If you are well prepared, you don’t have to stop playing paintball when snow starts sticking to the ground or the weather drops. Although equipment and paintball markers react differently in winter as compared to playing during summer, you can still enjoy playing paintball. Therefore, if you fail to change your playing style and gear for playing paintball in winter, you won’t enjoy the game. Here are some guidelines and tips on how to play paintball in winter.
Carbon Dioxide is not perfect for the cold
While Carbon Dioxide tanks are perfect in the summer, you are in for a bad day, if you intend to use them in winter. The pressure from expansion decreases a great deal, and thus blowback markers cannot cycle properly and velocity will drop off. You marker will easily go liquid and the gun body frosting over clouds of thick white vapor that keeps coming out of the barrel. In addition, the machinegun-like stuttering sound is not fun. The solution to this limitation is to use compressed air (HPA).
If Carbon Dioxide is your only option, you should make it manageable by shooting less and at a lower rate so as to give liquid Carbon Dioxide enough time to expand. Ensure the marker with the barrel tip is always pointing upwards, when not shooting. This helps keep liquid Carbon Dioxide out of the valve of the marker. Take the expansion chambers off to reduce the volume the gas has to fill and increase the pressure. Avoid taping heat packs to the Carbon Dioxide tank as it increases pressure spikes.
Cold temperatures affect paintballs
The paintball’s shell is often a vegetable starch material or gelatin. Hence, the shell can become brittle and crack easily before leaving the marker’s barrel when the temperatures drop. The solution is to keep paint insulated from the cold as long as you can. Carry a few pods safely by protecting them from the cold, preferably under your clothes rather than in the pod pack.
You should load up in the last minute to avoid exposing them to the cold while in the hopper. Try not to jostle the paint in the hopper as you would have done while playing in the summer. You can store the paint with some heat packs in your car to keep them above ambient temperatures.
Get winter-specific paintballs from paintball manufacturers who offer the option in late autumn. These paintballs have a thicker shell/fill formula that makes them perfect for playing paintball in winter. Don’t be scared off by the frozen paintball myth because the ingredients such as glycerin used in making these paintballs is a common additive in antifreeze for cars. And, it requires extremely cold temperatures to solidify and crash the shell.
Use thermal lens for goggles
While anti-fog and single lens are great for summer, they won’t work for you when playing paintball in winter. Your len’s interior will quickly mist in the cold temperatures like people’s eyeglasses coming into a warm house from cold temperatures and freeze in place. A thermal lens is perfect for preventing the mist buildup and freezing.
You need to dress in layers for any outdoor activity in winter. Although you may heat up and perspire while running or moving, you get chilled to the bone, immediately you stop moving. Your paintball marker can easily break paint in winter. Therefore, you should carry a squeegee or a pull through because you will need it. Make sure you hydrate yourself by drinking a lot of water the day before and during game play. Hot coffee or tea can also be great for warming yourself up between games.