Over the years, the Dakar Rally has rightfully earned the nickname of the World’s Toughest Race. If the seemingly-endless sand dunes, navigational tribulations, and unpredictable weather don’t present enough challenges, some competitors choose to battle the elements into the night.
With just one stage left in the 2023 Dakar Rally, the Red Bull Rally YouTube channel released a video outlining this year’s bivouac hospitality setups. For those that prefer to rough it, Original by Motul rider Simon Marcic knows all the tricks of the trade. As a Malle Moto class rider, Marcic must tackle the grueling rally without assistance. His tent setup speaks to that do-it-yourself nature.
From his tent’s positioning to his gear layout to his nifty water bottle hack, the Slovenian rider knows how to survive the cold desert night. Of course, Marcic probably learned those tricks the hard way but he proves that competitors can go it alone in the race and in the bivouac.
The Enrico Racing quad team takes a different approach to tent camping, however. With several members sharing a rooftop truck tent, such warmth-preserving measures aren’t necessary. The team atmosphere also warrants separate changing tents along with designated maintenance and social areas. The collapsible hospitality center also allows for quick teardown and packing between rally stages.
Some sites require no packing whatsoever, though. For instance, the Team De Rooy drivers don’t fret over such trivialities. By booking mobile hotel rooms, the team enjoys all the creature comforts of home, including comfortable beds, ample storage, and a full-service bathroom. Such luxe accommodations may not align with the Dakar’s rugged image, but it certainly helps competitors recharge before embarking on the next stage.
In the same vein, teams also commission RVs or campers to harbor their members from the elements. The additional space grants teammates their own space without sacrificing comradery. We may know the Dakar Rally as the Toughest Race on Earth, but that doesn’t mean the bivouac has to be the toughest place to rest.