Before you dive into your first airsoft match, you may want to consider your gear selection. Sure you need an airsoft gun and some camo; but to be effective, you need a bit more than that! So we made a list for you.
Mask and Eye Protection
Are you going to shoot your eye out? Quite literally.
Receiving a blast of airsoft BBs to the eyes can cause serious injury so always wear an eye protection. A full face paintball mask is one option, but they fog. Airsoft masks that are separate from a pair of goggles are a solid option. It allows users to wear hats and it also fogs up less.
You have to have at least one main firearm. For a beginner, the G&G M16 and M4 are excellent selections. You may also decide to go with a sidearm. The USP by Umarex is a good CO2 powered gas gun. A sidearm can be invaluable in extreme close quarters, when batteries die, or magazines are empty.
A standard rule of thumb is to bring all the ammunition you expect to use during a game, and then 50% more.
You’ll need extra magazines, some boxes of ammo, and speed loaders for a full day of play. Along with extra ammunition, remember to pack extra batteries and gas sources if necessary.
Proper clothes are pants and a long sleeve shirt or jacket, at the very least. This additional protection is necessary not only to prevent numerous welts from airsoft pellets, but also to protect you from the elements like the sun.
Camouflage BDU jackets and pants work, but combat shirts are becoming popular due to their lighter weight.
Boots are often better suited for outdoor games. They offer superior ankle support and ideal for wet conditions. They have better traction than tennis shoes, and are generally suited more for airsoft games than traditional shoes.
If you have a long run, you need to have a sling. It makes carrying the weapon comfortable, and keeps it clung to your body should you slip and trip. It also allows you to drop your rifle and have your hands free for other tasks.
If you carry a sidearm, a good holster will serve you extremely. It will support and protect the weapon when not in use. It will also keep it positioned for an easy draw when it’s needed. A belt or thigh holster is the preferred rig for airsoft due to comfort and the accessibility of the weapon.
Airsoft is a dynamic sport. It usually involves sprinting, crawling, and climbing among others. You should replace the sweat you are losing with water. Whether your hydration source is a backpack or a canteen, you need to have something to drink water from or you’ll be fried pretty quickly.
Load Bearing Gear
This can be a tactical vest, a plate carrier, or even a belt. Load bearing gear allows you to easily carry extra magazines, radios, hydration sources, etc. The idea is to comfortably disburse your load, while having it accessible at all times.
I also included a list of a few optional items that can make playing a little more fun and make you more effective at your role.
Knee pads are awesome when you are taking a knee during the game. Being on your knees for extended periods can be incredibly uncomfortable and harsh to your knees. These can make life a whole lot easier, even a single knee pad for your dominant knee works wonders.
Protecting your hands is recommended when playing airsoft. Not only are your hands vulnerable to BBs, but they are also vulnerable to the world. When crawling or climbing, your hands can be easily hurt. A pair of Mechanix tactical gloves are an affordable and durable option.
Since you are using goggles while playing, you really want to avoid fogging them up. A bandana tied around the head is an effective sweat band that keeps sweat from flowing into the goggles. It can also be used to protect your neck from the sun.
Two Way Radio
This is a team-based accessory that is essential for communication. A decent set of two way radios can make a big difference with team-based tactics and success. Communication is one of the biggest keys to success. Uniden makes a good set of outdoor radios that are effective and durable.
Depending on the length of your game, it may be a good idea to bring some basic snacks. When you start feeling sluggish and tired, it’s amazing how much pep water and salted peanuts can give you.