People often forget vital items when they go out to play. New players who have no idea what to expect often ask us what to bring too. In this blog we will go after the essentials so that you can get the most out of your trip to your local airsoft field. For quick reference, we will provide a handy checklist up top and if you want to understand the reasons behind each item you can read on.
- Functioning airsoft gun
- Rifle bag
- Power source - batteries (1 minimum, more than 1 is ideal), green gas or CO2
- Ammo: small bottle would be sufficient for all day (though a big bottle would be a safe bet)
- BB loader (if you run pistols or mid capacity magazines)
- Eye protection: Z87+ ANSI rating with retention strap that must seal fully around the eyes
- Face protection: mesh mask (if required)
- Barrel bag (if required)
- Bug spray/sunblock (if playing outdoors)
- Dead rag (optional)
- Cleaning supplies
Now let's go behind each item. Our starter kits should have all the critical essentials to get you going for the first time out at a field by the way. Be sure to check those out.
- Functioning airsoft gun - This seems pretty obvious but some people just go straight to the field with a questionable gun and aggravate themselves by having to mess with a gun that is not running properly to begin with. This makes things more frustrating when you have paid an admission fee and trying to get your gun to work at the chrono station to get your gun checked before play. Don't do this to yourself. Check your gun and give it a good shakedown before you go play so there will be no surprises. If you just got the gun, you should still do this. This is also a good time to verify that your gun is shooting within safe limits for the field you intend to play. If you take a gun straight to the field after purchase, your brand new gun might be shooting beyond the limit by just a hair and that would be grounds for denial onto a field. This could also be an annoying situation. Our advice is to test fire the gun to break it in or verify before hand that your gun shoots under a certain limit before even going out to the field. The field is a terrible place to try and troubleshoot or try and solve problems. If you need help verifying your gun's performance, you could always reach out to the shop you purchased from and verify with them what your gun shoots. At Fox Airsoft, we offer use of our chronograph if you are in the store if you're out here in Parker, Colorado.
- Rifle bag - Transporting your airsoft gun to and from your ride onto a field or shop means you should do this discretely for safety. Be responsible and use a rifle bag.
- Power source - For your gas powered guns, obviously you will want to bring your green gas or CO2. Green gas is volatile and flammable. Be sure that you do not keep it inside a hot car. If it is a hot day at your field be sure you do not keep the can out in direct sunlight or it could explode. For AEGs, you will want to bring enough batteries to last for how long you intend to play. Typically we recommend two batteries so you have no down time. If you do not fire very much, you might be able to get by with just one battery but I'd rather be able to stay out there and help out my team by not dropping out of a match so I always bring two.
- Magazines - Bring as many magazines as you need to stay in a round of airsoft and then some. Usually it won't be too many if you use high-cap magazines. If you use mid caps you will want to carry more. Carrying your magazines and not having them fall out and get lost during a game may require some creativity or the purchase of some sort of web gear. At our local field FAF for example, our rounds last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes which includes a switch sides and we allow respawns. If I am playing the sections of the field with a lot more contact with the enemy team I could easily go through 300 or more rounds. On the longer range maps where I hang back and shoot I might use well under that. When there are a lot of players that day I could also see myself using twice as much ammo. If you are a really active run-and-gun type player, you can easily shoot more than that in a single round. Starting with about 2 high-caps worth is probably good for most situations and then adjust on your future visits after you look back at how you played. High caps can be loaded in the field so you could always carry a BB bottle with you.
- Ammo - Bring the preferred ammo in weights of your choices. The type of field you play will dictate whether or not you need biodegradable ammo. A small bottle like the Elite Force 2700 count bottles tend to last me all day, though when my play style calls for more suppression fire or lots of shooting, the 5000 count is a safer bet. If you could the number of BBs you bring with you, you could also derive an idea of how many batteries you need to use them all up. Think about it!
- BB loader - Do you run mid cap magazines? Bring a BB loader or two. These things are always getting misplaced so I always bring an extra. You can load in between rounds or even during a game. If you forget these and you are running mid cap magazines exclusively, you have effectively screwed yourself. These loaders are also useful for loading pistol magazines.
- Eye protection - Again, use only Z87+ ANSI rated gear that is full seal and has a retention strap. A BB can slip anywhere do it is important you use full seal eye wear. Have a buddy visually check you to look for daylight between your goggles and eyes. If there is a gap it is considered unsafe and you won't be allowed to play.
- Face protection - Face protection will usually be a mesh mask or something similar. This may be optional at your field but I still would recommend one because you could get shot in the teeth and that would not be good. Some fields require ear coverage as well, so there are mesh masks we offer that also cover the ears. A full paintball mask would count for eye and face protection too. They will work perfectly fine but they won't be as comfortable or breath as well.
- Barrel bag/barrel cover/barrel condom - Some fields require the use of a tethered barrel cover that will stop a shot if there is an accidental discharge. You may have to rent or purchase one to be admitted to those fields.
- Water - Don't count on fields having all the amenities for you. Bring your own water and plenty of it. Don't become a heat casualty and be sure to take in plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Bug spray & sun block -These should be considered when playing outdoors. Getting eaten alive by bugs is no fun!
- Dead rag/kill rag - These are handy to wave around to mitigate getting over shot. Not a guarantee but it couldn't hurt to be highly visible in some cases. Elite Force makes a nice MOLLE mounted one.
- Cleaning supplies - This could help you if you're having some issues with jamming. Remember not to try to shoot out the BB that is stuck, it could transfer damage to your gearbox.
That concludes my suggestions on what to bring with you to go play at an airsoft field. Feel free to jot these down and use it or make your own checklist to make sure you have everything you need to get the most out of your day of airsofting. Remember, you're taking the time to go to a field and spending money on admission. If you come unprepared that will change your experience and some people might be easily frustrated by this and carry that frustration into the game and it just gives bad vibes all around. We want you to be successful out there so I hope this will set you up for success.