Here in The Maritimes, winter is upon us. Tempuratures are dropping, puddles are freezing and snow is falling. This can mean one thing and one thing only. Winter Paintball season is ramping up!
Living here in The Maritimes means that 5 months of the year its cold, damn cold. So in order for us addicted players to get our fix we have to adapt our play styles, equipment and even fields. We do this a few diffrent ways, some of us use all of these and some of us don't use any.
First things first, lets talk clothes. When playing paintball in any season but Winter you can get away with t-shirt, jersey or combats and your probably going to be pretty comfy. When dealing with -20c a T-shirt aint gunna cut it.
Time to break out the layers and we recommend some kind of thermal layer such as long johns, under armour or any kind of thin but warm base layer. Next, you got to get that next thin layer of just warmth on you and finally if possible a water resistant but breathable material. Dressing in layers is key, if you get to cold add a layer, if you get to warm, drop a layer. The important thing is to stay at the perfect tempurature that you aren't cold but you also arent sweating. Your sweat will soak into your clothes and get cold, then you get cold and miserable. And that covers your upper body.
Lets move on to lower body and feet. Legs are easy, you want some thin layer like long johns or thermal underwear of some kind, a second layer of water resistant material and finally whatever pants you want to rock on top of that. Easy peazy.
Now, onto the most important part, your feet! Warm and dry feet are happy feet, happy feet make for a happy paintballer. Wet feet means cold feet, cold feet make for an angry and terrible paintballer. We gotta keep those toes warm and dry. How we do that is easy. Warm socks is your first thing to grab, and then grab 2 or 3 more pairs because if your socks get wet and you don'y have spares your going to have a shitty time. Next up, and this part is optional, hit up the local hunting store and look for water-proof socks, they exist and they are amazing. Just keep in mind to let your feet breath every few hours or your going
Picture by Cheesy Media
to sweat so much your feet will hurt.
Finally we come to the boots, yes boots. It's winter time so cleats, sneakers or runners arent going to cut it this time. You need something with SOLID ankle support, your going to slip and when you do if your ankle is held tight by that boot it could mean the diffrence between a sprain and a break. Those boots also need to be water resistant at the very least, they are going to be in the snow the entire time so if they let water in you end up with cold and potentially frozen boots. It happens. Any brand of boot that is quality made is going to work just fine so if you can't afford those $300 hiking boots, don't sweat it. If cash is tight hit up your local army surplus store and grab your self a pair of broken in army boots.
To wrap this post up lets talk about your balls. If your like me and live in an area that is limited in its First Strike use then you are stuck rocking standard paintballs. We're going to over what you can do to ensure your day of winter paintball isnt going to suck from cold or swollen balls. First thing, talk to your field and make sure they are ordering WINTER PAINT. There is no substitute for proper, winter designed paintballs. These bad boys are made to handle the cold, the shell does not become too brittle and the filling doesnt get super thick. So, make sure your using winter paint on those cold winter days.
You got your self some winter paint, great! Now you got to keep that shit safe. Invest in a small but reliable thermal bag, think lunch bag but bigger. Grab your bag and toss a few hand warmers in it to keep the thing from getting to cold and keep your paint in it. Keeping the paint a decent temp before you use it gives you a better chance of having good paint when on the field. When you come off, any paint that has not been used you can try and toss it back into the warmth but beware, the balls may dimple from going from cold to warm so quickly. Lastly, keep that paint dry damn it! If snow gets into your hopper, pods or mags and melts. The paint is going to be ruined. Same goes for the paint still in the bag, keep the snow out of it. Keep the bag sealed and in a tempurature controlled area.
Ok, lets wrap this up with the last few Important pointers. And we're going to this bullet style!
Co2 is garbage in the cold, there is science to back it up so just trust us. No Co2 in winter.
HPA is the easiest and honestly best option for any kind of winter play.
Thermal lens is a must. Cold air + your warm face = fogging on anything but thermal.
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Just cause your not sweating doesn't mean your body isnt using water reserves.
Eat. Your body is burning calories to keep your ass warm!
Keep that marker dry and clean. Clean it and oil it when necessary between games.
Wear a damn hat!
Thanks for making it this far in the article. If you enjoyed it check out the episode that inspired it!
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