Tips for playing in bad weather

Tips for playing in bad weather

Tips for playing in bad weather
article by Lucas Healy

Paintball is a game with plenty of dimensions to it, even on the most perfect days. If you throw in some poor weather the dimensions can triple. However, a player who is prepared for the weather can still play the game to the fullest.

To play in this<br>is extreme
To play in this
is extreme
After five years of play I have seen my fair share of snow, rain, hail, and horrible winds that have thrown the center 50 bunker over the safety nets and into the parking lot. Hopefully I can share my knowledge with you all out there to help you have a good day of play, even in that wonderful winter weather. Say that three times.

Headwear is a must
Headwear is a must
Besides for the common knowledge we all have (or don’t have) about paintball let me go into winter weather details starting from head to toe. Your noggin is something you’re going to be using. One way or another, at some point in time, we all are going to use that hunk of gray matter in our heads. Remember when you were little and right before you went out the door on a snowy day for school your mom stuck that beanie on your head that itched like a thousand mosquito bites? Well mommy was looking out for you by putting that beanie on to keep you warm. It is a fact that you lose most of your body heat on a cold day through your uncovered head. Cover up your head when it is cold out there. Not only will it keep you warmer and happier the rest of the day.

As for your mask, I know it is going to fog in the rain but do yourself a favor and keep it on there. The only thing you can do to prevent goggles fogging up in the rain is to buy a thermal lens, which can be found online or at your local pro shop for like 20 bucks. There are also anti-fog liquids you can buy for a couple bucks. Both are well worth the investment. If you have a visor, I would suggest putting it on to help keep rain from getting on the inside of your goggles and to keep the rain off your lens. After the game wipe your mask down so it is dry, and put it somewhere dry. A side note, do not use Rain-X on your lenses cuz it will eat away at most of the plastic properties.

Wear multiple layers
Wear multiple layers
As for your body, dress for the worse with layers. If you can keep yourself warm, your day is going to be 100 times better. Wear a shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and then a jacket. Don’t be afraid to look like a bloated Santa Clause. I would rather be a bloated Santa Clause then a freezing super cool kid who “doesn’t need any more clothes.” Layers are better cuz you can peal off layers as you get warmer from playing. Keep away from cotton if possible. It wicks away water and your precious body heat with it leaving you shivering and miserable.

I suggest wool or polyester, it keeps your body heat in. Polyester material is great for it is light, wicks away moisture, dries quickly, and capable of holding in body heat. Gore-tex is a nice, expensive, solution to keep you warm and dry too.

Your hands are going to be important, considering you need them to pull the trigger. Gloves are an excellent idea. Not only do hand shots in cold weather hurt, but have you ever tried writing with cold hands? Or doing anything that involves using your fingers with cold hands? It hurts and makes the job a lot tougher. Again, wool is awesome and I would suggest it. I would also bring a couple pairs so that way you’re not putting on cold gloves half way through the day. Another big reason to use gloves in bad weather is when it is cold; your gun is going to be cold too.

For your legs, layers of water resistant clothes. Snowboard pants work well because you can still move around like the ninja you are. At the same time you can keep warm and toasty. Under your snow pants some nice long johns can help keep the precious warmth against your body. Key is to wear pants that will keep you dry and warm.

Proper foot wear helps<br> trust me on this
Proper foot wear helps
trust me on this
Those old paint stained basketball shoes and cleats are not going to cut it in the puddles and snow. We all know the feeling of cold toes. It is bad and they seem to take years to warm back up again. It seems that the colder your feet are, the more miserable you are. I much rather prefer to have my feet warm and dry rather than my body. If you have a field with long walks to the playing area just imagine walking that whole way with your toes feeling like they are about to fall off, no fun is it? All terrain water proof boots with long wool socks can help keep the cold out of your shoes and out away from your body.

Use your car to<br> keep stuff warm
Use your car to
keep stuff warm
Now for your gear- you have a gun, hopper, air tank, mask (already covered), paint, and possibly a harness and some pods. All can perform in the sour weather if the user is prepared. In general keep all your gear out of the moisture and in a warm cozy spot as much as possible. A car works great for this, turn the heat on and use warm blankets to keep your stuff as warm as possible. Bring a couple towels and lay them out in the car. When you come back from a game place all your stuff on the towels, dry them off, cover them with the warm blankets, and shut the door.

Your hopper most likely can take the beating as long as you’re not trying to skip it in a puddle like you would a rock. Some may suggest placing a plastic bag around your hopper. If you feel like doing this go ahead, keep in mind you have precious, and not to mention expensive paintballs in your hopper. The hopper shells are the only thing keeping the paint from getting ruined by the rain. Do your best to keep your hopper as dry as possible.

If you have co2 you have yourself a problem. Co2 is a liquid that boils off into a gas state which your marker runs off of to fire a paintball. However, you can get your gun to shoot with co2 in temperatures above freezing if you are careful. To prevent your gun from freezing, you have to control your rate of fire. The faster you shoot your gun with co2 the faster it will freeze up on you. Whenever you can, try to warm up the tank with your body heat as much as possible. Do not stick a co2 tank (or any other pressurized tank) in direct line of a heat source that is not coming from your body heat. I have seen burst discs blow from co2 tanks that were only in front of a heater for less than a few seconds. Co2 is weird and unpredictable, be smart and use your head. If you have the extra money for a High Pressure Air (HPA) tank, it is well worth it cuz temperature does not effect its performance. Compressed air is not affected by weather and is definitely an upgrade worth checking out.

I’ll make the paint/harness/pods all one thing. Your harness isn’t really something to worry about. It is made of material that can take any weather pretty much, so don’t worry too much about that. Pods and paint however are a different story. With bad paint your gun is not going to be shooting well. Cold paint shoots horrible. Keep your paint as warm as you can. Again a car is a good place for this. It is best to only take as much paint as you will need to play a game. If you load up your pack with seven pods and only go through one pod per game, the paint will get cold and become more brittle. The longer your paint is exposed to the cold and the rain, the more likely it will become unusable.

Anything insulated will work also. Your pods will need to be treated the same way. Cold pods will morph the paint. Also, never expose your paint to moisture. Go ahead and put a paintball under you sink for a little bit. Leave the ball there and come back. The ball is going to be almost twice its original size. That is why you can’t let your paint get wet. So make sure your paint is in a warm dry spot and the same goes for your pods.

Some companies will make winter fill paint during the winter time. If you can get your hands on this it will help out a lot of you are having problems with your gun busting paint. For colder weather you are going to want thicker paint and a thicker shell.

Well there are my tips for playing in poor weather. Hopefully you all will enjoy paintball more during the winter with my tips.

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