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ProMark Offroad Blog

ATV Winch Tree Straps

An ATV winch tree strap is also known as a rigging strap. These straps are made of strong nylon webbing that is incredibly durable and won’t break even under extreme pressure. These ATV winch tree straps are utilized to rig your winch line to a solid object such as a tree or a pole so that you can pull your ATV free.

ATV Tree winch stap

ATV Winch tree straps protect trees and your winch cable

You can attach your ATV winch tree straps with a D-shackle or clevis which you use to attach the looped ends of the tree strap together. Hook your winch hook through the D-shackle or clevis and get ready for action!

ATV winch tree straps are specially designed to have very little elasticity, so there shouldn’t be too much give in the strap.

You want to use a nylon ATV winch tree strap to help protect the tree you use. If you use a regular ATV winch cable, you will damage the tree which may possibly kill it. ATV users are generally respectful of nature and the trails they use and want to preserve them for future enjoyment. Always use an ATV winch tree strap to ensure that you do no harm.

While helping out Mother Nature is one reason to invest in an ATV winch tree strap, the other important reason to have one is safety. It’s really bad practice to loop a winch cable around an anchor and hook it back onto itself. This can lead to cable failure and that can cause injury or damage to your equipment.

Get Your ATV Winch Tree Strap from ProMark Offroad

The ProMark 2′ Heavy Duty 10,000lb Tree Strap is a premium strap that wraps around trees, poles, or other anchor points needed for winching. Both ends are looped for easy hook / accessory attachment.

Should I Use an ATV Winch or Snatch Strap?

ATV winch

An ATV winch works better than a snatch strap for some pulling situations.

Every “stuck” situation is different. Sometimes you’ll need to use an ATV winch to get out, and sometimes a snatch strap will do the trick. Both are effective, but sometimes one works better than the other. Here are some tips on figuring out which recovery tool to use.

Can the pulling quad get enough traction?

If the ATV doing the pulling work can get enough traction, then you might be able to use a snatch strap, depending on how bad the ATV is stuck. If it’s mired deep in mud, you might have to use a winch to pull the quad out.

If there’s a chance that the pulling ATV will get stuck during the snatching process, use an ATV winch instead.

Using a snatch strap is quicker than using a winch, but it can be dangerous if done improperly. Make sure you attach the snatch strap to a secure towing point on the vehicle—definitely not the bumper or axle. Also, don’t jerk too hard or fast. That’s usually when things get bent or broken.

Can the pulling quad get close enough to the stuck quad?

Sometimes the stuck ATV is in a place that’s hard to get to. If you can only get within 30 feet of the stuck ATV, that’s when an ATV winch comes in handy. Using a snatch strap requires being able to get within a strap length of the stuck quad.

Do you ride alone?

If you ride alone, you’ll definitely want to install an ATV winch on your quad. Use a tree strap and shackle to rig up to your anchor point. If there’s no trees or rocks in sight (or they’re not big enough), make your own anchor point with a Pull-Pal or other anchoring device. In a pinch, you can make a deadman anchor by burying a log or axle in the ground, but avoid this if possible, since it takes a lot of time and disturbs the natural environment.

More ATV recovery tips

  • Never yank with a winch cable or synthetic rope. The winch line is not designed to withstand shock loads.
  • If the stuck ATV is mired in mud or sand, secure the pulling ATV to a tree using a tree strap. This will prevent the pulling ATV from getting dragged towards the stuck quad, and it reduces the strain on your clutch.
  • When using a snatch strap, don’t jerk excessively hard or fast. It’s dangerous and could lead to breaking or bending something on the ATV.
  • No matter which recovery tool you use, make sure you rig up properly. Attach to a secure towing point on the frame. Don’t hook up to the bumper, axle, or any other part that could break.

1500 lb to 4500 lb ATV winches

Getting stuck is no problem with an ATV winch from ProMark Offroad, Superwinch, or Mile Marker. Choose from a 1500 lb ATV winch all the way up to a 4500 lb winch for UTVs and side by sides. Free shipping on all orders to the lower 48 U.S.

Winch Recovery Tools

Winch kit

A winch accessories kit includes all the tools you need for recovery.

With a few tools and accessories, your winch can get you out of just about anything. See below for some of the winch recovery tools we recommend keeping on board with you. You can either wrangle up these items separately or purchase a recovery winch kit.


First off: protect your hands. Wire winch rope can be nasty to work with if it’s got burrs or cut wires. Make sure the gloves are made with heavy duty leather. Wire rope can slice right through flimsy gloves.

