Natural anchors are anything that you find suitable to attach a cable to – trees, rocks and signposts (signposts on gravel roads are unreliable and pull out of the ground very easily) If you are going to use a tree as an anchor, protect the tree by using a tree-strap to prevent the steel cable from cutting into the bark as this can kill a healthy tree. Attach the strap as close to the ground as possible.
The strength of an anchor depends on how badly the vehicle is bogged and how much preparation is made before winching begins. Assess the strength of the anchor first – if it appears weak, then prepreparation to the vehicle will need to be extensive. If the anchor is fool-proof, little or no preparation may be needed, and if winching fails nothing is lost and some digging and clearing can be done.
Have someone monitor the condition of an anchor during recovery. If it appears to be loosened by the winching, then halt the process before it is weakened further because even a weak anchor is better than no anchor at all. To put less stress on the anchor more clearing around the wheels and jacking must be done before further winching.