While paintball may not be the most accurate example of war games, they’re still a fun and common pastime for preppers and non-preppers alike. And while it won’t instill you with the struggles of a true firefight, there is still a lot to learn from the sport. Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in trying it out yourself.
The proper term for what you shoot with is a paintball marker, not a gun. Though the words are often used interchangeably. At a most basic level, you need a marker, a face mask, a compatible tank of compressed air, and a hopper (the thing that feeds paintballs into the marker). While most paintball parks have rental equipment, it’s recommended you invest in your own. The rental equipment is often weak, inaccurate, and unreliable. Beyond this, you can invest in armor, gear gloves, kneepads, camouflage, and even dramatic items like paint grenades.
Float Like a Bullet, Sting Like a Bee
Paintballs may burst on impact, but they still hurt, A LOT. We’re talking about bruises and welts if you’re shot from too close. For this reason, we recommend you wear thicker clothing and try to not have any exposed skin. This is also why many wear armor made for exactly this game. Also, consider this when shooting others. If you manage to sneak up to a mere 5 feet from an opponent, try shouting to them, asking surrender, instead of firing. Perhaps they’ll save you from the same pain in the next game.
Respect the Game
There are a number of rules you should follow, no matter what game or group you’re playing with. Follow these rules and you’ll be a respected member of any paintball community. If a group chastises you for trying to follow these rules, they may not be a good group to play with.
- Do not remove your face mask, or remove someone else’s mask from them, while on the field and while a game is in session.
- If a paintball doesn’t break and splatter you or another player, it doesn’t count as a hit. Only visual marks count. Most games have a one-hit-out rule, though some games have alternate rules like three-hit-out. Make sure you know before playing. Accept your losses if marked and be mindful not to fire upon someone more than needed if you have a confirmed mark.
- Do not fire on an opponent at close range. Paintball USA suggests at least 10 feet minimum distance.
- Most locations signal “I’m out, don’t fire” as a person with both hands (and marker) held up in the air, often paired with exclaiming that you are out loud enough for others to hear. Obviously, don’t shoot a person you see doing this.
Paintball is a great way for preppers to not only engage in an exciting social activity. It can help them practice performing under pressure, surveying their environment, and healthy trigger discipline. If you’re looking for something new to get in to, why not give paintball a shot.