Its been a while since I last posted and a lot has happened. I am probably going to try get myself caught up with a few shorter simple posts.
First up... A winch.
While I admit I am seldom in situations where I need a winch there have definitely been a couple times where one would be nice. I also feel I am out exploring alone enough that this just gives me the level of security that betters my chances of self extraction.
Now a disclaimer, winches are heavy, expensive and need proper knowledge to use safely. While I bought this ahead of a lot of other recovery gear I do believe it is well down the list of items that you 'should' have. Normally before buying a winch I think the following items are priority; shovel(s), good tow points, tire inflator or onboard air, snatch (kinetic) strap, traction aids like sand ladders, common sense. I mention the last point since some trail smarts will keep you out of most situations where a recovery is necessary if you are unprepared. I am planning to supplement my recovery gear with a good kinetic strap and possibly some traction aids.
Now back to the winch. This was a pretty spontaneous purchase as I noticed they were on sale at our local Princess Auto. I suspect they are either clearing out to replace with the second generation, or perhaps push a different brand. Asking about the sale there was only 3 left, with none being reordered and at a discount of about $200 and backed by both a killer warranty, and store return policy it was a no brainer.
I mean even after I purchased it I contemplated leaving it uninstalled for a while to ensure no other deals surfaced near Christmas. I kicked my search for the best value/deal into high gear but it soon became apparent that this one was going to stay. I should mention too that to sweeten the deal there was also a $75 US mail in rebate offer, I filled in the form but only time will tell if I get money back.
When running the wiring I was sure to shield it anywhere it contacted metal using fuel line, and used lots of zap straps to hold everything tightly in place.
Buying an installing a winch is not the be all and end all of recovery. A winch will need accessories such as shackles, tree savers, and a snatch block at a minimum. Buying good quality, and properly sized recovery gear is essential as well as familiarizing yourself with its proper usage.