4 Tips for Cold Weather Paintball

winter paintballAC Paintball keeps our outdoor fields open year round, through rain, shine, snow, or ice. Don’t let a little cold keep you indoors! Instead, use these tips to change up your paintball game in preparation for the winter weather.

Maybe you’ve played paintball through the summer and fall and feel pretty confident in your skills. But once winter rolls around, you may find you need to adjust your game. The conditions presented by this season like snow and ice can pose more of a tactical challenge (Not always a bad thing; Look at it as an exciting way to improve your skills!). There are a few key things you need to do differently when playing paintball in cold temperatures:

1. Pack a Room Temperature Insulated Cooler

  • Pack paint in an insulated cooler to keep warm
  • Use heat pack to keep paint warm in pod pack
  • Bring a squeegee in case paint breaks inside marker

Just because the hot weather is long gone, doesn’t mean you won’t need your cooler any longer. Keep the cooler around (or find one with added insulation), this time to keep the cold out instead of in. Paintballs can just as easily shatter from the cold as they can melt from the heat, so aim for a room temperature inside your bag. Too much premature cold exposure can cause the paint to become brittle and prone to cracks or breaks with the lightest touch.

Help prevent paintball breakage by keeping paintballs in the cooler as long as possible and loading your hopper at the very last minute. If you use a pod pack or vest, a heat pack can help keep the paint at a good temperature during the game. Wear the pod pack underneath your outer layer of clothing and carry a heat pack on your body. Try to avoid shaking your hopper unnecessarily once loaded. Bring a squeegee on the field to use in case some paint does shatter inside your marker.

2. Have Patience with your Co2 Tank

  • Shoot less and at slower rate
  • Point marker up when not shooting
  • Upgrade to a HPA tank if you play often in Winter

Co2 tanks may have some difficulty and delays functioning in the winter because Co2 expands slower in colder temperatures. The primary solution is to shoot less and at a slower rate to give your marker more time to operate and help prevent a jam. Point your marker towards the sky when not shooting, which will keep the liquid Co2 in the bottle and out of the valve. Remove expansion chambers and never use heat packs on your tank, which can be counterproductive.

If you play often in the winter and find that you have many issues with your Co2 tank, you can upgrade to a high pressure air tank (HPA). HPA tanks can be a bit of an initial investment, but won’t have any problems because of cold weather. In fact, these will increase efficiency and accuracy when shooting year round.

3. Choose Cold Weather Clothing and Gear

  • Wear Under Armour, sweatshirt, and waterproof coat
  • Always wear flexible gloves and a hat
  • Upgrade to a thermal lens

While this may be a bit of an obvious tip, remember to dress for the cold weather. You’d be surprised how many players come under-dressed because they figure they will quickly work up a sweat. Or worse, don’t know to wear layers and end up overheating in a heavy coat. Layers is the key concept to dressing for Winter paintball (actually, paintball year round). Running and shooting (and adrenaline) can cause you to become hot, but hiding or standing still will bring the cold right back in. Layers allow you to choose the perfect amount of clothing that you need.

Wear thermal Under Armour, a sweatshirt, and a zip-up waterproof coat that allows for comfortable movement. Flexible gloves and a beanie or hat will help for the cold. Bring a change of clothes for after the game as snow or moisture on the ground will make the game wet and muddy. Upgrade to a thermal lens during the winter to avoid fogging up your googles.

4. Prepare for Tactical Challenges

  • Watch out for icy and slippery patches
  • Wear waterproof boots with traction and ankle support
  • Bring extra socks

The different conditions presented by winter– snow, sleet, ice, freezing air– can all pose a higher level of tactical challenges than the warmer weather. Moving around becomes more difficult as everything is slippery and wet. This offers a chance to improve your skills as you maneuver the new conditions. It is certainly a thrilling way to shake things up after a few months of playing in the dry summer heat. However, it can also pose more of a safety risk.

Tread carefully and look out for slippery or icy patches. Wear waterproof shoes or boots suitable for the weather and make sure they have traction and ankle support. Always bring extra socks in case any moisture gets inside.

About ACP Team

Helping you experience great paintball action in Southern New Jersey.

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