In airsoft, MILSim is short for Military Simulation, and it’s thought of as the ultimate airsoft experience. Many who play spend weekend after weekend training for these experiences. They also spend a lot of money on fancy new airsoft guns and the gear needed to have the ultimate experience, but are any specific items required?
Here are seven things you need for an Airsoft MILSim:
- Weatherproof gear, including waterproof map case.
- Appropriate clothing, including socks and hats.
- Camping supplies, such as tents, mats, and a lantern.
- High-quality communication devices.
- Backup gear, including ammo and extra magazines.
- Accurate and detailed mission requirements.
- First aid kit with gauze, burn wipes, and disposable gloves.
This article will cover some of the essential items you need to gather in preparation for an MILSim experience. Keep in mind that this list won’t be all-inclusive, and your team may have other things they want you to include. Still, if you’re new to MILSim, this is a great place to start.
1. Weatherproof Gear Including Waterproof Map Case
You’ve probably spent a lot of cash to ensure your gun and vest are in the best shape possible. But are you prepared to keep that gear in tip-top shape if it rains?
Packing a few extra items should make sure that you and your gear stay dry, even in unfavorable weather conditions. At the very least, it’s recommended by many players who are experienced in MILSim scenarios to pack a poncho.
Players also suggest that a soft-shelled jacket should be included to help keep any potential rain off you.
For example, this TACVASEN Men’s Special Ops Tactical Soft Shell Jacket from Amazon.com has a warm fleece lining and is 100% polyester, making it both lightweight and breathable. It has a hood and plenty of pockets, plus it’s made with water-repellent fabric.
Before you make any purchases, remember your team’s uniform requirements. For example, the jacket above is green, but there are many others like it which come in black, blue, and camo.
If it’s likely to be cold when you go to your MILSim, remember to pack thermal layers that keep you warm and insulated. This includes long johns, thermal shirts, and gloves.
You might also want to invest in waterproof bags, like these KETEBA Clear Waterproof Bags. Available on Amazon.com, they will be convenient if your area tends to be extremely wet. With the seven different sizes, you’ll be able to secure everything from your phone and compass to your map.
On the other hand, if you live in an area with many hot and sunny days, remember to bring sunscreen and sunglasses. The last thing you need is for the sun to get in your eyes in the middle of an assault.
2. Appropriate Clothing Including Socks and Hats
Some suggested clothing items are mentioned elsewhere in this article, but there are specifics I feel need to be discussed in more detail.
First and foremost – don’t forget to pack socks that will keep your feet dry and warm. And pack plenty!
If you expect rainy or wet weather, you’ll likely need to change your socks more than once or twice a day.
Just don’t buy a new set of thick socks and head out without trying them. If you get something too thick (or too thin), you might find your boots become uncomfortable after a while.
On the opposite end, think about standing watch at 3 am when it’s nice and chilly outside and how much better you’ll feel with a thick, wooly hat.
Bring a wool beanie or a cap like this TSLA Thermal Fleece Skull Cap (Amazon.com). It’s thin enough to sit comfortably under a helmet, but the fleece lining will keep you plenty warm. Plus, it’s moisture-wicking, so you don’t need to worry about sweating in it.
Eyewear is a must. You don’t want to be blinded by the sun, leaving you unable to see your target, right?
Ideally, you have eyewear that allows you to swap lenses out based on the weather and time of day.
They should also be breathable and durable. You don’t want them to fog up constantly or get smashed the first time they get dropped or stepped on.
3. Camping Supplies, Such As Tents, Mats, and a Lantern
Not every MILSim is as immersive as others, but if you plan to stay overnight, you must consider packing some basic camping supplies.
Just keep in mind that sometimes, you’ll need to carry everything with you. So, don’t go for something big and heavy, or you’ll soon regret it.
Shelter is essential for an overnight trip, and there are plenty of great options, like this GEERTOP Ultralight Bivy Tent for 1 from Amazon.com. It weighs just 3.46 pounds (1.5 kg) and is very compact. It’s windproof and designed to keep you comfortable in almost every climate.
If you decide to go with a new tent, make sure you practice setting it up and taking it down. On the day of the mission, you’ll be under pressure already. Lessen some of that by preparing yourself in ways that you can before the mission.
Sleeping Bag and Mat
Before you pack up and go, look at the weather in the area where the MILSim is taking place. If it’s cold at night, be sure to pack a sleeping bag that will keep you warm enough to be comfortable.
You should also purchase a sleeping mat that you can roll up and carry with you. The cold hard ground can be uncomfortable at night, especially if it’s not something you’re used to.
This River Country Sleeping Bag, Pad, and Pillow Combo Set (Amazon.com) is a terrific combo set that includes a sleeping bag and an inflatable pad. The whole this weighs just four pounds (1.81 kg), and the pillow doubles as a pump.