Wearing gloves also protects your skin from extreme cold and extreme heat. Steel cable conducts temperature extremes easily.

Hook Strap

Rule of thumb: Never let your fingers get too close to the winch. Avoid getting your fingers caught by always using a hook strap to spool out cable and wind it back in.

Be careful when working around any moving parts of the winch, and always make sure the power to the winch is disconnected before making any adjustments or repairs on your winch.

Snatch Block

A snatch block lets you do two things: (1) increase the pulling power of your winch with a double line pull, and (2) redirect the winch line so that it spools directly into the winch.

If your rig is stuck in the mud, you might need a little extra “oomph” to get it out. That’s where a double line pull with a snatch block comes in handy. And if you’re trying to winch at a sharp angle, a snatch block helps you straighten out the pull and take the strain off your winch.


When using your winch, you’ll need a way to connect the cable hook to a tree strap, chain, or snatch block. That’s where a D-shackle (also known as a clevis) comes in. The D-shackle is designed with a threaded pin that makes it easy to remove.

Choker Chain

Chains are durable, strong, and versatile. Use a chain to hook up to another vehicle or a sharp object for an anchor point.

Just don’t use a choker chain to anchor your vehicle to a living tree. Chains cut into the bark and can damage or kill the tree.

Tree Strap

For hooking up to trees and other anchor points, use a tree strap. These straps are typically made with high-quality nylon, with a loop at each end for attaching the D-shackle.

Heavy Blanket

As an extra safety measure, drape a heavy moving blanket over the midpoint of the winch cable. Place the blanket over the cable before the winch rope is under tension. If you don’t have a blanket, you can substitute a heavy object, such as a weighted backpack, chain, or dead tree branch.

Dampening the winch cable slows down the backlash in case the rope breaks during use. A dampened winch cable can still cause damage, so make sure all bystanders are standing well out of the path of the winch cable before you start the recovery process.

Tools That Should Be in Your ATV Winch Kit

ATV winch kit

Keep these tools in your ATV winch kit just in case.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. If you’re lucky, you won’t need to use your ATV winch kit. But if Murphy has his way, you’d better throw these tools in your recovery winch kit just in case.

  1. Tree trunk protector – A tree strap is made with tough nylon with a loop on each end so you can wrap it around an anchor point and secure the winch rope to it with a D-shackle. Although you can use a chain to connect to the anchor point, if you’re hooking up to a live tree, you should only use a tree strap. Chains can kill trees.
  2. Gloves – Since the barbs in a wire rope can slice into your hands, we recommend keeping a pair of thick, heavy duty leather gloves in your winch kit. Use the gloves every time you handle winch cable.
  3. Hook strap – Always use a hook strap to spool out cable. Never grab the winch hook itself. This keeps your hands free and clear of the winch and cable and prevents you from accidentally getting your fingers caught in the winch.
  4. Snatch block – Need more winch cable out? Can’t find an anchor point straight on? That’s where a snatch block comes in handy. You can rig up a double line pull for more winch power or redirect an angle pull to spool the cable directly into the winch.
  5. Shackles – A D-shackle (or clevis) connects your tree strap / chain to the winch hook. For safety, make sure the clevis is rated to the capacity of the pull.
  6. Choker chain – Use choker chain to hook up to a sharp object (such as a rock) or another vehicle as an anchor point. Chains can kill or damage live trees, however, so use a tree strap if your anchor point is a tree.
  7. Booster cables – If your battery dies while winching, you’ll need a set of booster cables to charge it back up. Booster cables also come in handy for roadside emergencies and helping out stranded motorists.
  8. Toolbox – Bring along any tools you might need for minor repairs on the fly: wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and other tools.

Winching a Dead Log Off the Trail


Moving a log with your winch gives you more control and direction.

If you ride much in the woods, sooner or later you’re going to end up with a fallen log blocking the trail. At that point, it’s either turn around and go back the way you came, or drag the log off to the side. That’s where a winch comes in handy.

An ATV or recovery winch is good for more than just getting you out when you’re stuck. You can also put it to work moving logs, firewood, and other heavy objects. The key is to rig it up properly so that your winch cable doesn’t get damaged in the process.

In order to rig up for the pull, you’ll need a few winch accessories, including a tree strap or chain and a shackle. Never wrap the winch cable around the log and hook it back on itself. That’s a sure way to ruin the cable. Instead, wrap a tree strap or chain (only use chain for deadwood—never for live trees!) around the log and connect the strap to the winch hook on the cable by using a shackle. You may need to dig underneath the log a bit to get the strap around the trunk.

