MilSim stands for Military Simulation and is a kind of airsofting that takes our sport onto the next level of realism. Players are kept to strict rules with regards to their kit, weapons and ammo, are often regimented exactly as they would be in the military, and play through day and night operations.
If you’ve not played on a MilSim event before or are playing on one soon, this blog should help you be prepared for rapid changes in weather, temperature and terrain, and stay safe in the field.
We won’t be covering camo, body armour, etc. in this article. Often, MilSim events have rules as to what pattern you’re allowed to wear, so ensure that you read up on your event’s rules before exercises begin.
As with any outdoor sport, we recommend that you wear high ankle boots. High ankle boots will protect you if you were to roll or twist your ankle. We also suggest water proof boots, or at least water resistant. As you will find with the majority of our suggestions for dressing for MilSim, they mostly revolve around staying dry and warm.
Keep your feet warm and dry with watertight boots, and if you can find them, water proof socks. Waterproof socks won’t stop your feet from getting wet, but they won’t absorb the water. This means that your feet get drier much faster and you can warm up quickly after stepping knee deep into a puddle.
Your under-layers are very important when you’re in the field.
In the bitter cold, we suggest a moisture wicking layer beneath a thermal layer. The moisture wicking layer will pull away sweat from your skin and prevent it from cooling you down too much and the thermal layer will contain your heat.
The moisture wicking layer will also provide a barrier against your skin, in case you get wet and your thermal layers get soaked.
The important thing to bear in mind is that it’s very difficult to dress for day time combat and night time combat, even if the temperature is the same. Night time combat is much slower; you expend less energy and have to work harder to stay warm.
Don’t be afraid to be flexible in your clothing. Carry a pouch/backpack large enough to shed a layer or two when you’re overheating.
Hats and Gloves
Hats are an important method of regulating your body temperature. You only lose the majority of your body heat from your head if it’s not covered. Wear a hat if your MilSim event allows it, but be aware of your profile. A large fluffy hat is an easier target.
Gloves are an absolute must when airsofting in cold conditions. Just be wary of your dexterity. You want to be able to feel your selector switch yet still be able to fit your finger into the trigger. Again, don’t be afraid to be flexible.
Be realistic with what you need. Whilst it might seem more realistic to carry a giant bergen full of everything you could possibly need, don’t sacrifice on your enjoyment and ability to stay up with the group.
You do not need a camping stove on an overnight operation. Tea withdrawal doesn’t kick in for 72 hours.
Carry plenty of water, bring extra dry clothes (if getting wet is a possibility) and something warm to sleep in (if getting sleep is a possibility).
Airsoft is about enjoying yourself, don’t let the pursuit of ‘realism’ get in the way of that.