Packing


Our guide to what to bring (and what to leave behind)



Bizarrely one of the fun things about getting ready for any great trip to Le Mans is the planning. With each year comes a rich experience and probably a few new items on your packing list. Its hugely satisfying not just remembering the basics, but also showing others that you may be camping, but you are still doing it in style.

We don't want to spoil your fun, but here are some packing ideas. Please can we ask that you let us know what items you would add in the Beermountain forums?

Do consider how to pack your gear up - the important thing is you can get to the things you need first the other end. We would also recommend having a pre packed overnight bag to hand in the car for the ferry containing wash kit and something warm for the ferry. Make sure your tool kit and essentials are not buried too deep in your boot the other end.

In Your Chariot

French traffic laws tend to change frequently and can cause confusion. Unfortunately during race week the French government regards visitors to Le Mans as a revenue opportunity and fine many motorists for failing to comply with the law. This can involve confiscation of your Driver's Licence,  a heavy on the spot fine, or even seizure of your car - so do check the latest news in our forum.

Breakdown kit, including warning triangle and safety vest for each passenger
Breathalyser kits (x2) - technically not an offence not to have, but legally required (!?!)
European breakdown cover
Copy of insurance documents
Headlight beam converters (fitted)
BM stickers (fitted)
Maps/directions to campsite
Satellite navigation (delete any speed camera location data to remain legal)
Multiple power inverter (for charging several phones, cameras etc)
Water - stay hydrated before arrival when you will have to work hard setting up!
Vomit bag - in case any of your passengers had a challenging ferry crossing..
Music - with custom playlist lasting for the final 2-4 hours of your journey to Le Mans!


"The Basics" - Your Personal Survival Kit

Passport
Cash (in Euros)
Credit card 
Tickets
Driving licence
Photocopies of passport/licence
Ticket holder (BM model or similar)
EU health card (replaced E111 in 2006)
Wash kit
Ear plugs (foam or wax type)
First aid kit (inc plasters, immodium, neurofen, alka selzer)
MP4 player with play lists
DVD's (if you have a DVD player)
Airbed and airbed repair kit (spare plug a must)
Pillow
Small radio and earphones (tune to 91.2 FM)
Ear defenders (you can use on top of earphones at track)
Sleeping bag
Head torch (compact LED model)
Sun cream (SPF 25 or higher)
Towel
Mobile phone and charger
Camera and charger/spare battery
Overnight bag (for ferry)
Wet weather gear
Team shirt
Dress for BM members' meeting
Shorts
Trainers or shoes for longer trackside walks
Flip flops
Warm jacket/fleece
Sun hat
Golf umbrella (sun and rain)
Pen
Sunglasses
Spare batteries


Team Equipment - a basic camping set up 

Tents
Gazebo, pop up or assembly (practice before you leave)
Spare guy ropes
Mallet
Spare mallet
Cable ties
Metal fence stakes (to secure gazebo legs with cable ties)
Gaffer tape
Super glue
Jubilee clips
Tool kit 
Tent pegs (including some rock tent pegs)
Mesh fence (x50m)
Fence picket posts
Airbed pump (12v electric from car)
Hose pipe (suggest 50m) and hozelock adapter with screw thread
Hose pipe splitter (to share connection with others)
Spare hose (50m)
Main table
Side table (for BBQ preparation)
Chairs (folding type an advantage)
BBQ
BBQ tools
BBQ fuel
Gas for BBQ
Matches or Zippo type lighter
Rubber gloves (x2 pairs)
Cleaning materials
Cool boxes
Flagpole
Flags
Cocktail accessories and ingredients
Corkscrew and bottle opener
Saucepans (old)
Frying pan (large and old)
Chef's knives
Spices
Plastic glasses
Disposable plates, knives, forks, spoons
Wet wipes/cleaning materials


Team Equipment - add to the above for "doing it in style"

Generator (ideally over 2 kw and near silent to be nice to your neighbours)
Electric kettle (check amps)
Filter coffee machine
Extension flexes with plug/socket alternatives for generator
RCD safety trip box for outdoor cables
Jerry cans and funnel for generator fuel
Christmas lights (LED ideal)
Beer fridge
Food fridge
Plastic dustbin
Chemical toilet and tent
Broom
Classic board games
Water pistols
Television (12v an option)
DVD player (12v an option)
Washing line and pegs
Bikes and very decent chain lock
Cool box (transporting vital British products like bacon)
French socket adapters
Stores tent
Solar shower
Toaster and long life bread (if this is your thing!)


Team Equipment - add to the above for "making a show of it"

Bar
Disco lights
Mirror ball
Smoke machine
Bubble machine
Ice maker
Satellite television kit (detailed advice in forum)
Kitchen tent
Field kitchen with sink and burners
Paella burner


What to leave behind

Paddling pool (now banned by ACO)
Scaffold structures (now banned by ACO)
Monkey bikes, powered scooters (now banned by ACO)
Chainsaws, hedge cutters (bizarrely also banned by ACO)
Large gas bottles (now banned by ACO)
Petrol in cans (banned by most ferry operators)
Laser speed trap detector (illegal in France)
Sat nav with speed trap locations (illegal in France)
Fireworks (banned by most ferry operators)
Expensive things that you might accidentally lose!

A word about banned items




You may be aware that every year there are incidents of people falling foul of the interpretation of certain locally applied ACO rules. The biggest issues are normally -

Glass

Glass bottles are not allowed trackside. However, as several campsites are  situated trackside this rule is open to interpretation, given everyone recognises camping by definition involves a cold beer. You should have no problems bringing glass bottles into ANY campsite, and if you do we would recommend standing your ground, remaining polite and asking to speak to a more senior member of the ACO organisation to "clarify" the position.

Gas (Propane/Butane)

Generally gas bottles are not a problem, despite some official leaflets issued in past years. There is currently no maximum size clarification, but we would suggest bottles to power a BBQ up to 6kg in size are unlikely to be a problem. We think they actually mean the very large type used by travellers - possibly 20 kg..

Please feel free to copy this list for your own personal use. Do let us know what is missing in the forum!

If you wish to reproduce this content in any printed or online form, please ensure it includes a credit and a link to Beermountain.com. 

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