What kit do you need for an overnight camp? And how does it change when you need to bring all your airsoft kit along too? The guide to the best bits of kit to pack for a weekend away.
For most players, skirmish days are our introduction to the sport. It’s where we go to practice our skills, meet up with other players to share tips and advice, or just let off steam after a hard week at work. Some players though will eventually step up to doing full weekend events, either huge battles fought with hundreds of players, special events, or the full milsim experience. But going from one day to two day (or longer) event has that extra requirement – you’re going to need to eat and sleep while in the field. Obviously that’s going to be a whole new set of kit to pack along with your standard airsoft loadout. So where do you start and what exactly are you going to need?
For this set of articles, I’m enlisting the help of a few friends with all sorts of different experiences of camping, to show a wide range of kit options that have been tried and tested at a variety of different events. My biggest love away from airsoft, is camping and being outdoors. I spend two weeks every summer away in a tent with my family, and camp wherever possible at airsoft events (because hotels are expensive, and I already have the camp kit). Being self sufficient in the field, and the survival element, I think ties in nicely with the whole sniper role and it can be useful in bigger games being able to go out and stay out, setting up camp deep behind enemy lines and staying hidden.
How you camp, and what equipment you take, will depend on what type of event you’re at. Some more milsim events will require you to carry all your kit with you and be active in game through the night, which means stripping back to the basics and taking pack size and weight into consideration. The civilian market does this a lot better than military kit, but it does make it a lot more expensive. More casual events will shut down overnight, and players will have plenty of time to gather as much kit as they need from cars and spend the night socialising. For these events, I’ve seen people take whole vans worth of stuff, just because they can.
Because I like being able to do things effectively on a budget, I look for a lot of surplus kit as well as companies like Highlander and BCB bushcraft who do really good kit but at a very reasonable price. Top end mountain kit is nice, but money saved can be used elsewhere. It doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive experience, but it does need to be well thought out, practical and decent enough quality for what we’re doing. It’s not an exercise in packing as much kit as possible either though; mainly because we just don’t need it.
The Sniperworks events, as an example, shut down for the night so we can debrief and discuss what we’ve done because in order for us to learn, that side of things is as important as playing, but we figured that if you’re going to have a kit, it might as well be usable in a range of situations so my kit is going to be flexible enough to be the usable whatever the event. No point buying multiple setups and having to pack different kits, my aim is to fit everything into a single bag that can just be picked up and taken without worrying about packing. Having a more portable kit gives you a lot more flexibility in the long run, because you can’t always guarantee where you’ll end up or what you’re doing. As usual, I’ll put links in for stuff as I go through because we all love new kit.
I’ll break this down into separate sections to make it easier to go through;