As a paying customer of an Airsoft event company there is a degree of freedom (for good or bad) you just don’t have if you’re in the military, that puts the onus on each person to work out how best to look after themselves.
Whilst issued gear in the armed forces is often replaced by lighter and more “Ally” private purchases with items such as mountaineering thermals and a jet boil being quite common, the issued kit will for the most part do the job and offer a spartan yet adequate level of usability or comfort.
The average soldier will be also given training and instruction in the most basics of tasks such as how to take a dump, how to wash their balls and how to get in and out of a sleeping bag. This knowledge is important and with information being so readily available on the internet there really isn’t any excuse for even the most sheltered of people to get some legit knowledge before heading out.
With airsofters there is no average in terms of ability, airsofters come from all backgrounds and all abilities. From former and current serving armed forces to admin and retail staff, we come from all walks of life, differing abilities and different knowledge levels on how to look after yourself. I’ve seen everything from the over-prepared (No such thing in reality) to the extremely underprepared player rock up to a weekender, Its actually something that triggers me a little and if I ran an events company I’d probably send the unprepared off to a premier inn, or worse… The Castle Hotel
First and foremost you have a duty of care to yourself and others in your presence, if you can’t afford suitable outdoor clothing and equipment then at the risk of me annoying people, I’d suggest you shouldn’t spend £100 on a weekend game ticket.
So let’s look at knowledge first, what do you need to know and what are the most common questions people have?
Q, What environment am I staying in?
A, The site operator should be able to answer this, sometimes they keep it tight lipped or sometimes the exact arrangements won’t be immediately available to them… Certainly with MOD sites it’s never guaranteed to have a weathertight accom for players. Check with the organisers, others who have played at the site before should be able to provide an answer as well.
Q, What will the weather be like?
A, Check with the met office, also understand the terrain… rural locations in the hills are more likely to attract adverse weather, barren hillsides will be colder than sheltered woodland and coastal locations can often be windier than those inland. Take a set of dry set of clothes to change into anyway, you’ll thank me later.
Q, What are the toilet facilities?
A, Toilets… Unless you have the ability to hold a giant shit in for 36 hours then you’ll need to know the toilet arrangements. Take your own bog roll, antibac and wet wipes, prepare your mind for a toilet line something out of trainspotting and for god sake don’t let your dick touch the seat. (the below pic is not me, I cannot stress that enough!😂).
Q, Will there be Food and Water available?
A, never assume there’s food or water on site, it doesn’t matter how big or well know. The site or operator is, sometimes the biggest sites have the least facilities. Pack enough food for 5 small snack meals a day plus 3/4 litres of water per day plus an extra 2 litres… a two day game you’ll want 8/10 litres total.
Q, Can I use (insert gun, pyro, camo) at this game?
A, Don’t be a bell end, you should have the answers to any critical questions before booking onto a game. Finding out that a game doesn’t allow high caps when that’s all you own and you’ve already turned up on site is how people get reputations as idiots. It puts the organiser into a position where they either have to turn you away or change the game purely for one guy’s inability to ask a question or read the rules beforehand.
So there’s the majority of questions that people have, all of which can be answered by either looking at the event organisers website, using google or asking the event staff. Waiting until you can’t do anything about it is only one persons fault… Yours.
So let’s get into the bare bones of it, what do you need at a Milsim? Well I covered most of it in a previous blog… Battle Prep but whereas that covered the misconceptions and a very brief kitlist, this is more about the mental preparation needed both before and during to keep the game fun for yourself and others around you.
The main thing is a positive attitude and a willingness to muck in. Milsim games and the majority of weekenders are based around a theme, this could be current events, WW2 or post apocalyptic… However the willingness to play your role is such a big influence on not only your enjoyment of the weekend but also impacts heavily on those around you.
Forrest Gump and Bubba Blue, they had their heads screwed on… Working together to make the best of an uncomfortable situation, they slept back to back in the rains of southern Vietnam. It might be just a clip from a movie but it shows how a buddy system can provide both people with a second pair of helping hands… From cooking your oppo’s meal to holding the cling film under his arse whilst he shits in it… well maybe not that far but you get the idea.
Look after yourself and those around you… the importance of this cannot be stressed enough, if you’re hungry… eat, if you’re cold… out on a jacket or another layer, if you’re thirsty… Well you should be almost constantly drinking anyway. If you ain’t pissing like a racehorse at an event you’re probably dehydrated. One of the most ally things you can do is be “that guy” who chucks a mars bar or bottle of water at a guy in need, it’s a little gesture but trust me, people respect those who are their brothers keeper.
Looking after each other should go without saying but despite these teams posts and the throwing around of the word Brother, There’s a lack of unity in the Airsoft world. Let’s not forget that we’re all here for a good time, if your able to make someone’s day a little better just crack in and do it. Last summer at Copehill was a scorcher… one of the Task Force patrols that came through our buildings had a couple of guys who were reallly struggling, mostly through a lack of preparedness and poor kit choices.
It took me and my magic coolbox loaded with water to help this guy back on his feet, it should have never come to a guy literally dry retching and complaining that his head was banging with whooshing noises in his ears for someone to realise that they were in a shit state… He dropped the ball but so did his mates, look after yourself but don’t forget those around you.
Also important and all too often forgotten is respect, both for others on your team and the organisers but also the other team as well. The rules should provide a clear line of what is and what isn’t allowed but you also have to bear in mind rule number one… Don’t be a dick.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, think about the situation being reversed and work out what your reaction would be. Shooting up someone’s gear whilst raiding their building might not technically be breaking the rules but appreciate that putting holes in someone’s water bottle is a dick move.
Keep yourself and your gear squared away, nothing winds up a site owner more than rubbish blowing around their buildings. Most of the events I’ve attended have resulted in the event staff having to chase up bits of rubbish to help keep the peace with the site owners, also making sure that these sites are kept usable for the Airsoft community as a whole.
So there you have it, in a nutshell it’s about research, having realistic expectations, looking after your pals and not being a dick… If you feel this is too much like hard work? Do everyone a favour and don’t book on.