Practical and Basic Airsoft Carriage

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Wesker
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Practical and Basic Airsoft Carriage

Post by Wesker » Mon Sep 26, 2011 01:23

Posted this one another forum, I figure it is needed here as well since its original "inspiration" still happens every game.

I am writing this in response to what I have seen at numerous games and read about at hundreds more. And that is: Players showing up to games completely unprepared for the event in terms of the most basic of gear. As well as the polar opposite where players show up to a short game with enough equipment for 72 hours. Nothing I will say is gospel, its simply what I have found to be practical and true in the years I have played and the dozens of rigs I have used to transport a wide variety of equipment. Also note that this guide is meant for practical load bearing and will not touch on things people may do for impressions or to achieve a certain look.


Clothing

This is a no brainer that I shouldn't even have to cover but will anyway. First of all get boots with decent ankle support. Sneakers aren't going to help you from twisting an ankle in the woods. You can even get a pair of cheap hikers from WalMart for less then twenty bucks that will last a few months at minimum. The potential dangers are really not worth saving a few bucks, not to mention most reputable fields require boots.

The second is a decent set of camouflage. Again this stuff can be had cheap if you shop around. The materials are best suited for what we do. SEALS may of worn jeans decades ago, but that was before rip stop existed. Denim is not a comfortable fabric to be in if its hot or gets wet, both of which happen more often then not. Hoodies and other street clothes are just as impractical for obvious reasons. With the price of used camo their really isn't a reason to not own at least one set.

For colder weather just remember to LAYER. There are plenty of good guides on how to dress warmly so I will not bother to go into anymore detail here.

Head coverings. There is a lot of variety and choices. In the winter a good fleece watch cap is worth its weight in gold due to the amount of heat the body loses through the head. In the summer they [hats in general] can keep the sun from beating down on your head and a bandanna can keep some of the sweat out of your goggles, reducing fog. Head coverings are also important in the summer to keep ticks from getting to your scalp. Helmets are more or less useless in the woods unless you are running NODS. In a MOUT environment they can save you from smacking your head on walls and the like and thus are considerably more practical, even without NODS.

Gloves. Most people either like or hate to wear gloves. I love them as I catch poison ivy rather easily. There are tons of options out their that allow protection and enough dexterity to preform all airsoft related tasks. The more affordable options are nomex flight gloves and Mechanix gloves. Both of which can be had for around twenty bucks. In the winter they are also have the added benefit of keeping your hands a bit warmer.

Knee/Elbow pads. A pretty personal decision. I have a bad knee so they are pretty important for me. It's common to wear just one on your dominant knee. If you play in a rocky or MOUT area a lot, I would suggest two. Never been in a situation where I wished I had elbow pads, YMMV.

Socks. A commonly over looked piece of gear. To prevent blisters the most ideal combination is a thin pair of socks, I prefer water proof ones, and then a pair of regular socks over the first pair. In the winter I use boot socks so that my feet do not get as cold, but in the summer, a normal pair of socks is usually adequate.


Tactical Nylon

Everyone I have ever seen at a game thinking they didn't need a rig for an average day (4+ scenarios) of airsoft was not able to keep up that attitude for more then one day. If you use your uniform pockets to carry all of your ****, you are going to lose half of your ****. Now this doesn't mean you need to go out and buy $500 in MOLLE gear. To the contrary only buy what you need to preform your job efficiently.

As far as gear goes their are tons of options out there that I will cover later, in another post. Just pick something comfortable that can carry everything you need. Avoid the color black and don't worry too much about matching. There is a lot of older USGI gear for sale on E-Bay so you can usually get a good set up for well under $100.

Assault packs. I see people recommend them often. Why? I will never know. You can easily transport enough supplies for eight, even 24 hour scenarios on your person without having to resort to a large THREE DAY assault pack. Camelbak makes a lot of designs in between a hydro carrier and a 3 day pack that are better suited for airsoft.

That being said, assault packs do offer an advantage in some games. If you will be operating out of a set base for an entire game you can dump the pack and run a lighter rig and just reload from the pack throughout the day. Another school of thought is to just drop the pack when you run into bad guys. But should you end up pursuing them for a distance you might not see that pack again for several hours without wasting time going back to it. Thus leave the possibility that you run out of supplies because you were only carrying so many on your rig.

Which is why it is generally easier to carry what you need on your person and not a ton of extra crap. Extra crap will need more energy which equates to more calories and water needed which will add even more weight to your load out. Fight right, fight light.


Guns & Ammo

I just mentioned that you should fight light, but that doesn't mean fight stupid. Read up on the game you are going to. Take note of who you are with. How many bad guys you will be against. What your primary weapon is capable of. Etc. Look at all the variables and plan accordingly. A prime example of epic failure in this regard is half of tan at Honor the Brave. Half of them walked off the field two hours into the game because they ran out of ammo. It was known for weeks that the game would be at last six hours long and there would be one hundred people on each side. The only reason people should of run dry on batteries and ammo that soon, is poor planning.

