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  #1  
Old 01-04-2006, 03:40 PM
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druid druid is offline
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Default Tips for Weather

Haha...Mother Nature...the most wicked of all women. There are many things that affect paintball...wind, temperature, geographic elevation, humidity, sunlight---anything and everything can have an affect on you and your equipment. I have been a PA hunter since 1982 and a paintballer since high school...I'm 35 - you do the math.

I'm not a doctor or dietician...but this is almost a no-brainer:

Climate

Hot and dry climates
First and foremost, you need water. The body needs it for everything...hydration, digestion, comfort. Without it you can get sick...hospital sick. ALWAYS have water on-hand to stop dehydration and fend off heat stroke and related maladies. Hydration packs, canteens, bota's or plastic bottles...whatever floats your boat (pardon the pun )
...ALWAYS have about a gallon or two on-hand. Salty foods are also a necessity. Nuts, pretzels, anything with salt. Your body needs it and you need to replennish it as you perspire.

Hot and Humid climates
Again, water and salt for consumpsion and perhaps some deodorant for your activity.

Hats
Keep the sun off your head and out of your eyes. Many people suffer heat/sun stroke, simply because they forgot a hat.

Clothes
Obviously, you'll want to dress appropriately for the weather. Light but loose cotton is a good choice when it's hot.

Your Gear

Markers
Try to keep your markers and paint out of the direct sun (when off the field). It causes plastics (macroline) to become soft and batteries can overheat. Electronics in general, don't like heat and sunlight. Paint will swell, especially if it's a humid heat and delrin bolts have been rumored to swell/warp as well.

Paint
Paint and heat or hunidity=a lousy day on the field. It will swell, it will crush and dimple. Keep your paint and pods (guppies) somewhere cool until you are ready to play...but NEVER...NEVER, EVER, EVER!...try to freeze your paint!

CO2 and tanks in general
CO2...is a gas that is compressed into a liquid and stored in a vessel (bottle/tank). When you shoot fast, it won't expand fast enough into gas, and you will shoot out some 'snow.' You will see a "frosting" effect on the tank...This is normal but you must be careful not to slam your tank on the ground and rupture it. These tanks cannot be left in the sunlight because the inner pressure will build and rupture the burst disc. I've seen it happen and it's not a cool thing. Exposing your bare skin to CO2 will cause a 3rd degree chemical/freeze burn. Keep your tanks in the shade and put a cover on it.

Cold Weather Survival
Paintball in the winter is immensely fun...but it requires some additional planning and gear. Here in PA, we have gotten some wickedly cold winters... I can only imagine what it's like in the Northern Tier States and Canada. Now, this advice is a portion of what I've learned in my 23 year experience as a PA Hunter. These methods work for me so they should be good for you too.

Clothes and garments
First off, you should layer your clothes. They should be a little loose so that you trap air between those layers. If you get hot, you can remove a layer.

Wool - is by far, the absolute best natural insulating fiber on the planet. Goose down is fantastic too...but wool retains more body heat when wet than the feather counter-part. Goose down also needs to be bulky and the garment "puffy" for it to have 'loft' (suspension of air around the feather and inside the fabric). Fleece is a (wo)man's best friend and you can get garments from hoodies to underwear and socks. In my experience, Thinsulate(R) insulation = crap. I have tried so many of these products and none have worked. Don't waste your time. GoreTex(R) on the other hand, is an awesome addition to your gear. It is a woven cloth that allows the perspiration molecule to vent from the skin but does NOT allow a water molecule to get in. Water molecules are larger than Perspiration 'cules. It's awesome stuff, but expensive.

Waterproofing your outer garments - 3M ScotchGuard is the best I've found and comes in an aerosol can. Buy 3 cans. Spray your coat/jacket once and let dry. Do it again. Do it again. When this application is dry, spray 3 additional coats on your shoulders, upper chest and upper back, down the arms to the elbows. Then your pants. Use the same as the jacket...and again and again...then extra coats around the waist and the leg between your ankle and knee and the seat of the pants.
Here's the 'formula' (if you want to call it that) that I use while hunting:

|skin||cotton||GoreTex(R)||wool||outer garment||

Cotton helps to 'wick away' the perspiration from the skin. Once your perspiration gets cold, you are done-for. Be careful not to catch too much of a chill from wet clothing.