You can change the angle of the pull by rigging up a pulley block and tree strap to a good, solid tree nearby that gives you the angle you need. Instead of dragging the log straight towards your vehicle, you can drag it at an angle off to the side of the trail.

If the fallen log is a long timber wedged between two trees, it may be impossible to move the log without cutting it. In addition, you’ll want to take into consideration the environmental impact (i.e. you don’t want to kill 20 saplings just to move a dead log) and the federal, state, or local rules that may apply to the trail you are riding. Take time to assess the situation before rigging up your winch. Safety is always your first priority.

Basic Offroad Recovery Kit

If you wheel out in the backcountry, you know how important it is to be prepared in case things go wrong. And when it comes to offroad recovery, there are certain items you just don’t want to leave at home!

We’ve put together a basic list of offroad recovery and winching tools to help you prepare for any recovery situation you might face. Some of these items are essential to the winching process, and others are just a matter of convenience. Feel free to add your own items to the list.

    20,000 lb Snatch Block for Offroad Recovery

    20,000 lb Snatch Block for Offroad Recovery

  1. Gloves – Protect your hands during the winching process with a pair of heavy duty leather gloves.
  2. Hook Strap – Keep your fingers from getting pinched in the winch hook by using the hook strap to spool out the cable.
  3. Snatch Block – Double up the winch line with a snatch block for really tough pulls.
  4. Clevis / D-shackles – Attach the winch hook to the anchor point with a clevis or D-shackle.
  5. Choker Chain – Use the choker chain to hook up to sharp objects or other vehicles. (Note: Not for use on trees, since a choker chain could damage or kill the tree.)
  6. Tree Strap – Use the tree strap to hook up to trees or other natural objects as an anchor point.
  7. Heavy Blanket or Coat – Throw a heavy blanket over the winch cable to zap the momentum of the cable in case it breaks.
  8. Recovery Strap – Use the recovery strap for quick and easy snatch pulls. (Note: Do not use the recovery strap in combination with your winch.)
  9. Batteries – Throw in extra batteries for the winch remote, just in case your batteries die out on the trail.
  10. Accessory Bag or Case – Keep all these winching accessories handy when you need them by storing them all together in one place.
  11. Shovel – One of these might come in handy during a tough recovery.
  12. Toolbox – Throw some pliers, a wrench, a screwdriver, and other basic tools into your accessory kit for repairs and quick fixes.
  13. Backup Parts – If you have room, it’s a good idea to throw in an extra winch cable or cable extension, an extra tree strap, and an extra clevis shackle and snatch block, along with any other extra parts you think might come in handy.

How to Dig a Deadman Ground Anchor, Part 2

Tie stakes or axles together with a tree strap for a homemade ground anchor.

Tie stakes or axles together with a tree strap for a homemade ground anchor.

Instead of burying a heavy object, you can also drive in long stakes or axles. They should be at least three feet in length to reach deep enough into the ground. For a solid anchor, pound in several stakes, one behind the other, at an angle away from the line of pull.


The stakes must be deep enough and the ground dense enough to sustain the force of the pull or the winch will yank the anchor right out and all your work will be for nothing. This can also create a potentially dangerous situation if the buried anchor pulls free and rockets toward you or your vehicle.

After driving in the stakes, connect them with a chain or tree strap, and attach the winch hook to the strap as close to the ground as possible. If you have trouble pulling the stakes back out, try winching them out by pulling at the same angle as the anchor.

As you can see, digging a dead man takes time and hard work and is not going to be your first option, but when it comes down to walking back for help or making your own winch anchor, now you have the option of getting out on your own without the embarrassment of calling in the rescue squad.

For more tips, see Part 1 of How to Dig a Deadman Ground Anchor.

How to Dig a Deadman Ground Anchor, Part 1

Maybe you’ve been there before. You’ve been riding hard for the last couple hours, conquering boulders, mud, and tight spots until suddenly you find yourself good and stuck, and no amount of pushing, pulling, or cursing will make your vehicle budge. You’ve got a winch. The problem is there’s not a rock, tree, or stump in sight and no buddy around to pull you out. How are you going to find an anchor point to winch out? Roll up your sleeves and get ready to move some dirt. It’s time to dig a dead man.

Digging your own anchor is a last resort, but when you find yourself in a desperate situation, miles from civilization, it may be your only option. Here’s how you can make your own ground anchor if the situation calls for it.

