Whether you’re already an airsoft fan, or simply looking at getting into the sport, gear is a big part of your enjoyment. Airsoft is a great way to bond with the family outdoors if you’re not able to hunt or fish together, and everyone should try it at least once. Here are some top tips to make sure you get the most out of your matches every time.
Instead of paintballs, airsoft uses pellets to simulate a more realistic military experience. The two sports are fairly similar at first glance but there’s a pleasing realism to airsoft that many find missing in paintball. It’s a great way to have some outdoor time that challenges the brain and body both while encouraging teamwork and friendship.
It also encourages quick thinking and strategy, and the balance between that teamwork and independent skill is sure to prove a challenge. Airsoft is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, sweat a little, and have some fun stories to end the day with.
Airsoft gear to consider
One of the biggest draws of airsoft is how realistic the scenarios can get. You’ll need to carefully stock up on gear, weapons, and other accessories to fully enjoy the experience. While you can typically rent equipment for your first experience, you’ll soon learn the benefits of having your gear on hand, and if you’re going to play the sport again, it’s worth investing in quality gear.
Realistic guns (and gun modification) are one of the major appeals of airsoft. However, they’re not without their dangers, and participants should always play airsoft safely. With that out the way, how do you choose your gear? Aim for one main firearm you will enjoy (like this airsoft sniper) and a sidearm for in-case. Consider the power source, velocity, and range that best suits your play-style and typical scenarios. Typically guns are made from plastic, but you will find full metal alternatives too if that floats your boat better.
There’s a huge range of airsoft accessories to make the experience more comfortable and realistic. From gas canisters and holsters, ear protection, slings, and scopes, to HPA systems and external or internal gun mods, you’ve got a lot to play with. We suggest you start simple if you’re new to the sport. There’s always time to buy another accessory if you find that you need one.
Your airsoft clothing is almost as important as the gun you choose, so spend some time finding the right match for your playstyle and preferred scenarios. We have some tips on finding the right tactical gear for the job that can apply to airsoft. Not only should it be comfortable, but you’re also going to want to invest a little into durability so you’re not constantly replacing key items in your kit.
Just like the right clothing, protective gear is a must, and you’re going to want to invest heavily into it, too. Safety pads, gloves, helmets, barrel-blockers, and face masks are all key aspects of any airsoft kit. Take the time to make sure they’re high-quality and fit properly. While the allure of online buying is strong, try to fit (and evaluate) your safety gear in person the first time you buy. This way, you can make sure you are purchasing a quality product. You will also be able to make sure the fit is perfect- and this is an area where you don’t want to take chances.
Your most important additional gear is going to be your ammo. There are many options here, and a lot will come down to personal preference, but it’s always good to consider biodegradable options in case you can’t retrieve the spent bullets later. Remember that you will need to stock up in enough ammo to last the entirety of the match, for each of your weapons.
There are several other choices available to you, including patches, ghillie suits, hydration, and feeding packs, kill rages, and bags, so you’ll be able to customize your airsoft experience fully. Let your hair down and have a little fun; this may be a sport, but it’s supposed to be relaxing, too. The more you buy into the experience, the more authentic it will feel.
A note about first aid
Setting yourself up with the right gear will keep injuries to a minimum, but don’t forget that there is a tactile element to this sport. You won’t get the big rosy bruises you may recognize from paintball, so you’ll probably be safe to do some airsoft over the weekend and head into work on Monday, but it’s unlikely your match will be total without issues.
Expect a blood blister or two, maybe some welts from a particularly close shot, and possibly some scratches from the world around you. As you’re playing in the outdoors, there’s always the basic risks of nature to consider as well. It’s better to play safe than sorry, so consider adding a solid first aid kit to your essential airsoft gear list. Rehydration packs, something to soothe sunburn and insect stings, any necessary allergy and asthma medicines, some bandages and wound-cleaning kits, and a painkiller or two will get good mileage.
While you’re playing a scripted war scenario, remember that you are in the great outdoors, and nature is not always predictable. If you’re heading into the hills, for example, be sure to bring clothes and gear that’s suitable for a sudden rain shower or change of temperature. Choose your area carefully, and be aware of any wildlife (or other natural) dangers that could be around you.
Setting yourself up properly isn’t just a key aspect of airsoft safety, but a major part of the fun too. Your gear boosts the authenticity of the sport and helps you get into the scenarios. Don’t be afraid to enjoy choosing your gear for this fun outdoor sport.
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