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 will be expected to join the race for a period of 10 days; in 2017 this is October 19-28. If you arrange your own transportation, plan to to arrive in Alpine, Texas by 5pm on Thursday, October 19th. Official training begins with breakfast on Friday, followed by a full day of training. Individual race responsibilities will then begin on Saturday before the race and finish Saturday afternoon on the final day of the race. Volunteers can depart for home once back in Alpine on Saturday, 28th October after 5pm but you are highly encouraged to stay for the awards ceremony and banquet that night and to leave the following day, Sunday 29th October – your ticket, food, and hotel are already covered anyway!

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

You may drive a private vehicle to the host hotel in Alpine, Texas but it will be left unattended during the race. Private vehicles are not permitted on the course (Note: If you own/operate a 4×4 truck with interior cab space for 4 people kindly let us know as we do require at least 6 for logistics purposes. Costs will be covered. Email Event Coordinator: info{at} During the race you will be allocated space in one of these 4×4 trucks. There is also an option to take a shuttle to/from Alpine and El Paso, Texas on Thursday, and returning Sunday, 29th October; price is $50/one way transfer. Please let us know as soon as possible to help with planning.

4. How should I pack?

Volunteers are permitted to bring one 30L duffel bag (no wheeled bags) which will be carried daily in a vehicle during the week of the race. 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. 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 on Friday, 20th October, and includes a pre-race dinner Saturday before the race as well as dinner/banquet after the race. During the race from Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon (Oct 22-28) volunteers should be prepared to carry/pack and prepare 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!

7.  Please describe the sleeping arrangements during the event.

Hotels accommodations (double occupancy) are provided to volunteers before (Thursday/Friday) 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 one 30L 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; note an inflatable twin mattress is 6lbs alone. Sleep is definitely important so if you have any questions just let us know!

8.   Will there be showers during the race?

This is a remote race in very rugged terrain within a high desert ecosystem. As such, water is scarce and use should be limited – therefore showers are not available at camps; 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?

Very limited toilet facilities are available during the week long race. This means all volunteers (and participants) should be prepared to use “primitive toilets” (i.e. cat holes or sawdust/ash buckets). At camps, a permanent “eloo” – basically an outhouse are provided.

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 by generator 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 10 day event. In 2017, this will be from the 20-29 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.