So its happen… The UK is in a state of lockdown, all the airsoft sites are closed, shops are just offering mail order and there could be no airsofting for the next few weeks. What on earth are us airsofters meant to do with this downtime? Here are five things that we will all be doing and we think you should too!
1. Maintain your Kit
Normally, we are so busy playing that this is something that we never really have the time to do. With the current downtime – This is the perfect opportunity! Take out your normal kit that you would run on a skirmish day and get geared up. Make sure that everything works for you. Can you move freely? Is there something that is just out of reach? Is there something on your kit that maybe you don’t really need. This is a good time to make those changes to any molle pouches (as we all know how time-consuming it is to weave them on!). Maybe the opposite and there is something that is not on your kit that would be really handy (like a multi-tool or a small took kit?) – Now would be a great time to jump online and search for that perfect pouch as a lot of stores are still trading and offering some great deals.
Next, as you start to pack it away give each bit of kit a close inspection. Look out for areas of damage or wear that might need repair or replace. If you are handy with a needle and thread this would be a good time to patch up some of those pouches or look for replacements online.
2. Stay in touch with your team and plan the “come back” game
This step is good practice anyway (even outside of airsoft). Stay in touch with your teammates and make sure they are ok in these strange times. There are lots of apps that offer great connectivity and will enable you to speak too (and even see) your buddies and chat. This can be a good time to discuss goals for the team for next year, team merch, uniforms, discuss your load outs and so much more. This is also a great time to plan that “come back” game. All this lockdown stuff will not last forever and when it’s all over airsoft sites are going to be packed to bursting with airsofters that have been inside for wayyyyy too long! – plan something for a few months time. Think about where you would all like to go or maybe plan a small come back tour of a few sites over a long weekend.
This is also a good time to keep your head in the game – There are plenty of FPS (First Person Shooters) that might be able to scratch that Airsoft itch (even if temporarily) and many of them have the ability to play with your teammates. Get online, build a fire team and get some!!
3 Clean and Maintain your Weapon systems
This is another job that we have been meaning to do for ages but between packing for a game the night before and then coming home exhausted, never really got round to. Now is the time! Get out all your weapons your regularly use and check them over, are they running ok? Is there a funny noise coming from somewhere? Does all that six-month-old dried mud really still need to be on there?
Those of us with gas rifles or pistols will know the importance of maintenance (doesn’t mean we actually do it like everyone else!). Get those GBB’s out, strip them down and get cleaning – you will thank me for it later when we all get back to it.
4 Improve your fitness
I know! I know! I can hear you all sighing from behind your screens from here, but this is important. Looking after your fitness in the current situation is more important than ever. This doesn’t have to be a 4 hour home gym session or a 10k run (if you can do that in your 1 hours outside time then you are a better person than me!) but taking some of this time to work on your fitness will pay real dividends in the future. If you are not really into fitness or working out then just start simple – maybe some push-ups and some sit-ups and maybe add in picking up something with weight (a rucksack with stuff inside for example). Anything that gets the blood pumping and a bit of a sweat on. This will help maintain some of your fitness you might have built up from playing every week. If you keep active during these times even just once a day that will stop it being such a shock to your system when we get back out there.
5 Visit the “Backyard Range”
If you are lucky enough to have a back garden this can be a great opportunity to get in some basic training under your belt. This could be anything from setting up a few cans at the back of your garden and shooting against the clock or it could even be dry fire training to develop your transition between primary and secondary. Any training is good training!
If you don’t have a back garden or don’t have access to somewhere to train this could also be a great time to practice your room clearance or sweeping the house… Your other half will thank you for it!
Disclaimer: Using your airsoft RIF on your own property is fine, however you should under no circumstances take your airsoft RIF’s out into a public place or have them out on display to members of the public