Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Airsoft in the Extreme Summer Heat

The majority of the country is experiencing extreme heat this summer, which makes participating in airsoft outside skirmishes a threat. Not only is running around in temperatures over 100 degrees uncomfortable, but these dangerously high temperatures can result in dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Being prepared for the heat by taking the necessary precautions can help you enjoy your favorite sport without the associated risks.

The following recommendations will help you to feel and perform your best on the airsoft course this summer.

  1. Hydrate before, during and after the event.

  2. If you know you will be playing in high temperatures or high humidity this weekend, be sure to drink a substantial amount of water each day leading up to the event. Also avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration. Continue to drink water the whole time you are playing and consider wearing a camelback so that your water is easily accessible at all times. When you are finished playing you will need to replace all the liquids that you sweated out, so consume plenty of water as well as sports drinks to replace the lost electrolytes.

  3. Take breaks in the shade

  4. Continuously take breaks in the shade throughout the game. Allowing your body some time to cool down out of the sun will help it recuperate. Direct sunlight can be draining on your body and these timeouts will help balance the amount of time spent directly in the sun. Consider bringing a small battery powered fan to use during your breaks.

  5. Invest in goggles with tinted lenses

  6. It is imperative that you invest in high quality goggles or they will steam up in the heat and humidity. It is also a great idea to choice a pair of goggles that have tinted lenses to protect your eyes from the powerful sun. Look for a pair of goggles that offers both UVA and UVB protection.

  7. Dress appropriately

  8. Wear light colored clothing because dark colors absorb heat and can increase the chance of heat stress. Cotton clothing will also keep you cooler than many synthetics. Dressing appropriately also includes being smart about the airsoft gear that you wear. For example, ditch the plate carrier for a chest rig and your body will vent the heat much more efficiently.

  9. Wear plenty of sunscreen

  10. Apply waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF generously. Spending all day in the sun without proper SPF application will quickly result in skin damage. Plus, getting sunburn is a sure way to have to sit out the next airsoft game!

  11. Carry a Handheld Radio

  12. Carry a handheld radio or cell phone and know what channels the field staff is on in case of emergencies. Being able to get help as soon as you notice symptoms of a heat related illness is crucial.

  13. Watch for Signs of Heat Casualty

  14. Dizziness, vomiting, cramps, headaches, nausea, rapid pulse, lack of sweat are all signs of a heat related illness. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms you must seek medical attention.

In addition to protecting your health, it is vital to take care of your airsoft gun and account for differences in its functionality due to the heat. Each kind of airsoft gun may have specific requirements for exceptionally high or low temperatures. For example, the gas airsoft guns general rule is don’t use green gas in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Many agree that CO2 has the best temperature range for gas airsoft guns. It is recommended that you research your particular gun to find out what adjustments may need to be made before playing in extreme weather.

If you have any additional questions about which guns function best in high temperatures you may contact our experts at 818-495-6502.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, an online airsoft retailer offering electric and gas powered airsoft guns, as well as airsoft parts, upgrades and accessories. Visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs, full metal airsoft rifles or the right airsoft gas gun for players of any experience level.

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