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2022 KoH; Attending for nOOBs: How / What / Where / Why

CDA 455 II

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I want to attend next years' KoH. :grinpimp: :bounce::bounce2:


I would like this thread to be more about attending (80+%) and less about the race itself (-20%).

Off the top of my head; things I would like to know as a first-timer:
1) How early can spectators arrive?
2) How is parking/campsite established?
a) How can IRATE4X4 set up a group campsite (if desired)?

3) Are there 'pit-passes' or similar?
4) Are there food court(s), or are you completely on your own?
5) How's the crime (theft/vandalism/assaults)?
6) Can one open-carry/conceal-carry (is it rural enough to do so)?
7) What's a good wardrobe to bring?
8) Besides the race-teams/drivers; who here attends the entire event as a spectator (I plan to arrive early/stay for entire event)?
9)
10)
 

'84 Bronco II

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I want to attend next years' KoH. :grinpimp: :bounce::bounce2:


I would like this thread to be more about attending (80+%) and less about the race itself (-20%).

Off the top of my head; things I would like to know as a first-timer:
1) How early can spectators arrive?
I think Dave Cole asks people to not start showing up more than one week before KOH week to keep people from getting in the way of Hammer Town setup, but he also said he won't run people off even though he does have an exclusive use permit.
2) How is parking/campsite established?
It is a free-for-all :laughing: Find a spot you like and set up camp as long as it is outside the Hammer Town fence
a) How can IRATE4X4 set up a group campsite (if desired)?
I am sure they could if enough people are interested, but you are going to have to keep Overbear out :flipoff2:
3) Are there 'pit-passes' or similar?
No, you are not allowed in the pits unless you are supporting a race team. The "pit access" bands are only for people supporting registered teams.
4) Are there food court(s), or are you completely on your own?
There are food trucks and vendors inside Hammer Town
5) How's the crime (theft/vandalism/assaults)?
I haven't had any issues personally, but I have heard of things getting stolen. Just don't be stupid and leave tools and parts unsecured and unattended.
6) Can one open-carry/conceal-carry (is it rural enough to do so)?
I wouldn't risk taking a fire arm with how strict California laws are. You would need to look into it.
7) What's a good wardrobe to bring?
Everything :laughing: It can get really cold and windy, but it can also be T-shirt weather.
8) Besides the race-teams/drivers; who here attends the entire event as a spectator (I plan to arrive early/stay for entire event)?
I only attended the EMC/Main races as a spectator, and I think most others do as well. The people who take their rigs usually spend more of the week out there though.

See responses in red.
 
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Harry Johnson

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My answers in line:

I would like this thread to be more about attending (80+%) and less about the race itself (-20%).

Off the top of my head; things I would like to know as a first-timer:
1) How early can spectators arrive?
Whenever you want. I think registration opens about a week in advance, but since it's BLM land, you can roll in whenever you want and park anywhere that's not fenced/roped off.

2) How is parking/campsite established?
Pick somewhere that's not in the middle of a road or someone else's campsite and setup shop. Bonus- if you camp slightly up the slope from hammertown, you'll avoid a lot of dust. Un-bonus- If you do that, you might end up close enough to my camp that you'll end up with a coexist sticker on your rig overnight. :flipoff2:

a) How can IRATE4X4 set up a group campsite (if desired)?
Get someone out there early with some stakes and caution tape and a irate4x4 sign. Have them mark out an area. Then send gps coordinates to everyone else... or put up signs(but those always disappear)

3) Are there 'pit-passes' or similar?
General registration makes it possible to walk into hammertown and walk by team tents. No pits

4) Are there food court(s), or are you completely on your own?
There are usually vendors. When I go, I plan to make my own breakfast, pack some kind of shitty cold cut lunch for the trail, and then eat dinner in hammertown after trailriding when I'm too wiped out to want to cook dinner.

5) How's the crime (theft/vandalism/assaults)?
Normally everyone is on the up and up, but with 50k+ people, you always get some bad apples. I chain up important things like generator or dirt bike when I'm gone for the day. I don't think I've ever locked my RV door tho.

6) Can one open-carry/conceal-carry (is it rural enough to do so)?
I never noticed anyone doing it, but it's BLM land, so I figure those rules apply?

7) What's a good wardrobe to bring?
Pack for stupid hot, stupid cold, and stupid windy. When I'm out volunteering I bring extra layers to put on at night out on the trail. Gloves, goggles and facemask(for dust), beanie, and a wide brimmed hat all go in my rig when I leave camp in the morning. Bring a pair of boots that you're comfortable hiking around in rough terrain all day in.

8) Besides the race-teams/drivers; who here attends the entire event as a spectator (I plan to arrive early/stay for entire event)?
I go for recovery. If you make it out, I will bring you beer and talk about anything but politics. :grinpimp:

9) If you come out in an RV, expect that you may run out of fresh water and need your tanks dumped. My buddy and I have pulled off a week with 25 gal of fresh water, and pooping in the porta-potties in hammer town before, but it's way better to get to take at least one or two showers(HammerAss™ is a real thing.) There are companies on the lakebed you have to track down that will refill your fresh water tank and dump your grey/blacks for cheap enough that you're willing to pay it out there, but expensive enough that anywhere else in the world you would tell them to get fawked.


