Tips, Tricks, and Preparation
Disclaimer: I am a veteran of LL3, 4, and 5.. I am in no way the ultimate guru on Living Legends however there have been multiple posts on preparation for Living Legends; how much it costs, how in shape must you be, etc. This is meant to be a guide to help with those questions and give some more information besides that. I realize that sometimes I ramble when I explain things. Mods feel free to edit my post to make it easier to read if I do. I can edit in more information as others contribute if need be. Thanks for reading.
There is no clear cut way to prepare for Living Legends. Everyone is physically different and take more or less to actually get in shape for physically demanding paintball. Don't kid yourself, Living Legends is very physically demanding. I know for a fact that while many of us thought we were in shape in 2010, Mother Nature proved to us we didn't know jack. The heat index, if I remember correctly, was something around 100, give or take. This was insane weather for paintball in May. You must be prepared to handle this type of heat. One of the things I've learned to do during extremely hot paintball play is not wear antiperspirant. Many people are worried about smelling. Well, everyone who plays paintball in 100 degree heat will smell. If they say they don't, they're lying. You can always wear deodorant to fight the smell. Let your body do its natural thing, sweat. At extreme temperatures your body sweats to drop your core temperature. You start interfering with that and you can make yourself feel miserable. You can always shower later to feel all clean and sparkly.
Another thing you can work on is flexibility. Let's face it. Winter months are hard on people who are not all that physically active and even if you do work out flexibility may still be limited. Needless to say paintball for hours on end with adrenaline running high can make you ignore all those little pops, cracks, and other noises coming from joints and muscles. You don't have time to worry about slight pain when its more fun to dish it out to other players. Personally, I stretch every day. I don't sprawl out on a yoga or Pilates mat, but I do stretch. Sports in high school taught me how important it is to stay flexible. If you don't believe me, read this. Here's a link to some basic stretches, though you may find the girl to be more appealing than the stretching. Least you can say you were interested in your health at one point.
Last year, mostly because of the heat, there were multiple people who were actually submitted into the hospital because of dehydration. Do not let this happen to you. You've spent countless hours getting prepared mentally and physically, spent hundreds of dollars, and now you lie in a hospital bed with an IV. There is only on option. You should be drinking water for a solid week before the event. Get your body into into its natural rhythm with purely water and you'll feel much better than if you'd be drinking pop before the game. Drink water until your pee is clear, then keep drinking, until and throughout Living Legends. Alcohol and pop/soda will only dehydrate you even more due to your body diluting and purging through more bathroom breaks.
While there are some parts of the United States that allow for year round events, there are some states which basically shut down (paintball speaking) come winter. People start getting lax and stop working out until the next season. We all do it. But if you do that and consider Living Legends to be the first big game of the year for you and your team you will suffer, period. This is not a 4-6 hour scenario. It's two days of grind against some of the best paintball teams in the world. They are all looking to win and push you into the dirt. The bottom line cardio requirement I've made for myself for Living Legends is to be able to run at least 1 mile without stopping. This may not seem that hard to many people and to most its not. The reason for this is the start of the game on Saturday. Forming a strong battle line further down the field is important for the rest of the day. The farther you push in the beginning, the easier it is to run early missions and keep the enemy under pressure. A mile without paintball gear on is easy, put those 15-20 pounds of gear on and try to run it and it vastly changes. Vest/pod pack straps will dig in, cleats/boots don't allow you to run nearly as well as regular shoes, masks will limit air intake (possibly), etc... You will slow down over a large distance, radically faster than with gym clothes on. The first charge last year was around a quarter mile dead sprint down a gravel road. A quarter mile can play hell on your heart and lungs if you're not ready for it, especially without all that extra weight you're not used to having on your person.
If you can dream it, you can do it (well for the most part). Thinking you can't go on in a paintball game because you're in pain and just giving up is not the way to handle paintball. Spending a few hours out on the field will put your body through its rounds that's for sure. Many people, including myself, start to feel down as the aches start appearing. You're body is a natural wonder. It will start bouncing back very fast. Give it a little rest and food and it will come around. 15 minute breaks throughout the day to recharge will do wonders for your body and mind. If you find you're getting frustrated on the field, take a step back and have a few deep breaths to settle down. You'll only make mistakes if you play without control of your mind.
