Playing paintball in your backyard can be fun and convenient, but there are some issues that you might run into along the way that could mess up your game. I do a lot of backyard paintballing and personally think that a nice patch of woods is better to play in than many purpose-built paintball and airsoft fields. Here are a few things to watch out for during backyard paintball play, as well as a couple of ideas to make the experience more enjoyable.
Potential Problems with Backyard Paintball Play
The main thing that you need to watch out for when playing paintball in your backyard is your neighbor. Unless your neighbors actively participate in your gameplay, they may grow upset when their property is affected by (or, at least, they think it is affected by) your paintballing. When I was younger, I had a neighbor that hated my backyard paintball games so much that he called the police on us even though we never left our property.
Regardless of how accepting your neighbors may be, it is common courtesy to make sure that their property remains completely unaffected after a backyard paintball session. Do not cross through their yard to get to your favorite spot, don’t let paint hit their trees or lawn, and most importantly, aim your shots far away from their house. The last thing you want is to foot the bill for a fresh house paint job or sliding glass door. Always double-check your shots when playing in the backyard, especially if you have a small yard and close neighbors.
You should also be careful when playing on public land. Most of the time, playing paintball on public land is acceptable, but wherever trails, campsites, and fishing holes exist, you should exercise caution. If just one hiker calls the forest service about you, then they may stop granting you so much freedom.
Getting the Most Out of Backyard Paintballing
Having a huge backyard full of trees and rocks is ideal, but not everybody has that available. Whether you want to create a few basic props or a full mini-arena in your backyard, it may take some work to get the best possible experiences.
One of my favorite recommendations is to scour private sale services like Craigslist and OfferUp for bulky cover material. Many people have big junk items such as tires or old furniture that they allow you to pick up and take for free – otherwise, they would have to pay someone to haul their junk to the dump. With a truck or a trailer, you can take that old, smelly couch and create a piece of solid cover for your backyard.
When arranging props and obstacles, try to set them up in ways that make sense. If you play shooter games, think about how the maps are set up. They often try to direct players in specific ways while promoting exciting fights in a few select locations. You can set your backyard up in a similar way: if you think that the best place to have most of your fights is in between a shed and a big tree, then set up a few supporting props to make that space more enjoyable.
Another great addition that I usually recommend is an outdoor floodlight or two. These floodlights can be turned on or off as needed and have many other possible utilities as well, so I consider them a nice general investment for your home. For paintballers, they offer a way to keep playing after the sun sets.
Gearing Up for Backyard Paintball
One of the most important considerations you can make when creating a backyard paintball space is who you think will be playing there. Chances are, you may have friends or relatives who have little experience or gear but may want to join in sometimes. For this reason, I recommend keeping ready at least one full set of entry-level gear.
Any entry-level marker will do, such as a Spyder Victor. Throw in a basic hopper and air tank, plus a cheap mask, and you should be able to add in beginners to your backyard events for less than $150. Plus, these items can be used as backups if your main items were to fail.
I love backyard play. I bring my friends over, break out some cheap paint, and have fun while messing around. No rules, no nosy referees, and no annoying people to ruin my fun. Thankfully, I have the best land I could ask for to play on, but you might not be so lucky. With a bit of work, though, you could have the same sort of fun that I do on a weekly basis.