When I first started playing airsoft, MilSim players were who I looked to for inspiration. They looked like real operators; they had great gear and guns. When I experienced my first MilSim event, I realized you don’t need an expensive loadout. Sure, they look cool, but they’re not necessary. When you go to a 24-hour MilSim event, you really just need a kit that’s light, comfortable, and meets the requirements. My first 24-hour MilSim event was at Camp Grayling, Michigan. I wouldn’t say I was prepared for it; it was more like over prepared. It’s too much weight, and it wears you down to the point where you’re not effective. All you really need is a loadout that is capable of carrying water, ammo, and tactical food.
When you look to prepare for this type of event you have to look at a couple factors. The first thing is the rule set. Some events have very strict rules and gear requirements, such as whether or not you need a helmet. The other thing is which team you’re playing for. Most MilSim events are set up in a standard tan/green color scheme. You’re going to want a same color load out, even if it’s not required. This will help allies on other squads identify you as a friendly target. If you go to an event like this with a group, each member commonly has a specific role to play, and this will affect the loadout you choose.
When preparing for a twenty four hour MilSim event, there are two things you will definitely need. A flashlight for sure, because when it gets dark it is hard to see your enemies, let alone where you’re going. The second thing is some way to mark your death and show your teammates that you are a friendly player. This can be done by having a strobe or chem lights. Both of these items are basically useless during daylight, so always have a kill rag with you as well.
No matter what the field is like or what type of event it is, the main priority is always hydrating. Water is the most important thing you can take on the field. I was running a Condor hydration carrier that had a 2.5 liter bladder, and that was not even close to enough water. A backpack is extremely useful and I highly recommend you use one. You can use it to carry extra water, food, tools, along with extra ammo, and extra batteries.
Now for a rig, you should look into a plate carrier of some sort. Not specifically for holding bullet proof plates, but so you have the ability to customize your kit the best you can for your play style. Most plate carriers have MOLLE webbing on them so you can add pouches as you please. All you need to be effective on the field are pouches for your magazines, a pouch for a radio, and a utility pouch. These are the necessities you need for your kit. Condor makes inexpensive gear that works really well. Other than that all you need is your camo BDU’s that match the team you’re playing for, boots, and a helmet, if required. Not all event organizers require helmets, however there are some fields that may have falling debris and that will require a helmet.
How you should set up your gun is a huge game changer. Depending on the role you play this will be different. You’re definitely going to need a sling of some sort, because you’ll need to hold your gun for the duration of a 24-hour event. I was using a Condor one-point sling. A one-point is the perfect solution; it keeps your gun with you and ready, but it lays all the weight on your shoulders. If your gun has the ability to hit long-range targets you may want to have an optic of some sort. If not, you want to keep your gun light so you are still mobile enough to move through the field effectively.
All of these are items you need to be effective at a 24 hour MilSim. Not only do you need to set up your loadout to provide for yourself, but to set it up to provide for your team as well. Airsoft is all about teamwork, and team building skills. If you provide for your team as well as yourself, you will be effective as a group. That is the only way you are going to be successful at a MilSim game. Whether it be, loaning out magazines, or ammo, or even a battery if needed. If someone’s gun goes down, they are no longer effective on the field. They are dead weight, and they are not combat effective. Therefore, if you are able to get them back in the game, do it. This keeps your team at its best with as many operational members as possible. Teamwork is as much a necessity as water. Without the either one, you will not be combat effective.
-“Teamwork is a skill. Use your skills, and always have fun.”
– Reaper Crew Enforcer