- Wear Deodorant, not Antiperspirant
- Water x 500
- Cardio - Start at running a mile non-stop and go from there depending on play style
Here's a basic list that came out last year for people going to Living Legends that I used and found it very helpful. I thought I'd pass it on. There are things crossed off because personally I don't need them. Please don't flame for that reason.
Everyone has their own ways of prepping their gear. I won't try to explain how to do it because there are things I can't explain due to gun/gear differences between myself and nearly everyone. However, one thing we all have in common. We all use CO2 or Air tanks. First thing to do is check your hydro date. Here's how to do it. I personally had to send off two tanks to be re-hydro'd this last week because they "died" last year. This can take upwards of 1-2 weeks depending on where you have it done. Keep that in mind.
Another part of your gear which you may not think about at all on any given day is your socks. Two days of running, jumping, crawling, etc can play hell on your feet. Protect them. Keep dry socks on your feet. Wet socks due to water or sweat will only allow blisters to form that much quicker. I recommend bringing at least two pairs of socks for each day of play and switch off halfway through the day. If you don't believe me talk to Orange . He was miserable and we all tried our best to keep him in play.
Another thing many people choose to ignore is a First Aid Kit. I bring one with me to all scenario games, no I lied, TO ALL GAMES. All those little scratches and sprains add up. Keep your body protected if you have to. Ankle tape, band-aids, and even super cool glow sticks come in First Aid Kits. Use them to keep you in the game.
Microfiber cloths are also great to have in mass quantity. You can buy them in any auto store or even in the auto section at Wal-Mart or Target for cheap. A few bucks for five cloths. With the amount of paint in the air and now First Strike Rounds, you or a friend near you will be goggled, period. They can keep your mask clean. Use them. They also have the habit of disappearing from your gear site when you're on the field. Keep some backups hidden in your locked gear bag.
Which brings me to my next point. Use a padlock on your gear bag(s), whether combination or key. I prefer combination because I lose keys. The vast majority of people are trustworthy but that's not everyone. Living Legends is HUGE. 1400+ players on average. Are you willing to bet 1400+ people are trustworthy? I'm not. If you refuse to buy a lock, at least gear up next to the TechPB campers/tents. There are constantly people walking around and gearing up along with also just plain watching out for shady people.
If you plan on spending a lot of time on the north side of the field near the rail road tracks or near Bedlam and Armageddon in the jungle you may want to consider bringing some bug spray. It can be thick and humid in those trees and the bugs love every second of it. After spending hundreds of dollars to get Living Legends the last thing that needs to happen is to be carried away by mosquitoes.
Another must have for the weekend is Sun screen. During the Dinner and Final battles both teams will be sitting out in the wide open sunlight. Just because it's May doesn't mean that the Sun is still hibernating. It can only take 20-30 minutes for a sun burn to happen to many people. If you get burned on Saturday or throughout the day Sunday you will be miserable. Try to keep some Sun screen on your neck and face, along with any other uncovered skin.
At The Game:
I'm not one of your parents. I won't tell you how to act. I will however give you some tips for the weekend to make it more enjoyable.
- Know the rules beforehand, here they are.
- Have all your pre-registration papers with you before you go stand in line on Friday or Saturday.
- Have all your gear ready to go, spend a few minutes immediately after chrono to get your vests/pod packs ready for play
- I met many people I've never seen face to face and had a great timewith them over the years(Willie, Mike, Orange, Borg, Kitty, PrometheanFlame, ChemistFunk, BryceLarson, Cockerpunk, Pacostacos, and dozens more)
- You don't have to meet everyone but have a good time
- Faster chrono = more paint for the field
- Use a chrono at your local field or your own personal chrono to give you a good idea of where your gun is shooting for minimum adjustments on game day
- There are tons of free items just sitting out on booths from vendors, along with sales people walking around all day to help you find that low priced marker/accessory. Bring some extra cash to get in on these great deals if you want to. Don't forget to keep this extra money in mind when figuring out funding below.
