Stay Hydrated In the Summer Heat!
May 31, 2018
Have you ever tried playing airsoft in 105 degree summer heat? It adds to the MILSIM experience, for sure, but oh boy is it unpleasant. Sometimes you just need to get your airsoft fix though, and that means you’re going to go out and play no matter what! Here’s a few tips to stay cool in the summer during your BB Wars games!
1. Start Drinking Water Early
The secret to staying out of the Urgent Care facility during some summer airsoft fun is to start your hydration regimen a few days ahead of your game day. This means you need to quit drinking soda, energy drinks, sweet tea, and all of the other unhealthy beverages we put in our bodies (yes… even the adult ones.) What you are sweating out on the day of the game is the contents of what you have been drinking for a few days prior, so it’s best to flush all of that out of your system early. We recommend starting a minimum of three days out for a small weekend pick up game, but if it’s going to be a longer event, or the heat index is going to be especially high, add a few extra days to that just to be on the safe side.
2. Make sure you’re stocked up on water for game day
Whether you have to stop at the local gas station by the field, or you prep ahead of time at a big box store, make sure you have a few extra gallons of water with you for a hot day over what you’d usually bring. the few liters in your hydration pouch will simply not be enough to stay in the fight all day long. The additional upside is that having a few extra water bottles or a spare gallon bottle around will help you make a few new friends with the people who didn’t prepare as well as you have!
3. Get your Kit right!
Unless you have some excessive kit requirements for a hardcore MILSIM game, consider lightening up your load out for the day. Some things to consider are the following:
If your kit is too heavy, you’re going to expend more energy getting around the field. This is solid advice all year-round but it helps immensely more during the summer months. On top of that, light weight kit like a chest rig or battle belt will allow for more airflow to help carry heat away from your body as you sweat. Lastly, make sure that kit has a way to carry additional water. Whether you prefer a water bottle or canteen, or a a hydration pouch attached to the rear of your vest, carrying water is a necessity, as is making sure you drink that water constantly during the day. As a good rule of thumb, if you aren’t actively engaging the enemy team, you should be drinking water to keep replenishing the precious nutrients you are sweating out.
4. Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion (and how to handle them)
Make sure you are able to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion when you’re playing airsoft in both yourself, and your fellow players. The CDC defines heat exhaustion with the following symptoms:
- Heavy Sweating
- Cold, Pale, Clammy Skin
- Fast, Weak Pulse
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Muscle Cramps
- Tiredness or Weakness
- Fainting or Passing Out
If you begin to experience these symptoms, or see another player experiencing them, take a second out of your gameplay and do something about it. These are not the kind of things that just go away without treatment of some kind. You can start with the following steps:
- Move to a cool place
- Loosen your clothing (remove your gear)
- Put cool wet cloths on your body
- Sip (don’t chug) Water
The CDC also recommends seeking medical attention immediately if you experience the following:
- Throwing Up
- Symptoms get worse
- Symptoms last longer than an hour
Heat Exhaustion is no joke, and Heat Stroke is a serious medical emergency. It’s also a very real risk with playing airsoft in the heat, but can be avoided with the advice in this article. The important thing is to remember that we’re all a community, and we need to look out for each other. The adrenaline rush of airsoft can make you ignore your symptoms in the name of airsoft glory, but it’s never worth ending up in the ER over it.
Hopefully with these tips, you will be able to enjoy safe, fun, and action packed airsoft game play during the summer months. Just remember to follow the advice above, and be extra careful to look out for the symptoms of heat exhaustion in you and your fellow airsofters!