One of the most likely injuries to occur during an airsoft game is dehydration. This occurs due to airsofters getting in the “zone” during a game and forgetting to drink liquids, or through lack of having water easily accessible. I’ve seen enough issues arise due to dehydration to avoid it at all costs. No matter how short the game is, I always have water accessible.
According to STOPSportsInjuries.com, it’s recommended to drink 16 ounces an hour before a game. During the game you should drink 4-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes. If the game lasts more than an hour, you need to have some sports drinks with electrolytes to replenish the minerals you’ve lost.
As you can tell, that adds up to quite a bit of water during a game. Here’s some of the best options I found to keep hydrated during a game without being overloaded!
Hydration Reservoirs and Packs:
The Hydration Pack is one of the best options out there for airsofters. It allows operators to keep large amounts of water on them during a mission without being cumbersome. The packs come in many sizes to fit the needs of different operations and length of games.
The part of the hydration pack that holds the water is knows as the reservoir (or bladder). If you’re looking for a hydration reservoir, then it’s hard to go wrong with the market leader, CamelBak. This company offers a great, quality hydration pack system. You can start your search by checking out THIS link for their reservoir offerings on Amazon.com.
If you want a cheaper, but still functional option, try Outdoor Products’ 2L Reservoir (also known as the Cyclone Hydro Reservoir). I’ve used it, and it works great! For $10-$20 USD, it’s hard to beat and is my go to option for on-a-budget hydration.
For those of you who are looking for a shiny, futuristic, terminator hydration system, look no further than the Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration Reservoirs. They use a pressurization system to allow you to use your hydration pack as an emergency, melee water thrower during games! 😉
Picking A Pack:
It’s easy to find a carrying system for your new hydration reservoir. If you use M.O.L.L.E. gear (like plate carriers or vests), many companies offer M.O.L.L.E. compatible packs to carry the hydration reservoir right on your gear! One of my favorites is the Condor Hydration Carrier II. Condor also offers versions that keep your water cool using a reflective insert. CamelBak has many offerings (as you can imagine). Check out their Mil Spec ThermoBak Antidote for a good, all purpose pack.
For a budget pack, check out THIS pack from Lancer Tactical. It allows you to carry a reservoir without attaching it to a M.O.L.L.E. system, and also gives you room to store extra gear, while being cheaper than most of the other options out there.
This is the cheap way to bring water to a game. You trade off the ease of carrying the water on your back like a hydration pack, and risk it spilling all over you if you carry it during a game. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to use them while wearing an airsoft mask. The big benefits are that they’re easy to find and require zero prep time before a game.
I recommend using water bottles during CQB games where you can easily get back to the staging area for water. This keeps you from carrying the extra weight of a hydration pack. Consider getting a Nalgene bottle for a more durable (and reusable) option.
This is probably the least used option of getting water during a game, but is a good option to consider if you attend large MilSim games. Water purification allows you to reduce the amount of purified water you have to carry on you during long games (which equals reduced weight).
One of the best options is purification tablets. Simply fill a container or Nalgene with contaminated water from a pond or stream during a game, add the recommended amount of purification tablets, and wait until they purify the water (time varies depending upon the amount and source of the water)!
I recommend Katadyn Micropur MP1 Tablets. They’re tasteless and work great!
If you don’t mind the extra weight and bulk, and want purified water without the wait, then try a water filter. I’ve used the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System before. It does a great job filtering water and comes with a ton of accessories. There’s even an option to make it an inline filter for your hydration pack so it cleans the water while you drink it!
No matter which hydration option you choose to bring to a game, the most important thing to do is REMEMBER TO DRINK! Make it a habit to drink water between rounds, or when there is a lull in the action during a game. You’ll be able to stay in the field longer, fight harder, and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital!