If backcountry recreation includes crossing unbridged rivers, scaling steep embankments and conquering bogs, be prepared to haul your rig out of some brutal situations. For primitive trail conditions, a winch mounted on the front or rear bumper can pull the vehicle out of almost any predicament. Hydraulic and electric winches are the most widely used for rescue situations. Although storage space is limited, it's always a good idea to have accessories such as a winch anchor, extra straps and a seal kit with you in case the adventure goes sideways.
The steering pump powers hydraulic winches, so as long as the motor is running, the winch will work. This type of winch is more expensive than an electric version, but they are reliable, can run for extended periods if needed and are submersible. Since river crossings and mudding can yield unexpected results, being submersible may be a requirement if these are typical off-road features in your weekend excursions. On the downside, they are slower than an electric winch and steering capabilities may be reduced when in use. A winching anchor can be a lifesaver if there are no trees or boulders nearby.
Permanent magnet and series wound are two types of electric winches. The permanent magnet is a popular choice as it has a lower amp draw than the series wound and is less expensive. However, it may overheat in extended use situations, and it often loses power in cold weather. Most useful for light to medium duty winching. Series wound motors are faster than the permanent magnet and can produce more torque, making it more dependable for heavy use. Ground anchors for winching may be effective in areas where the ground is hard, and there are no trees handy.
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