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How To Get An ATV Out Of The Mud? | Getting Your ATV Unstuck The Easy Way

Every ATV owner will get stuck in the mud at some point in time and when this happens, you will immediately ask yourself, “Now what?”. Using my past experience of getting an ATV unstuck, I decided to write a post to help y’all out.

How to get an ATV out of the mud? There are three main ways to get your ATV unstuck. I will start with the most difficult, being by yourself and without the option of winching yourself out. You need to stand on the right side of your ATV and hit the gas with your right hand while pulling up on the rear rack at the same time. You may need to rock the machine side to side to catch traction, but the key is to not have any weight on the machine which betters your chance of getting unstuck. The second option is to winch yourself out by hooking your winch to an anchor point such as a tree, root, another ATV, etc. The third option is to get your friend to pull you out with a rope or their winch.

There are multiple ways to get your ATV out of the mud and if you are currently stuck as you read this post, then I’m sure this post will spark an idea that can get you out.

How to get your ATV out of the mud without a winch?

If you do not have a winch on your four wheeler and no one is easily available to pull you out. Try these different methods for getting your ATV unstuck.

  1. If your ATV is bottomed out (tires not touching the ground), then you need to get off of the ATV and hit the gas with your right hand while pulling up on the rear rack with your left hand. This will help the tires touch the ground which will grab and pull your ATV forward. The less weight on the ATV the better. In this situation, your ATV is literally sitting on the ground and needs to be lifted up and for the tires to grab.
  2. If you have a rope on hand, then you can also tie a rope to your rear tire (pulling it out in reverse) by running the rope through your rim and around the tire. Run the rope directly behind your rear tire and tie it off to a tree or an anchor point and then put your ATV in reverse and hit the gas slowly. The rope will begin to wrap itself around your tire and will pull your ATV out. If you have 4x4 and can only be pulled from the front, then you can tie a rope to your front tire. For the front tire method, I would suggest activating your differential lock if your ATV is equipped with that feature. If not, then you will need to tie both front tires to an anchor point with separate ropes.
  3. If your ATV is super stuck and is suctioned deep into pluff mud or AKA “Peanut Butter” mud, then you need to start digging around the tires to break the suction and scrapping off the mud from your tires to better your traction. After you have done that, try the first method above by getting off the ATV and hitting the gas while pulling up on the rear rack.

How to get your ATV out of the mud with wood?

I personally have never tried this method but from the research I’ve done it seems that you would need some rope, or even better, a ratchet strap and a beefy stick about a foot long. The goal is for the stick to be mounted on the tread of your tire and as the tire rotates, the stick will grab the ground and propel your ATV forward or backward and out of the mud. Run the strap through your ATV’s rim and strap down a heavy duty stick to your tread. I have never done this but just take your time and make adjustments as needed. If you have a descent amount of rope then I would suggest reading my second method above on how to get your ATV out of the mud without a winch.

How to pull your ATV out of the mud with another ATV?

When getting pulled out of the mud by another ATV, there are a couple things to keep in mind. You will either be pulled out by a winch or a heavy duty rope. If you are connecting a winch to be pulled out, do not snatch the ATV out of the hole. This can result in damaging many things such as the winch, winch cable and both ATV’s. Trust me, steel cable does not give or stretch. Rather than snatching your ATV out, just let the winch do the work and for the person doing the pulling, do not spin tires in the process because then you could both end up stuck.

Getting pulled out by your friend or fellow rider, can be a great help but if you don’t know this next step then you can possible damage your ATV and have a hard time getting out. Make sure you are connecting the strap or winch to the lowest possible spot on the front or rear depending on the direction you want to be pulled out. And make sure that spot is very durable and stout. Connecting to a low area on your ATV will help pull the ATV upwards and out of the mud rather than straight forward, pushing the mud, or worst case scenario downward and into the mud.

How to pull your ATV out of the mud with your winch?

Since you have a winch on your ATV, you are in luck. Those bad boys are strong and will pull your ATV through any type of mud. Now, let's just hope there is some sort of anchoring point in front of your ATV to hook up to. This can be a tree, root, another heavy object, etc.

  1. Put your winch on free spool and pull out the necessary length of cable.
  2. Connect your cable to an anchor point by wrapping the hook around the anchor point and connecting back to your cable.
  3. Switch your winch off of free spool and slowly tighten up your cable.
  4. Give your ATV some gas to keep the tires moving and spool in your cable until your ATV is out of the hole.
  5. Disconnect the cable and, carefully, spool in your cable side to side inside the winch. The reason for doing this carefully is sometimes a steel winch cable can be frayed and will poke the shite out of you.
  6. Congratulations, you are out, now go have some more fun!
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