10) There is a decent grocery store about 30 minutes down the road(say 50 minutes if you count driving back to the pavement from the event)
 
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'84 Bronco II

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Ah; shitters! :lmao: :grinpimp:


There's port-a-potties in Hammer Town?

Is there enough for 50,000+ people; much waiting??? :eek: :laughing:

There were plenty of Portapotties the times I went, but if you are camping, I don't think you are want to go all the way into Hammer town to use them at night, so having an RV/camp potty would be nice.
 

CDA 455 II

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There were plenty of Portapotties the times I went, but if you are camping, I don't think you are want to go all the way into Hammer town to use them at night, so having an RV/camp potty would be nice.

This will be my set up for the next few years:

Bronco camper side view.jpg


5gal bucket with attached shitter lid and I'm good. :grinpimp:


How's pissing on/near the course?
No-no?
Don't get caught?
 

Harry Johnson

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How's pissing on/near the course?
No-no?
Don't get caught?

It's all boulders and dirt where you want to watch the action, no trees or bushes to piss on. I haven't been to spectator areas in a while, but if I remember right, in the high traffic people areas you either need to go for a hike up/down a ravine or get back to your car door and open it.

I have had a few friends pull the pro move of putting on one of these and running it down a pant leg: https://bajaracinggear.com/products/...QaAkvoEALw_wcB

That was mostly back when the shootout was at backdoor and there was nowhere to piss without tripping over 50 other people. These days for the shootout, my drunk ass just goes wandering back around behind some rigs with no one in them and pee in the dirt.

The porta-pottys in hammer town are decent and I actually prefer to drop a deuce there all week rather than blow up my RV. I usually stumble out of bed, grab my phone, go for a short morning moto ride, and then roll up to hammer town to drop a deuce and check my email.

Oh, that reminds me. The cell coverage gets crappier and crappier every day as more and more people show up. At the beginning of the week, there's no lag. By the time the 4400 race rolls around, don't bother, it's dog slow.
 
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Harry Johnson

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More pro tips:

Early in the week, go find the guys having a mini three wheeler race somewhere in a camp outside of hammertown. I think it normally happens on Tuesday night? Usually there's bright lights and tons of people milling about. Wander in with a beer and enjoy the spectacle.

Bring your own mountain money to the porta-pottys.

If you find a burger place in hammer town that's selling a burger called the "China Wall" buy it and eat it. You're welcome. The pizza guys aren't too bad either.

No matter how many beers you have, don't drive your bronco up chocolate thunder at night.

If you have access to any kind of pit bike, it makes getting to and from hammer town way easier as you don't have to deal with figuring out where to park your rig.

Bring more ice than you think you'll need.

If someone invites you to go on a quick night run with them, plan on being out til 4am no matter how quick they say it will be.

Always bring a headlamp with you anywhere you go at night.
 
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Mr Priceless

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The pulled pork over seasoned fries were amazing. $20 for about 1.5lbs of food, no joke. Located behind the ford booth, roughly.
Portapotty locations fucking suck for both spectators and the people who clean them.
If you want entry to Hammertown, they require you to self-administer and deliver a covid test to one of 2 med "tents", Ultra4 trailer sold the kits by gate 2. You get a blue wristband as verification
 
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Mr Priceless

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The firewood guy make neat easy to burn ricks, cords, 1/2 ricks, etc. I just wanted some wood chippings and leftovers for a 3 hour long fire. He hooked me up with all the leftovers I could carry for $20, shit burned fast and hot.
 

CDA 455 II

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More pro tips:

Early in the week, go find the guys having a mini three wheeler race somewhere in a camp outside of hammertown. I think it normally happens on Tuesday night? Usually there's bright lights and tons of people milling about. Wander in with a beer and enjoy the spectacle.

Bring your own mountain money to the porta-pottys.

If you find a burger place in hammer town that's selling a burger called the "China Wall" buy it and eat it. You're welcome. The pizza guys aren't too bad either.

No matter how many beers you have, don't drive your bronco up chocolate thunder at night.

If you have access to any kind of pit bike, it makes getting to and from hammer town way easier as you don't have to deal with figuring out where to park your rig.

Bring more ice than you think you'll need.

If someone invites you to go on a quick night run with them, plan on being out til 4am no matter how quick they say it will be.

Always bring a headlamp with you anywhere you go at night.


What is that? :confused: :laughing:
 

Provience

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6) Can one open-carry/conceal-carry (is it rural enough to do so)?
)

open carry of pistols is against the law in CA and i doubt anybody will believe you are actively target shooting or legally hunting during KOH week. while nobody will probably say anything, if you are even a little paranoid about it, i cannot recommend open carry.

concealed carry is legal with a CA permit and isn't always super rare to get. CA does not honor (any?) out of state permits, but if you are carrying concealed and somebody happens to notice, odds are extremely high that they will simply assume you are a CA resident with a legal permit.

If you are concerned about traveling and being pulled over, then you should probably not have it on your person or somewhere that it will be noticed by somebody walking around your vehicle.

