Playing paintball in the rain can easily add a whole new level of excitement, adventure, and fun. Some may think it couldn’t possibly still workout, but it can. And the rain will add such a different element–it’s almost like another player out there.
How do you play paintball in the rain and still have fun? Planning will be crucial to your paintball experience in the rain. Your gear will need to be treated differently during and after your session, and you may also want to consider some additional equipment. Your playing strategy, field selection, and attire will be equally as important.
Rain Paintball may end up being more complicated than regular paintball, and you will have to plan more than you would for a beautiful sunny day. But with proper planning and execution, it can end up being an enjoyable and unique experience to play paintball in the rain.
How to Prepare for a Rainy Paintball Day
In most climates, you may have to deal with a rain delay from now and again for your favorite sports. But do you really have to put off the fun? Many instantly assume that paintball won’t work if it’s raining. But it’s 100% possible and just as fun.
Taking some extra time before you head to paintball will be well worth it in the long run for a rainy day. Think about all the things you do currently to prepare for a day of paintball when it is a lovely sunny day out. You’re still prepping your gear, looking at the location, and wearing proper attire.
When planning for the rain, it’s not that much different. You have more to consider within those same pre-game plans. In any sport, the rain will throw some curveballs your way, so it’s up to you to be ready to take them in stride.
Realizing your equipment will behave differently is the first step. If you walk in, assuming that everything will work the same way as if it was a dry, sunny day, you will already be starting the day a step behind.
Keeping your equipment dry will need to be your number one priority. For everything to function correctly, it all needs to be kept as dry as possible throughout the play. But beforehand, it should be fully concealed. So make sure when you’re en route and or walking around before you begin, that everything is wholly sealed away and dry.
Paintballs can vary slightly in the actual ingredients used in them from place to place. But some things remain the same:
- Capsule form
With that in mind, you automatically see the importance of keeping them as dry as you possibly can. Since they are water-soluble, they can begin to disintegrate if exposed to too much water. Even a small amount of water will weaken the outer layer immediately and could cause it to blister or burst open.
If one breaks open in your bag and begins to get others wet, it could also have a domino effect at that point, causing a massive mess for you before you even get to play.
I’m pretty sure no one wants to go paintballing with the type of paint that you will need to use toxic chemicals to scrub it from your skin or clothing. This is the reason that paintballs are made with a kind of paint that can be washed away with a light scrubbing and water.
A suitable paintball is perfectly spherical, tough while also brittle, and needs to be clean. When they get wet or dirty or have something on them, they can coat the inside of the barrel and leave a residue that will end up affecting your shots.
So make sure that on your way, your paintballs are in a secure and sealed container that will not allow any water or moisture inside. Once you are at the location, load your paintballs into your hopper indoors or somewhere shielded from the rain.
If your hopper has any holes or leaks in it, you should also have a plastic bag to wrap around the top of it. Once you load your paintballs in, you can cover it with the bag and use a rubber band or string to tie it tight. You can easily use an old paint bag for this, or any plastic bag that will be water-resistant.
Most hoppers will allow in some condensation or water. So keeping a bag over it is an excellent idea for anyone to ensure dry paintballs. Many refs will say that if you have that bag on the hopper and it’s hit, then they would consider that as out. That’s why it may not be something you want to keep on all game. But at least keep it on until you begin for safekeeping of those paintballs.
Goggles and Masks
With safety being a top priority, no matter the weather, you, of course, want to make sure you keep on your goggles or mask shield. The rain will make it much harder to see, especially if your protective eyewear is getting wet.
In a sport like paintball, where visibility is so crucial, and you need to be accurate, the limited vision can complicate things for you out on the field.
For your mask shield or goggles, you have a couple of options. No matter what, vision will be tricky. But find what works best for you, and what gives you the best sight.
- Mask Visor – something simple like this one, will help keep some of the rain falling straight down from hitting the plastic of the mask.
- Mask Fan – this is a great option to help with ventilation and keeping moisture at bay. This particular one also offers two-way airflow. So this helps to remove moisture from the inside, and can also be a benefit to you on a hot day as well.
- Tape – So simple, but so effective. You can use either electrical tape or medical tape, and it will have the same result. By using tape around the top of your goggles or mask, you seal off additional ways water can seep through and get in your eyes or further blur your vision.
- Long-Brimmed Hat – This is another straightforward way to shield your goggles and your eyes from the rain. Put your goggles on and then toss on a baseball cap, making sure it fully covers the front of your goggles and your forehead.
It may be frustrating when dealing with rain and trying to see things. But keep in mind that this will be everyone’s same disadvantage. It will be hard for everyone. But if you come prepared, you may get the upper hand on someone who is going to have a much harder time navigating without this preparation.
Things to Consider With Your Gun
There’s not a whole lot you can do about your gun getting wet when playing in the rain. But there are at least some things to keep in mind that will help it stay safe and functional for longer.
