In this post we’ll show you the absolute minimum we bring each year for three nights of wild camping at National Airsoft Festival.
When you plan your first multi day outdoor Airsoft event, you have to be careful. A lot of people either try to pack a whole truckload of stuff they ain’t going to need, or miss the mark and ignore the essentials.
Let’s face it: deep inside we all crave the sense of a great adventure and we think we need all the things, or that we’ll survive on a bunch of berries, a toadstool and a cheap Swiss Army knife knockoff.
Multi day Airsoft events are a rare, but excellent opportunity to enjoy your favourite pastime in the wild, being at the mercy of nature (and a local food truck). Those of us who have never done it before might need a little help getting things necessary on a field trip like this.
You want to enjoy it after all.
Aside from your typical Airsoft outfit, you might want to take a few more layers, as the nights get slightly colder towards the end of August (on average). Always check the local weather 2-3 days ahead, so you can confidently decide exactly what to bring.
That’s a British staple, and even through we’ve only had to use them once in our five year run at NAF, it proved beyond useful, as we had one of the biggest rainfalls in a while on a single day.
It’s easy to forget that there’s life outside of running in the woods. In fact, a lot of the time you’ll be walking around the campsite and you’ll crave a different kind of shoe than your typical patrol boots. We recommend soft and breathable running shoes as a second pair for those extra miles.
Ever felt cold in August? We did, despite having a fire pit right in front of us. Hoodie or a fleece is a perfect companion for those cold late-summer nights with your mates.
We recommend packing one change of clothes for each night you’ll stay at the site. It’s good to have options and you’ll appreciate changing into a fresh t-shirt after a sweaty game day.
If the weather forecast isn’t looking great, pack some good gaiters. Look for something with sturdy straps and proper fit around your shoe. If there’s one thing you definitely want to do while in the woods, is to protect your feet from getting wet.
Whether you’re going alone or with your best buddies, you need some basics to survive downtime at the campsite.
Regardless of your food supply chain arranged for the trip, a canteen and some cutlery will always be handy. You can get a decent travel set for a few quid at your local camping store or online, but it’s worth spending a bit more if you plan on using them more often.
There aren’t many more disappointing situations than wanting a tea or a coffee after a groggy start to the day and being forced to abandon the thought of a hot drink just because your favourite mug was left behind at home. Get one. Keep it safe. You know you’ll need it.
Seems obvious but a lot of people just treat toothbrushes like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Don’t let other people tell you what you’ve had for dinner the day before from just listening to your morning rant; be a good boy and brush twice daily.
Whether you consider yourself a tech guy or not, you might not want to risk being unable to do basic repairs or tweaks to your gear just because you didn’t take any tools with you. Multitool often doubles as a bottle opener, so it’s a win-win. Alternatively, you can just get a bottle opener.
If you’re not a fan of sitting on the ground after a long day in the woods, a folding chair might give you a bit of a respite, especially when gathered around a fire pit, enjoying a cold one.
Unless tripping over tent tensioners at zero-dark-thirty on the way to the loo is your kind of jam, we think bringing even a small head lamp is a good idea. If you can afford a proper torch or a gas lantern, you’ll have plenty of light to spare for those midnight drinking games.
While we like to switch off for the duration of the weekend trip, some of us need to keep up with their social media FOMO. A power bank with a capacity around 10,000 mAh should give you enough power reserve to charge your smartphone two to three times.
Aside from stuff to make camping a bit less of a survival trip, we also like to take some food and drinks to not be entirely at the mercy of festival food vendors (however great their chow may be).
They’re not just for athletes or power lifters. A decent protein bar can be both a tasty treat and a difference between staying in the game for a few more hours vs calling it early because your brain is craving a burger and your body is ready to collapse at a moment’s notice.
We’re not fans of sugary drinks, so we always bring a few bottles of mineral water on each trip. There’s drinking water at the camp site but you don’t always have the time to refill your camelback right away.
If you plan to play a lot, you’ll need plenty of energy throughout the day. Having some healthy options might require things like a portable refrigerator, which isn’t always possible.
However, you can always rely on breakfast staples, like beef jerky, dry sausages, crackers and eggs. They generally only need to stay at ambient temperature (check packaging), so you can keep them out of sun/light/heat and not worry about spoiling.
Failing that, chowing an MRE isn’t a bad option either, just make sure you get some good ones.
Flashlights, gun sights, guncams, lasers, all this stuff requires power. Unless you’re sure that you’ll always keep your devices off when not in use we recommend keeping a few spares of the following types:
If unsure, check your devices. In addition, we always take a few spare batteries for our AEGs, because you never know what might go wrong. We’ve had close calls a few times.
This isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list of stuff to bring for a multi day event. It’s a bunch of basic things that should make your experience better, based on a few years of wild camping experience.
We’ve skipped absolutely obvious things like tents or sleeping bags on purpose, because they are required to stay in the wild overnight. That’s unless you’re insane or your name is Bear Grylls, in which case you should write this guide for us.
If there’s anything you think we missed or have some great ideas, give us a shout. We’re totally open to trying out new stuff, so suggestions are more than welcome.