With the weekend already on the very near horizon, there are some pretty big Airsoft OPs going on around the country and I thought it might be prudent to provide some of my suggestions on what to bring with you to a major event where you'll be camping out all weekend. 

Some of the obvious choices would be your guns, of course.  That's the most exciting stuff to pack.  But it's important to take more than just your guns.  There's nothing worse than paying a bunch of money to travel out of town for an Airsoft event, pay the large registration fee (if you're attending a Lion Claws event) only to get there and realize you've forgotten something very important and nobody else has the item you're in need of.

So first and foremost, I ALWAYS recommend writing out a checklist, or typing one out on your computer, phone or tablet device.  Whatever works for you.  Just make a checklist and make it thorough.  Don't check things off the list until you've actually packed them in a bag and loaded them into the vehicle.

Some of the things I would personally include on my own checklist, might include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

Guns & Accessories
- 1 Primary Rifle (Usually it's a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) or machine gun for me).

- Back-up primary.

- Optic - appropriate for whatever platform I'm running.  Leapers scope for DMR or Elcan Optic for support weapon.

- Plenty of magazines for DMR/Assault, or Box mag for support weapons.

- Tac Light/Laser, if applicable

- BBs for Primary (<5,000 for DMR, 20,000-30,000 for machine gun).  I know that sounds like a lot, but the more bad guys on the other side, the more BBs you'll need to hose them down all weekend.  It is especially important to bring the best BBs you can get with you to big games because you've got a lot invested into the weekend and therefore you'll want to maximize the amount of fun you have.  Using poor quality BBs can lead to a lot of missed targets, which is lame.  I prefer the new line of Elite Force BBs.  Now that they've got the .32g MilSim Max Bio BBs, they've pretty much got options for just about any platform out there.  I know that there's a small niche of guys that run heavier BBs than that for their sniper rifles and PolarStar guns, but they're a select few.  Pyramyd Air does carry several options in weights heavier than .32g which will do just fine, so you're not completely SOL if you fit into this niche.  

- Battery Packs (PLURAL) and Charger.  Since there is not usually a power source provided at most outdoor fields, I usually bring a 400w Power Inverter that plugs into my car's cigarette lighter, which gives me two outlets, a usb port (for charging cell phones & tablets), plus all the power I need to run all three if necessary.  The higher quality chargers will often come with a set of connectors to run your charger directly off of your car's battery, but you really need to know what you're doing to avoid serious injury, damage to your stuff and the potentional to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere with a dead car battery afterwards.  For this reason, if you're going to do this, I recommend a set up jumper cables, which you should carry in your car at all times anyway.  

- Sidearm, plus 2-3 extra mags.

- Compatible holster for sidearm

- Can of green gas or propane for sidearm or any GBBRs that you may have brought with you.  I'd recommend at least two cans of gas if you run a GBBR and plan to play with it all weekend.  

- Gun case for primaries (always transport your Airsoft guns in a case)

- Gun case for sidearms


Tactical Gear/Kit/Loadout/Uniform/Whatever/You/Want/To/Call/It:

- First thing on this list should be your Eye Protection and/or Facemask


You can get by without any fancy tactical gear and such, but you won't be able to play without your Eye Pro, so don't leave home without it.  Never a bad idea to always keep a backup set stored in your gear bag in case you take your primary set out for some reason and then forget to put it back in the bag when you go out to your next event. 
- For big weekend OPs, I try to stay as lightweight as possible these days to preserve precious energy.  I can't say I've been able to stay as active as I'd like, so going out and hard-charging at full speed for the entire weekend with a ton of gear on just isn't realistic.  So I like the high-speed plate carriers or chest rigs out there that are smaller and lighter weight than a traditional, full-size CIRAS-style plate carrier.  Voodoo Tactical has several new lightweight options in both the plate carrier and chest rig department that are a new balance between high quality and affordability. 

- Some of my buddies have even moved to just running a battle belt rig, no vest at all.  This is even better for lightening your load, but depending on how long you have to be out in the field and the type of weapon setup you have, this might not be enough for you.

Ask yourself this question when deciding to add that extra pouch or item to put in that pouch:

"What is the probability that I am going to need this item while I'm out on the field?"

If it's a low probability, keep it with your stuff in the parking lot or staging area. 

 - A good set of boots or high-quality hiking shoes are advisable when dealing with any sort of rugged terrain.  The longer you're going to be on your feet, the more important it is to have good foot support to protect not only against sprained/broken ankles, but from slipping on slippery surfaces and also to prevent fatigue on your knees, hips, feet, back, etc. that would otherwise occur from having poor foot support.  You would be surprised how much damage you can do to yourself from wearing bad shoes for a prolonged period of time.  5.11 Tactical makes a great line of tactical footwear and is what I've been wearing for years now.   

