You will find below instructions to help you prepare for the race.
The departure of Hitchball 4000 ’19 will take place on Friday 14.6 at 18:00 at the outdoor amphitheater, behind the Opera House of Helsinki. It will take some time for us to distribute the trackers to all teams, so please arrive at the very latest at 17:00. You can come even earlier if you wish and start drawing signs etc. We will be selling Hitchball 4000 badges there (3 EUR) so please take some cash with you if you want one and have not paid it in advance with the registration fee. Tell your friends about the departure, it would be nice to have a real crowd there!
- FACEBOOK PAGE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
You should have now all created your Facebook page, which will serve as your “travel blog” and on which you will post pictures and videos about the challenges to complete at the checkpoints – this is the condition to have those checkpoints validated! To manage your page on the road, you will need to download the Facebook Pages Manager app on your phone.
All pages should have been linked to the page https://www.hitchball4000.fi/joukkueet/ . You can already start to present your team and talk about your plans, about your possible theme or about your expectations. Most important: invite your friends to like your page, since the more people will be following your trips, the bigger the impact of the race will be! You can also broadcast live on your Facebook page and post as much as you wish on Instagram and other social media, use the hashtags #hitchball4000 and @hitchball4000 so we will notice.
- WHATSAPP GROUP
We have created two Whatsapp groups as a means for the organizers to broadcast information to all participants, and as a forum where you can exchange directly about your emotional rollercoasters during the race and give live tips to each other. It is mandatory to join the official group and recommended to join the discussion group. The links are in your mailbox.
- WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU
-phone chargers, extra batteries, power banks
-a car charger to keep your tracker charged (something like this: http://www.clasohlson.com/fi/USB-laturi-12-24-V-Clas-Ohlson/38-7361 )
-a permanent marker to write signs
-shoes you are comfortable walking with
-dry food and water/something to drink
-sunscreen as the weather may be sunny
-clothes that will keep you warm and protect you from the rain as the weather may be shitty
-a swimsuit and a towel (you’ll have the chance to swim at some checkpoints – the secret destination also has a sauna)
-a good paper map showing the location of petrol stations
-mosquito repellent (trust us)
-a Hitchball 4000 vest from a previous race if you own one (we have not ordered new vests this year, but we will hand out some extra vests from previous years at the departure).
Check the weather forecast in the morning and keep in mind that nights are chilly in Lapland. Our best advice is however to pack as lightly as possible – hitchhiking can involve a lot of walking and you will be more comfortable in a packed car if you travel lightly.
If you have booked a room at the destination, you don’t need to take bedsheets with you.
- GPS TRACKERS
To turn the tracker on, press the power button approx. 3 seconds until all three lights of the front panel are on and then release. When the device registers to the GSM network, the red light turns off. When the device finds the GPS satellites, the yellow light starts double blinking instead of “single blinking”.
The battery of the tracker will probably not last the whole race without charging, so please turn the tracker off if you are not moving for an extended period of time (lunch, sleep, etc). To turn the tracker off, press the power button for approx. 5 seconds until the red and yellow lights are off and then release.
Remember to turn it on well before moving again, it takes a while for it to connect. If it struggles to connect for a long time, try turning it off and on again. For optimal signal transmission, try to position the device so that the narrower end is upwards and the front panel with the three light is free.
The tracker comes with a wall charger (faster charging, around 3 hours for a complete charge) and a USB power cable for charging in the car (much slower), charge it whenever possible! There is another led next to the charging plug (under the rubber protection) that will turn red when charging and green once the battery is full.
- MAIN COMPETITION
The winning team is determined by their time of arrival to the secret location. Participants have to complete checkpoint challenges along the way. These checkpoints form two possible routes, the green route (more beginner-friendly) and the red route (more challenging). As the green route is faster, 1 hour spent on the red route equals 1,5 hours spent on the green route.
Don’t hesitate to claim your conquests and celebrate them in the WhatsApp group, but please remember that we need to see a picture or video with the correct hashtags on your Facebook team page in order to validate the challenge as completed. Participants must reach the secret location before Sunday 10 am, or they will be disqualified.
- SPIRIT OF HITCHBALL
In addition to the main competition, we will also give the Spirit of Hitchball to the team that showed the best spirit during the race and made the best publicity for hitchhiking. Quantity and quality of posts, humor, creativity, theme, interactions with the drivers and possible gifts to drivers, overall impact on social media, cool and unexpected things that you have done during the weekend, all of that will count. Surprise us!
- LIVE MAP
The link to the live map of Hitchball 4000 is found at http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/hitch4000/?map=OSM . The map works fine with mobile devices.
- HITCHHIKING SPOTS AND OTHER TIPS
We cannot stress enough how invaluable www.hitchwiki.org is for hitchhikers. It is full of useful tips about hitchhiking. We recommend also to download the app called Hitchhiking Maps, which will show you the Hitchwiki hitchhiking spots on a map. You can navigate using Google Maps or MAPS.ME, which allows the download of offline maps.
- AFTER THE RACE
We have arranged camping and sauna facilities at the secret location for the night between Saturday 15 and Sunday 16. On Sunday, participants are free to hitchhike home (or to the amazing Sodankylä Film Festival for instance) or to use public transportation.
- A FEW REMINDERS ABOUT THE RULES
– Teams are not allowed to pre-arrange rides.
– Members of the team must always travel using the same vehicle.
– Your first ride must depart from the Helsinki capital area (Helsinki/Espoo/Vantaa).
-Teams must hitchhike at least 3 rides of over 100 kms.
– Using public transportation is only allowed inside a city.
– It is not allowed to ask a friend to give you and lift inside a city to a good hitchhiking location if public transportation is a viable option.
– Check out the full rules of the race at https://www.hitchball4000.fi/en/rules/