No doubt you would have read of people getting stranded simply because their four wheel drive got bogged on the beach. In many cases your vehicle is far enough from the water, but if the tide is coming up you can easily lose the vehicle to the rising tide. Salt water gets everywhere in your vehicle, and will cause serious rust issues in the years to come. Even if you wash it out when you get home you can guarantee there are places you will miss. There are a number of techniques which guarantee that you never have to get stuck for more than a few minutes on the beach, in the sand dunes and on sand in general. I am going to share them below.
My first advice is to ensure that your tyre pressures are adjusted correctly. By letting your tyres down you increase the surface area of the tyres and the vehicle floats on top of the sand better, rather than sinking down. Most people that get stuck don’t have their tyres down enough. For most vehicles, in between 15 and 20 PSI is the right pressure for sand driving. For the lighter weight vehicles, you can easily go down to 10 PSI without a drama. Just make sure that you don’t turn too quickly.
My second piece of advice is never spin your wheels in sand. If you stop moving and you continue to keep the wheels turning, your vehicle sinks lower, and lower until you are well and truly bogged. The moment your vehicle stops moving you should stop the wheels turning, and you can guarantee getting out is going to be 10 times easier. The most difficult recovery on a beach is when someone has dug themselves down to the chassis rails. I prefer not to shovel sand for hours, but that’s exactly what you end up doing when you allow the wheels to spin.
My last piece of advice is to ensure that you always have a way out. I always advise travelling with a second vehicle. With the use of a proper recovery kit (including a shovel) you will be able to get out very easily. If you want the simplest, quickest and safest way to recover a vehicle on sand, in the mud or in the snow, a set of sand ladders like Maxtrax are the best choice. They might not be cheap, but they will get you out time and time again.