Howdy! Have a read through this stuff and if you still have questions just let us know.

1. Can I volunteer for a portion of the race time, or do I need to be there the entire length of the race?

Volunteers are expected to join the race for the entire length of the event; in 2018 this is arriving October 19 and departing October 28. If you arrange your own transportation, plan to to arrive in Alpine, Texas by 6pm on Friday, October 19th. Official training begins after breakfast on Saturday. Individual race responsibilities will then begin on Sunday before the race and finish Saturday afternoon on the final day of the race. Planned departure is Sunday, 28th, October anytime from 8am (El Paso airport is 4hrs away); you can leave Saturday night if absolutely necessary but it’s not recomomended because you’ll miss the final awards ceremony and banquet (we want to say thanks to you then so enjoy the food, drink, and community).

2.  Can I bring my own vehicle? What transportation is provided?

The easiest thing is to take a paid shuttle to/from Alpine and El Paso, Texas on Friday, October 19th, and returning Sunday, 28th October; price is $50/one way transfer ($100 round trip). Please let us know as soon as possible to help with planning. Note: If you are a local resident, or want to drive in, you may also drive a private vehicle to the host hotel in Alpine, Texas. Private vehicles are not permitted on the course (unless you sign up for and bring a 4×4 vehicle with interior cab space for 4 people; kindly let us know as we do require at least 4 for logistics purposes; gas for course vehicles is covered). Email Event Coordinator: info{at} for more information. In all cases, during the race you will be allocated space in one of these 4×4 vehicles.

4. How should I pack?

During the race/remote portion of TPU, volunteers are permitted to up to 50L of storage; this means you can bring a 40L overnight plus 10L daypack; 30L+20L or just one 50L bag with everything packed together). All bags will be carried daily in a vehicle during the week of the race or on your person (i.e. the daypack for hydration and daytime food). A separate luggage for “casual and dress clothing, etc” may be left at the hotel while on the race course. A few things to remember: dress comfortable in street clothes for training, casual for dinners, and as fancy as you want (or not) for the awards banquet. Don’t forget a sun-screen and lip-balm!

5. What items will be provided to me and when?

During orientation all volunteers will receive two performance/tech t-shirts which will be worn at all times during the event, starting Sunday, October 20. In addition, volunteers will receive a trucker/baseball cap and light fleece jacket which should also be worn while on the course as necessary based on warmth needs. You’ll also get a few extras here and there!

6.  Please describe food and cooking during the event.

Meals are provided to volunteers before and after the race only; this begins with breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, 20th October, breakfast and lunch on Sunday, as well as finish line pizza and beer and dinner/banquet after the race on Saturday, October 27th. During the race, starting with dinner on Sunday, October 21 until Saturday, volunteers should be prepared to carry/pack and prepare (with only hot water) all meals while at remote camps. Hot water will be available each morning and evening at camp – campfires are not available for cooking. Usually, volunteers bring freeze-dried meals, dehydrated food, dried fruit and nuts, snack/energy bars, sports drink mixes, electrolytes and of course your favorite chocolate/candy! (In other words: during race you need at least 5 days of meals plus an extra evening meal for before the race).

7.  Please describe the sleeping arrangements during the event.

Hotels accommodations (double occupancy) are provided to volunteers before (Friday/Saturday) and after (Saturday) the race. All other nights, volunteers will sleep in 10-person group tents with access to electrical power until 10 pm (these are separate from participant tents). Plan to bring your own sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a small inflatable pillow (or bag with clothes). In addition, you’ll want a headlamp with extra batteries, water containers/camelpack, pain killers, tissue, basic toiletries including cleansing wipes, and alcohol sanitizer. You can have a look at the mandatory and optional equipment that competitors must bring found here. Remember, volunteers may only bring up to 50L as either a duffel bag or backpack (no wheeled bags please). You’ll need all your gear for 7 days including food, clothing, sleeping items so pack accordingly. Do not bring a large inflatable sleep bed; only camp specific pads please!

8.   Will there be showers during the race?

No…and Yes! This is a remote race in very rugged terrain within a high desert ecosystem. As such, water is scarce and use should be limited. Showers are not available at camps but on occasion (at least once) a facility will be passed and can be used to shower. We recommend you bring “cleansing wipes” – maybe even a scented one…it’ll make all the difference!

9. Will there be toilets during the race?

Yes, at camps only. At camps, a permanent “eloo” – basically an outhouse are provided. All volunteers (and participants) will use “primitive toilets” (i.e. cat holes) while in remote locations as per BBRSP guidelines.

10.  Are fires or fireworks allowed?

Contained fires will be provided for “entertainment” and some heat per se but not for cooking. Fires will be closely monitored and ashes collected each day by the camp volunteer…if this is your thing let us know so we can have you help out! No fireworks permitted – don’t bring any commercial laser pointers, etc.

11.  Will there be a generator?  Will there be any lights?

Electrical power is provided at camp for volunteers only (not participants). The generator will also provide electricity for low light and provide a way to charge small electronic devices within your group tent. Don’t forget to actually get out and check out the stars though – they are amazing out in Big Bend! Power/Lights out from 10pm to 6am, nightly.

12.  Please describe the amount of water allotted per day.

All volunteers and participants will have ample drinking water, hot water for cooking, and extra for emergency/medical purposes. We have allocated daily amounts for drinking purposes due to conservation and protection of the environment. Generally speaking, for drinking this is about one gallon per day for volunteers and 2 gallons per day for participants, and additional for cooking. Note, water should not be used for squirting over the head/face or body, showering, and only minimally when cleaning dishes or brushing teeth.

13. What about alcohol?

Trans-Pecos Ultra takes place within Big Bend Ranch State Park which means all participants and volunteers must sign and abide by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department rules and regulations which state the following: “It is an offense for any person to: 1. consume or display an alcoholic beverage in a public place; or 2. sell alcoholic beverages within a state park.” Before and after the race however alcohol will be available at the hotel and restaurant as well as some special tastings from our sponsors.

14. What else is there to know?

We think you’re going to love the experience! Have fun with it – pack according to your preference but don’t be afraid to pack light and go outside your comfort zone a little bit! Fun things you can also bring to enhance the experience: playing cards or games (i.e. we recommend Cards Against Humanity), candy to share (easy way make friends), star/astronomy/rock charts, portable music player and/or small speaker (to make your checkpoints fun).

15. Do I need travel insurance? Where do I get it?

Yes – you absolutely must have travel insurance. All volunteers, participants, media and staff must purchase and submit a proof of a travel health insurance policy of at least $500,000 for the duration of the event. In 2018, this will be from the 20-28 October but you may want to add the days you are traveling too. The policy must cover adventure sports as well as medical evacuation by helicopter. 

Check with TravelGuard – be sure to add the “Adventure Sports Upgrade and Hospital of Choice Evacuation Upgrade.


Still have questions? Contact our Event Coordinator, April using the form below.