Have you ever heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none”?
If you desire to improve your woodsball game, there are many areas you could focus on. But what if you mastered one?
Bruce lee was a great fighter, but he was a master at the one-inch punch. Obviously the one-inch punch was not the only move he used, but he perfected that punch, it made him famous and gave him a great advantage.
So what if you approached your woodsball game with the same mindset, to perfect one aspect? It could give you the advantage you seek.
The Skill? STEALTH
It seems obvious, but your first line of defense is to remain unseen. If the enemy can’t find you that can’t take you out. No matter how technologically advanced their gun is or what level shooter they are, you can have an advantage if you excel at the skill of stealth.
Stealth is a combination of being properly equipped and dressed and using your environment wisely. Remaining undetected is partly a skill of the mind. Thinking about your movements, your environment and your opportunities.
Equipment, camouflage, mask camouflage and other concealment items are necessary as well.
First, Consider the environment you play in and the colors present there. The colors of a pine forest vs. the desert will be different, so plan accordingly.
Below you can find a good tutorial on how to camouflage your paintball mask with digital camouflage using painters tape, a pen, a few cans of spray paint and an X-ACTO knife. (link to Amazon.com)
This is awesome because you can customize the colors to match your playing environment.
If you can see exposed skin after you put your mask on you might want to use netting or a bandana to cover your head.
To make things super simple you can buy an inexpensive head net in several camouflage patterns. The head net covers your entire head, including mask, is lightweight and breathable and increases your stealth. It may also save you from a few mosquito bites. A head net is an investment worth every penny.
Remember, if your skin tone does not blend with the environment your opponents will be able to see you better. It might seem like a small thing but in the words of da Vinci “Details make perfection.”
Your gloves should blend in as well. It seems obvious, but the parts that move the most will be the ones that give you away. Give special attention to your hands, head and your gun when planning.
Concealing Your Paintball Marker
There are several ways to camouflage your paintball gun. You can buy a gun with a camouflage design. You can paint the gun or have it painted, there are several how-to videos on YouTube to give your ideas.
If you don’t have a camouflage print gun and you don’t like the idea of painting the gun, there are other options.
Video below shows an extremely easy and cost effective method for camouflaging your marker using a removable ghillie wrap and some twine rope.
You may already have this one covered. Paintball camouflage clothes are easy to find and readily available. If you need to acquire some military style fatigues, you can look at an army surplus store, thrift store, any store with a sporting goods section or you can order paintball camouflage clothing online.
If you are just starting, or want to use what you have, khaki or tan pants are a good place to start. Maybe a brown long sleeve shirt.
As you are deciding what to wear, opt for colors that match the environment, but that are on the light side of the color scale. Dark colors are more visible from a distance, so if you are deciding between two shades, go with the lighter shade.
Once you have taken the time to camouflage your gun, mask and clothes, you need to consider your gear.
Woodsball games are long, so some gear will be necessary. You need to carry water, extra rounds, possibly a map and a few snacks. You will be carrying that gear in a waist strap or backpack, so choose wisely.
Use masking tape to cover rings and zipper pulls on the pack to prevent them from making sound as you walk. Use a Camo kit to cover your backpack and any other gear.
Try to pack the necessities while keeping gear to a minimum. The more compact you are, backpack and gear included, the harder it will be to spot you.
When you need to stop or hide, find a shadowed area to stop in. Reflections travel far and catch the eye, and clearly being in a fully lit area makes you easy to see. Try and visualize things from the other guys point of view.
As much as you want to avoid being seen, you should also focus on how you sound. Your hopper and pods are like alert beacons that rattle to let the enemy know your position.
Use sound to your advantage. Move during gunfire if you can to mask the sound of your movements. Avoid gravel, pebbles and mud, which are noisy to walk in.
When walking pick your foot up and step straight down. Don’t walk swinging your feet close to the ground because this kicks up debris that make noise.
Carefully planting each foot vertical to the ground won’t kick up debris and will be quieter. When you place your foot on the ground do it slowly heel to toe.
Before you start the game have a team mate check your concealment attire. Have them look for any obviously visible areas, exposed skin, bright colors etc.
Next, hide behind a bush or similar foliage and have them try and spot you from 10 or 20 yards away. Find out what they could see, what part of your get-up gave you away.
Knowledge is power so when you are caught out in the field, do some recon and try to find out how they discovered you so you can do better next time.
Any person, company, team or organization that has set their sight on being the best continually goes through a refinement process.
If you want to be the best, if you want to improve, you must continue to learn, continue to study and continue to practice the art and skill of stealth. Always be a student, always be learning.