MilSim Loadouts: How to Choose the Best Gear for you next MilSim
Let's face it, MilSim events are some of the most exciting styles of gameplay a gel ball player can attend. This is why you have been at every weekend game leading up to this!
So when a MILSIM event finally comes, you need to be ready. We all know what you’ll need to hit the actual battlefield — but what about some other essentials? Let’s take a look and see what else you’re going to need.
There is one most important point to remember when choosing a Milsim Loadout, one should always strike a balance between what is practical to what is purely aesthetic.
In other words, do you really need it? Does it play a purpose? Is it mission specific?
I have compiled a list of gear that is commonly utilized in Mil-Sim scenarios around the world during major Airsoft MilSim's. While these reflect Airsoft events 99% of the information crosses to the Gelball MilSim as well.
Event Required Equipment
Always check with event coordinators, event social media or website pages etc, as they may have their own list of items that must or should be brought to the field.
Check the weather and be prepared for anything. And most importantly, HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Dehydration is a fun killer.
It's important to try and maintain team identification. For this reason, most MilSim events will have strictly set colour and/or camouflage requirements based on the team you are assigned or registered too.
For most a simple hat or cap like our TMC Bonnie will suffice in most types of Mil-Sim scenarios. Most headgears from Helmets to caps and everything in between are generally available for purchase with the same camouflage pattern or colour assigned by the event coordinators. A warm beanie may also come in handy during cold nights and should be considered.
Going beyond a basic requirement many players will op for the not so standard options such as Helmets, NVG's, Head Mounted Action cameras etc.
While not required you may see many pre-organised teams running the same headgear for aesthetic and mission specific reasons.
Eye Pro and Face Protection:
Eye protection is the most important form of protective gear that a player should have. Regardless of how good a player may believe he is every event I have ever attended has required Eye-Pro at ALL times. Shatter-resistant safety glasses and goggles may be purchased in a variety of styles. In a MilSim environment, I would strongly suggest finding eye pro that is comfortable to wear over long periods of time (expect up to 4 hours minimum at a time).
Some may opt for full face masks in the way of balaclava's, Airsoft style half or full face masks etc. This option should be considered if you may enter into CQB engagements in your MilSim mission.
The uniform that you wear is very important as they provide the wearer with overall protection from the elements. The Colour or Camouflage will almost always be dictated by team dynamics and the type of scenario being played, so check with teammates and coordinators before purchasing these items. Always bring an extra set, just in case.
At an absolute basic entry level for a Milsim, one would expect you would at least show up in a BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) specific to your teams colour or camouflage assignments.
The world is your oyster when it comes to Uniforms for MilSim. A number of things to consider may be your environment and weather when choosing the material or cut of the uniforms. Also, in some cases, you can consider the environment when choosing more advanced options such as ghillie suits, camo net covers etc.
Plate Carriers and Chest Rigs:
The question here is, do you need a plate carrier, or will a chest rig suffice?
Both plate carriers and chest rigs will often utilize the MOLLE platform to attach different pouches. The pouches that you will need will be dictated by the weapon and gear that you choose to carry.
Most MilSim events will require you to carry a minimum and a maximum number of magazines.
It's important to plan to the mission, ie how many mags will I have? Where will I store water? Spare batteries? Mission-specific items?
Other items that you may carry are pouches for gel ball grenades, peripherals like extra battery packs, waterproof notepads, flashlights, and secondary weapon magazines to name a few.
A sturdy belt is very important in the field. As silly as it may seem the last thing you want is your pants dropping down mid contact! Most players will utilize a tactical battle belt, although some players just opt for something basic. A battle belt is generally worn over an inner belt. Most players will use these to attach sidearm holsters, extra gear pouches, and other peripherals to the battle belt.
Nothing is going to be worse than going down on your knee only to realize there's a rock or stick jabbing into your knee! Call me what you like, but when I play I ALWAY's run knee pads.. A good option for this is G3 style combat pants that have them built in.
Hydration bladder and reservoir:
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Dehydration is a fun killer. Camelbaks and water bottles tend the be the most commonly carried. This one is an important safety matter. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol before and during ops!
A decent pair of footwear is extremely important to have. A good pair of waterproof combat boots will protect your feet and keep them dry. Having wet feet during an operation is extremely uncomfortable.
A good pair of gloves will come in handy and provide comfort when maneuvering through the various types of terrain that you may encounter.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of peripherals that may come in handy.
- Bring at least two pairs of extra socks and underwear for each day. It is always good to stay fresh!
- Keep extra shirts and trousers handy. Keeping clean is essential to for your well-being.
- A good sleeping bag will elevate your comfort level.
- You will also need extra batteries for your battery-powered devices like optics, airsoft guns, NVGs and more.
- A good knife may come in handy.
- A good multi-tool will ALWAYS come in handy.
- Of course, have extra gels and speed loaders.
- A good flashlight or two is good to have. Some lights have red light attachments that help reading maps during stealthy nighttime ops.
- Maps and waterproof notepads along with waterproof pencils or are helpful taking notes in rainy weather.
- A waterproof GPS device like the Garmin Foretrex 401 is also good to have, especially if you go off on your own.