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Friday, April 26, 2013

Gearing up! Part 1: Safety

This will be a multi-part series on selecting gear, from clothing to pouches, and where to get it.  There may be many more options than you think!  By default we will approach the topic from the angle of going all out tactical, with the caveat that we are providing options which you may choose to disregard or scale back at your own discretion.

The first item on the docket is safety.  Common sense applies here, as with any sport you will want to dress in a manner that doesn't encumber you as you are moving about.  T-shirt and Cargo pants are my go-to clothing, allowing me clothing the breathes and moves with me, and allows me a bit of storage on my person.  Clothing needs to fit properly of course, as personal experience informs me, it's hard to do much with one hand busy holding your trousers up.  I had the benefit of a full auto blaster, but it meant I had to choose either moving or reloading, as i couldn't do both at once.

You'll want to go with clothes that are light and breathe well.  Over the course of a long game day (or night as you prefer) you're going to get hot and sweat regardless of the weather.  The better your gear breathes the less distracting it's going to get.  Another reason to keep materials light is the fact that you're likely going to be wearing other gear.  Layers of fabric add up fast.

While JP here looks dashing, it was, by his account, hot and hard to move in.

Also keep colors relatively bright, especially night players.  You don't always have control of your game area, and you don't want to panic any well meaning people who happen upon your game, especially not officers of the law.  Your color choices (especially on your blaster) can make the difference between dork and terrorist in today's climate.  I'd suggest marking yourself with fluorescent colored duct tape, both for team identification and as a safety measure.

If you encounter any law enforcement type people, be polite.  If addressed, respond and comply promptly.  You don't want any trouble and neither do they.  They don't even particularly want to ruin your fun if you're not bothering anyone.  If they roll by in the patrol car and don't stop as you go running by with your blaster, give a polite wave, it sets them at ease that you're not up to no good.  Don't hesitate to put up flyers along the perimeter and through out the play area.  Informed people are less likely to panic.

Helps generate interest in the game AND desensitizes others to the shambling hordes

For the particularly safety conscious skate boarding pads and helmet aren't discouraged at all.  I never use pads but I do use eye protection, from the airsoft aisle at my local sporting goods store.  Darts or melee weapons to the eye are no fun and are a decided mood killer of an otherwise awesome night.

Special Thanks to JP Roth for letting me use a photo of his dashing attire.
Also to Aggieland Urban Gaming Society For giving him a reason to be in said dashing suit.

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