If you’re adequately prepared for times like this, most likely you have a shovel stashed in your ATV or truck. Pull it out and start digging. The depth of the hole will depend somewhat on the size and weight of your vehicle and just how good you’re stuck. The deeper the hole, the sturdier your anchor will be. At minimum, it should be deep enough to fully cover an object the size of your spare tire and rim.

Dig the hole directly in line with the stuck vehicle, if possible, and far enough away from your quad or truck to spool out a decent length of winch cable for a maximum power pull. Spool out the cable ahead of time to measure the distance if you’re unsure where to start digging. Taking the time to plan out where your dead man needs to be is better than making the hole too close or too far away from your vehicle and then having to dig a new one.

A broad, weighty object makes the sturdiest dead man winch anchor, such as a log, large rock, or spare tire. If you carry a spare, you have a heavy, solid object on hand without scrounging around for a log or other large object. The size of the tire corresponds to the size of your vehicle and, if buried deep enough, should hold fast as you winch out.

Attach a chain or tree strap to the anchor and bury the log or tire deep in the hole, angled away from your vehicle for greater resistance during the pull. Fill in the open areas with dirt and pack it down solid. Hook up your winch to the chain or strap and you’re ready to start the recovery. After you winch out your vehicle, make sure to retrieve your makeshift anchor and fill in the hole. Leave as little trace of your digging as possible.

For alternative methods of burying a ground anchor, see Part 2 of How to Dig a Deadman Ground Anchor.

3 Basic Winch Tools for Rigging Up

When you’re out exploring or working in the great outdoors, there’s no telling what kind of tricky situations you may find yourself in. That’s why it’s best to be prepared for whatever life throws your way. A winch can get you out when you find yourself stuck, but some situations may take a little more ingenuity and finesse. Here’s where your winching tools come to the rescue. The three most basic winching tools you should always keep at hand are a snatch block, tree strap, and D-shackle.

1. Snatch Block

16k_snatch_block_smallWhether you need to straighten out the cable on a side pull or you need some extra “oomph” for a really good stuck, a snatch block gives you the power and flexibility you need. As an added bonus for heavy pulling, they also reduce amp draw and heat buildup.

In order to truly double the capacity of your winch, the snatch block capacity should be double the maximum capacity of your winch. For most ATV or UTV winches, which generally run up to 4000 lbs, an 8K pulley block is more than sufficient. For recovery winches, double your winch capacity to find the capacity you need for the snatch block. Make sure the snatch block can handle the diameter of your cable.

2. Tree Strap

tree_strap_main_1If you’re hooking up to a natural anchor point such as a tree or rock, a tree saver strap will come in handy. Tree straps soften the impact on the environment, unlike choker chains, which can damage or kill trees.

Your cable itself should never wrap around an anchor point and hook back onto itself. This can severely damage your cable. A tree strap saves your cable from rubbing against abrasive surfaces and gives you a secure hold on your anchor point.

3. D-Shackle

clevis_smallA clevis D-shackle (D-ring, anchor shackle, etc.) works as a link between the tree strap (or other anchor point, such as a tow hook) and your cable hook. Check the working load of your D-shackle to make sure it can handle what you put it up against.

With these basic winching tools and a little know-how, you can winch your way out of tricky spots with little effort.

Winching Techniques: Choosing an Anchor Point

The more stuck you get, the more important it is to choose a solid anchor point that’s strong enough to hold under pressure as you winch out.

ATV Winching Kit

ATV Winching Kit

The two best options for choosing an anchor point are a natural anchor or another vehicle. Natural anchor points include trees, stumps, and large rocks. Since a chain can damage or kill trees, use a tree strap and D-shackle instead to attach your cable to a natural anchor. Never wrap steel cable or synthetic rope around an anchor point and hook it back on itself, as this can damage your cable or cause it to snap.

The further away the anchor point, the better. The more winch line you spool out, the more weight your winch can handle. Just make sure you’ve got at least one full wrap left on the drum.

It’s best to choose an anchor point in line with the direction your vehicle will move as you winch it out. This guides the winch cable onto the drum in straight and even rows rather than allowing the cable to pile up on one side. Pulling at an angle is less efficient than a straight pull. The winch strap is also more likely to drag across sharp edges on your vehicle on angle pulls. If you need to winch at an angle, always use a snatch block to guide the cable rope directly onto the spool.

If you’re riding with a friend, you can use your buddy’s vehicle to winch yourself out. Just block the wheels of the recovery vehicle, throw it in neutral, and apply the hand brake to keep it from rolling.