We reckon everyone can agree that getting stuck is a lot more fun when you can get yourself out, and having confidence in your kit is the first step. That’s why we’ve always got our feelers out for the latest developments in recovery systems and traction aids.
BOG OUT is a relative newcomer on the 4WD recovery shelf, and one we wanted to know more about. The Cairns-based crew have around a decade of real-life experience with their product, and hundreds of successful recoveries under their belts. They’re also a fountain of knowledge when it comes to self-recovery and safety in different 4WD scenarios – their stomping ground is the swampy, sandy wilds of Far North Queensland, so you can imagine they’re pretty well-versed.
So, what is BOG OUT? Before we get into the nitty gritty, check out the video up the top to get the TLDR.
- 3.5 tonne strength
- 4.5m long
- Use to drive forward (front wheels) or reverse (back wheels)
- Made, designed and tested in Queensland
- Enables solo recovery
- Works on all wheels – 2 methods of attachment
Who it’s for
Ok, so BOG OUT might look like the kind of kit that would appeal mainly to hardcore off-roaders, but it’s a product we reckon every road traveller – however adventurous – ought to have stuffed in their glove box. If you’re ever going to get bogged, it’d be wise to have this gear. It fits most standard cars, all 4WDs and even small tractors, and the team can also conjure up custom sizes for the tiniest of cars to heavy machinery. The market for getting out of a sticky spot is a wide one, it would seem.
What we like
Unlike other recovery systems that rely on another vehicle and an extra set of hands (think snatch straps and tow ropes), BOG OUT enables self-recovery when you’re road tripping solo. It’s one of the most versatile recovery products out there, and while it won’t work in every single scenario, it covers more than most. This includes, but is not limited to: mud, sand, ruts and snow, as well as short, steep inclines and declines. Importantly, it also works in both forward and reverse, and the lightweight, compact unit means it’s dead easy to transport and set up.
How it works
We really can’t improve on the brand’s own words so here they are: BOG OUT turns your wheels into winches. Clever right? Clever, and also – simple. Attach one end to your bogged wheel and the other to your anchor point, then slowly crawl your way out. BOG OUT will capture the wheel and tyre and, using the power from your vehicle, pull you out. There’s nothing too technical about it – it’s just a smart idea that capitalises on a power source that’s already there. You have four wheels and a motor, why not use them?
Now, we don’t want to downplay the technical side as such. BOG OUT is made from ridiculously tough stuff; you could put around 3.5 tonne on a single unit before breaking point and an enormous 7 tonne on a pair, not that you’d ever need anywhere near that. So, the engineering nous is most definitely there. BOG OUT doubles as a tow rope, just to ice the cake.
We also don’t want our claim of ease of use to somehow be confused with careless use. You do have to put a minimal amount of care and attention into the recovery process to ensure all goes swimmingly – but if you do it right then freeing yourself should be smooth and quick. On the other hand, misuse could damage your vehicle or yourself. Here’s some stuff you’ll need to do:
- Read the manual and safety precautions thoroughly, and in advance: there are heaps of good tips to save you any trouble. It’s a good idea to practice with BOG OUT in a controlled environment first. You don’t want your first turn of any recovery gear to be in a high stress situation!
- For most 4WDers, it’s best to have a set of two BOG OUTS (Twin Pack) so that you’re covered when you’ve got all four wheels stuck. One on each wheel also means you’ve got double the strength. You can also attach two together to get nine metres of length should you need it, however for long recoveries you might be better off tackling it in stages, as talked about in the user manual.
- The recovery path between your wheels and the anchor point should be as straight as possible to ensure BOG OUT wraps around your tyre doesn’t cross the tread face. You’ll have a bit more freedom to use off-centre anchors if you’re using BOG OUT on your front tyres, which you can steer easily into alignment with trees etc.
- Don’t worry if there are no big trees to anchor to. When you’re using BOG OUT, the connection between your wheels and the anchor point is flush with the ground and therefore more efficient because of the low recovery angle. This means a 5cm sapling trunk or an anchor you’ve placed yourself (star pickets for example) will do the trick. Imagine putting an electric winch on a sapling… you’d be pulling the sapling up out of the ground and the vehicle down into the ground, increasing loads substantially. The reality is you’d just bend the poor thing in half and still be up sh*t creek.
- There are two methods to attach BOG OUT to ensure it fits all 4WD tyres: (i) tie it through the rim, or (ii) form a snare around the tyre – practice first and you’ll spend less time kneeling in the muck.
- Go slow, and if you don’t have someone to spot you, just stop and check at intervals to make sure you haven’t gone askew. Drive out of trouble and into sweet, sweet freedom.
- And repeat. (Probably.)
The various recovery products out there all work well for what they’re meant to do, and BOG OUT is no exception. But the real clincher is that it’ll help you out in situations where other recovery systems may fail; traction boards won’t work on steeps, or it might be impossible to get a second vehicle into position to yank you out.
If you’re a seasoned 4WDer, we’re sure you’ll be on our page when we say there’s nothing wrong with building redundancy into your safety kit – having a couple of recovery systems to work with is just good sense. And to be honest we’re just spewing we didn’t think of the idea first!