Introduction to Vehicle Recovery: Learn the concepts, tools, and strategies for recovering a stuck vehicle.

Watch Intro Video


with Matthew Sargent

Course Description

Matt combines strategy and dynamic thinking while demonstrating vehicle recovery using multiple scenarios including sunk in mud, high-centered, in a ditch, or on slick ground such as clay or snow. He explains why a solid understanding of your vehicle and basic maintenance could be the difference between a quick recovery and hours of manual labor. You’ll learn why often a shovel is your best friend, and why extra safety precautions are needed when setting up pull systems. Matt will address the two main ways vehicles get stuck, the techniques and strategies for solutions to each, and how to stay safe along the way. Before you head out on your next adventure, find out which five recovery tools should be in your vehicle, and what maybe isn’t worth its weight.

Course Objectives

What can you expect to learn?

  • Learn why the Y in RECOVERY stands for YOLO

  • Learn how to use items that may already be in your vehicle

  • Understand the failure points in pull systems

  • Learn how proper equipment can save you time and effort

  • Discover improvised methods of recovery if you are without tools

  • Learn some tips on how to capture progress to keep you moving in the right direction

  • Learn what to do when your vehicle no longer has all four tires on the ground

  • Learn how a seatbelt and a stick might be what gets you out of the mud

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone that drives a vehicle, especially on outdoor adventures, and wants to be more self sufficient.  You’ll feel much more confident in trekking further from the beaten path in your vehicle for your next adventure after learning to address issues that could arise on the way.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Matthew Sargent


    Matthew Sargent

    Matt’s connection to the outdoors started at a young age. Spending much of his childhood on his grandparents’ farm and following his dad on photography expeditions that took them as far from home as Kenya. He attended college in Nashville, TN where he studied Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Technologies. After a few years in the automotive field, Matt made a shift to pursue a career in physical security. He also became involved in Search & Rescue, where he obtained Search Team Leader and Operational Tracker certifications from the Commonwealth of Virginia. After meeting his wife Alex, Matt stepped away from his security career and founded Mountain Marrow. He is now a full-time educator, teaching practical outdoor skills and safety for Search & Rescue as well as the general public. When he’s not teaching or training, Matt spends much of his time studying Appalachian heritage skills and drinking coffee.

Course Curriculum

  • 1
    Welcome & Safety
    • Welcome & Safety
  • 2
    • Drive it Out: Driving Techniques
  • 3
    • Assessment- R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y.
  • 4
    • TRACTION ISSUES: Traction Boards
    • TRACTION ISSUES: Improvised Traction Techniques
    • TRACTION ISSUES: Even More Improvised Traction (and some fails)
  • 5
    • CLEARANCE ISSUES: What are clearance issues?
    • CLEARANCE ISSUES: High-Centered
    • CLEARANCE ISSUES: Cross-Axled
  • 6
    • PULLS: Concepts and Failure Points
    • PULLS: Proper Systems
    • PULLS: Primitive and Improvised Winches
    • PULLS: Primitive Concepts revisited
  • 7
    Bonus Tip: Capturing Progress
    • Bonus Tip: Capturing Progress
  • 8
    • Tools
  • 9
    • Wrap Up