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How to Make a Winch Ground Anchor? (Try This 5 Methods)

When we own a winch it may have never crossed our minds that there may come situations where we will find ourselves stuck without an anchor point in fair sight. Or we may have heard such harrowing accounts from experienced people.

Certainly, there are areas where you may not even have to think about not finding a winch anchor for rescue operations.

But people out in sandy and snowy areas have to consider the fact that they may be left stranded in lonely places without any help in sight.

Custom-made DIY winch ground anchors are one solution to not having a Winch anchor around.

But since this is an article about making a Winch Ground Anchor, we will talk more about what is called the Deadman Anchor.


What is the Deadman Anchor?

The Deadman’s Anchor is simply a heavy log of the wood, metal, spare tire, or a sand parachute that has been buried appropriately deep in the ground and used as an anchor to winch your vehicle out.

Making a ground anchor for winching use primarily depends on the type of ground you are stuck in.

Soft grounds will require digging really deep and straight down, with no slopes. Hard grounds are hard to make a hole in but can work with shallow holes.

Note: During winching, be sure to be aware of the type of soil you are handling. Sand holds half the holding power when compared with ordinary soils.

Again, before you have to make a Deadman Anchor, consider digging out the earth from the front tires, place some sort of rubble for traction, move back and forth to create some momentum to haul yourself out, try any option you can think of before finally resorting to making a Deadman Anchor.

Making a Deadman Anchor

The first thing you will need to do is dig yourself a hole.

Easier said than done, consider the time it might take you to do this hard labor. Depending on the type of soil you have to work with, holes may be deeper or shallow.

You need a shovel on hand. An ergonomic shovel with a nonslip handle would be a better choice.

This can be said for softer grounds but when dealing with hard grounds, a pickaxe is a better option. Check this comfortable pickaxe made with a rubberized fiberglass handle.

When digging a hole, you will put your deadman anchor into the hole, but for a moment consider how the cable is going to run through the hole to have linear access to your vehicle.

This implies that you have to dig a trench to let the cable run through in as much a straight line as possible.


When digging, keep in mind that the Anchor you put in the hole will push against the sides of the hole till it can get that perfect grip. So accordingly dig to a particular depth and dig straight down, avoiding any slopes.

If you cannot avoid the situation where your winch line gets angled towards the ground since the Anchor is buried deep within, try placing a rock on which the cable can run on, to straighten the angle of pull as much as possible.

Best Winch Ground Anchors

For recovery, you can use

Deadman Earth Anchor (Sand Parachute)

Deadman’s unique design makes it the most flexible off-road recovery anchor, capable of not only anchoring to the ground but also around trees or rocks.

Rather than carrying a heavy metal ground anchor, the Deadman becomes a very easy-to-use, more flexible, and reliable winch anchor in any situation.

When trees or rocks aren’t around, you can bury the Deadman to create an anchor point wherever you need one.

deadman anchor

In this technique shown below, a deadman’s cover is buried face up while keeping his arms and legs out of the hole.

Two feet is the minimum recommended depth for using the deadman. The density of the soil affects the Deadman’s capacity.

If the soil is soft (such as sand), a deeper hole is recommended. In hardpack, a shallower hole will suffice.

Compared to 24″ in soft sand, 18″ in hardpack will allow up to 2500 lbs pulling capacity


Deadman is capable of holding boulders and stones as well.

With the Deadman combined with the controlled, light throttle, you will have the best results, reducing the chances of pulling him prematurely from his grave with your winch. Winching should be done safely.

Deadman is one of the best portable winch anchors. Buy the complete deadman kit which will help in unforeseen situations and stays very light on your travel.

Note: By using multiple sand parachutes you can increase its holding strength however the sand parachute used to have limited holding ability. If a major effort is required, a sand parachute shouldn’t be used.

After recovery, pull the Deadman out of his hole using a winch or vehicle bumper. You should ensure that dirt remains in the hole; do not leave large holes for the next adventurer. Please tread lightly.

Winch Ground Anchor

Winch ground anchor is a heavy-duty anchor which works reliably in sand and snow.
It has the capacity to pull up to 6000 lbs with a mid-size 4x4s and ATV’s.
It is easy to store the winch ground anchor since it folds into the size of a standard bumper jack. The device can be mounted inside or outside.



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Spare Tire Anchor

A spare tire can be used as an anchor if you don’t have a ground anchor.

Crowbars are ideal for securing the cable behind the tire. Unless a strap is present, use one.

Ensure you bury it deeply otherwise the winch will just pull the tire out of the ground


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Log Deadman Anchor

For heavy loads, log deadmen are the best anchors to use.

The deadman is composed of a buried log with a deadline coming out of its center.

Anchor stakes and ground density must be deep enough for the winch to grip, or it will pull the anchor out posing a danger.

It will be more effective if the deadman is horizontal.


Ensure that the standing part of the line starts from the bottom of the deadman, so the deadline is tied to the deadman’s center. It prevents the log from rotating.

To prevent the deadline from cutting into the ground, place a small log near the trench’s outlet. The log’s strength and the earth’s holding power determine the deadman’s strength.

You can increase your holding power by placing stakes behind one another away from the line of pull.

Rock Anchor


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A dead man’s grave obviously takes a lot of time and effort to dig, so it won’t be your first option if you’re trying to make your own winch anchor.

If the conditions are good enough, a grounded winch anchor can spare you all the hassle of using a deadman anchor. Check the latest prices on Amazon.

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