By Becky Celestini
We’re just seven days away from the 2022 King of the Hammers Week! For those of you attending this epic off-road event, we wanted to share some info to make the trek as smooth as possible. This is not your average event or typical location, so advanced planning and prepping is essential. These tips below should help. You can also check out the KOH website for complete details, including latest schedules, tickets, Covid-19 guidelines, and more.
Don't Forget Your Tickets:
If you have not gotten your tickets yet, they can be purchased online through today (January 20!). After that, they can be purchased at the gate in Pleasant Valley. A few notes about tickets:
- One ticket is entry for the entire King of the Hammers week.
- A general admission ticket is required for anyone 12 and up. Kids 12 and under are FREE.
- Active duty military are always no cost at the gate, and veterans are 50% off at the gate only. Must present valid paperwork or I.D.
If you buy tickets online in advance, be sure to download the QR Code (the black and white square) to your phone and/or print a copy and bring it with you to present at the gate. Remember, cell service is limited, so please don't wait to download/access the tickets/codes…have them handy before you turn onto Boone Road.
The Pandemic Plan:
Hard to believe that COVID-19 is still a factor in our everyday lives, but it is. Our friends at King of the Hammers are closely monitoring this ever-changing situation and are meeting or exceeding all CDC guidelines for an outdoor mega event like this. Currently, vaccines and tests are recommended, but not required.
Masks are not required outdoors at KOH, but you’ll need one when entering indoor areas such as restaurants, restrooms, and retail shops. So be sure to pack some masks to have when journeying outside the event location. To follow the latest California requirements and recommendations for mega events, click here.
Visit Bronco Basecamp:
Located right in the valley but away from commotion, this dedicated camp is the spot for Bronco Nation members to gather and have fun Wednesday, Feb. 2 – Saturday, Feb 5. Registered guests will have access to meals, campfires, merch, an exclusive Bronco accessory display…and maybe a few special Ford Broncos.
Find a Place Stay:
Hopefully you’ve got your lodging booked and are ready to go. If you still need to finalize plans, there are a few options to help with the search. You can purchase a camping permit and stay onsite with a camper, RV, or tent (though be warned — the hard, dry desert ground and extreme weather fluctuations can really make tent camping “roughing it”). And while the remote location can make finding a place near Hammertown a challenge, you can look for a room on www.hotels.com, or a rental on www.VRBO.com or www.airbnb.com.
Driving In and Out:
Just getting to Hammertown is an adventure in itself. The final stretch of road from the highway to the site (about 4 miles) is completely unpaved. It’s not major off-roading, but enough to create a challenge for some. It’s not unusual to find a traffic jam here, as drivers with lesser skills and/or less capable vehicles are having to move at a slower pace.
Make a list and check it twice BEFORE you arrive in Hammertown. Being in a very remote location means there are no stores nearby to pick up those last-minute snacks or supplies. Be prepared for this adventure and stock up on all of the essentials you may need before you head out, including food, water, clothes, sunglasses/goggles, wipes, jumper cables, flashlights, batteries, toiletries, sunscreen, and more.
Be Prepared for the Day:
Hanging at the Hammers is an all-day event. That means you’ll likely leave your camp or vehicle in the morning…and may not return until after dark. This makes it even more important to fill your backpack with essentials to get through the day, including: extra layers to keep warm, water, snacks, a flashlight, sunscreen, sunglasses, wipes/hand sanitizer, and any medications you may need. Being prepared will help you avoid a long hike back to grab a forgotten item.
Watch the Weather:
When it comes to weather at the Hammers, Mother Nature definitely keeps it interesting. The key here — plan for everything. The temperature varies dramatically throughout the day, and the sun could be hiding behind clouds one minute and shining bright on you the next. Dress in layers and be prepared every day with sunscreen, hats, thermals, rain gear, lip balm, sunglasses…and sometimes even scarves and gloves.
Pack the Right Footwear:
You will be on your feet a lot while at the Hammers. A LOT. Starting with the typically long trek from your camp/vehicle to the center of Hammertown. All of that walking is easier with the right footwear. Pack some shoes (boots are even better!) and socks that are designed to provide support and keep you comfortable as you take on the various terrain and temperature extremes. And make sure those shoes/boots are broken in to avoid blisters.
Keep Connected – Cell Phones:
Remember, this is a remote desert location, so reliable mobile phone signals are typically few and far between. That means you should plan on being incommunicado during your time at the Hammers. Keep that in mind if you go for a solo desert ride — help really won’t be a text or call away. Some people bring along walkie-talkies to stay connected with others in Hammertown. Another smart idea is to choose a spot to meet your crew in case you lose track of each other.
Bring Enough Money:
Cash is king in Hammertown. That unreliable (non-existent!) cell service means most vendors are unable to accept credit cards. And ATMs? Forget about it. Plan ahead and bring a stash of cash to use throughout your trip, plus a little extra for emergencies.
Know Your Surroundings:
Remember, Johnson Valley is a vast, wide-open area. Be aware of your surroundings and watch for signage, stakes, marked paths to ensure you don’t accidentally wander onto a racecourse. The organizers do a great job of clearly identifying these areas, but they can easily be missed if you’re not paying attention. While there will be some medical personnel onsite, other facilities are an hour away from Hammertown… so stay safe and avoid doing anything risky that could injure yourself or others.
Hope these tips help your King of the Hammers experience be a truly awesome one. Bonding with other Bronco fans, seeing some incredible races and getting in some quality off-roading time… there is nothing quite like Hammertown. We can’t wait to see you there!
Quickly and easily find any event info you’re looking for:
BRONCO BASECAMP FAQs -- DIRECTIONS, ADMISSION, PACKING LIST
SEE THE MOST UP-TO-DATE SCHEDULE
BUY TICKETS OR CAMPING PERMITS
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