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Paintball Success Tips, Issue #13 -- Snow Ball
March 03, 2005
Dressing For Winter PaintballDon't let Mother Nature throw your paintball addiction out in the cold! You can still play paintball, and in comfort, in the winter weather. Of course, you could just play indoors, but why let skiers and riders be the only ones who have fun in the white stuff. This article will tell you what to wear to keep your game going strong- no matter how cold it might be on the field.
The first thing, and probably most obvious, is to dress in layers. As a paintball player, you may already dress in layers to cut down on bruising. However, in the winter, you can take it one step further and add some thermal underwear. Cover that with a turtleneck and a sweater and then perhaps a jacket. If during play you begin to get hot, you can easily remove a layer. But, not being warm enough will be very uncomfortable.
Next, you want to make sure that your hands are protected. Frostbite can set in rather quickly in extreme cold temps, and its first victim is usually fingers and toes. The trick here is that your fingers have to fit through the trigger hole. That said you must choose your glove carefully. There are plenty of fleece gloves that are thinner and keep hands very warm. Check around at ski shops, ATV apparel shops and even paintball supply stores to find a selection of gloves that allow both movement and plenty of warmth.
Going along with frostbite attacking your fingers and toes first, heat escapes from your head first. That said it is crucial to wear a hat. If it is really cold, perhaps a "robbers" knit hat the also covers the face, or perhaps a face shield worn by skiers. Finding a hat the covers your head and ears will be crucial to your comfort and your health.
You'll want to be protected from head to toe. We just talked about the importance of wearing a hat. The proper shoes are important to not only keep your toes warm, but also to provide the best footing. You will want to have a better tread on the bottom of your shoes since snow can make the ground slippery. (You know, like snow tires!) Also, waterproof shoes will keep dampness from getting in and prevent freezing phalanges. Doubling up on warm socks is a good idea as long as you can still move comfortably. Brining along a dry pair of socks would be a smart idea as well.
You will still need protective eye gear. In addition to your goggles, you may want to wear sunglasses. The sun can be damaging in the winter. It may not be warming you up, but its rays can still be harmful to the eyes. There are anti-glare goggles available as well.
Aside from clothing, you can also keep your body warm by brining a thermos full of hot chocolate or coffee. After playing a game, it could be the cherry on top to keep you warm.
In addition, you will want to be kind to your equipment. Sometimes, plastic can crack in extreme cold temps, so try to keep the equipment dry and protect it as much as possible.
So, with these tips, you can take your paintball game out of the indoors and into a real winter wonderland.
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