Don’t worry about bunching up cable on the spool. It can be safely re-spooled later. Certainly do not try to use your hands to adjust the spool during winching.
Have the stuck vehicle help. Just like strap extraction…slowly turning the tires, trying to get traction.
Winch as far as you need to. Sometimes the stuck vehicle has to stop so my winch can catch up, but it’s easier to keep winching the vehicle all the way to solid ground. Winching uphill is a good example where I might not want to unhook and drive the rest of the way. Remember, gravity thrills, and gravity kills. That winch cable is my extra measure of security.
Do not use a winch cable as a tow strap. It is a tool designed for a specific purpose. A tow strap is the appropriate tool for the towing purpose. Using tools properly is part of working safely.
Afterward, on solid ground, you can re-spool the cable evenly. Watch the fingers, and don’t spool in too far. I hook my cable (with some slack) to the bumper so it doesn’t bang around. I also unhook my control cable and put it back in my canvas bag, so it will be ready the next time I need it.
Use these winching tips as a starting point. They are not a replacement for real world training in a real world environment. Spend time with your club practicing in a controlled situation so when you need to use these skills, you will be ready to go. Remember to have fun out there, and see you on the trail!
* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.