-  I always like to have a pair of gloves.  Whether they're the ultra-trendy Oakley hard-knuckle gloves or just a second skin set, it's nice to have gloves.

- If you're going to be playing at some sort of abandoned structural facility, I generally advise wearing a tactical helmet.  Not only do you look much more tactical hot, but it will actually provide cranial protection should the situation arise where you're not paying attention where you're going for whatever reason and happen to run into a low-hanging board with a rusty nail sticking out or with a sharp edge.  I've hit my head numerous times while clearing rooms of run-down buildings, but never once got injured because I was wearing that helmet.  I recommend helmets to anyone, regardless of height, not just for tall guys.

Well, that's not all I would take with me, but for the purposes to cutting myself off before this thing gets any more long-winded, I will leave it at that for now.  I'll pick up where I left off in another blog this week with some more tips in other areas (food & water.  I didn't forget, that's just a whole other topic) that I think are either crucial to a successful Airsoft weekend, or will improve your quality of life drastically.

If you've found this post to be helpful in any way, please share a link to it with your homies on your favorite forum or social network.

Please feel free to add your suggestions on good guns & gear to bring on an all-weekend Airsoft trip in the comments below. 
 
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While I was attending the 2-Year Anniversary Party for the SS Airsoft Indoor CQB Facility, I took some time to talk with two squared-away dudes who go by the name of Phil Rinzler and Jeff Sharp.  They are each a part of an Airsoft team called the Multiple Applications Group, or M7, for short. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2tojWho_I4&feature=share&list=UUsbppT6H7BBwl7cdbR0YWLA

Photo by Andy Green, Elite Force Airsoft Guns
If you were at the event or even if you are just curious as to who was there and what went on, I have taken the liberty of uploading several hundred high res photos into a gallery on the Pyramyd Airsoft Facebook page.  TAG YOURSELVES if you're in the photos, or heck, even if you're not, but just like the photos.

Be sure to see the details below for our Big Shot of the Week Facebook contest.  It's pretty easy to win, as long as you follow the rules.



AIRSOFT JOB OPPORTUNITY ALERT: Pyramyd Air is looking for enthusiastic individuals who have a good knowledge of Airsoft products to help them assist their customers while shopping at Pyramyd Air.

You'll get paid to talk about Airsoft stuff AND you can do it from the comforts of your own home!


Click the following link to register with Needle and get all the details. 

Win $50.  Click on the image below to learn how. 
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Wow.  What a weekend.  Tons of people, tons of pictures, tons of fun.  I met a lot of great people, at a lot of great food and heard a lot of funny things.  Here is just a small photo gallery from the event that just barely touches on the good times and ridiculous antics of the people that attended.







Check out the rest of the photos after the jump...


Back in December, I traveled up north to Central California for an all-weekend Airsoft MilSim event. During the evening portion of the event, there was an IPSC-style Airsoft pistol competition to see how could hit a set of targets the fastest. The x-factor here was that it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Suffice to say, it was frickin' cold and I wasn't sure how we were going to be able to do the competition, since most everyone had green gas Airsoft pistols, rather than CO2, which is supposed to perform better than green gas in colder temperatures. But the competition went ahead anyway and I was actually surprised with the results. There were quite a few guys who had great success using their green gas Airsoft guns. However, there were also quite a few who couldn't finish because of equipment failure. Here are some shots I took. All are green gas pistols except for the Desert Eagle Airsoft pistol, which was CO2 and naturally, had some of the snappiest recoil of the entire group despite the FREEZING cold conditions.

Here are some shots of some of the participants who braved the freezing temperatures to try their hand at winning some awesome prizes (which included several hundred dollars worth of 5.11 Tactical gear).

For anyone who knows me personally in the local Airsoft scene, it's pretty safe to assume that I'm going to bring a ton of stuff with me whenever I go to a game.  I HATE getting to a game and being without something that I end up needing, so I bring a lot of stuff to avoid that.  I don't recommend this approach.  However, it HAS justified itself on a number of occasions where either teammates or I got into a situation where we needed a specific item that I happened to have brought with me, whether it be a special tool or CO2 cartridges for Thunder B Sound Flash Grenades, chances are, I've got it.

So as I was combing my tactical beard this evening, in preparation for an epic 2-Day Airsoft game (OP: Final Option) up in Fresno, CA, I was mentally going over my checklist of things that I need to bring with me to the all-weekend event.  So I thought I might share my checklist for this weekend with you here, in case you were in need of ideas on what to bring with you to your big game.  Keep in mind, everyone's list is going to be different, and I'm not saying my list is, like, the super best most tactically legit list there is, but it should give you an idea of things to plan for during a 2-day Airsoft OP where you're camping out at the field.  This is also a list made for weather that tends to be pretty cold, but not snow/ice temperatures. So several items would be unnecessary for warmer temperatures.

