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Resting in a long game tips requested

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Tactics, Techniques and Procedures

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Old November 11th, 2014, 01:56   #1
Red Dot
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Resting in a long game tips requested

This is aimed for the seasoned/miltary folks around here... how are you guys resting on the airsoft field?

Might sound stupid but I totally crashed a couple of months ago at OP Operator 2 7-hours into the 16 for the event and have been on a mission to educate myself so I never do that again.

My main culprits I believe were dehydration, lack of rest and blurred vision (no glasses with my eye pro). The one I'm having trouble to work around is a rest schedule.

When you guys are resting in the continous 12+ hour games do you head for a tent or just grab a spot in the field? I'm finding it difficult to know what to do and how to prepare equipment-wise for it. I think I'm going to implement Mckee's advice from another post by doing 30 min of rest per 4 hours of activity to start to train me to pace myself and not burn out, definitely open to suggestions from those of you who live off these long games.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 02:32   #2
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I would first look at hydration, nutrition, and fitness.

A camelback and spare clean water takes care of hydration.

Look at the various gels and energy bars to keep fueled. They're made to be easily digested and quickly get to your muscles.

For fitness plan 12 hour activities that will keep you working for a length of time equal to the event. No point in a 20 minute workout that isn't going to approach the amount of endurance needed to grind out a game.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 02:37   #3
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Were you the one who was sleeping in that car in the video from the OP:OP2 AAR? :P

In terms of most airsoft games, with their relatively short durations of 24 hours or less, there doesn't really need to be a hard-and-fast rule about when to sleep, and when not to. You should take your chance to sleep when you can, and just get used to going in and out of sleep. Most of your chances to sleep will likely be dependent on your squad, and on your team's commander.

If command sends your squad out to defend a location, then your squad leader should work out if he can spare people to take a nap. He should be checking in on everyone to see how they're doing, and if anyone needs rest. When you feel tired, you should take the chance to sleep. If you're going to be posted up for a while and the squad leader asks for volunteers for the first sleep shift, you should take it.

If action happens later, you'll be woken up. If you don't take your chance to sleep, and action happens later, you won't get a chance to sleep.

Make sure you don't let yourself fall into a deep sleep, though. Your squad should be waking up the sleepers every 30 minutes (give them about 10 minutes to pass out, then let them sleep for 20) and forcing them to move around, and eat/drink something. Once you hit REM after a hard day's fighting, it'll be hard to drag you out of it.

Really, it's just willpower to keep yourself from crashing. You grab your rest, and force yourself to wake up. It helps if you've got a squad that knows you, and can push you.

If you find it as hard to wake up as I do, and a "sense of responsibility to your squad, and to your team" is not enough (it's just a game, after all), then you certainly shouldn't be sleeping in a tent. Sleep in a building, or on the field. Ideally in a place that once you wake up, you can roll over and stand up in. You need to force yourself to move once you're awake, or you'll fall right back asleep. And, like entering a cold lake, you have to just suck it up and jump right into things. If you're laying in a tent, looking at the door that you have to force yourself to crawl out of, into the cold dark night of milsim shit, it'll suck some morale out of you. If you're just laying in the field, and can roll over, grab your gun, and stand up to talk to your buddy and ask what's been happening, it's quite a bit easier to get up.

So bottom line: rest when you can, and just use will power to get yourself awake before you fall into a deep sleep. Your squad leader should be on top of things, and should be dictating when you sleep. You just need to provide him with appropriate feedback of your status. Lastly, your squad should help to limit the length of your sleep in a single stretch of time, and be able to push you to get up. You're part of a team, so your teammates should be able to do this for you.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 04:11   #4
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No that wasn't me. I was in my teammates tent stripped down to my base-layers attempting to sleep while not throwing up.

I have a hydration carrier but I wasn't using it as often as I should. Same goes with nutrition, had bars, jerky all the shit but didn't take the time to fuel up. My fitness level is low so that for sure is a priority in general to take up for next season.

I can generally stay up for long periods of time it's just crashing as hard as I did that game made me realize I'm not doing something right big time.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 07:25   #5
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Balance hydration between water and electrolyte drinks. You can go all water but never all Gatorade. I did that once for a training day and messed with my blood sugar bad, crashed hard. Force yourself to drink too. Don't wait till you're thirsty, you're already very dehydrated by then.

Same with food, force yourself to eat. For a 24 hour game I try to munch on something every 2 hours.

Rest: bring a camping chair and a blanket , it's no bed but you can have some level of comfort without being too comfy. Sit when you can, if you feel sore at any point just take a few mins extra unless you're team desperately needs you right then. Avoid the ground unless you've got something really good to insulate you from the ground. You won't be able to rest when losing body heat.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 07:35   #6
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As a military veteran, I can't understand why people would want to subject themselves to games longer than an hour. Of course I don't understand people who join the infantry either so to each, his own.

I remember during sleep deprivation in Basic and SQ falling asleep while walking. My FTP fell asleep in a ditch when we briefly left the road to avoid being spotted by a truck at night.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 07:53   #7
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Hydration doesnt work the way you guys seem to think.