While you have the gun exposed and you’re shooting, raindrops will begin to build up in the barrel. This essentially creates a small trench of water that lines the bottom of the barrel. As you shoot and balls come out, if they hit that trench of water, it will just cause them to hook directly downwards.
So, it’s time to grab that tape again that you may have already used on your goggles. You can utilize it again by wrapping it around the porting on the barrel all the way down. This will clog up the holes and keep moisture out for the day.
Using that tape shouldn’t affect the shot itself or the accuracy of your shooting. This can end up being a massive advantage to someone who has a gun that is filling up with water and causing wild shots that go straight into the ground.
Some brands and models of barrels will even come with an additional barrel section that does not have the porting around it. If you are in an area that gets a lot of rain, that may be an option you want to seek out in your next paintball gun purchase.
Keeping the entire gun out of the rain until the last second will be a big help. So be very aware and diligent when leading up to a game that it is well-protected until then. That is not the time to get a picture for Instagram of you holding your paintball gun out in a rainstorm.
Not only will water in the barrel affect your shot, but the water that gets into the marker can completely sabotage you. If it is wet in there before the paintballs go in, the chances are that they will be destroyed, therefore causing a huge mess and could cause damage to your gun if not taken care of right away.
Keep the entire gun safe and secure, and it will allow you to have a better game.
Dressing Accordingly for the Weather
If you see that there is a good chance, or really any chance of rain, make sure to dress accordingly and bring options. Even if it’s a small chance, you don’t want to get there and have it rain and end up either not being able to play or have a terrible time because you were wearing the wrong clothes.
A few tips for your rainy-day wardrobe:
- Footwear – If you have any waterproof hiking boots, that will be a great option. You will have excellent traction, and your feet will stay dry. They will allow you the mobility you need out on the field while they will also stand up to the elements. If it just started raining, you may not have to deal with a lot of mud. But if it has been raining for a while, or even just stopped after a long rain spell, there will be a lot of mud to deal with. Hiking boots will be a great option in mud as well and give you the best traction you can hope for when it starts to get slippery out there.
- Light and Tight – Your clothing should be able to move with you and not hold you back. If you are getting poured on the whole time, you don’t want oversized hoodies or large sweatpants weighing you down. Options that will keep you warm and relatively dry, while also allowing you quick movement will be best. So lighter and tightfitting is the way to go.
- Extra Sets of Clothes and Shoes – You will definitely want to change out of those wet clothes as soon as you’re done. So an extra set of clothes and shoes will be welcome by the end of your day. Or if you’re playing for a long time that day, you may even want to change in between games at some point. If you don’t have another pair of hiking boots, you should be fine to stick with the ones you had been wearing, especially if they have been waterproofed. But an old pair of sneakers that will have strong treading will do just fine as a second option if you want to swap them out at some point.
- Anything Waterproof or Resistant – This should be an obvious one, but think about how much more comfortable you’ll be in something that will help keep your skin dry during the game. I know I hate that sticky feeling when you’re playing outside, and your clothes have just soaked right through to what feels like your bones. So if you have anything water-resistant, even as an under or outer layer, it will help out a lot.
Altering Your Player Strategy
Just as in most sports, there will always be a multitude of outside factors that will affect how you approach the game or tournament. Those factors could be anything from how to face a certain opponent to the weather.
If you know you’re facing a team that is extremely fast, but maybe they don’t have the best accuracy, you’ll adjust your strategy accordingly. When the weather is poor, though, this is a mutual opponent you will both face.
So in many cases, the outcome could be dependant on not only who prepared their team better for the rain but also who adjusted their style and strategy better.
Nothing will take the fun out of a paintball game like a twisted ankle or a sprained knee. This can quickly happen if you don’t heed warnings or maybe didn’t even know it would be raining, so you came unprepared.
The guidelines we covered earlier on attire will help greatly. But you also need to make some adjustments to how you play.
- Try to be more aware of your footing – Easier said than done when you’re in the game and trying to focus on a million other things. But just being aware of it and trying to be more conscious of it will help. Keep your eyes out for slick mud patches that may cause you to slide or slip.
- Give yourself more time – Just like a car hitting the brakes on a slippery road, you need to consider that you will probably be sliding around a bit, and giving yourself more time to maneuver will help reduce the chances of either slipping and falling or tweaking a muscle.
- Be aware and present – This is honestly the best way to avoid injury. You always want to make sure your head is in the game regardless of the weather. But because the rain will add a new element that can be dangerous, you really need to make sure you are staying focused.
Prepare For a Slower Pace
A rainy day will mean slower play and pacing. The game will become more about strategy and timing. Athleticism will still be essential to maneuver around a slippery field, but how you approach this game will be even more critical.
