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9 Easy Steps to Get Your Side-by-Side Out of Mud

Men riding a Polaris General through the mud

Picture this: you're out on an exhilarating off-road adventure, enjoying the rugged trails and the freedom that comes with driving a side-by-side (UTV). But as fate would have it, your vehicle suddenly comes to a halting grind, stuck fast in a deceitful patch of mud. It's a predicament many off-roaders face, and one that can quickly turn your day of fun into a frustrating slog.

Fear not, though! With the right techniques and a little bit of elbow grease, you can free your side-by-side from muddy captivity and get back to tearing up the trails in no time. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the easy steps on how to expertly get a side-by-side out of mud.

Understanding the Challenge

Mud can be a deceptive adversary; what looks like a shallow puddle could actually be a deep, tire-swallowing trap. When your UTV is stuck, the mud creates a suction effect around the tires, making it difficult to simply drive away. The key to successful recovery lies in breaking that suction and creating traction.

Preparation is Key

Before diving into the thick of it, let's discuss the importance of preparing for such muddy encounters. Always pack recovery gear, including tow straps, a winch (if your UTV isn't already equipped with one), a shovel, traction mats or boards, and a high-lift jack.

Don't forget basic tools and off-roading gloves to protect your hands from abrasions and improve grip as you handle winch cables, tow straps, and other equipment during the recovery process.

Additionally, ensure your UTV has suitable mud tires with deep treads—these will give you the best chance of maintaining traction in muddy conditions.

9 Simple Steps for Getting a Side-By-Side Unstuck From Mud

Now, let’s walk through the steps to help you navigate out of this sticky situation and regain solid ground.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

The first step is to take stock of your situation. How deep is the mud? Are there any obstacles that could damage your UTV? What resources do you have available? Knowing what you're dealing with will help you formulate the best plan of action.

If daylight is fading or you’re trapped at night, having a good source of light is essential. Kemimoto offers a range of UTV lighting solutions, including high-performance LED light bars and headlights that are perfect for cutting through the darkness and giving you a clear view of your surroundings so you can make a better assessment.

Kemimoto's LED light bar illuminating a muddy trail in low-light conditions

Step 2: Lighten the Load

Now that you've got a lay of the land, lighten the load in your UTV. Removing unnecessary equipment or cargo can reduce the vehicle's weight, making it easier to maneuver out of the mud.

Step 3: Create Traction

Next, direct your focus toward creating traction for your tires. If you have traction mats or boards, now is the time to put them to use. Place them in front of the tires, wedging them firmly into the mud; they will provide the grip needed to escape the mud's grasp. 

If you don't have traction aids, try using sticks, branches, or even floor mats. Anything that can provide extra grip is beneficial.

Step 4: Reduce Tire Pressure

Letting out a bit of air from your tires can increase their surface area, which may help gain better traction. However, be cautious not to let out too much air, as extremely low pressure can cause the tires to come off the rims.

Step 5: Rock and Roll

Once you've established some traction, it's time to try and rock the vehicle out. Gently accelerate forward and then reverse, trying to build momentum with each movement. The rocking motion can help break the suction of the mud. Remember, aggressive acceleration can dig you deeper, so keep it smooth and controlled.

Step 6: Use a Winch

If rocking doesn't work, it's time to break out the winch. Secure the winch cable to a sturdy anchor point, like a tree or another vehicle. Slowly spool the cable in, allowing the winch to pull your UTV out of the mud. Ensure everyone stands clear and that the cable isn't damaged or frayed.

Step 7: Enlist a Pull

Alternatively, if you don't have a winch, another vehicle can help pull you out of the mud. To do this without a winch, attach a tow strap to the designated recovery points on both vehicles. Make sure the strap is straight and without knots or damage. Communicate clearly with the other driver and slowly start the pull. Again, a slow and steady approach prevents further digging in.

Step 8: Dig Out

Sometimes, you might need to physically dig out some of the mud around the tires. Use a shovel to remove the mud, creating a clearer path for your tires to move through.

