Survive a Summer Paintball Scenario!
Surviving Summer Paintball Scenario Games!
Scenario Paintball Games Sizzle!
The paintball season, for serious players on both the tournament and scenario side of the game, generally runs from Spring through Fall, with exceptions for places with more favorable climates. Tournaments and paintball scenario games dot players’ calendars and many of the bigger events like Skirmish ION and Living Legends, happen in the Summer. This means temperatures can climb into well into the 90’s and humidity thickens the air. For players who plan on spending many hours playing paintball on huge fields while carrying and wearing loads of paintball gear, the heat and humidity of summer games can be challenging at best, and even dangerous if it isn’t respected. Major paintball scenario games like Skirmish ION, Legends, the Midwest and East Coast Supergames and many others are played during the height of the summer months. While sometimes we all get lucky and the heat isn’t so bad or the humidity might be low, the odds of it being hot and humid at a big paintball scenario game you’ll attend is pretty good and it can be hazardous if a player isn’t prepared. Don’t take the chance on heat-related injuries that can lead to missing a few hours of play while you recover or long-term injury, hospitalization or worse.
Playing paintball in the heat is one thing, and it alone is a challenge. But add the long hours of a scenario game and the potential for camping and camaraderie (and maybe even a few adult beverages) with friends before the game, and the potential for heat-related complications start to rise. Players must understand the critical importance that hydration plays in seeing a game through from the opening gun to the awards ceremony – drinking water is critical. This doesn’t just mean chugging a bottle here and there, but knowing that in the days leading to an event, increasing water intake to a ensure the player doesn’t begin the game dehydrated is a good idea. Following this up with consistent water intake throughout the event is necessary as the sweat doesn’t just start when the paint starts to fly! Long walks and waiting in the heat to register, pick up paintballs, get air, chronograph and then walk to a staging area or team checkpoint will all get the sweat flowing especially once paintball pants, a jersey, headband or hat, and paintball goggles come on.
On the field, some players will choose to forego a pod in their pack or vest and replace it with a bottle of water, and that’s a great idea. An even better idea is a hydration system like a Camel Back, that allows a player to carry water with them and get a quick drink, even with goggles on (like they should always be on the field). Off the field, proper preparation for a hot summer paintball scenario includes a cooler of your own, filled with water, a sports drink or two and some light and somewhat healthy food items that can be used throughout the day to keep a player’s body as cool and safe as can-be. Staggering off the field hot and sweaty, then wandering over to a concession tent to wait in a long line in the hot summer sun for an expensive bottle of water is no way to stay hydrated when the heat is on! Stage in the shade as much as possible – if it isn’t available and provided by the host field, bring an EZ-Up tent and set it up with some chairs to sit on to get everyone out of the sun when the paint isn’t flying.
In the extreme heat of summer paintball scenario games, some players may wish to consider making alterations to their usual loadouts. If it’s over 90 degrees, maybe that wool beanie can stay in the gear bag this event? While some players already have well-ventilated or mesh team paintball jerseys, other players who might normally hit the field in more tactical attire like BDU jackets and a tactical vest, or even Ghillie Suits may want to consider items a bit more practical that will allow hot air to flow away from the body to keep cooler on the field. Some paintball pants offer mesh ventilation panels, while others do not. For play in the hot summer weather, consider a pair that will encourage some air flow to keep the lower body a bit cooler. A spare headband to soak up all that sweat is a good thing to keep in the gear bag, as is a set of dry replacement goggle face foam, if your goggles are a model that allow face foam to be swapped out. This will help keep sweat out of the eyes.
Finally, there’s the human factor in staying safe and hydrated during a paintball scenario event – we all have to watch out for each other! You and your teammates and friends need to take personal responsibility to make sure one-another are staying hydrated and cool while you’re playing in the heat. That means when you and the team come off the field after a long, hot battle, get in the shade and take a quick look at one another. Is everyone still sweating? Nobody’s shaking or getting pale, right? If you’re already off the field and your teammates come off after you, grab a cool bottle of water from the cooler and hand it to them. Ask if they’ve had plenty to drink and something to eat. In the extreme heat of summer scenario paintball, you ARE your brother or sister’s keeper and their safety is your responsibility, as much as yours is theirs. It’s easier to make sure they’re in the shade and drinking water than it is to watch them being loaded into an ambulance suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Survive the Summer Paintball Sizzle!
Surviving a summer scenario when the temperatures soar and the action is doesn’t have to be difficult – stay hydrated, stay as cool as possible and make the right choices on gear use, clothing and alcohol consumption. Yet, players every summer season still succumb to the heat because they and their teammates don’t take a little responsibility. Don’t become a heat casualty – stay safe and watch out for your teammates in the heat.