Fire-Starters and Lanterns
No matter the time of year, chances are you’ll need to start a fire at some point. So, bring something that will allow you to start a fire quickly and practice with it. Even if you’re experienced in camping and survival situations, practice is needed.
The specific items you’ll need will depend on when and where you’re playing, but in most cases, you’ll need a head torch and waterproof matches.
You will likely also need a flashlight or lantern. This EverBrite 2-in-1 Mini Lantern and Flashlight (Amazon.com) is ideal for an overnight because it’s very compact and lightweight. In fact, when it’s not open, it’s smaller than most phones.
Don’t forget the food. Food seems like a silly thing to mention, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to pack any.
And with all that running around, you’ll need more than trail mix and beef jerky to sustain yourself over a multi-day MILSim experience.
You’re best option is to purchase a pack of these 2021 MREs Genuine U.S. Military Surplus from Amazon.com. They come in an assorted pack with:
- Main meal of 1,250 calories
- Dessert/snack options
- Crackers with peanut butter
- Powdered drinks
- Utensils and napkins
These come at random, but the meals may include chili, shredded beef, spaghetti, beef tacos, or meatballs.
Talk to your teammates to try and ensure everyone is bringing something. For example, if you bring some of these MREs, others may bring snacks or extra drinks for the team.
Another great option is these CLIF BARS – Energy Bars from Amazon.com. They’re one of the best in the business and are highly recommended by hikers and campers alike. They’re small but pack a lot of energy. Plus, they’re ideal for on-the-go snacking.
Lastly, don’t forget water. There may not be a source of water located conveniently, so be prepared and pack more than you think you will need.
Multi-tool and Paracord
Bringing a multi-tool and paracord is about being prepared. You may not have a definitive use for paracord when you’re preparing your gear, but you will likely find one while on the field.
The same goes for the multi-tool. If you can’t cut the paracord, it isn’t going to do you much good. You can also use it to eat your food out of a can or for hundreds of other reasons.
It’s always good to pack a paracord and a multi-tool when you’re out in the wilderness for any reason – not just for the epic MILSim in which you’re about to take part.
Packing most of these camping items might seem self-explanatory to those with more experience in MILSim encounters, but there is always someone who comes unprepared. Don’t be that guy.
4. High-Quality Communication Devices
There are lots of options when looking at communication devices for airsoft. Pick one that will work when you need it to, and that will fail you.
There are dozens of options for 2-way headsets and radios available that you can choose from. Just don’t forget backup power sources. You might not be able to charge anything when you’re on the field.
5. Backup Gear Including Ammo and Extra Magazines
You can never have enough power sources for your airsoft gun, ammunition, or magazines.
What happens if your gun breaks in the middle of the MILSim? You don’t want to be unable to participate in such an epic experience just because your gun breaks, right?
If you’re using gear that can break or malfunction, plan on that happening and bring backups of whatever you can. The same goes for any items you think are critical to your mission.
Extra clothes are essential as well.
You’ll want a cotton t-shirt or sweatshirt so you can give your tactical gear a chance to dry out when you’re not in the field.
And don’t forget that socks are essential!
This cannot be stressed enough. Check your gear. Check everything. Go over it all to ensure that everything is functioning properly before arriving at the MILSim location.
6. Accurate and Detailed Mission Requirements
As I mentioned earlier, some experiences are more intense and immersive than others. It may be a requirement that you carry all of your gear onto the field. If that’s the case, you’re going to have to keep that in mind when packing.
You probably won’t be able to pack tons of extra stuff if you end up a long way from the loadout point.
Luckily, there should be a kit list for your specific MILSim provided by whoever is putting it on. Be sure to check it.
7. First Aid Kit With Gauze, Burn Wipes, and Disposable Gloves
It might not be a real military mission, but you always run the risk of injury when playing airsoft.
First, if you’re running around in the woods, you could trip and fall, cutting yourself or even breaking bones.
Ticks and bugs will almost always be a worry in warmer weather, and if you happen to take a BB up close, you’ll likely see some nasty welts.
To be ready for anything, get this EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit from Amazon.com. You won’t believe how much fits in the compact case, including band-aids, scissors, glow sticks, a flashlight, and even a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation device.
Why We Choose MILSim
MILSim brings a lot more realism and more structure to the game we all love to play. The structure and atmosphere are vastly different from that of a typical skirmish.
A MILSim is much more intense, with way fewer pauses in gameplay and very few breaks. Unfortunately, they’re not usually for beginners and are much more geared toward experienced players.
Attending your very first MILSim can be quite a nerve-racking experience, especially if you don’t have a lot of airsoft skirmish experience and no military experience on top of it.
You might feel like you are in over your head. It can be overwhelming when assessing everything you need to think about, different from a typical skirmish.
Still, don’t be the guy who overpacks to the point that they look like they are going into the woods for weeks.