be used in a variety of methods and are good items to have in your Wrangler year-round, but especially when hitting the trails.

Top Off-Roading Recovery Techniques and Gear

What Are Wrangler Tow Straps?

A tow strap is often confused with a recovery strap. They each have their specific purpose and are used in completely different situations. A tow strap is primarily used to pull a vehicle that is damaged or not running, but still free-rolling and not stuck or incapable of being pulled due to a damaged wheel or seized brake caliper. Tow straps are typically made of fabric with no elasticity. They are strong and secure ropes or straps that can pull heavy weight without the danger of re-bounding if the strap itself tears/breaks or the attachment points between the two vehicles fail. Tow straps are often identified as typically having metal hooks on the ends. Metal chains are often effectively used as tow straps, but pose a level of danger if they break. In addition, metal chains are much heavier than fabric tow straps and difficult to store away when not in use.


Teraflex Tow Strap

When Should I Use Recovery Straps?

Unlike a tow strap, a recovery strap is made of a fabric material that offers some elasticity. Recovery straps are used to recover vehicles stuck in mud, water, snow, sand, or other conditions preventing the Jeep from moving forward. Once a proper clearance path is laid out in front of the stuck Jeep and the vehicle initiating the recovery, the recovery strap is safely attached to both vehicles. The recovery method typically consists of short, jolting pulling intervals to build up enough momentum and energy to pull the stuck vehicle free. The fact that the recovery strap has elasticity helps in the gaining of momentum and energy without the stress on the attachment points, which are typically the vehicles’ bumpers or frame. Using a tow strap in this situation puts the stress and energy on the attachment points, which could cause them to fail and cause serious damage to the vehicles or people standing close by.


Barricade Recovery Strap

What Are Jeep Tow Hooks?

A tow hook is typically made of a high-strength metal and attaches to a tow strap. The hook allows the tow strap to safely and easily attach to the vehicle doing the towing and the other vehicle being towed. It’s important to note tow hooks should never be used in a recovery situation involving pulling a stuck vehicle. If the recovery strap used in this situation breaks it could send the metal tow hook flying, causing serious damage to the vehicles, but more importantly bodily harm to occupants in the vehicle or standing close by.


Wrangler Tow Hook

D-Rings Explained

The metal U-shaped attachment rings are connected by a threaded metal rod between the two open points of the U, giving the appearance of the letter D. D-rings make great recovery points for either towing a vehicle or pulling one that is stuck. The treaded rod ensures the ring will stay attached to the bumper or other heavy-gauged mounting point on the vehicle’s frame. The threaded rod also allows the D-ring to easily and quickly loop and secure a tow strap or recovery strap. D-rings are also useful tools when securing a winch line to pull a vehicle being recovered. They are typically small in size and are a very dense solid material, allowing them to be easily stored in a recovery bag. 


Teraflex 3/4 in. D-Ring Shackle

When Should I Use Snatch-Blocks?

Often during certain recovery situations, the vehicle doing the pulling isn’t directly in line with the stuck vehicle. These off-angle situations could cause stress to a winch line that could be used in the recovery. A snatch-block is a metal pulley with a D-ring opening to unify two metal plate mounting points. Once secure, the snatch-block allows for a safe angle re-direction of the recovery line and the stuck vehicle. The pulley is designed to freely roll the recovery line and the stuck vehicle’s weight safely and efficiently. A variety of snatch blocks can be used in a complicated recovery situation, increasing the energy and leverage points, making the overall recovery process much easier and more importantly safer. 


ARB 7000kg Snatch Block

What Makes A Useful Wrangler Tool?

We’ve discussed several important pieces of recovery gear to have in your Jeep while on the trail and in most daily-drives. Here’s a list of everyday tools you should also have in your Jeep while on the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should I Bring Tools?

Some days on the trail will involve some level of damage to your Jeep, requiring you to make impromptu repairs while out on the trail. It’s always a good plan to have a basic set of hand tools ready to handle minor to mid-level repairs.  Things from a ratchet set and sockets, along with screw driver, wrenches, and pliers are all great items to have as basics for your tool kit. Common sizes used on Jeeps include, 10mm, 13mm, 17mm, and 21mm. These are primary bolt/nut sizes used throughout your Jeep and it’s good to have sockets and wrenches to support these sizes as a bare minimum. 


Red Rock Heavy Duty Tri-Fold Recovery Shovel

Zip-Ties and Bungee Cords

These are two very light-weight easy to store items that can be used to secure things. Whether it’s a disconnected sway bar link or broken axle, these cords can help safely secure things during recovery and towing and avoid any further damage to the Jeep. 

Do I need Gloves and Goggles?

During any type of recovery or repair, it’s always a good idea to wear gloves and goggles. These two items will help protect your skin from cuts and burns and can easily be stored away when not in use.


Barricade Recovery Kit

Should I bring a Flashlight?

If you find yourself stuck on a trail at night, it can be very difficult to see and address the problem. A good flashlight or head-lamp can be very useful to help illuminate the problem area and clearly see what you have to deal with.


Rugged Ridge Black Sport Bar Flashlight Holder

Why would I need Kitty Litter or Sand?

If you live in a climate with snow/ice your Jeep might get stuck in the snow and lose any type of traction. Using some kitty litter or sand can help the tires regain the slight amount of traction needed to get out. This can sometimes consume some space, so it’s good to have in the Jeep only during winter months.

Jumper Cables Overview

Good old-fashioned jumper cables are still a very effective method of starting up a vehicle that has lost all battery power. When safely connected to the battery of a running vehicle, the cables can transfer enough electricity to the dead battery to get the starter/engine running again. Jumper cables take up some space, but can prove to be an invaluable tool for your Jeep when you run out of battery.

What about First Aid Kits?

A basic first aid kit and blankets are safety items to have in your Jeep if there’s any bodily harm while out on the road. A good first aid kit will help treat minor cuts and burns, while also provide a tourniquet for more serious accidents. 

Jeep Recovery Equipment Conclusion

These are just some basic recovery gear and tools to have in your Jeep while on the trail and if space permits, while out on the road. Prepping your Jeep for the conditions it might face is generally a good safety practice to consider, before hitting the trails. Although you can’t be fully prepared for every situation, these basic tools will help you get out of most problems you might safe and help get you back home safely.

Fitment includes: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, YJ, TJ, JK, JL, Laredo, Sport, Islander, S, Sahara, Renegade, SE, X, Rubicon, Unlimited, Sport-S