Airsoft has become more than just a hobby for weekend warriors. It’s a subculture that allows civilians to be a part of realistic military simulations that are enjoyable to enact. Airsoft battles also provide practice for active military and law enforcement personnel to sharpen their military strategy and training.
An important element before you even begin to discuss tactics and maneuvers is safety and protection. Learning proper rifle handling is essential, but even the most well-trained combatant can become injured; those little pellets sting exposed skin and can cause permanent damage to eyes.
The most basic first line of protection is proper eye wear. Sunglasses and prescription glasses aren’t made to withstand the impact of an airsoft bb or a paint pellet. Although they’re non-metallic and non-lethal, airsoft pellets are still fired at high-velocity. Minimally, you should acquire goggles or glasses that are made especially for airsoft battles and that meet ASNI standards and guidelines for safety.
[Image source The U.S. Army/en.wikipedia.org]
Basic helmets that are made especially for airsoft play offer head protection and provide a more military look and feel. They’re relatively light and don’t impede vision or head movement. There are also full face masks and helmets that are similar to those worn by motorcyclists for more strenuous action. Some of them also have visors attached that block UV rays and offer clearer vision in direct sunlight. However, they can become a little cumbersome when speed and agility are needed over stealth.
Unless you or your team are training for a specific event, long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants offer adequate protection for limbs, without hampering movement. The clothes should be fitted without being restrictive. Shorts, t-shirts and loose clothing should be avoided. There are also thicker jackets and replica uniforms that look authentic and are created especially for airsoft teams. Gloves are good for protecting your hands and fingers from pellets and from scrapes and cuts in rough terrain.
Military and law enforcement personnel who use airsoft for training purposes can purchase body armor and other accessories that allow them to get use to the bulk and weight of such garments before they need to wear them in a real world scenario.
To top off your team uniform, you can find custom airsoft patches from manufacturers that specialize in producing such items. Accoutrements like customized patches can make your team uniform look more authentic and lend realism to your airsoft play.