I have heard of people carrying concealed without a permit and if you look at CA arrest records, it isn't as uncommon as the man would like you to think. it is a misd. if you are not breaking any other laws at the time.

hell, the $500 fine is damn near the cost of getting the permit :laughing:
 

SurfnSnow

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All good info, especially in regards to the weather: this year it was very good weather as opposed to last two years where it was stupid cold. The only other things I can add is that:
-next year, the rigs will be coming down Backdoor, so that might not be a great spot to sit and watch, plus they blocked off the sides of the hills to spectators this year.
-Chocolate Thunder can be a good place to sit and watch if you get there early enough to get a good spot.
-You'll be doing a lot of walking/hiking/climbing to watch the race from other spots but be aware not to get too close or get on the trail/track during the race.
-The mini-three wheeler race can be found by looking for the lighted up tee-pee, it was pretty packed this year.
-If you're a light sleeper then I recommend drinking heavily before you go to bed as there are engines, fireworks, etc. going off at all hours of the night.
-I try to leave right after the main race to avoid the mass shit-show of people trying to leave the day after the race. This year it only took me 35 min to get from Hammer town to Old Woman Road
-The crowd attendance this year was really down, probably half as opposed to last year, so next year's will be huge.
-Be prepared for a shit ton of dust
-For the BackDoor shit show the night before the main race, don't stand right behind the rigs as they try to go up it as they'll shoot rocks behind them, and yes you will get hit.
-Get your KOH t-shirts early as they tend to sell out for the common sizes

If it's going to be your first time at the Hammers and need directions to trails and stuff, let me know and I'd be happy to point you all in the right direction. I think next year will be my 10th or 11th year at KOH and each one has been a blast
 

CDA 455 II

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Does the start/finish line begin/end in Hammertown, or is the race course 'out of town'?


According to this map; Hammertown is where team garages are???

And not spectator camp sites?

hammer_town_2019resize__1.jpg
 

'84 Bronco II

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Does the start/finish line begin/end in Hammertown, or is the race course 'out of town'?


According to this map; Hammertown is where team garages are???

And not spectator camp sites?

Correct, you can't camp in Hammer Town.
 

RPS1030

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Ah! Ok :beer:


So where do most people camp; Means Lake or the surrounding areas?

Hammer town is kind of on the west side of the lakebed and Boone Rd comes in from the south.

Most camping is west of Boone Rd and south and west of Hammertown towards those hills. There are also plenty all over the lakebed most years. And a few isolated groups will head further north into the desert as well.
 

RPS1030

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Beautiful! :smokin:


That pic really gives me a good visual of what to expect. :beer: :beer:

That is looking to the SW for reference also. BackDoor is hard to the right; Chocolate Thunder is across the lakebed mostly behind the camera. Sledge and Jack are kind of directly left from camera.
 

Harry Johnson

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Noice.

Here's a map of most of the big name trails I made in Google's Mymaps. You can actually download the app to your phone, and if you switch to satellite mode and scroll around where you have service, it will cache that area to your phone for offline later. I generally use this to get around when we get called to do late at night recovery. I wish they'd share the course each year with us ahead of time so I can overlay it, but that doesn't usually happen.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1cDhNcTpA23zqXQRFJ3SLqXhzKRM&usp=sharing
 

SurfnSnow

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Those Carto maps are nice as it help us plan on how we were going to watch and shoot the race. This year, I followed the main race from start to a Back Door, over to Chocolate Thunder, then to Jack Hammer and Sledge Hammer. Since the rigs were so few an so spread out, many of us media folks didn't go back to the finish line to get photos of the rigs finishing; not enough action.
 

Harry Johnson

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Those Carto maps are nice as it help us plan on how we were going to watch and shoot the race. This year, I followed the main race from start to a Back Door, over to Chocolate Thunder, then to Jack Hammer and Sledge Hammer. Since the rigs were so few an so spread out, many of us media folks didn't go back to the finish line to get photos of the rigs finishing; not enough action.

How do you media guys get around out there? Do you have to hike in? I always thought it would be cool if they had some media transport that could safely take you guys out to some of the other trails without driving on the course. Would have be awesome to see content from deadblow for example.
 

SurfnSnow

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How do you media guys get around out there? Do you have to hike in? I always thought it would be cool if they had some media transport that could safely take you guys out to some of the other trails without driving on the course. Would have be awesome to see content from deadblow for example.

I wish there was a transport but we have to get around like everyone else, in our own rigs or hop in someone else's rig to get a ride to the obstacles. Once there, we have to park with everyone else and then hike our way in and man, it's not fun to hike in (usually uphill) with photo gear along the canyon walls. Someone did to the hike from the top of Jack Hammer to Kings Graveyard(?) and he said it was a long ass hike
 

CDA 455 II

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How do you media guys get around out there? Do you have to hike in? I always thought it would be cool if they had some media transport that could safely take you guys out to some of the other trails without driving on the course. Would have be awesome to see content from deadblow for example.

I have access to a lifted genuine golf cart.


Would that be helpful getting around while I'm there?

Any problems with it being swiped?
 
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