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The evolution of gear - seven circles of Airsoft Hell


The evolution of airsoft gear

Some time ago I decided to end my life as a gear hoarder. It appeared to be quite obvious that life of an airsofter consists of huge wardrobe, attic and basement full of gear, but I decided to end this. I sold or gave away pretty much everything that was non-essential and ever since I own only one set of gear – the one I use at the moment, pimped-out to the limit. During my last Big Change of gear  - cleaning my wardrobe, selling out old stuff and buying new one – I started thinking about my current attitude. I realized that looking back, from the very beginning of my airsoft adventure I can mark few stages of so-called Evolution, one coming after another. Maybe after you read about them you will find some similarities to your own airsoft inferno (not Gear Inferno ;) ). Circles of my personal Airsoft Hell are as follows:

PMin – Poor Minimalism
PMax – Poor Maximalism
RMax – Rich Maximalism
RMin – Rich Minimalism

MMin – Mandatory Minimalism
MMax – Mandatory Maximalism
How do I define them? Just let me explain!

airsoft vest

PMin – Poor Minimalism

We have just started airsofting. We don’t have money but everything is so damn expensive. EVERYTHING! And we like everything we see. But we can’t have everything. We need to start from something. Checkmate. Obviously we don’t want to go to our first skirmish with our brand new expensive replica wearing old jeans and hi-cap in our pocket, so we buy cheap DPM in the army surplus. And some vest from the Internet. Chinese Pattern 83 is cool and capacious, it doesn’t matter it really sucks and we should get rid of it ASAP. Some cheap cap, fingerless leather gloves and we’re good to go. Our vest is empty (or full of Snickers bars) because we’ve got only one stock magazine. Out set is poor indeed, but we’ve got hell of a fun. And we will remember those sweet times of PMin years later, during blasé years of RMi.

airsoft helmet

PMax - Poor Maximalism

Suddenly you realize that the Chinese gear is not that expensive after all. And not as dangerous as it may appear. Oh, look – CIRAS, only 50 euro. And MICH from the Internet – only 12 euro. Add some goggles and helmet cover. Cheap knee pads, leg pistol holster (in the meantime you bought a cheap GBB pistol replica, so why not?). Wait – second leg is free and there is a sale for leg cargo pouches! Coincidence? I don’t think so! And your friend is selling cheap beltkit… That’s just perfect, now you can make Line 1 on your belt. And so on, and so on… You keep finding more stuff you like and your „tactical wardrobe” keeps getting smaller and smaller…

RM – Rich Maximalism

As years go by, finally you can afford something more expensive. So you switch your Chinese CIRAS to some better Plate Carrier made of Cordura, you throw away cheap knee pads and buy ALTA, and new gloves, and cool combat set… I could talk about it for hours, but this is the most dangerous stage where you can fall into vicious circle. We all know that “I-have-everything-I-think-it-is-enough-now-I’m-happy”situation never happens. Look, Delta operator on this photo has got this cool thing, maybe I should but it? Oh, JPC v2, it would be cool to have it, but on the other hand I need new pouches because old ones have slightly different shade of coyote and Hypalon buckles… RM is the true essence of airsoft and “tactical wardrobe” where it’s very easy to fall into exaggeration. But it is up to you to set some borders. Or not.

RMin – Rich Minimalism

Yes, this is the stage of purification. After all those years we finally know what we really need! And very often we realize (much to our horror) that we don’t really need that much. Even less in PMin. The more you know, the less you need. So you get rid of 11 lines of gear and plate full of pouches. You focus on few key elements and you pimp them out to the full extent (yes, I’ve said it before, now we’ve made a full circle). Uniform, light chest rig, holster on your tactical belt, cap and gun. Now you can look at all those “gear whores” wearing All China Made stuff with a little smile on your face. You don’t have too much gear so it is easier to create comfortable, consistent set based on high quality components. And you don’t regret spending money now… Now airsoft is just as much fun as years before. Mature airsoft, as funny as it may sound.

Is there anything else? Well, yes. I had to point out two additional circles – quite interesting, but outside the above-mentioned pattern, which is simplified and can’t be really applied to the airsoft as a whole. After all it is based on my simple, personal experience. So what are the additional circles?

MMin/ MMax – Mandatory Minimalism and Mandatory Maximalism

“Why mandatory?” -  you will probably ask, airsoft is just a hobby after all. Yes it is, but sometimes our Evolution comes to a stage called stylization. Or even worse – reconstruction. And you don’t really have a choice – you need to submit your gear and accept the one and only canon. It can be very painful to airsofters who like to do it on their own, but the end result of playing reconstructor is totally worth it.

Who knows what else there is? Maybe new circles of airsoft Hell. Maybe I will be back to one of the previous ones. But I think we will jump from one to another like condemned souls, rattling our chains. Because there’s no final circle. Some of us won’t admit it, but that is the Truth. Our gear carousel is endless and once you’re in you will never look into the mirror and say: “I’VE GOT EVERYTHING! NOW I CAN DIE HAPPY!’

Author: Chaos


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