Winter is coming.
No, this is not a Game of Thrones meme, winter truly is on the way. Unlike Game of Thrones however it really is just around the corner. Many of you reading this may be getting ready for your last few games of the year before you pack everything away and retreat to your TV screens for a long winter of Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty.
Well hold it right there!
A little cold weather and a mountain of snow is no reason to pack your gear away. The winter season opens up many new playing opportunities that you usually wouldn’t get to experience any other time of year. The playing field changes on a daily basis as snow drifts build and that bunker that was the strong point of a field is now buried under 10ft of snow opening it up to a whole new playing style. Dive for cover without the risk of landing on rocks or dirt or even bury yourself with the snow and waiting for the other team to walk right past you. The winter opens up so many new possibilities it is a shame not to play all year round.
You will hear all kinds of excuses people come up with for not playing in the winter. Everything from equipment issues to not wanting to get eaten by a snow monster. Well I am going to give you a few tips and tricks to get the most out of playing paintball or airsoft in the winter.
However, you are on your own with the snow monster. That thing is terrifying.
Tip 1: My gun doesnt work in the cold
Both paintball and airsoft players will have this issue. Unfortunately whoever designed these is probably sitting on a nice beach somewhere while we are shoveling out our cars to get to work. They simply are not designed for cold weather. There are a few things you can do however to keep your gear running.
– Keep your batteries warm! You can often fit a small hand warmer in with your battery to keep it lasting a little longer.
– Use good quality batteries. If I see you buying batteries at Dollarama we wont be friends anymore.
– Keep your gun oiled/lubed. If your gun uses lube you want to find something very thin that will not gum up when it gets cold. If your gun uses oil make sure you do it before ever use.
– Keep your CO2 warm or use HPA. CO2 pressure drops when it is cold out so we suggest using HPA whenever possible. If you are using CO2 you can put a couple hand warmers inside of a sock and put around your tank. It isnt pretty, but it works. Keep 12g co2 tanks close to you or in a pocket with a hand warmer.
Tip 2: My mask/glasses keep fogging up
Like any activity which involves a mask or goggles fogging in a common issues. There are many ways to overcome this issue.
– BUY A THERMAL MASK! do not be fooled by “anti-fog” or “fog resistant” masks. These have a coating which will wear off over time or when they get wet (so 94% of the days in Newfoundland). A thermal mask is a dual pane mask that will not fog up. A high end thermal mask should NEVER fog up.
– Shampoo, hand soap, or dish detergent will also help prevent a mask from fogging. Rub a little on the inside and outside of your mask (or glasses) and leave it for 2-3 minutes then wipe it off. This is only a temporary fix but it will help.
– Wear something over your mouth. Wear a shemagh or balaclava over your mouth to prevent your breath from fogging your mask
Tip 3: Come Prepared!
– Dress for the weather. You aren’t going for style points. Dress for the weather. Bring a change of clothes. Wear that cute squid hat you your grandmother knit for you. Another thing to keep in mind is the more clothing you have on the less getting shot will hurt.
For any of you who have decided to read this far I am going to get you in on a little secret. This is one of the biggest myths and misconceptions in paintball. Everytime I hear this I shed a little tear…that doesnt freeze either.
Paintballs. Don’t. Freeze.
Thats right. You read it. A paintball does not freeze. To get a paintball to the freezing point you would need something like liquid nitrogen. When a paintball gets cold its shell will become MORE brittle. This means it will hurt LESS and probably shatter in the gun.
When playing in the winter you want to use a winter formulated paintball. These paintballs have a different shell tenacity preventing them from becoming brittle when it gets cold out.
Hopefully you can take something from this to improve your winter experience. Our open games will be happening all winter. Some grab your gear and head out to the field. Maybe i’ll be waiting in my snow fort or maybe i’ll be hiding in the snow waiting. Or maybe the snow monster got me. Seriously, we need to do something about that thing.