Daypack for the Grand(Prix)stand?
June 4, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

What to bring to Montreal for the race this weekend?

Mr. PWM is heading to the Grand Prix this weekend, the lucky devil. He's got accommodations and transportation sorted, but I want to know what he should bring with him into the stands. Ideally I will be able to set him up with a little pack of comfort - baby wipes, Advil, toilet seat cover? Those things seem more like what I would want rather than what he could use.

So the question is; As a fella, what would you take with you into the stands to watch an F1 race?
posted by PorcineWithMe to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total)
Earplugs! Those cars are frickin' loud.

And maybe some sunscreen.
posted by Grither at 6:59 AM on June 4, 2012

He'll need a hat (not all the grandstands are covered) as he may get wet or burnt. Sunscreen (spray on is awesome - highest factor you can) is the easiest way of doing it. Do not underestimate how easy it is to get burned at a race track. If the weather looks poopy, one of those cheap folding poncho things are invaluable and will be probably $5 at Canadian Tire and $20 at the track...

Some method for carrying water or drinks is probably a good idea or just a bag to carry water bottles in and some snacks. At-track food is super expensive so having some water and granola bars or something should get him through. Either way, he should carry plenty of cash as nothing will be cheap there. Earplugs (those ones with the semi circle of plastic holding them are best) are a good idea. Get them from an industrial supply place (Ackland Grainger or Fastenal etc) before he goes.

I don't think I'd bother with the baby wipes or the Seat cover, personally. Although he will be using those horrible plastic boxes for toilet facilities at short notice I don't think a seat cover is going to make them pleasant enough to justify having to carry it around all day, but I'm used to track facilities. It's worth knowing that there are proper toilet facilities at Montreal at the track but you need to have a bit of know how and planning to find them. He needs to look at the map and work out where his stands are relative to the various olympic training areas. The Swimming and rowing training building is always open at grand prix's and it has proper showers and toilets - I tried to locate it on the map but the paddock always looks different when it is full of race trailers, but I know it is on the West side of the island near the hairpin. I think it is here. I'm not sure where his stand is (at the hairpin if he's lucky) but it's worth the walk if he needs a quiet sit down for a minute... It is usually pretty deserted down there so he shouldn't have an issue getting to it.

If he has the gift of the gab then he'll be fine. Just looking or acting like you belong gets you a long way at race tracks.
posted by Brockles at 7:25 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, the main point about the swimming building (I got sidetracked) is that it is down by the support paddock. All the non-F1 car teams will be based there. He should go and look around the cars there as it is the closest he will get to real race cars unless he has a pit walkabout. Lots of time during the day for a gentle stroll down there.
posted by Brockles at 7:26 AM on June 4, 2012

The race is only a couple hours, the rest will be spent standing or walking - comfortable shoes should be worn.
posted by alfanut at 10:43 AM on June 4, 2012

Looks like my link didn't work:,-73.527932&spn=0.001573,0.002881&t=m&z=19

That's the building, I think.
posted by Brockles at 12:15 PM on June 4, 2012

The good doctor and I have a FanVision so we can follow along with the action. They'll be available for rent at the circuit, and they're well worth the money, IMHO.

I'm a fan of Critbuns, but any old seat cushion should work just fine.

A small pack of wet wipes and/or a bottle of hand sanitizer can't hurt, especially after you've just gnawed on a turkey leg and need to wipe the grease off.
posted by evoque at 12:16 PM on June 4, 2012

Oh they call those little screens fanvision now? I seem to remember there being something else (Kangaroo or something?) but Id heard they no longer did them. If they are even half as good as the old version (which they no doubt are) then I very much recommend them. Awesome bits of kit.
posted by Brockles at 12:28 PM on June 4, 2012

He is a lucky dog!

For a day trip:
hat/sunscreen (small non-leaky tube)
a few packets of fruit/nuts, muesli bars, maybe some tetra packs of fruit juice
live timing app for smartphone, or the kangaroo/Fanvision thing
I haven't had a problem with the seats (but not been to Montreal), so a cushion would be more trouble than it's worth for me, but his MMV (maybe an inflatable one if he expects to need it).
If he has small binoculars, I would take those

... and a Mark Webber flag!!
posted by GeeEmm at 5:29 PM on June 4, 2012

Mark Webber flag - as if.

Thanks for such great answers! Brockles, that is prime information right there. I wouldn't of thought to ask where the least busy restrooms were. Evoque, I ended up renting a Fanvision thingy for him. Neither of us had heard of such gadgetry before so a big thanks for the pointer.

I'm still hoping for more great answers and secret info!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 9:39 AM on June 5, 2012

Whenever I'm at a track, I pack a "city wallet" that has my US passport card (no home address), cash, and one or two credit cards, leaving my regular wallet in the hotel safe. At Indy, Spa, and the Ring, I was aware of several incidences of pickpocketing, which is a surefire way to ruin a trip.

Great to hear that you've got the FanVision lined up for him! It really is the way to go, especially if the local cellular networks end up overloaded and the live timing/scoring apps can't get data.

If he's already got a lanyard and credential holder, great; otherwise, they usually hand out freebies, and souvenir versions are available at the track shops. Protip: stuff earplugs into the credential holder when not in use, or if they're the sort that are on a string, knot them loosely around the lanyard; that way, they don't get lost.

We always carry extra beers/bottles of water, so we hand out drinks and chat up our seatmates between races. Not only is it a great way to pass the time, but we've met some interesting folks as a result!
posted by evoque at 12:20 PM on June 5, 2012

Just as an update for future race fans;

Essential: Rain poncho, sunscreen, ear plugs and a hat.

Nice to have: Individually wrapped hand wipes and face wipes, blister bandaids.

Mr. PWM actually returned his FanVision early. He found that he didn't need it because, since he was in the stands, there were video monitors everywhere. He reports that had he been in general seating/the grass it would have been nice to have.

Thanks for helping him have a great time!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:24 AM on June 11, 2012

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