If you live in a rural part of the country, you're never too far away from a dirt road. Many of these roads are well maintained by the local authority and are designed to cope with different weather conditions while remaining viable. But some areas will nevertheless be prone to degradation, especially in the height of the rainy season. You may find yourself on one of these roads during some inclement weather and find that you are stuck in the worst-case scenario. What should you do in this situation to try and free yourself from the morass?
Lack of Drive
While four-wheel-drive can often help when the going gets slushy, it's not always the answer. Further, you may only have a vehicle with two-wheel drive, which may not be enough to free yourself from a muddy section at all times.
The Sensible Approach
Should you find that you are simply spinning your wheels rather than making any progress, don't be tempted to try even harder to force your way out. If those driving wheels are not gaining any traction at all, they are unlikely to without some intervention and will simply create a bigger hole instead. Further, you may damage the transmission through overuse and could cause issues with other mechanical components.
Instead, think about what you may have in the vehicle that could be pressed into service to get you out of this emergency. Perhaps you have a cardboard box in the boot which you could break down and place directly in front or behind the driving wheels. Maybe you can use the floor mats beneath your feet for the same purpose?
If you don't have anything on board, look around you for branches or other natural objects that could make the difference. Again, arrange them immediately in front or behind the wheel, depending on which direction makes the most sense. After all, it may be better to reverse out of the problem area, so plan accordingly.
Slow but Steady
If you have somebody with you, see if they can "coax" the cardboard, rubber mat or branches underneath the tyre as you gently apply some power. Above all else, pay attention to safety but see if this can get you on your way again.
Bringing in Support
If nothing works, make sure that you have the number of an emergency towing service on hand. It's good practice to have such a number just in case, but they will send someone out to tow your vehicle back onto solid ground.