I would suggest practicing cooking during the late night hours – like starting your smoker up at 10 pm or at 2 am. There is a difference to starting up a smoker on a cool / chilly night and starting one up on a sunny warm day. On our first comp we lost over an hour getting up to temp starting the fire the way we did. Plus it was a little difficult for us working at night – we have adequate lights now but we learned the hard way.
We also learned a lot from the first comp we did where it stormed on us – Lord have mercy did we learn a lot.