Winter Weather Paintballing
How to Play Paintball while having Fun in Cold Weather!
No matter what climate, when playing paintball, you will work up a sweat! You can count on that. In places that snow, you need to come prepared with extra clothing in your car. Thermals are always a must.
Layers work. When your adrenaline rush wears off and in between games, you will be very cold while still outdoors. Thick sweats, sweatshirt and a waterproof parka will do. Thin jackets give you more mobility than thick outer wear.
Waterproof boots keep your socks dry. Playing paintball with wet socks makes for a lot of discomfort. Bring extra pairs of socks too just in case moisture leaks through your boots.
Neck protection such as wool wrap arounds, beanies and ski masks keep the paintballs from splatting on cold skin and alleviate frost bite. Ski masks protect your ears and provide warmth.
Gloves prevent numbness that frost bite can cause on your fingers. Your trigger finger is especially useful in paintball. Some prefer bicycle gloves to prevent sweaty palms, however, they do not provide as much warmth as hunting gloves.
Hunting gloves are specially made to be worn in freezing temps. They will keep moisture out and hold warmth in. Finally, a softer glove option is fleece gloves. They are not waterproof; however, you can spend a little more and find insulated fleece gloves.
Paintball USA, a paintball park in Palmdale, doesn’t experience snowy days of operation. The only time during the past five years there was snow on the playing fields was Thanksgiving and Christmas 2019. https://paintballusa.org/themes/custom/paintballusa/styles/css/images/body_bg.jpg
Other than that, being a paintball park in Los Angeles County, the climate is 70’ish most of the year with occasional 100-degree summer days and a few rainy weekends in winter. People can enjoy planning and celebrating their paintball birthday parties all year round. https://paintballusa.org/
Paintballs and Cold Weather
Cold weather of any kind affects paintballs. Therefore, we store our paintballs in a weather-controlled office trailer. When paintballs are left in temperatures under 70 degrees, the gelatin fill hardens and makes the outer shell become brittle. When the shell becomes brittle, it can easily break inside the barrel of the paintball gun before coming out. Hence, the ball will jam up your gun and you will be unable to finish playing your game.
Paintball suppliers offer a winter ball specifically made to withstand cold weather. In most circumstances, winter paintballs take longer before they become brittle when exposed to the cold, so best practice is to carry your canisters underneath your jacket to keep them pliable.
Do not carry as many paintballs in your canisters as you normally would in warm weather. Once the paintballs become chilled, they become brittle. Another suggestion is to bring along some hand warming packets to place on top of your paintballs kept in your duffle bag.
Another inexpensive suggestion is to pick up a thermal insulated food bag, put your case of paintballs in it and wrap a towel or small blanket around the bag while you are playing. That will keep your paintballs warm and cozy, preventing breakage.
Paintball USA sells paintballs for $55 per case of 2,000. These are a good brand, not expensive tournament grade, but good for rental guns and custom markers. Very affordable! https://paintballusa.org/pricing
Protect Your Paintball Equipment
We use gun oil in our markers to lube all the parts and keep them functioning well. Very cold weather tends to thicken gun oil, so ask your local pro shop for marker grease specially made to use in freezing temps.
If you are unfamiliar with marker cold weather adjustments, take your paintball gun to a tech and have them under bore the barrel and check the velocity to slow it down so paintballs will shoot smoothly with less room to bounce around. When paintballs have more space in the barrel for movement in cold weather, there is more chance of ball breakage.
Be sure and pick up some hand warmer packets and carry them in your bag with your paintball gun. Even when you keep your paintballs at room temperature, if they are shot out of an icy gun, they will break in the barrel.
Just in case a paintball or balls break in your barrel, carry a pull through squeegee in your duffle bag during winter months. There isn’t any other way to clean your marker barrel without a squeegee.
At Paintball USA, we use only compressed air HPA tanks. We have eliminated the usage of CO2 fills and tanks altogether. Compressed air is better for the environment and safer for the player.
In recent years, there have been reports of serious injuries from parts blowing off of CO2 tanks due to outdated equipment, not getting your tank hydrotested and improper fill operation.
If you are still using a CO2 tank on your marker, winter weather is the worst time to play paintball. The cold decreases the pressure that cuts the velocity. Your gun will malfunction making a long, drawn out, putting sound. The marker will frost up and white puffs of vapor will expel from the barrel. Great, right?
Best idea is to invest in a compressed air HPA tank. Paintball USA sells, not rents them to self-equipped players. All our rental markers are equipped with compressed air tanks. https://paintballusa.org/about/paintball-facts