The 10 Essential Airsoft Accessories include:
One of the most important airsoft essentials is eye protection. With the velocity at which these 6mm plastic BBs are traveling, they can do some serious damage to your eyes. There are numerous types and forms of eye protection being sold on the market. Some of these are combinations of eye and face protection and most are just eye protection.
Face protection, just like eye protection, comes in many types and forms; from hard plastic, mesh, and neoprene to using a shemagh or a bandana.
2) Extra Ammunition with Extra Speed Loader(s) and Extra Weapon System Magazines
This should be a given, but you would be surprised how many operators don’t carry extra, or enough ammunition into an operation or scenario. Depending on the weapon system that I’m carrying for a scenario, and whether or not the scenario is semi-auto or full auto, will dictate how many extra magazines and peed loaders that I will carry in my load-out. It’s also good team work to share your extra ammo with a teammate that is running low or is out of ammo.
3) Long Pants and Long Sleeved Shirt: Military Uniform Preferred.
Because of the nature of the sport of airsoft you need to protect your body and skin as much as possible. Keeping your body fully covered helps lessen the sting of the flying BBs. If you are gaming in a woodland gaming area, the full coverage will help you from getting scraped up by tree limbs and thorn bushes, keep poison oak and ivy from touching your skin, and etc. Even in a CQB game there are sharp edges, splinters, nails, staples and etc, that can ‘bite’ you while gaming. Most airsoft operators will wear military uniforms for a few reasons. They are designed to handle battle situations, help you blend into the gaming area, have plenty of pockets to stow extras, and they just look good. Military uniforms come in many different styles and camouflage patterns. You can purchase military uniforms new or used at your local military surplus store or on the internet. You can also purchase military uniforms from fellow airsoft operators.
4) Boots: Combat or Tactical are Recommended
Boots are a very personal item. Boots need to be comfortable to wear, broken in, support your ankles, and have good tread for climbing and running. I recommend combat or tactical boots because they have been designed to do some of the above items listed. Boots need to protect your feet from all sorts of items in the field, but like an athletic shoe they need to perform even in the harshest of environments. As mentioned above, boots are very personal. Take your time, and purchase the boots that are best for you.
Gloves are important for a few reasons. Like some of the other items on this list, they help protect your hands from the environment, trees, bushes, thorns, splinters, flying BBs, and etc. One of the real sensitive areas to get hit by a BB is in your hands and fingers. Gloves, like boots, are a personal choice. They must be comfortable, but you still need to be able to operate your weapon system, and do other tasks in the field. There are basically two types of gloves: Full Fingered and Fingerless.
6) Cover/Hat (Boonie Hat, Military Patrol Cap, Shemagh, Beret and/or a Plain Ball Cap)
If you are not on an airsoft team, the hat you wear is up to you. Hats can have various uses including: shading your eyes from the sun, soak up sweat so it doesn’t get into your eyes or eye protection, help you with your camouflage, protect you head from items in the field, and flying BBs. Shemaghs are a great item to own and use in the field. They can be used as a ‘hat’, for sweat absorption, shade from the sun, and face protection at the same time.
7) Knee Pads
Knee pads are pretty simple, they protect your knees from falls, and banging into hard objects like stone fences and walls. Simply, they protect your knees.
8) Equipment Load-Out Rig
An equipment load-out rig is simply an item you wear to carry all or most of your extra gear. One of the simplest load-out rigs is the nylon pistol belt with ‘Y’ or ‘H’ suspenders. They are simple in the fact that they are carrying the barest of essentials, such as magazine pouches, and water canteens. With this type of load-out rig, all the weight is carried by the suspenders that you wear over your shoulders. This type of load-out is light weight, and lets you be very maneuverable while running, low crawling, and etc. You can add many items to this simple rig.
The second load-out rig option is the tactical vest. These vests come in all different types from simple to extreme; it all depends on how much you need or want to carry. Most tactical vest uses the M.O.L.L.E. accessory attachment system which makes the tactical vest one of the favorites amongst airsoft operators.
The third load-out rig option is the military and law enforcement plate carrier. Very similar to a tactical vest, but with one big difference. The plate carrier is designed to carry armor ‘plating’ to protect soldiers and law enforcement from bullets and shrapnel. The plate carrier uses the same M.O.L.L.E. accessory attachment system. This gives the plate carrier versatility like the tactical vest. The plate carriers come in various types and styles.
9) Magazine Pouches for Your AEG Weapon System of Choice
This might not seem essential, but magazine pouches are important on any load-out. They help you carry and protect the extra magazines for you AEG weapon of choice. Yes, you could stuff your magazines in your pockets but they are not easily accessible and they will make lots of noise as you are walking, running, and etc. They also give you a place to put your empty magazines after swapping out to a fresh one. Depending on your weapon system you can purchase many types of magazine pouches at your local military surplus store or on the internet.
Water is very important to all airsoft operators, new or veteran. Staying hydrated during a day of airsoft gaming is very important. Just like cycling or running, airsoft is a strenuous sport.
With that being said, hydration will help you get through a full day of airsoft gaming and will help you recover more quickly. Carrying water can be as easy as using a Canteen attached to your Load-Out Rig in a canteen pouch. One of the more popular ways to carry water while gaming is using a Camelback® system. Some tactical vests have a pocket built into them for a Camelback® system. There are also pouches that can be attached to a tactical vest or a plate carrier system. The final Camelback® solution is wearing a separate system.
Article written by Matthew Timoszyk aka Ghost Pirate
Many thanks to Ashleigh Wright for the photos