Airsoft MILSIM and You Ė What Do You Bring?
Tents are a no-brainer as youíll need some shelter to sleep in between days. The quality of your experience will definitely tie into how nice of a tent you bring. Make sure you spend the time before the game learning how to put up your tent and take it back down. Youíll appreciate not being under any sort of game day pressure to get ready for the event while you go through that learning process.
Lanterns, fire starters and sleeping bags go hand in hand with the tent. This is all relative to the environment where your event takes place, but they are nonetheless important MILSIM airsoft supplies to consider. If youíre cold and uncomfortable overnight, or canít see during a late-night bathroom emergency, the next dayís action is going to be that much tougher. Make sure you have enough fuel for your lantern, whether itís gas or battery-powered, and that you are allowed to start an open fire if you opt to go that route. An air mattress will be a nice add-on to your sleeping bag if the ground is rough.
Lastly, food is an often overlooked aspect of multi-day games. We donít just mean packing snacks for eating on the field like a protein bar or some beef jerky. Youíll need to stock up on actual meals you can eat between segments or during downtime. This can take many forms, from canned and boxed goods to Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) that you can rehydrate and heat up over a small camp stove (another good option to consider bringing with you). Youíll expend a ton of energy and calories playing over the course of your MILSIM event, and youíll want to replenish that energy at some point. Donít forget to bring a little extra over what you expect youíll need. You never know when you can be the ultimate airsoft friend and help out the new guy who was unprepared, and itís a great way to make friends. You might even need the extra yourself if action ends up being more intense than anticipated. (Remember to bring plenty of water as well in case there isnít any readily available at the field.)
Youíve spent a ton of money on making sure your vest and your gun are in tip-top shape to perform during this event, but what do you do if it rains? Are you prepared to go at it soaking wet from the rain and risk the accompanying health issues that it can bring? Consider packing a few items to alleviate this so you can stay comfortable even in the worst conditions.
We recommend some simple choices such as a poncho or a soft shell jacket to keep the rain off along with some good waterproof tactical boots. Keep your uniform requirements in mind for your event as well when selecting gear. Your gear can take the abuse, but nobody wants to spend the day cold and wet if you donít have to.
This applies to other weather conditions as well. If your area is traditionally very warm, pack the appropriate necessities such as sunscreen and short-sleeve clothing options. Consider ways to lighten your loadout to reduce the physical strain on your body. Likewise, if the area is going to be very cold and windy, thermal insulating layers are an excellent choice of option to keep your extremities warm. Keep these weather considerations in mind as you build your list.
As the saying goes, two is one, and one is none. You can never have enough magazines, ammunition or power sources for your airsoft gun. The same applies to your airsoft gun. The last thing you want to have is for your gun to break mid game and be left with no options to play. Consider your list of things you are bringing, and if you have a mission critical item to being able to play, such as boots, socks, your airsoft gun or vest, bring a back up option. This could be something pertinent to inclement weather like we discussed above, or a separate option incase you have some kind of gear failure. Murphy and the law named after him love to lurk in the corners of airsoft events, and you donít want to be left hanging.4. Check your requirements
All of the above advice is conditional upon what games you are playing. As we mentioned before, some games are more immersive than others (think MilSim West games for example) and can have additional or more stringent requirements on the items you bring. You may even be required to carry all of this into the field; in that case, you will need to keep portability in mind. Check the kit lists provided by an event promoter and see if you meet the requirements. Test your gear out beforehand and make sure it will all work for your needs. We cannot stress this enough. Test out your kit in advance and make sure itís all going to function together.
Hopefully, this quick bit of insight helps to get you ready for your first MILSIM game or alleviate problems youíve had in the past. This is by no means a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know for MILSIM, but itís a start. Go forth and sling plastic all you MILSIM padawans, and remember to call your hits!