I’m going to start out this post with a story….
Last summer, I was in the middle of a great day of airsofting at an outdoor field. After an intense round (In which I had the pleasure of eliminating a single enemy that was holding up the advance of half our team), I realized that my sidearm was missing.
Unfortunately, even with the help of a fellow team member and 45 minutes of searching, I was unable to find it. I hadn’t checked over my gear since I had started playing several hours before, so it could have came out of the holster long before I realized it was missing.
After missing out on almost a full round of airsofting, and having to eat my lunch while scouring the field, I was not in the best of moods. I was thankfully able to get in a bit more airsofting that day, but the time spent searching had taken a big chunk out of the day and put a damper on the fun.
Don’t let this happen to you.
After that day, I did some research and started practicing a couple of good habits to make sure that I was doing everything I could to keep my gear functional and on me. Here’s what I did:
1. Doing LACE Reports while I’m airsofting
LACE stands for Liquid, Ammo, Casualties, and Equipment. The military use a LACE report as an after-action review on how all their soldiers are doing after an engagement. I use the LACE report during a game to determine if anything is missing or out of place (while doing one of the checks, I’ve found that my helmet camera was pointing up at the sky). LACE reports can also be used to determine what you need (drink of water, more BBs, or an extra magazine) and how many of your team members are still in the game.
2. Get Gear to Secure My Gear
To keep my pistol in my holster, I’ve looked into a bungee pistol lanyard and a molded holster (like the BLACKHAWK! Serpa Holster) with a push button release. With both these systems in place, my pistol should be plenty secure whether it’s in the holster or I’m using it to draw down on an enemy player. I can also secure loose items to myself using para cord.
3. Know What I Have
I always make sure I know what gear I’m running during a round so I can be sure I have it with me at the end of the day. This can also come in handy if I have to report a missing item to the field’s admin. I’ve also found that adding a strip of duck tape or electrical tape to several places on my gear can be a big help in making sure that I have the right gear and can identify it if it goes missing.
I hope these tips save you the frustration I went through when I lost my side arm. Although even the most secure systems can fail, at least you’ll know you did everything you could. At the end of the day, don’t let a missing piece of gear ruin the fun. Recheck everything, search for it, and then report it to the staff. Most players are honest, good people and will return a missing item if they found it.