Clothes/Uniform/Loadout:
- 5.11 Rapid Assault Shirt
- 5.11 Ripstop TDUs
- 5.11 OD Belt
- 5.11 8" ATAC Side-Zip Water-Resistant Boots
- 5.11 Sabre Jacket 2.0 - OD
- Voodoo Tactical High Mobility Plate Carrier/
- 1x5.11 VTAC Double-Stack Double M4 Mag Pouch
- 1x5.11 VTAC Double-Stack Single M4 Mag Pouch
- 5.11 Hard Time Hard-Knuckle Gloves
- Paracord Bracelet - Cobra Weave
- OD Shemagh
- ESS Profile Turbofan Goggles for eye protection
- King Arms IBH Helmet - OD
- 3xSocks
- 3xSkivvies
- ICOM Radio & Headset
- Map of field
- Compass (the field is 1 square mile of raw private land, so yea, the compass is not a wild notion in this instance)
- Chem-Light for night game
- ITT Night Vision Monocular for night game
- Tac Light for primary weapon
- 5.11 C.A.M.S. Bag to "Carry All My Stuff."  See what I did there?  


Camping/Staging Area Gear:
- 6-Foot Folding Table
- EZ-Up Instant Shelter Tent
- Folding Chair
- Tool Box
- Camera
- Tri-pod
- Battery Charger
- AC Car Inverter Outlet
- Phone Charger
- ICOM Radio charger
- Camping Tent
- Ground tarp to go underneath tent
- Toilet paper for combat dumps
- Super warm sleeping bag & pillow
- Fleece beanie (5.11 Watch Cap) to reduce body heat escaping via my head during sleep
- Air mattress because I'm sensitive
- Camping Stove
- Food to cook
- Utensils for eating & cooking
- Snacks that don't require cooking
- Water.
- Water.
- Gatorade G2
- Water.
- Water bottle
- Protein powder (or protein bar or shake) to repair my bulging, yet damaged muscle tissue.

Guns:
- PolarStar PR-25

- Echo1 M240 Bravo Machine Gun

- VFC M4

- Elite Force Competition Series M4

- Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1 Gas Blowback Pistol

- Tokyo Marui Mk23 USSOCOM Non-blowback Pistol

Granted, I've got a lot more stuff listed than what I've illustrated to you in the photos, but you can start to get an idea of how things can really pile up. So don't judge me.  I'm sure I've probably forgotten a few things as well, but I've still got time to remember before I depart for my trip.


Speaking of guns, Pyramyd Air has some phenomenal Christmas deals going on right now. There are still several deals they have yet to release, which will be done over the next few days.

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Operation: Route 66 - Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark
Airsoft HDR Photo by Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Check out the whole photo gallery and the DIRTY details of the Operation: Route 66 after the jump...

It's been a long day. So I don't have much to report other than later today (it's 2:20 AM & I'm still up), there's going to be some incredible Airsoft games going down.

I had my brother-in-law set his GoPro on top of our truck as soon as we arrived and take a time-lapse video of the sunset and campsite. Why not, right?

Check out the Route 66 campground time-lapse video after the jump...

Operation: Route 66 So this weekend marks a pretty big event in Airsoft history. A group of a couple hundred players are going to embark upon an Airsoft journey which takes place at an abandoned waterpark in the high desert of Barstow, California. You know, that old, rundown place on the way to THE VEGAS! I love The Vegas.

Yes, so I'll be attending, along with my crew of high speed Airsoft operators, on behalf of Pyramyd Air. We will be fighting on the California Militia side, wearing Woodland Camo pants, OD Green battle shirts and OD Green Voodoo Tactical Plate Carriers.  We will also have a booth/tent set up, so stop on by and say hey. We may just have some goodies for you to take home with you as well. But we'll see how well you play your cards.

For now, check out the video of the AO that John Lu put together a few months ago after the jump...

Operation: Black Shield
SC Viper Airsoft MOUT Facilitiy
Operation: Black Shield, SC Viper - Chino, CA 09/24/11
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Once again, I found myself attending an event at SC Viper in Chino, CA (*ew*) because I freakin' love tearin' it up at this place.  I had another outstanding time at an outstanding field.  Truth be told, it was an all-weekend event going on Saturday AND Sunday.  However, Sunday, I had to keep it real, so I had to stuff all my winning into Saturday's festivities.  I have to hand it to my buddy, Jet del Castillo, who is the Airsoft Director for the Giant Airsoft parks in Southern California.  He runs a pretty good event.  Pretty well-organized. Vendors seemed happy.  Players seemed happy.  I didn't see any shenanigans go down like I've seen at other large, SoCal Airsoft events, so all in all, I'd say Jethro did some winning this weekend as well, despite not being able to actually play Airsoft at his own event.  Sorry, homie.

