A snatch strap is a length of woven nylon strap intended to stretch during vehicle recovery. This stretch occurs when a free vehicle pulls on a strap that connects it to a bogged vehicle. This stretch is how the strap stores kinetic energy, which is what will liberate the stuck vehicle. The free vehicle generates and transmits kinetic energy to the strap, which then transmits this energy to the bogged vehicle. This produces the ‘snatching’ effect, which propels the bogged vehicle out, hopefully to a location where it may regain traction and continue driving. 

The same approach applies to kinetic rope recoveries, which differ from a snatch strap kit in terms of construction and stretchability. Snatch straps normally stretch 20%, whereas kinetic ropes stretch around 30%.

  • Assess the situation

Before we dive into a multi-vehicle, high-energy recovery, it’s always preferable to see whether you can retrieve your vehicle using self-recovery methods first. This can involve basic measures like backtracking and trying again, lowering your tire pressures, digging a path, or making a new one with recovery boards, all of which attempt to help your vehicle regain enough traction to continue on its intended course. However, if you don’t have enough time for trial and error, or if the ways listed above aren’t possible or won’t work, it’s time to consider kinetic recovery.

  • Put on some gloves

Once we’ve determined that kinetic recovery is the best approach, it’s time to gather the necessary snatch strap kit and put on some gloves. By obtaining everything you will require at the outset, you ensure that nothing is overlooked when it comes time for the active phase of the rehabilitation. Put on some gloves to safeguard your hands now that you have the necessary gear.

  • Clear a path

With your gloves on, you can now get down and clear a path to the recovery point(s) to which you will attach your shackles and straps, which may be at the front or back of the vehicle, depending on where your recovery points are located and your specific recovery situation.

  • Get your straps

Place your snatch strap and equalization strap (optional) near your recovery locations. If you’re using an equalization strap, thread it through the eyelet of your snatch strap until the end of the strap is in the middle of the equalizer strap’s span, then position the equalizer strap’s eyes in front of the specific recovery points you wish to attach each one to.

  • Attach the shackles

Shackles are the connection between your vehicle, the strap, and the rescue vehicle; thus, their quality and application are critical. Any shackles used in recovery, whether steel bow shackles or synthetic rope soft shackles, should have a suitable load rating (working load limit in steel and minimum breaking strength in synthetic shackles) to ensure optimal performance during recovery. 

This rating will be stamped on steel shackles (usually 3.25T for 16mm shackles or 4.75T for 19mm shackles) or displayed on a tag on a soft shackle.


If everything is fine, congratulations! You’ve successfully recovered a kinetic vehicle with the help of a snatch strap kit, and it’s time to pack up your belongings and begin your expedition.

By akiaaki

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