If you are driving a 4WD through sand dunes or on a beach, you always risk getting stuck. If that happens, consider using a winch and a sand anchor. Here are some tips to help you through the process.
1. Use a heavy duty sand anchor.
Your sand anchor is the point to which you are going to connect your winch, and to ensure it's strong enough for the job, invest in a quality sand anchor. Ideally, choose one built for use with 4WDs, featuring heavy duty steel construction and an adjustable arm so you can get the angle you need. Finally, ensure that there is a closed loop on the end of the sand anchor so you can securely connect the winch to it.
2. Thoroughly bury the sand anchor.
If you get stuck, you need to set up the sand anchor a few metres from your vehicle. Hold it over the sand where you want to place it and kick its fins into the ground using your feet. In some cases, you may have to dig a hole in the sand, place in the anchor and fill the sand around it.
The sand anchor is designed so that it gets its resistance from the sand resting against the fins. Make sure that the fins are totally covered before you attach the winch.
3. Put your vehicle in neutral.
Winching your vehicle out of the sand is easier if you have another person to sit in the vehicle and steer it for you. However, if you are by yourself, put the vehicle in neutral, and use a rope to tie up the steering wheel.
Turn the wheels into the direction you want the vehicle to go. Then, loop a rope through one of the sections of the steering wheel, pull the rope tautly through the door, and shut the door to hold the rope in place. Make sure the rope is not trailing on the ground.
4. Place your coat or a blanket over the end of the winch.
When your vehicle is ready, pull one end of the winch to the sand anchor, and hook into place. Lay your coat over the connection. That way, if the winch cable comes unconnected from the sand anchor and forcibly springs backward, the coat or blanket will weigh down the cable so it doesn't spring out and hit you.
Finally, get your winch working slowly, and just watch as it practically pulls your car out of the sand.