The pace will automatically become slower from safety concerns and people moving slower, but you will also quickly realize that timing will be everything. On top of the slippery surface, you will also be battling limited visibility.
So timing is key. You will want to strategize with your team ahead of time and communicate throughout. Waiting for your moments and being patient is paramount. You and your team will be able to seize opportunities as they come, but you may not go on the offensive quite as much.
The gameplay will be changed entirely, so be aware and be patient. You may also end up opting for shorter games so that you can dry off equipment and maybe switch into a dry set of clothes. This will also change how you play, knowing you’re out there for less time.
Making sure you adjust everything to the weather will be a massive benefit to you and make for a much more fun day out on the paintball field. That includes the games you chose to play and how you play them.
Location, Location, Location
This may be an open and shut case for those who don’t have many options near them. But making sure you think about the location ahead of time will also help ensure a fun day.
If you have multiple options around you, there may be one that will be better than the other in the rain. There are indoor courses as well, so if you want to avoid the rain altogether, then that could be an option for you. But what’s the fun in that?
If you want to get outside and experience the new challenges that paintball in the rain will present, you just want to confirm some things with the location and also plan ahead. Are you seeing the pattern? It really does all come down to the planning when you want to make sure you have a fun outing.
Here’s a list of things to consider with your location.
- Are They Open? It seems like an obvious question, but you will always want to double-check before going to make sure they are open if it is raining.
- Will They Have Towels or Extra Equipment on Hand? If you go to a paintball location that you are used to renting equipment at, it’s worth asking if they have anything else available that could help you reduce the amount of additional equipment you would want to bring.
If you have multiple field options in your area:
- Which Terrain Will Be More Conducive to Playing in the Rain? Think about what each field is like. Does one have more areas that are fully covered in dirt than another? Or maybe one has a bit of a more rough terrain that, when wet, could provide challenging. Think about which field might provide an easier time.
- Call Each Location To Ask How The Conditions Are When you check to make sure they are even open, also ask some questions about how the field is holding up with the rain. Find out if it’s been slippery or really muddy and ask how games have been going. This could easily be the deciding factor based on what they tell you.
- Ask Which Games They Are Running Just like you will want to strategize for a slower-paced game, you may also want to stick to games that have less paintballs and require more strategy. So check-in with them when you call regarding what options they have.
Rain is Fine, But What About Snow?
Many of the same rules will apply to a game in the snow, as they do for a game in the rain. But there are a few other things to keep in mind when you hit colder temperatures as well.
Fewer locations will be open for snow paintball, so definitely check ahead of time. Some places are simply not equipped for it, as it is a whole different scenario from rain.
Here are some quick tips if you feel like getting even more adventurous with a snowy game of paintball:
- Bring a Room Temperature Cooler
Paintballs can actually shatter in extremely cold temperatures. Just like in extreme heat, they can melt. So bringing a cooler that will insulate the paintballs from the cold will keep them safe. Keep them in there until the last minute. That extreme cold can also cause small breaks and cracks that you might not even notice, and will end up causing issues during your game. Keep the cooler room temperature to ensure proper storage.
- Having Appropriate Attire
Just like waterproof attire goes a long way for rain, you want to make sure you’re insulated as much as possible and keeping warm. Stick to products like Under Armor that will allow you to be free in your movements, but help keep you warm under another layer or two of warm, but mobile clothing. An extra pair of socks or two will also be a good idea to help keep your feet warm and dry. Since you will be working up a sweat in the game, layering is important. Still, bring that big puffy coat if you’d like to stay warm in between games, but keep it tighter fitting and mobile for gametime.
- Think About Your Tactics
If the field is covered in snow, you will need to adjust your style in which you’re playing. Keep in mind there could also be icy patches you’re not seeing until it’s too late. Think of this as training to become more agile and improve upon your skills. You don’t need to be the fastest. Just plan your next moves ahead, and make sure to be aware of the conditions.
- Be Patient With The Co2
Co2 will expand slower in very cold temperatures. So there may be delays or issues with the functionality from time to time if you’re playing on a cold day. There are high-pressure tanks available that will help fix this issue. If you are an avid winter player, this would be worth it. But if you are just trying it out or don’t want to upgrade, there are some quick fixes.
- Stick to games more about strategy where you are shooting less. This will give your marker more time to function, therefore preventing jams.
- When you’re not shooting, point your marker towards the sky. This will allow the liquid Co2 to stay in the bottle, rather than the valve.
- Do not use heat packs on your tank because it can be counterproductive.
- Remove expansion chambers
Get Out On The Field
Preparing everything, planning ahead, and being ready for anything will lead to a fun, safe, and adventurous day of paintball no matter the weather. So pack up your gear, grab some extra clothes and supplies, and have some fun! Let the excitement of the rain and the exhilaration of competition in a different setting take over.