Footwear

Socks...tube socks that come to the knee and a GoreTex bootie over that. Wool socks on top of that.
Boots...well it depends on what you wear, depends on the maintenence need of the boot.
An all-leather boot - needs waterproofing. Silicone sprays for leather or suede? GARBAGE! Don't even wast your hard-earned money. The absolute BEST waterproofer I've ever used is called Sno-Seal Brand waterproofing. It is a blend of oils and wax that when applied properly, will fend off a torrential down-pour. I HIGHLY recommend this product!
Rubber/leather/cordura combination - Like the snowmobile type. They really don't need too much maintenence but they get heavy over the course of a day. Use the Sno-Seal on the leather; the ScotchGuard on the Cordura. Pay special attention to seams in the material(s). Don't forget the GoreTex bootie.
Now...don't laugh but for those of us that have feet that sweat alot, use this trick: Take an anitperspirant roll-on and rub it into your bare foot. This helps stop wet feet and socks. Wet feet and socks=a miserable day and frozen feet.

Hats
Around 90% of a human's heat-loss is through the head/neck. Wear a wool cap and scarf THAT WILL FIT UNDER YOUR MASK.

Gloves
Here's a tough one. The gloves that keep your hands warm in the winter are often too thick to allow your fingers to move well...especially when working a trigger. My hunting gloves are thick fleeced wool and I cut slits in my trigger fingers right across the inside of the first knuckle. While this works for deer/bear hunting, it's terribly awkward for paintball. Neoprene is waterproof but makes your hands sweat...it does offer some warmth, though. I wear a pair of neoprene gloves under a pair of wool, half-finger gloves(with the fold-over mitten pouch-thing) over top of the neoprene. This combination works very well.

FOOD AND WATER
The same applies to winter as it did the summer. High energy/protein foods kick your body's 'furnace' on. I make a 1 Gal Ziplock baggie of M&M Peanuts, Cashews, dehydrated fruits like raisins, dates, apricots and cranberries. Eat smaller portions all day long will keep your furnace burning...BUT...you need to drink water for your digestive system to work. If you can't digest your food, your 'furnace' won't kick in. Besides...people don't think they can dehydrate in the winter...W-R-O-N-G!!! You can dehydrate in the winter...and I hear it's a horrible experience.

Wind Chill
Is more often the killer in cold weather than the air temperature itself. Wind Chill is the felt-temperature effect, of the wind+temperature on bare skin.
For example:
an air temp of 15* with a wind speed of 10 mph= a 3 degree temperature.
an air temp of 0* with a wind speed of 5 mph= a -11 degree temperature.

Wind Chill charts are available at your local library, on-line and through the weather service.

If your core temperature drops too low, you start to shiver. This is the body's natural response to the cold. You shiver to create movement, which creates frictional heat. Uncontrollable shivers are telling you to get out of that environment and start moving. Failure to do so can result in severe health problems, including frostbite, gangreen and death.


Cold weather and your gear
Oils tend to stiffen and moving parts don't move that well. There's no getting around oiling your marker and O-rings, just go easy on it and don't use so much.

CO2 tanks
When it's cold outside, you may notice poor performance from CO2 tanks. This is because the outside temperature is 'equalizing' or more to the point, 'neutralizing' the pressure inside the tank. You're not losing your propellant but you are losing the pressure to equalization. Let the tank warm up again and it's performance will return.
There are 3 possible fixes for this:
1. anti-siphon your tanks.
2. Use those disposable (tea bag-looking) hand warmers between the tank and it's cover. I have never used this method but I hear that you should not use more than 2 at any given time. I can only hypothesize that since those warmers can get to 195* each...that's 390* on that tank(...hmm...I'd have to wonder about doing that one...)
3. Get HPA.

#3 is the preferred method but also the most expensive...Personally, this is my suggestion for winter play.

Paint
Normal paint will freeze - well, not freeze solid...but it gets thick and has the density to shatter lenses and this is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! A frozen paintball will shatter a goggle. Use a winterized paint...it's a bit more expensive but it's better than having someone's eye blasted out.

Now....GET OUT AND PLAY!

Last edited by druid : 12-07-2007 at 12:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2006, 05:36 AM
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bamf-hacker bamf-hacker is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Weather

awesome tips...

and a good easy read.

Thanks

HacKeR
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2006, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Tips for Weather

that goggle thing is true it has happened to one of my friends befor. Not cool he got hurt pretty bad. but did not loose an eye thank god.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2006, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Tips for Weather

AMENDED 24 March 06: I picked this up at the Dr. Office today and figured I'd post it
SOURCE: U.S. Dept of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA 3154 2002
"HIGH TEMPERATURE + HIGH HUMIDITY + PHYSICAL WORK = HEAT ILLNESS"
"When the body is unable to cool itself through sweating. serious heat illness may occur. The most severe heat-induced illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If left untreated, heat exhaustion could progress into heat stroke and possible death."
Now there's a depiction of a thermometer which I'll haveto describe...as I don't have a scanner.

