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Time to look at your paintball gear

Posted by Eric Engler on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 @ 03:42 PM

In my last blog post, I covered modifying your markers to fit your style of play. I know many of you love to show off your gear so let’s see if we can do better with descriptions of the gear you take on the field. I do encourage you all to post comments, and I will be sure to reply.

Gear... BDUs, ACUs, jerseys, paintball paints, vests, packs, masks (or goggles), holsters, pouches, map carriers, pistol lanyards, radios, and the 100s of other things you can take on the field with you when you play.

describe the image A full load....

As many of you know, I can’t leave anything alone so I’ll start at the top and work my way down, in describing what I take on the field.

Hat --- Tiger Stripe Boonie cap or field hat depending on the weather.

Mask  --- There is no more important piece of gear than your mask! It is the protection for your eyes and face, and you may have to wear it for hours at a time on the field. NEVER REMOVE YOUR MASK ON THE FIELD! My mask is an OD VForce Grills with a yellow dual pane anti-fog shield and an EZ Creations FanZ Kit. Oh, and it has a custom Jake McNiece 101st Airborne paint Job.

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As you can see I put a lot into my mask to keep it from fogging. If you can’t see, you can’t eliminate players, take in the situation around you or safely maneuver around the field.  Don’t skimp on your mask or its accessories. If you do, you will regret it. There are many good masks out there as the industry has taken player comfort and safety to heart. All heads are different, so try on several and see if you can play with them before you make your choice. Then have at it!

Neck Protector --- I have never really used one, and there are several good ones on the market. If I am going into an up and close fight, I wear a shemagh just in case.

describe the image Colt Johnson and Matt Calvin at OK D-Day

Base clothing --- BDU, ACU field jacket, or jersey? Field, paintball pants or if you are really adventurous, a kilt!

If you have been playing paintball as long as I have you will remember that at one time you could only get BDUs from the Army Surplus store to play paintball in. How times have changed. Now there are BDUs, ACUs, paintball jerseys and pants, and yes, there are more kilts seen on the field every year. You can get them in more camo patterns and colors than I have room to list here. I started in BDUs and ACUs, but I have switched over to scenario paintball pants and a custom made jersey made by Animal Paintball. I have found that the manufacturers in the industry have been listening, and have come out with some very good gear that is lighter and cooler than the BDUs and ACUs that I have used over the years. Tippmann, NXE, and many others have made some great clothing for us to wear. Try them on and see what you like…

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Vest or pack? Once again, there was a time when we had to carry our paintballs in surplus shoulder bags. Now the industry has made so many different styles of packs and vests that it’s up to players to fit one to their style of play. I like a light vest style pack myself; the suspenders allow me to change up for the game I am playing. I can attach many different forms of gear to it and still carry the paint I need on the field. For large scenarios like Oklahoma D-Day, you will find 10 pods of paint, a 3 ltr hydration pack in pouch on the back, and an additional pouch with a medical kit and an MRE for lunch and some energy bars. On the front attached to the straps you will find a radio pouch (good communications will win a game for you, but that’s for another blog entry), a small pouch for my iPhone (for backup comms and the odd tweet to players around the world), and various carabineer clips for hanging my mask off the field, Big Boy grenades and smoke grenades.

Extremities --- On my leg you will find an Engler Custom Tippmann TiPX with Achmed the Dead Terrorist Grips on it. I have found that having a backup is good to have on the field. No matter how good your primary gun is they do go down from time to time, or there are times where a pistol is the right tool for the job. On my left wrist you will find a watch and a map carrier. The game of paintball is a game that is played with a time limit. Always go on the field with a way to tell time.  GLOVES!!!! Wear a good pair of gloves on the field--they can save you from painful paintball hits and also protect your hands from brush and thorns.

describe the image Engler Custom Tippmann TiPX

Footwear --- The paintball player marches on his/her feet. A good pair of boots for the woods is a must. Bring a pair of extra socks, too; wet feet are no fun. Ankle support and comfort is the scenario player's best friend. I have used many styles of combat boots over the years. Surplus, Magnum Corcoran, and SWAT. Take the time to find what fits your feet, break them in and hit the field. You will not be sorry when you have on a good pair of boots.

So now I have covered gear; your gear will be different than mine is. You will pick and choose as I have to fit your playing style. But it is you, the player, who needs to be comfortable with what you have with you on the field. It can make or break your day… Never take too much gear when it is hot out; it can over heat you and keep you from play.

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN... Let's hear about your gear.

Until next time...

PLAY SAFE, PLAY OFTEN, AND PLAY WITH HONOR

–Eric

Topics: Tippmann, Paintball, marker, gear, personal

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