Competitive Shooting

Surviving the Match: What to Bring

Say you’ve been following my exploits on the CTD blog for a while now and you’re going to shoot your first match. Even though the competitive season is winding down, there are still plenty of great club level matches out there to shoot; so here’s a little post on what to bring to get you through your first match. The twist is that what we’re talking about today is all your gear that isn’t directly related to your firearm. Since I love lists, here’s the list of stuff!

  • Food and water: A lot of club level matches start around 10am or so and will last past 3pm.

    I get hungry during that time, so I always like to have some food with me.

    Make sure that whatever food you bring has a wrapper and can be eaten while holding the wrapper.

    Your hands are going to be dirty and you don’t want to directly touch your food.

    Ideally, you should wash your face and hands with cold water before eating.

    Which is why I always bring bottled water with me to the range.

    You’re going to get thirsty, and you’re occasionally going to want to splash water on your hands or face.

    A gallon jug of water is less than a buck from most grocery stores, and totally worth it.

  • Sunscreen: This may seem like a no-brainer for most of you, but I’ve seen people spend all day at outdoor matches and end up with horrible sunburns.

    And by “people” I mean “I’ve done this” and it’s pretty awful.

  • Something to sit on: I fall victim to this all the time.

    I go to matches and end up spending the entire day on my feet.

    By the end of a major match, I’m so wiped out I barely can drive back to the hotel.

    Be smart, and buy a stool.

    They’re $17, light and easy to carry around.

  • Paper towels and baby wipes: Just trust me on this one.

    They’re car insurance – it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

There are quite a few other things that you could bring to a match to help yourself – everything listed above is a comfort item.

It’s not absolutely necessary to bring those to make it through a match, but if you do, you’ll be a lot happier.

Think about any day that’s ended with you being tired, sunburned, hungry, dirty, and thirsty.

Now imagine how much happier you’d have been if you had been able to avoid all of those situations.

It sure does make the act of actually shooting the match a lot more fun.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (2)

  1. I always try to keep some energy bars in my bag and bring about twice as much liquid as I think I need.
    Jerky or beef sticks are good too although they make you thirsty.
    Sunscreen is really optional: I like that half moon, on its side sunburn you get from a cap with an adjustable backstrap when you have no hair on your head to protect you. Its make for great conversation at the coffee pot on Mondays.

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