Step 9: Give it Another Go

After implementing these strategies, give it another shot at driving out. If you're still stuck, review your approach and see if there's anything else you can adjust or improve upon.

Safety First

Amid all efforts, always prioritize safety. Be mindful of the terrain and avoid standing behind or directly in front of the tires when attempting to move the vehicle. Also, consider whether continuing to try to free the UTV is worth the risk of injury or vehicle damage.

Post-Mud Recovery

Once you've successfully freed your side-by-side from the mud, take a moment to inspect it for any damage. Clean off as much mud as you can to prevent parts from seizing up or rusting. Check the air filter and radiator for blockages and clean them out if necessary. After your adventure, thoroughly wash your UTV and lubricate all moving parts to keep it in prime condition for your next outing.

Gear Up for the Trail Ahead with Kemimoto's 5 Popular Accessories

Men riding a UTV on a muddy road with the Kemimoto logo and the slogan Complete Journey of Dreams displayed

Now that you've learned how to get a side-by-side unstuck from mud, consider gearing up your side-by-side for future adventures with premium accessories. Whether you're tackling muddy trails or rocky paths, Kemimoto’s UTV accessories are designed to enhance your UTV experience and prevent potential pitfalls.

Sturdy UTV Storage Boxes

Maximize your storage capacity with Kemimoto's rugged UTV storage boxes. These robust containers provide a secure space to stow away tools, recovery equipment, and personal items, ensuring they stay safe even on the most tumultuous terrain. With easy installation and access, they are the ideal upgrade for any off-roading aficionado. Shop now!

Sturdy UTV Storage Boxes

Kemimoto UTV Storage Bags

Keep your essentials and recovery tools tidy, within easy reach, and safe from the elements with Kemimoto's sturdy storage bags. Made for the off-road enthusiast, our storage bags offer handy compartments for all your gear—without weighing you down. Shop now!

Kemimoto storage bags for Polaris UTVs, designed to organize tools on muddy trails

Kemimoto UTV Mirrors

Maintain a clear line of sight on the terrain around you with our wide-angle UTV mirrors. These mirrors are not just practical; they're built tough to withstand the bumps and jolts of off-roading while providing a broader view than standard mirrors, ensuring you're aware of your surroundings at all times. Shop now!

Kemimoto’s UTV side mirrors designed for muddy roads

All-Weather UTV Windshields

Face the great outdoors head-on with a sturdy Kemimoto windshield, the perfect shield against flying mud, dust, and unexpected weather. Paired with lowered door panels and fender flares, it keeps you clean, comfortable, and focused on the joy of the ride rather than the nuisances of nature’s unpredictability. Shop now!


Kemimoto's UTV windshields protect against dirt and dust on muddy trails

Kemimoto Protective Gloves

Don't overlook personal safety! Durable gloves can offer both grip and protection, keeping your hands secure as you tackle the challenges ahead. Designed for lasting wear and comfort, Kemimoto gloves provide the necessary grip and hand protection when using recovery tools. This gives you one less thing to worry about during the recovery process. Shop now!

Kemimoto's durable gear protects your hands during the recovery process while riding in mud

With Kemimoto, you're not just outfitting your side-by-side; you're setting yourself up for success on every adventure. If you want to check out more of Kemimoto's UTV accessories for your vehicle, browse our extensive collection now!


Getting stuck in the mud can be a part of off-roading, but it doesn't have to ruin your adventure. By preparing properly, knowing how to create traction, and tackling the situation methodically, as mentioned in the steps above, you can get your side-by-side out of sticky muck and continue chasing thrills. 

Always remember to prioritize safety and give your UTV some maintenance after any muddy excursions. With Kemimoto on your side, you're not just ready for the mud—you're equipped for an unstoppable ride. Complete Journey Of Dreams!

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9 Easy Steps to Get Your Side-by-Side Out of Mud