For fans of paintball and possibly (hopefully) Survivorman I have to say – do NOT miss next years D Day paintball scenario game in Wyandotte, Oklahoma – the largest paintball game in the world. I recently had the good fortune (in between editing the new Survivorman series for Discovery Channel – recording my new CD, launching my new knife line with Camillus, launching my new hand made axe with Wetterlings and writing my new book) of making my way down there with my son and his friend to take in 3 out of the 6 straight days of the game.
It was – in a word – fantastic! The event is well run and you can tell that Ed Covey and his gang have put more than a lot of thought into how to make it the most successful event possible. Where else can you play in a game complete with tanks, Normandy Beach simulated scenarios, a killer night game with sky lighting fireworks going off every now and then to give you a glimpse of the enemy …and so much more? The best of the venders are there with all there lines of gear available for testing and buying. And all the experts are on hand to answer your questions. Tom “Tomcat” Cunningham and my friends Wally “Walster” Illman and Russ “Jester” Storing with the 1st Can Para of the Commonwealth team once again took great care of me and my son ensuring we lacked for nothing and enjoyed what is an entirely enjoyable experience.
The main focus is the big game on the final day – Saturday – which is an all day game of the Germans against the Allied forces. We started the game in the ‘boats’ on Normandy Beach. Ok its actually simulated boats and the water is actually a dirt road – but trust me – it is set up terrifically and the adrenaline rush is intense. We took the beach in record time – we beat last years record of 21 minutes and two flags with a new record of 19 minutes and three flags. The Allied Forces then proceeded to crush the Germans strategy at every turn. Within 6 hours we had won the game – also a new record. Everyone involved exhibits the utmost respect for opponents and teammates alike. If you are lacking in anyway – you can bet more than one person will jump to your assistance. Its just that kind of game. My son and his friend smiled all the way back to Canada – which is my proof that this is one of the best father-son activities I know of.
You see – my son can’t keep up with me in the hockey rink – or tennis courts – but when it comes to paintball its the kind of activity where he and I are on equal ground and its a great feeling to play side by side with him. (And yes – there are plenty of women and girls playing the sport too – and watch out for them – they can be way more aggressive than the boys than you think!!). As for me – my greatest point of pride in the week was leading, single handedly, three rushes over berms to push the opponents back hundreds of yards. I was with 20 or so Allied players and no one was moving up – no one was taking the chance and some were even saying hold the berm and stay still. Well I like an aggressive game so I said to myself – forget this – jumped up over – ran to the next berm and secured it calling the rest forward! It was so exhilarating – I did it two more times. Then that was followed by a sea of maroon colored players (The Commonwealth team) – and we swooped in to push the opponents all the way back to their camp. Game over!
I know the heat down there can be intense – but with a little preparation – ice packs – ice cubes in your camel pack of water – taking breaks when you need – it really only has to be a day filled with sweat and action – which I like. A special thank you to Matt Gibbins who took great care to help me and my boys with preparation. I’ll be back next year – so if you like the game already – then come and say hi – and if you are unfamiliar with it then take part in your local games wherever you can find them – you will be surprised how much fun you will have. As for me – its on to Wasaga Paintball for Canada’s largest game.Article courtesy of Survivorman Les Stroud Photos by Wally “Walster” Illman
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