Also, please note that the photo above appears green because Jet put these crazy, colored gel filters on the big ol' flood lights that illuminate the field.  It was not an attempt to get featured on YouAreNotaPhotographer.com.  Although, now that I've mentioned it, I wouldn't be surprised if that's where I ended up. 

Check out all the "fauxtos" from OP: Black Shield at SC Viper after the jump...



I didn't quite have all the stars in alignment for me on Saturday so that I could update the blog during the ACA Expo, but here are some shots of the event for your viewing pleasure.

Mike from KWA giving my brother, Todd, the low-down on the new KWA guns like the HK45 Gas Blowback Pistol I recently featured on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog. For those of you that are wondering, Todd is, in fact, wearing a set of TDU Ripstop Pants with custom embroidery from 5.11 Tactical Series and a Voodoo Tactical Assault Shirt. And even though he knows he looks good, he doesn't mind when other people tell him so.
The local Police Explorer Program had a booth set up.
Chronic Tacos provided some "Scrumtralescent" carne asada tacos with lime, and Hooters was also out serving up their famous chicken wings as part of the free lunch.
The Airsoft League is a tactical skills-based target-shooting competition.
There was a shooting range available for attendees to test out some of the new guns from vendors like KWA and Elite Force.
Speaking of Elite Force, Cliff and Andy took a tiny little road trip from Umarex/Elite Force headquarters in Arkansas to show off their latest and greatest Airsoft AEGs at the event.
Two of their shining stars among the new Elite Force Competition Series are the M4 CQB and M4 Carbine from ARES.
Did you know that the Elite Force M4 CQB features an integrated RIS and comes with the stubby foregrip? Oh you didn't!!?? Well, you do now.
Just a little close-up of the new logo of the Elite Foce trades on the receiver.
Elite Force also has a new, standard-length carbine rifle as well for more of that classic look.
Here's something exciting for the G36 fans out there: two new G36 options from Elite Force and Ares in tan and black.


Where all the madness went down on Saturday: Insight Interactive Airsoft CQB Arena.
Watch out for flying shirts. Tons of raffle prizes were giving out from Pyramyd Air, 5.11 Tactical Series, Elite Force, Voodoo Tactical, KWA and many more.



There was a full video production crew on hand with some high end gear recording all the action of the intense ACA games.



Lumix Camera on a big ol' jib provided some sweet arial footage of the action.




Canon 7D


Canon 5D MkII

Here are a few shots of Insight Interactive's field layout specially designed for the ACA tournament.









The day ended with a raffle and many Airsoft players going home happy with some sweet prizes, like $100 Gift Card to Pyramyd Air


Here's our winner, coming up to collect his prize.


Smiling cuz he knows he's 'bout to score some sweet Airsoft loot from Pyramyd Air.



If I were this dude, I'd be pretty stoked to win a Multicam RUSH 12 backpack from 5.11 Tactical as well.

While the competition portion of day had its rough patches, most of that can be chalked up to this being the first event of its kind on such a large-scale production level, so I think many of those issues can be smoothed out for future events. Overall, I was highly impressed with what the event organizers had in mind and after some fine-tuning of things, I wouldn't hesitate to participate in this event again. The event organizers are more than welcome to contact me at their leisure to receive a more detailed level of constructive feedback, should they so desire it.

Highlights from the tournament included Team 5.11 Tactical taking 3rd Place in the tournament despite yours truly going down in the first game of the day with a pretty awesome case of heat exhaustion. Temperatures reached 107 degrees Fahrenheit in our area and I haven't been exactly living an active lifestyle over the last few weeks because of a few major life transitions taking up my exercise time to prepare for those things. In short, I'm kind of a fatty right now. Anyway, there were lots of vendors showing off tons of cool new Airsoft guns and gear and I got to spend some time chatting with Cliff and Andy from Elite Force, who gave me the scoop on exciting new things coming up from them, PLUS there was free game play open to the public throughout the event, so I got to see and meet a lot of new faces who love to play Airsoft as well. All-in-all, it was a good day and an exciting glimpse of what may be in store for the the future of competitive Airsoft. I give tremendously mad props to David Karstens (ACA Director) and Jonathon Nicastro (Owner of Insight Interactive) for all their hard work in putting the event together and I hope they realize that their efforts did not go unnoticed by this lil' ol' Airsoft blogger.

Till next time, I will leave you with this parting word, said in a whisper voice...

Airsoft