Ok so you want to go see a desert race and you have no idea what to bring. Well here is a run down of what we here at Prerunner Maniac think you should pack for a fun day at the races.
First thing to keep in mind is you will be watching this race somewhere in the middle of the desert, so just like if you were camping the same requirements apply. The most important thing is water. I see so many people go to the races will a 44 oz. fountain drink and that is it. This might hold you over for about 30 minutes, but most races take hours to complete. You should have at least a pint for every person for every you are out there, dehydration is not something you want to experience out there.
Bring squirt bottles. These can be a lifesaver when it is over 95 degrees out. Give yourself a spritz every now and then, and you wont believe how much it helps.
Next are sun block, and a hat. If you have some form of temporary shade that will work great too. Anything you can do to keep that hot sun off of you will help you enjoy the race that much more. I have seen people with SUVs park side by side and drape a tarp from roof rack to roof rack. It worked great!!!
You are going to get hungry, so bring some snacks, preferably non-perishable items like crackers, granola bars, or nuts. Just watch the amount of salt you take in. You will need some salt to replenish what you loose when sweating, but too much just makes you thirstier.
How to get there is the next big issue. Remember you will have to drive over unpaved roads and sometimes completely offroad to get to some of the designated spectators spots. It helps if you have a 4WD vehicle although it is not necessary. I just hate seeing people drive their $60k SUVs down gravel roads with not a care in the world. I know for the Terribles Town 250 last April I would not have been able to get to where we were without 4WD.
If you dont know where to go to see the race, check the sanction bodies websites for course maps. They will generally be marked with the areas that spectators can go. The BLM has locked down roaming the deserts and thats why there are Spectators Areas now.
Folding chairs are another essential to a good time at the races. We just found some with integrated shades. Remember there can be a lot of time between vehicles, so it is important to be comfortable while you wait.
I think I covered all the basics. We here have had to learn all these things the hard way, by being at the races and saying, Gee I wish I had . You can fill in the blanks.
If you have any suggestions we would love to hear them.