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The Zen of Soaking

"Match equipment to the environment." - Z.o.S.

Super Soaker XP 215Before even considering selecting a water blaster, it is best to make sure one is properly outfitted for the job both mentally and physically. One's water blaster is merely part of the equipment one should have at one's disposal. This page shall discuss various potential non-blaster equipment which may come in handy, depending upon the scale of water war engagement occuring. To keep in the Zen state-of-mind, that which does more using less is always the preferred choice as there is beauty in simplicity.

The Basics :.

Unless involved in a more peculiar (or questionable) water war, clothing is essential. Of course, some forms of clothing are better suited for potentially getting wet than others. In many cases, synthetic fabrics tend to trap less water than organic ones (i.e. polyester does not trap as much water as cotton does). Less water trapping resulting in faster water shedding and drying times. This converts to improved comfort on the field. However, synthetics suffer from other problems, notably perspiration odor trapping and can cause skin-related allergies for some. One of the most commonly overlooked fabrics is silk. While silk shirts may be in the pricy side and considered too delicate or too odd as a choice for a water fight, a good cotton/silk blend of fabric can be one of the most comfortable garments one can find. Unfortunately, such garments are more difficult to find and tend to be more expensive than either pure cotton or synthetic blends.

For footware, running shoes or a good pair of athletic-type sandals would be recommended. Of course, if the terrain calls for it, hiking boots may be more in order. The idea behind one's apparel is that one should travel as light and as dry as possible while taking into consideration the type of terrain one will be traversing.

Extending :.

Pouches/Knapsacks: For small area water wars between a few individuals, additional equipment is often unnecessary. However, if involved in a game over larger areas or with more people, having the ability to carry additional water, blasters, first aid, etc without needing to sacrifice one's hands is a definite bonus.

Hip/Fanny packs used should be snug-fitting and preferably made of waterproof nylon for obvious reasons. Knapsacks/backpacks used should also be snug-fitting and made of waterproof materials. The packs and equipment carried should not interfere with one's range of movement, otherwise the pack becomes a hinderance and not an asset. Hip/fanny packs are good for carrying small extra bottles of water, duct tape, and other small tools for in-the-field repairs. Knapsacks,backpacks are good to hold extra bottles of water (2L plastic bottles are one of the best ways to transport extra water) as well as an extra blaster if desired.

Hats/Jackets/Sunglasses: Hats (baseball-type ones with a visor) and sunglasses offer similar types of protection during daytime water wars. Both shade one's eyes from direct sunlight, making it easier to see what's around and both can act as mini-shields in event of return fire. Of course, neither can truly stand up well against direct fire, but both do reduce the amount of water going towards one's eyes.

Windbreaker-type jackets can also be useful on the field depending on the temperature. Windbreakers both reduce the level of direct sun and water exposure. Others may opt for jackets which provide camouflage patterns (i.e. military fatigues) such that they can hide under brush more easily. The main advantage of having a jacket is to minimize chaffing if traversing through underbrush as well as to minimize direct soaking by providing one with an initial barrier.

Shielding/Protective Gear: Arm/weapon shields will be discussed in more detail in a later section. However, both can be useful for deflecting water coming one's way if used properly. One recommendable piece of protective gear is a full face mask made of clear plastic. These type of masks can be found in hardware stores or in sporting goods stores, depending on the type one wants and how much money one wants to invest. Full face masks allow onto to return fire even if under direct face-attack by a hostile without much fear of having one's mask blown off. Of course, the properly enlightened Water Warrior will be able to avoid incoming streams, thus face masks are definitely optional.

Hand Protection: Work gloves, preferably non-bulky ones, are also good to use during certain occasions. Intense water war can result in one having to do a lot of pumping and trigger pulling. This takes its toll on unprotected hands. Gloves really do help minimize the chance of developing blisters. Gloves also come in use if climbing, grabbing rough surfaces, traversing through underbrush, and so on.

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