You cant show up on the day of the game with a bunch of water bottles and think you are good to go. You need to increase your water intake atleast a week, hell even two weeks before a game. That way your body can loose fluids during the game and you will be okay because when you are playing your body cant take in enough fluids and process them in time for you to use them.

As well, anyone who plays sports will tell you. CARB UP. Its not the best diet but a day or two before your game get a ton of carbs in you.

So in all 1-2 weeks before game day start drinking tons of water and STICK TO IT. 1-2 days before the game eat lots of food high in carbs. Then on game day bring your water and snack on proteins. Also skittles, cause I love skittles.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 09:51   #8
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Hydrate well the week leading up to the event (you will piss a lot from it but that is good), carry at least a 3l camelback on you (I fill mine up,with ice then add water, helps keep it cold longer and cools your upper body while wearing it). Then I carry beef jerky in a pouch, gives you salt replenishment as well as protein to replenish.

It's always funny when my old fat ass can last longer in the bush then the skinny youngins
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Old November 11th, 2014, 09:53   #9
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Hard boiled eggs. High calorie-to-weight ratio. Shelf stable for a few days if the shell is unbroken. Roughly the same protein-to-fat ratio as your brain.
Not a replacement for protein bars, but protein bars and other "maybe food" will make you constipated and lethargic. Food bars are convenient, but they're a supplement, not a replacement. Try to pack as much real food as possible (a small orange acts like a cup of coffee after hour 12).
Caffeine makes you jittery, unfocused, dehydrated, then crash, and should be avoided. Then again, if you're a caff addict, going without will do the same thing.
Chew gum, grass, or a button to stay occupied and keep saliva flowing. Flex your calf muscles continually to keep blood flowing and stay awake while laying prone for long periods.
Get rid of foreign objects in your boots, readjust uncomfortable gear, and take a shit (!!! Use a designated pooper or bury your shit properly !!!) as often as possible. Rubbing, chafing, back pain, and holding dunks are incredibly quickly fatiguing. And distracting.

Don't talk, though. There is nothing in the world as good at dulling your senses and dividing your attention as a conversation.

Edit 2:
Please chew non-food objects responsibly.

Last edited by Cliffradical; November 11th, 2014 at 10:06..
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Old November 11th, 2014, 12:48   #10
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No that wasn't me. I was in my teammates tent stripped down to my base-layers attempting to sleep while not throwing up.
Ah, okay. I remember seeing a video about someone's name that I recognized. I was just too lazy to go back and find who it was. :P

Quote:
I have a hydration carrier but I wasn't using it as often as I should. Same goes with nutrition, had bars, jerky all the shit but didn't take the time to fuel up.
A lot of the times you have to force yourself to eat or drink, especially as you get exhausted. A lot of the time you just don't feel hungry or thirsty.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 14:21   #11
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Realistically, it's about simply not quitting. That, at the end of it, is how to accomplish 24 hour games. 24 hours is not an especially long period of time, and at all the 24 games I've been to, night time has generally been fairly restful, for at least a couple of hours. Most people tend to peter out during this time, with only a few roving squads actually able to continue through the entire period.

Fitness level certainly plays a part in the not quitting department, as it can make longer term commitments more comfortable, but it's all in the mind.

Firestorm XXX has the right idea, in that it's up to your command to designate proper rest rotation and feed times. If command isn't doing this, then it's up to your squad leader to step in and impose a rest rotation. Calories are important to consume, obviously, but we carry around so much fat with us that there's plenty there when we need it. I don't know how many calories are burned at your typical game (colder games certainly burn more, as does carrying heavy stuff and long patrols), but I don't think it's intense enough for anyone to really bonk or hit the wall. I've never found that there is such a continuous strain on the glycogen system to completely deplete sugar reserves to the point of bonking or wall hitting, especially as I keep some Gatorade on hand.

I have found, however, that while I don't really eat all that much during games where I am active the whole time (sometimes as little as 1000 calories), in the next few days I am a roving monster eating everything in sight, likely in a state of caloric deficiency.

Hydration is certainly important, but you can train to fight without needing as much too. You've got to figure out how much comfort you need to keep you capable and willing to not quit. For some it's a few moments sleep when the opportunity avails, or others it's coffee and fresh fruit.

All of these factors will absolutely make a difference in your level of performance, but to simply make it through to the end, all it takes is a not quitting mindset.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 14:46   #12
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I bombed at risky sun IV, but Rob and I had been up helping setting up the day of, so by the time the game started we had already been up for 16 hours (so don't do that). My level of fitness had gone down quite a bit since the days of running two 24hr games a year and it definitely showed here.

#1 unequivocally is fitness. If you're not in great shape, you won't be able to run 24 hours straight. I WAS in amazing shape and I could do it, but I haven't worked out in a while and the difference is obvious.

