If you told me 3 years ago I’d be playing paintball let alone 2-day scenarios on a regular basis I would have said you’re nuts. Sadly enough Friday November 16th when I leave for work in the morning I’ll also be packing my truck with all my paintball gear to head out for a weekend scenario game. The Act of Valor game will take place at Gator Paintball in Hudson and it’ll be my second event. While our team has grown much smaller I feel it’s for the best as we have committed players (physically and financially) which seems to be the most common issues with all the other teams I’ve spoken with.
The question that always runs through my mind as I pack is “what am I forgetting”? I’ll normally pack a primary and secondary gun. Normally I make sure they are full setups as well (including tanks and hoppers). Next on the list is the important part which would be all the components to maintain your guns and hoppers. Nothing is more irritating to go out to an event only to find you have an O-ring leaking but your kit is at home on the shelf. In my arsenal you’ll find a bag dedicated to gun maintenance which includes two O-ring kits, batteries (both 9 volt and AA), plenty of barrels swabs, micro fiber towels, allen wrenches, Teflon tape and much more. I know it sounds like a lot but when it comes to gun maintenance you can never have too much. The biggest part of my kit you may find this strange is actually my iPad. On my iPad I carry all of my gun manuals (and a few extras) in case I run into another player who is having issues but left their manual at home.
Packing for any event is generally the worst as you’re preparing to leave your family for a few days but also double and even triple checking yourselves. I’ve found that I generally start to pack a week prior which gives me plenty of time to go through several times and make sure nothing has been forgotten. The guns, hopper and tanks are generally the last to be packed as I’ll spend time during the week going through checking O-rings and making sure they are lubed up and ready for play. The hoppers and tanks are the easy part as it’s generally swapping out an O-ring or a few batteries.
A big part of the weekend whether it’s hot or cold is hydration. I’ve actually started to carry a large cooler with all my drinks (which 80% of its usually Powerade or Gatorade……which ever happens to be on sale). Snacks are definitely a must as you’ll work up an appetite while playing several hours straight. Breakfast will consist of breakfast bars or something simple and lunch you can usually buy at the events. Dinner is usually the fun part though. I remember last game we all went out for dinner and wore our team jerseys (some with comical names) and we were the life of the restaurant. I remember several people coming up and asking if we were part of a team. As always we’d politely respond “yes” but in the back of our heads we were like “What gave it away”? The even funnier part was random people coming up to us to have pictures taken. I’m not quite sure if they thought we were famous or just plain crazy, but either way we all had a great time.
The saddest part is always the end of day 2 which is when we’re packing up our gear and anticipating who won. At the end of the day it’s nice to be able to say “We won” but I feel as if anyone who showed up are all winners. One thing I’ve noticed whether it’s been during a huge scenario game or even a normal day of play at the local fields is everyone seems to be willing to help others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people yelling and screaming at each other on the field (looking like they want to hurt each other), but off the field be sitting side by side working on an issue one of them is having and carrying on a normal conversation like nothing is wrong.
What’s the one thing you normally forget to pack when leaving for a long weekend? What’s your favorite part of game weekends?