- Not exactly a vendor but check out the PBWoman Tent if they are on site. At LL3 they were giving out free ice cold waters and also snacks such as bars and bananas for people who walked in. They were all having a great time keeping us all in the game and I can't thank them enough for the work they did.
- Everyone at the line at game start = a great first offensive (obvious but necessary). Many people still have problems with having their gear ready. See above also.
- Eating lunch before the big "lunch rush" does two things for your body 1) replenishes nutrients that are lost very quickly into the day and 2) allows you to stay on the field while the opponents are settled down for a casual 30 minute lunch. This can be huge for a point comeback or making a bigger lead.
- Keep a few granola bars to nibble on out in the field if you feel that you need a pick me up. This can keep your hunger in check. Remember to keep your mask down and on at all times.
Map of the Area: Get to know this!
Cost of Living Legends (as of Jan 2012):
This is taken from a college student standpoint. The prices below will change for multiple reasons for nearly everyone but this is probably one of the more normal price "packages" (lol). This can also be very affected by how far you live from Joliet. Travel expenses were calculated driving from central Minnesota. Re-calculate using your own address for a more exact price. This should give you a relative guess.
GRAND TOTAL AT BOTTOM IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT ALL THE MATH AND EXPLANATIONS:
The Game Itself:
Paintballs (Pre-Registration price per case): 75$ x 2 = 150$
CO2/Air Tank Registration: 15$
The t-shirt itself is entirely optional but I look at it this way, not many people have them, and it provides some great nostalgia when you look at it. You can say you were there and had a great time. 20$ dollars in the long term is unimportant compared to the memories that come with it.
Note about travel- This is for people considering driving. I have calculated driving compared to taking a flight and its cheaper for me. It may not be for you. Take this however you will. This can vastly change depending on how far away you live from Joliet.
Distance to Joliet, Il from my hometown Alexandria, MN:
556 miles, so lets say 560 miles for ease of math.
Yay, math time
My truck (A 1998 Ford Ranger) gets lets say 20 mpg on the interstate. It varies depending on my mood (It's a manual and sometimes I tend to drive in 4th gear to compensate for slow drivers).
560miles/20mpg= 28 gallons. Allowing for some road rage moments and also for traffic speed variations lets say 30 gallons.
Midwest Gas average Today (3/29) is 3.55$/gallon. The closer to Memorial Day we get, the higher it'll be. I'll guess it'll be around 3.75$ at the least.
30 gallons * 3.75$/gallon = 112.50$
This is one way... so 112.50$ * 2 ways = 225.00$
This cost was split between two people (myself and my friend) so its back to 112.50$ for me alone.
Yes, you may camp at CPX however I would rather pay extra money to sleep in a bed, brush my teeth (you can do this camping), shower, etc... Last year I stayed at the Fairfield Inn with Orange and my best friend so we split the room 3 ways. We stayed at the hotel Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, so 3 nights. I refused to drive home after the final battle and I suggest many people do the same. You will be wiped out. Relax in Chicago/Joliet on Sunday. Have some pizza and celebrate a great weekend of paintball with a well deserved beer/pop(soda)/water.
Fairfield Inn Price per night 99$
Skipping math and simplifying-
Food and Beverages:
Yes, I'm a penny pincher when it comes to buying food at venues. I buy food at Wal-Mart or Target and bring it in a cooler to games. I saved tons of money last year because I brought a case of water for myself and my best friend per day of play. There wasn't much left at the end of the weekend either. I believe CPX Sports sells water at 3$ per bottle. You can do the math if you wish. I also had many granola snack bars and also some Gatorade for electrolytes.
This section includes random fun costs; going out to eat (I did twice at LL3, once upon arriving in Joliet and once on Sunday with the TechPB crew. Hey we also saw Dynasty at the bar, maybe you could too), driving around, etc...
GRAND TOTAL OF LIVING LEGENDS WITHOUT MISC COSTS: 497.50$
GRAND TOTAL OF LIVING LEGENDS WITH MISC COSTS: 547.50$
Have fun and see you all at CPX this Spring. TechPB TO THE FRONT!
3/31 Edit: Flexibility Section added.
This post has been edited by XGC_Cheevo: 28 April 2013 - 10:33 PM