#2 hydration, 3L on you and an extra however much you need in your bag. I know how much water I go through and I carry enough.
I also add in stuff to my mix, N.O.xplode (for vasodilation) and a 5hr energy for extra pep over the course of the 3L. Don't drink when you're thirsty, drink every time you get a chance. Because chances are pretty good you will NOT have the chance to drink when you're thirsty. With excellent hydration you should be pissing clear every 1-2 hours or so. You can of course drink less than that if you have trouble finding spots to take a tactical piss or are pee-shy. I just go anywhere I have the chance lol

#3 weight. Don't carry shit you don't need. If you know you'll be frequently back at base, carry enough stuff for FOUR HOURS. That means one meal, protein bar, water, ammo and mags. You don't need a gas stove, sleeping bag, soft shell, or backup gun on you.
If you're planning to be away from your base most of the game, then you carry your softshell, 1-3 meals (depends on metabolism), ammo, NVD, etc.

#4 boots and socks. You NEED extra socks. Good boots are obviously a must. If you're feet get sore or start falling apart because they're soaked, you're out of the game.
goretex socks are amazing, but you still get soaked with sweat, so still carry extra socks.

#5 sleeping on the field. Tents are big "KILL ME" signs. The idea is you don't just want to sleep, but also "live" through the night lol
Some guys bring sleeping bags, I find these are bulky, annoying to haul around, and take too long to get in and out of.
Find decent shelter, buildings, under trees, etc where you're out of the elements. ***Switch to dry socks*** waking up with wet shriveled feet is not only a horrible way to start your day, but can also be very painful and dangerous.
Have comfy gear you can sleep in. My PC supports my back as I sleep and is very comfy, excellent at keeping me warm. Put on a thermal shirt if you get cold at night, I can get away with just using my soft shell. And always bring a toque.
Sleep with your gun and gear on. Nothing worse than getting shot because you had to spend 5 minutes collecting your crap.
Make sure someone knows you're there, so you don't get left behind. Also sucks waking up alone behind enemy lines lol
Cuddle. Don't be homophobic, nights can get cold. Sleep back to back with a buddy if you get colder than your gear can handle. Spooning is optional, whatever floats your boat.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 14:53   #13
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A couple small tips that helped me:
- Only sleep during daylight
- Have a camelbak but at your fob have bottles of water and drink from those. It's easier to track how much you've been drinking
- G2 powder is the shit
- Don't eat weird ethnic food before the game
- Carry advil and tums
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Old November 11th, 2014, 15:41   #14
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the biggest one is PACING.

you don't sprint through a marathon.

A long game is about who's left standing at the end and still able to fight, not who can rack up the most km traveled and kills early in the game.

Never run when you can walk, never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lay down, never lay down when you can sleep.

If you can sit and reload, then you sit and reload. Better if you can get your feet elevated to let the fluids come out of your legs, feet tend to swell. In a long rest period, try taking your boots off when you elevate your feet.

Of course hydration is important, so carry fluids with you. Don't overload yourself, take only what you need onto the field. Ammo, water, radio. Anything else is not needed unless otherwise stated, as in the field is big enough to get lost in, so you may require a compass or map. Otherwise, if the game doesn't call for it, you generally won't need it.

Properly geared/dressed for the weather. Ever weigh yourself with all your shit on you? It might not seem like a lot when you hit the field at first, but over the course of several hours, every ounce and every pound you carry with you will fatigue you faster. When you start running around and it starts sucking up sweat, it'll get heavier.

IF you're at a safezone/forward base milsim, you don't need to carry all of your shit. You can deal with carrying a couple snacks rather than a full mre. Come back to eat. But snack if you need it. High energy stuff that won't make you sugar crash... nuts and stuff like that.

Every litre of water is 2.2 pounds. Ask yourself i you want to carry 3L of water with you at all times? Most of the time you don't need to. If you're properly hydrated, you can still go down with heat exhaustion.

Carry enough to get you back to the safezone/hq so you can fill up again. I went from 2.5 down to 1 - 1.5L with me. Sip at your bladder, drink when you get back to base. Fill the bladder when it needs filling.

I advocate a cooler with ice to have cold drinks, this helps fight off heat exhaustion. A cold drink can turn a situation around very quickly.

Avoid sugary snacks and drinks. Gatorade and such is fine but it's really just sugar water, the actual amount of electrolyte in sports drinks are very low. I have gatorade to maybe a 3-1 ratio. 3L of water to every 1 of sport drink. I stick around that ratio for the whole game.

Actual electrolyte supplements and water will probably help more than sport drinks, potassium is the big one, it will prevent cramps. For me the second is magnesium, my muscles get twitchy when I'm low. Low calcium also contributes to twitchyness. You can just pick up a bottle of potassium and or magnesium (or magnesium citrate) from the drug store and bring a few tabs with you. Sodium is so common in our diets I doubt anyone would ever need to supplement it. Don't go super crazy there's no ODing on potassium or magnesium, but it can give you the shits.

Calcium and sodium are usually things we get enough of already, so take care in supplementing them.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 16:03   #15
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