For those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter is upon us and this can stop even the hardiest of airsofters from braving the cold on a Sunday morning. This means that during the winter, the sport can grind to a halt and there’s few players out there.
To you guys who get out there and continue enjoying the sport, we’ve put together a handful of tips that go beyond ‘wrap up warm’ and should get you out there playing even on the coldest of days (or nights).
Wear Tinted Lenses.
It’s not something that you usually think about when you think about playing airsoft in the winter. The winter means that the sun doesn’t seem like as much of an issue. However, on the rare sunny winter days that we get, the sun is much lower in the sky than usual. This means that you could be playing with the sun in your eyes all day.
Aside from the obvious lack of fun that comes with playing with your eyes half closed all day, it can be very uncomfortable, cause damage and headaches. Remember to wear tinted lenses to give your eyes a bit of added protection and maybe even a peaked cap of sorts.
Wear Layers (duh)
Okay, this one isn’t actually a secret. It’s fairly obvious that the cold means you should be wearing more layers. However, we’ve got a few tips to help you make the most out of the layers you’re wearing.
First wear a synthetic layer that removes moisture from the skin (keeping you warm). Then add a thermal layer over the top the trap heat created by your body. Then add additional protection layers depending on the day’s temperature and weather.
As airsoft is a relatively “stop and start” game, there can be periods where you’re often standing around doing lots of exercise (heating up) and times when you’re just standing around (getting cold). Most sports, like football, rugby, tennis mean that you can easily add layers and remove them when you’re waiting around but you can’t with airsoft. You’re either waiting around in the field (hiding) or you’ve got tactical equipment over the top – either way, it’s hard in those situations to get dressed/undressed.
We suggest vents! A lot of military/outdoorsy clothing has integrated vents that open up the sides to allow cool air into your clothing. These vents are perfect compromises which allow you to stay warm whilst waiting (hiding) and cool whilst exerting.
How to airsoft in the winter tip 3 Warm Up. Gee, thanks Abbey, hadn’t thought of that!
We don’t literally mean get warm, we mean the kind of warm up you do before exercise – the kind that prevents you from pulling a muscle.
The cold weather means that pulling a muscle from sudden exercise is a very real possibility. This would put you out of action for the rest of the day. Take the time before game play to warm up, stretch your muscles and prepare your body for some serious exercise. Slowly ease into the strenuous task of hurling BBs at each other.
Don’t risk getting injured.
Prepare for wind
Hidden tip number 4 – Prepare for wind! The winter means that wind is a very real possibility that can drastically affect your airsoft game. We suggest using a heavier BB than usual to try and combat the effects of the wind.
Whilst a heavier BB will inevitably lower your range, you should be more effective within your range.
Don’t be afraid to use the wind to your advantage, move to a position facing downwind so that their rounds are fighting against it to reach you and they have to smell you coming. If fighting in a cross wind, put cover on the side that the wind is blowing (if possible), this will make you a much harder target to hit.
This is a fairly obvious tip that most people seem to forget when doing exercise in the winter. People seem to believe that they won’t sweat when working hard in the cold. It’s simply not true.
If you’ve dressed properly for the cold, you will inevitably sweat. This is why we wear a moisture wicking layer to draw this sweat away and prevent it from cooling you down too much.
The danger comes when you forget to hydrate, your blood begins to thicken and your body has to work harder to put it to your extremities and stay warm. This results in feeling colder and danger to your digits.
That’s it, these are our 5 top (secret) tips to airsofting in the winter and enjoying it. In conclusion, protect your eyes, stay dry, prepare your body, play with the wind and keep your fluids up. Simple.