Hammertown 2021 Survival Guide

January 29, 2021

It’s finally happening! The 2021 King of the Hammers is here. For those of you lucky enough to be joining us at this incredible off-road event, we wanted to pass on some info to make the trek as smooth as possible. This is not your average event or typical location — and with Covid-19 things are anything but ordinary — so attending this event requires some advanced planning and prepping. These tips below should help. You can also check out the KOH site for complete details, including latest schedules, tickets, registration and more.

Keep Safe — The Covid-19 Plan:

This should come as no surprise, there have been several adjustments made to this years’ event to ensure this a Covid-free zone. To keep everyone safe, the Hammers team is requiring testing, screenings, face masks, hand washing and social distancing. Due to restrictions put in place by the state of California, proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 7 days of attendance or documentation that an attendee has already fully recovered from COVID-19 will be required. Rapid tests will be available onsite for a fee of $20. If you’ve already been vaccinated for COVID-19, proof of the vaccination can be used as well. See the complete Hammers Covid-19 Mitigation Plan here.

Don’t Miss the Broncos:

As if just being at the Hammers were not exciting enough, don’t forget you’ll also have a chance to hang with some Broncos. There will be an all-star lineup of display units to check out, PLUS you’ll have a chance to ride in the 2021 Ford Bronco and drive the Bronco Sport. If you’re coming out to King of the Hammers, make sure to RSVP on the Round-Up event page and stay tuned to the event’s forum thread for additional updates.

Find a Place Stay:

Finding a home away from home during the Hammers can be a challenge, but luckily there are many options to help with the search. If you can get your hands on a camper or an RV to stay onsite, that is a great option. Tent camping is also an option, but that is really roughing it, especially with the hard, dry desert ground and extreme weather fluctuations. The remote location makes it a challenge to find a room on www.hotels.com that does not require an hour commute to and from Hammertown every day, so we think looking for a rental on www.VRBO.com or www.airbnb.com is a great option.

Drive 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. If you’ve got the skills and a totally capable off-road ride, then a great option is to leave the main path for one of the other dirt paths, which can keep you moving and help save you some time.

Stock Up:

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. Whether you’re staying in the RV/camper zone or driving in and parking for the day, these areas are quite a distance from central Hammertown. 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 all of the essentials you will need 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 before you leave in the morning will help you avoid an hour-long hike back to your camp or car 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 walk from your camp/vehicle to the center of Hammertown. While Broncos may be built to easily take on rough terrains, it can be a challenge for us lowly humans. But all of that hoofing around all day is easier if you have the right footwear. Pack yourself 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. Make sure those shoes/boots aren’t fresh out of the box, they should be 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 probably plan on being incommunicado during your time at the Hammers. Keep that in mind if you decide to 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:

Beyond all of the concerns regarding Covid-19, there are some other precautions you should be taking. Remember, Johnson Valley is a big, wide-open area. Be aware of your surroundings and watch for signage, stakes, marked paths to make sure you don’t accidentally wander onto an active racecourse. The organizers do a great job of clearly identifying these areas, but they can easily be missed if you’re not paying attention. Sure, if something happens and you ever need assistance, there will be some medical personnel onsite, but other facilities are an hour away from Hammertown. So just be smart 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!

For complete event details, check out the KOH site.

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