This unattributed photo of a stuck off-road motorist has been making the internet rounds. As you can see, the driver has dug a hole, wedged his spare tire in there with his jack and is using it as a winch point to pull himself out.
If you're in a situation where you've got a winch but no tree to hitch it to, and no spare tire (shame on you) to use as above, there's a simple--and apparently hot-selling--device you can use called the Deadman Earth Anchor. It's essentially a super-strong polyester sling, and while it can be lashed around a tree, it can also be used in the following way on barren terrain:
The brilliance of the Deadman is that it weighs next to nothing and can easily be folded up for storage.
Lightweight and easily stowed under your seat, it's the self-recovery anchor that's always with you, allowing you to explore with confidence!
While the Deadman loves to go around hugging trees or rocks, he is also an extremely capable ground anchor as well. Instead of debating whether to carry a heavy metal ground anchor, the Deadman becomes the ground anchor that's a permanent member of your recovery kit.
With a Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) ranging from 16,600 - 66,400 after assembly (depending on its configuration), the Deadman will be the strongest member of your recovery kit. We've gone to great lengths to ensure we get every last ounce of strength out of these American made, Class VII polyester industrial slings. The Deadman won't let you down!
I say "hot-selling" because the $200 object is backlogged. If you want one, be prepared to wait for a couple of weeks.
In any case, the Deadman is a great use of materials, and I call this good design.
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If I'm assuming correctly, the worst part about having to dig a hole for the Deadman is that you have to re-dig that hole to pull it from the ground.
No, they appear to have it simply pulled out of the ground by the car, with only one of the four lines attached to the vehicle.
Danforth anchor folds flat. A fishermans anchor comes apart and can be stowed flat also
A danforth anchor is not designed for the loads that are seen in a recovery. Besides a danforth anchor is quite heavy and even if it folds up flat it is still inconveniently large. A Pull-pal is kinda like a danforth but designed for off-road recoveries, although still quite heavy and bulky. The nice thing about the Deadman is that it can be used in a lot of different places, not just in the ground.
Marine anchors are cheaper and have the advantage of not having to move a ton of soil for ballast, unless the point of the sport is to drive into places where your vehicle gets stuck so you can dig a big hole in the ground to free it.
Seems like a simple DIY if you have a good sewing machine. Clever.