Do you know how to fix a broken winch line? I sure didn't.

Do you know how to fix a broken winch line? I sure didn't.

“Do you know how to fix a broken winch line?” read the subject of an email from Factor55. “I sure don’t” I thought to my dismay. While probably not a likely scenario, we do have a winch on our rig. And if we were using it to self-recover and damage occurred to our winch line we could be in a not-so-great situation. Likely or not, a damaged winch line could be a big headache in the field. “Maybe I should know how to do this” I thought.

Luckily the email contained an informative 5-minute video explaining the why, what, and how of repairing a synthetic winch line in the field. It explained how to perform the repair with Factor 55’s Fast Fid tool which seems like it would make the repair much easier. But in addition to highlighting the tool, the video also helped me to have a clearer mental model of how to perform such a repair. In a pinch, I could probably figure out how to improvise these tools in the field with my onboard toolkit. Not ideal, but doable.

Of course, when I need this information again it will likely be months or years into the future when it’s fading from my memory. So I created a new note in the Adventure: Recovery section of my Adventure Notebook adding a few notes and a downloaded copy of the video. My Adventure Notebook is downloaded for offline use on my iPhone and iPad in the field so I can always access this information. I also added the Fast Fid tool to my “maybe someday” backlog of gear. Maybe someone will get it for me for Christmas?!

As 7P Overland often reminds students during their courses “Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance”.

There’s a great lesson here about stopping to take time to learn and prepare before going into the field. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” as they say. Taking 10 minutes to learn and prepare now could save me hours or days of headache in the field. It reminds me a lot of the philosophy of Bob Wohler of Off-Road Safety Academy whose STOPA assessment encourages you to Stop, Think, Observe, Plan, and Act in that order when encountering a recovery situation.

In the example of the email from Factor 55, I’m glad I stopped to make time to learn and plan how to be more prepared for a potential future recovery situation. Recovery doesn’t just happen in the field, it starts at home through proper planning, learning, and preparation.

Do you make time to learn and prepare? What situations could you be more prepared for in the future?

See you out there,