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Off-Road Essentials: 7 Ways to Maximize Traction Boards

Updated: Jan 14

In the world of car camping and overlanding, navigating the unbeaten path often demands versatile tools that can handle a variety of challenges. Traction boards, with their diverse styles and price points, stand out as essential companions for any off-road adventure. In this guide, we'll delve into the different styles and costs of traction boards, but more importantly, we'll explore seven ingenious ways to harness the full potential of these off-road game-changers.

Traction Board Styles and Price Points:

Cleat-Style Traction Boards:

  • Brands like Maxtrax and ActionTrax dominate this category with their premium boards, often priced at the higher end of the spectrum. $330 - $570

  • Brands like ARB TRED Pro and BUNKER INDUST come in at a mid-range price point. $90 - $330

Foldable Traction Boards:

  • For those mindful of storage space and budget, foldable options like X-BULL and GoTreads provide a cost-effective alternative. $100 - $150

7 Clever Ways to Use Traction Boards:

1. Leveling Your Vehicle:

  • Traction boards, especially foldable ones, can serve as efficient leveling tools. Placing them under your tires on uneven terrain helps create a stable and flat surface, ensuring a comfortable campsite.

2. Mud Extrication:

  • The primary use of traction boards—getting unstuck from mud. Paddle-style boards like Maxtrax are specifically designed to provide maximum grip in muddy conditions. Insert them under your tires, and the aggressive treads do the rest.

3. Snow Digs:

  • Cleat-style traction boards excel in snowy conditions. Use them not just for traction but also as snow shovels. The cleats effectively dig into snow, allowing you to create a path for your vehicle.

4. Winching Anchor:

  • Traction boards can double as effective winching anchors. Bury them partially in the ground, secure them with straps, and create a stable anchor point for your winch, especially in situations where natural anchor points are scarce.

5. Emergency Shelter Platform:

  • Foldable traction boards offer a surprising benefit—they can be repurposed as an emergency shelter platform. If the need arises, unfold the boards and create a stable base for your shelter, providing insulation from the cold ground.

6. High-Lift Jack Base:

  • Traction boards can also serve as a reliable base for your high-lift jack. When faced with uneven terrain, place the boards under the jack to create a stable and level foundation. This not only ensures the safety of your jack operation but also prevents it from sinking into soft ground, providing a more secure lifting platform.

7. Vehicle Bridge Over Obstacles:

  • Traction boards can also serve as makeshift bridges to overcome deep roots or dips on the trail. Simply lay the boards over the obstacle, providing a stable and secure path for your vehicle to traverse. This is particularly advantageous for vehicles without a lift or larger tires, offering an efficient solution to navigate challenging terrain.

Traction boards are more than just tools for getting unstuck; they are versatile assets that can enhance various aspects of your off-road experience. Whether leveling your vehicle, extricating from mud, digging out of snow, serving as a winching anchor, or even creating an emergency shelter platform, these boards are indispensable off-road companions. As you explore the diverse styles and price points, consider the ingenious ways you can leverage traction boards for a safer, more enjoyable off-road adventure. Grip and go with confidence, knowing that your traction boards are ready for whatever the trail throws your way.

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