A relative humidity of 30%@80*F(26.7*C) is considered "Less Hazardous"
A relative humidity of 40%@85*F(29.4*C) is considered "Caution"
A relative humidity of 50%@90*F(32.2*C) is considered "Caution"
A relative humidity of 60%@95*F(35*C) is considered the begining of the "Danger" zone
A relative humidity of 70%@100*F(37.8*C) is the highest on the "Danger Zone"

HEAT EXHAUSTION
What are the symptoms?
HEADACHES; DIZZINESS OR LIGHTHEADEDNESS; WEAKNESS; MOOD CHANGES SUCH AS IRRITABILITY, CONFUSION, OR THE INABILITY TO THINK STRAIGHT (that just described all of us on a good day! LOL); UPSET STOMACH; VOMITING; DECREASED OR DARK COLORED URINE; FAINTING OR PASSING OUT; AND PALE, CLAMMY SKIN.

What should you do?
* Act immediately. If not treated, heat exhaustion may advance into heat stroke or death.
* Move the victim to a cool, shaded area to rest. Don't leave the person alone. If symptoms include dizziness or lightheadedness, lay the victim on his or her back and raise their legs 6 to 8 inches. If symptoms include nausea or upset stomach, lay the victim on his or her side.
* Loosen and remove any heavy clothing.
* Have the person drink cool water (about a cup every 15 mins) unless sick to stomach.
* Cool the person's body by fanning and spraying with a cool mist of water or applying a wet cloth to the person's skin.
* Call 911 for emergency help if the person does not feel better in a few minutes.

HEAT STROKE--A MEDICAL EMERGENCY
What are the symptoms?
DRY, PALE SKIN WITH NO SWEATING. HOT, RED SKIN THAT LOOKS SUNBURNED; MOOD CHANGES SUCH AS IRRITABILITY, CONFUSION, OR THE INABILITY TO THINK STRAIGHT; SEIZURES OR FITS; AND UNCONCIOUSNESS WITH NO RESPONSE.

What should you do?
* Call 911 for emergency help immediately.
* Move the victim to a cool, shaded area. Don't leave the person alone. Lay the victim on his or her back. Move any nearby objects away from the person if symptoms include seizures or fits. If symptoms include nausea or upset stomach, lay the victim on his or her side.
* Loosen and remove any heavy clothing.
* Have the person drink cool water (about a cup every 15 minutes) if alert enough to drink something, unless sick to the stomach.
* Cool the person's body by fanning and spraying with a cool mist of water or wiping the victim with a wet cloth or covering him or her with a wet sheet.
* Place ice packs under the armpits and groin area.

How can you protect yourself and your coworkers?(remember, it's an OSHA document...)
* Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-induced illnesses and how to respond.
* Train your workforce about heat-induced illnesses.
* Perform the heavies work during the coolest part of the day.
* Build up a tolerance to the heat and the work activity slowly. This usually takes about 2 weeks.
* Use the buddy system, with people working in pairs.
* Drink plenty of cool water, about a cup every 15-20 minutes.
* Wear light, loose fitting, breathable clothing, such as cotton.
* Take frequent, short breaks in cool, shaded areas to allow the body to cool down.
* Avoid eating large meals before working in hot environments.
* Avoid alcohol or beverages with caffeine. These make the body lose water and increase the risk for heat illnesses.

What factors put you at risk?
* Taking certain medications. Check with your health-care provider or Pharmicist to see if the medicines you are taking affect you when working in hot environments.
* Having previous heat-induced illness.
* Wearing personal protective equipment such as a respirator or protective suit.

Last edited by druid : 03-24-2006 at 10:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2006, 10:04 AM
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QAZ123 QAZ123 is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Weather

Also one way to keep your paint from the cold/hot temperature's is to store it in a cooler.

Sadly I have to do that this weekend!

JB.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2006, 07:28 PM
ooglieboogliebob ooglieboogliebob is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Weather

Yeah, coolers do work .. but not for such a prolonged period of time .. cine the coolers bound to get hot or cold .. sooner or later ... and most people usually sit their paint in the car for a couple of hours .. (usually heat) and it swells up like a marshmellow ...
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2006, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Tips for Weather

even though i know most of this, if not all, it was a very easy read, and it also covers about everything, THANKS!
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