After a few games everyone should have a general idea of their ammo consumption and magazine requirements. Carry enough to last you through the day in 99% of circumstances. Its impossible to prepare for every variable and you will be carrying the kitchen sink if you try. But nothing is more annoying to your teammates then to lose half the man power because you were only carry one set of loaded magazines. BBs are not bullets, they weigh A LOT less. Carry enough.

Also, its usually not necessary to carry a surplus(12+) of loaded magazines. Getting wounded and down time are facts of airsoft, use this time to get out your speed loaders and top off all of your magazines.

Balance is critical and pretty easy to judge with a bit of experience.

Side arms. There is a huge debate on if you should carry one or not and when. I will not get into that. I will simply say that if you carry one get a GOOD holster for it. Saving a few bucks isn't worth losing that $40 GBB magazine, or worse the entire gun. Do not skimp on holsters. SERPA and Safariland holsters are the best, both have decent replicas available as well.


Safety Equipment

Pretty much every field has a required list of safety gear. Many do not bother to verify you have it but its stupid not to carry at least the bare minimum.

Water. I can recall more then a handful of games that had to be stopped because someone wasn't properly hydrating. Even if you cannot afford a Camelbak, canteens and nalgene bottles are not that expensive. And certainly easier then suffering heat stroke.

Whistle. Radios are often unreliable at best. Whistles are cheap as hell and pretty much foolproof. Even the most experienced players can wind up getting lost at a field they have played at all their airsoft career.

Compass & Maps. Some fields require them, some don't. 80% of the people carrying them don't know how to use them anyway. If the field requires it I suggest some quick reading on the subject but in most cases if you get lost its better to remain where you are when awaiting rescue.

First Aid Kit. Most fields do not require players to carry one. Everyone should carry a basic one though. Adventure Medical Kits sells a lot of great and affordable kits to deal with the small injuries that can occur whilst running around the woods. Its better to quickly deal with the issue yourself then: A) Letting it get infected or B) Having the game stop because you are bleeding like a stuck pig and don't even have a gauze sponge. I will add wet wipes in here as well. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Carbohydrate Electrolyte Gel. I only recently found out about this from DR at a HITS event but have been carrying them ever since. They are available for a buck or two at most sporting good stores and are great to refuel in the middle of a long game since they can replenish most of the things water cannot.

Emergency Contact Card. Basically an index card in a bag with emergency contact info on it in the event the worst happens. Most people that carry them, will carry them in the breast pockets of their top. I cover mine in packing tape so that its water proof.

Knife. Seldom can you go one game without someone saying they need a knife to cut something. They are inexpensive, just watch what you buy as many vendors unknowingly sell blades that are considered illegal. A multi-tool is also a good choice due to the added number of tools you get in the same size package.

Eye Protection. Its important, very important. Even a butchered paint ball mask from WalMart is better then the shop goggles some people show up with.

Dead Rag. The most commonly "lost" piece of equipment. If you don't want to get shot extra be sure to bring two or three of them. Go to WalMart (noticing a trend?) and buy a pack of red bandannas for a few bucks and stuff them in your rig so you don't "forget" them.


Miscellaneous

Food. As long as you aren't worried about a gourmet meal, the best option is usually bars. They can easily fit into a pocket, give you what you need to keep going and are inexpensive. You do not NEED to eat MREs.

Tie downs. Either zip ties, paracord, or tape. I usually have at least two of them. Needing them is more common then most people think.

Radio. Every field I know requires them. So far only one checks. I am guilty in the past of showing up to games with out a radio. New people especially are convinced they do not need them. In addition to being a safety item they are crucial for proper team organization. Don't be "that guy" at a game because you put $300 in upgrades into your gun but a $30 radio was too much or you are "too good" to need help.

Watch. Another important piece of equipment people often forget. Its easier then checking your cell phone and costs a lot less if it breaks. They even sell these at the DOLLAR store.
WW
The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Ulysses S. Grant

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Jason_Cain
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Re: Practical and Basic Airsoft Carriage

Post by Jason_Cain » Mon Sep 26, 2011 13:11

I'm still pretty new to airsoft but I did learn quite a bit at HtB myself. Couple things I wanted to add are:

Test your gear. I came to the game having tested my gear a little bit and left that day with a sore hip among other annoyances and a lot of resolutions for changing my kit. That said, try your gear out in smaller games before hand and plan accordingly. That assault pack that is so awesome might leave you with large welts on your shoulder blades if you hadn't played with it previously to see how it affected you in a game setting (ie. running around the house twice will not give you a good indication as to whether it will work w/ your system or not).

For reasons unknown, I've never bought a camelbak despite years of hiking. But at the recent game, I found two poland spring bottles stuffed in one of the larger pockets of my chest rig did just fine. I plan on getting a molle setup soon but the hydration carrier I'm getting for it will just hold miscellaneous items and spare water bottles to swap the front two out with when they run dry. It's really about what works in your system.

Thanks for the post!

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