Let's first loosely define a couple of terms:
- Paddock: this is generally described as the mass garage or locker room that holds everyone before they go out on the track. The "collection" of riders and their gear in a given area,
- Your Pit is your slice of real estate within the paddock. You'll commonly hear, "Oh I'm pitted over by the.."
There is really no right or wrong answer to the question of what you should bring to set up your pit on any given track day. As with anything you'll see a wide variety of setups ranging from a simple folding chair to an elaborate setup with canopies, generators, grills, and lights. In the end, it comes down to what you're able to do, and what level of creature comforts you're after.
In this article, I'll cover the five things I'd recommend you have at a track day based on my experience and desired comfort level.
- A chair. Trackday gear is heavy, you're going to want to sit your bum down to recoup between track sessions. I've had a few and found the Zero Gravity chairs from Amazon are my favorites.
- A 10ft by 10ft canopy, something to provide some shade. Typically paddocks at race tracks are simply a parking lot with zero relief from the sun and elements. If your buddy doesn't have one to slide underneath, I'd highly recommend grabbing a 10"x 10" canopy. This will provide shade and help keep you dry in case of a rainy day. Pro Tip: have something you can secure your canopy whether you're on grass or the tarmac.
- A cooler with plenty of fluids & ice: Having your own water, and or Gatorade type drink to keep you hydrated is essential. There may be a cafe at the track to supply additional food and refreshments.
- Snacks: I personally prefer salty quick-grab snacks when I'm at the track. For breakfast, I'll usually do a protein shake, snack between sessions, and have a very light lunch. It's a bit distracting to go out on track with a full-stomach, burping hotdogs as you're trying to hit an apex.
- A folding table to place your gear on. While arguably not required, it's damn nice to be able to set down your helmet, gloves, phone, snacks, and drinks on a table vs scattered on the ground.
I'd consider the above level one type of gear to have at your track day. Of course, if it's your first day and a friend got you into the sport. It's likely they'll already have all of this gear and you can simply tag along.
It's a great thing about this track community. We're happy to share and look out after each other whether it's your first time and you don't have a canopy to your 100'th and you're deploying your 20ft canopy off your 40ft toy hauler.
If a fellow rider pitted next to me doesn't have a canopy, I've invited them to slide underneath mine, grab a chair or offer a tire gauge.
The track connection is borderless, bring us together to enjoy this sport that others deem insane. 😜