Is It smart To Play Airsoft in The Woods Outside Official Fields?

Playing airsoft somewhere deep in the woods

Sometimes the airsoft fields are closed and in case they are not available a one may consider taking it to the nearby woods or to abandoned buildings somewhere deep in the forest.

I have found out that many people actually practice airsoft this way, sometimes the reason might be the closed or non-existent nearby airsoft fields and sometimes it may be the pure attempt to save some money otherwise spent on the field fees.

However, how smart is it to play airsoft in the woods and abandoned places? What are the dangerous situations that one may encounter? Is it against the law and what are the interesting or sometime scary stories that players have experienced in the past playing airsoft this way?

I’ve decided to collect some stories from players and to read the law, so I can share some hopefully useful and interesting information with you.

Is it legal to play airsoft in the woods and other non-registered places?

Playing airsoft anywhere in the woods or any other public property is considered either illegal or not recommended, depending on the state laws.

The law varies from state to state, so in some regions it will be a serious thing to get caught playing it with your buddies anywhere but on a registered or private field with the permission of the owner.

Some other states, regions and counties are less punishing and although it may not be a cool thing in the eyes of the authorities, nor most of the common folk, there will be no specific fines and breaches of the law.

In order to truly understand what can go wrong with the law you should simply check the airsoft laws of your state, I have written some for some states in my category the States law, so you can start by going there.

Anyways, just because it is not strictly punishable, but rather something that the authorities would give you a warning for, it can still put you in many unpleasant situations and I will mention some stories about players that I know.

When common folk or hikers pass through the woods, enjoying the beauties of the nature, relaxing their bodies and minds from the hardworking week and annoying boss and they see a suspicious guy dressed in a military camo jacket, special ops gloves and boots, the green and black lines on his face with finger on the trigger, you know the rest of the story.

Not to mention that we like to add to the realism, so the „anyways useless orange tips“ that have no real purpose unless the person is already expecting a gun to be a replica, are not only non-existent, but we make it with the rest of the gear to look as close to the real stuff as it can get.

Simply put, they are either pulling their gun out or calling the authorities and I clearly doubt that their gun shoots plastic balls.

So, think about this things and what can go wrong before you are sure that you have found the favorite place that will replace the airsoft field.

In case that you can get a permission for some small events on such places from authorities, you will be free to go without worries about breaking the law, but you won’t be able to get it anywhere where it is expected for people to be at or near around.

The terrorizing airsoft stories from the woods

Less than a year ago there was a story in the local newspaper about a group of immigrants who ventured throughout the woods and eventually found a place in the abandoned ex-military complex to spend a night.

A group of airsoft guys who were extremely into MilSim decided to occupy the mentioned place and to play games for a day.

Airsoft guns are not really loud, so the poor people who slept within the abandoned building had no clue that there is a military simulation approaching them.

Finally, the building was a perfect place to establish the cover and to take the control over the enemy territory and a few guys aggressively went into the house from the doors and windows in order to hopefully, surprise the enemies and take them out.

The next thing you see is the terrorized men, women and children who begged for mercy and explaining their situation to the „soldiers“.

The game had quickly ended and the police and journalists arrived, hopefully no one was hurt, nor fined, but it certainly did create a story.

Abandoned building where airsoft is played
Abandoned building

One other time, the local fisherman and his wife went to the lake to grab the dinner for that night.

They used to own a small log cabin by the lake and it was where they stored all the fishing essentials.

After a good day of fishing and quite surprisingly good catch, the elderly couple realized that it is almost the sunset, so they better go home.

So they did, but while approaching their car that was parked a mile away, they spotted a guy near the bush who camped with a sniper rifle, „it must be a hunter“ they thought, but they realized it was not after two guys marched from the other side of the hill with M4A1 and M16 in their arms, fully dressed in Russian military outfits.

We may agree upon that it is quite weird to be dressed in a full Russian military outfit and then carry anything else but AK, SR-3 or Dragunov, but certainly the fisherman and his wife did not mind this part of the story, but rather retreated back to the cabin by the lake.

They had spent some time locked in the cabin and called their son to come and rescue them, just imagine how long would they have been locked in there for if there were no signal, which is not unusual in the woods.

The situation was again handled well because by the time the helped arrived, the game was already over and airsoft guys just had to explain what happened and apologize to the elderly couple.

It is perfectly legal to play airsoft in the private area

The chances are that if you know someone with an empty backyard or better, a big piece of a land somewhere near the town, it should be a better idea then picking a random place that belongs to the government.

There are many such private fields that are of no use to the owners, so in case that you can not always get it for free, how about paying to the landowner in exchange for the place where you can make your own airsoft field.

Perhaps, you can organize games there for you and your friends and have awesome fun completely legally and without worries.

Just be sure to get a permission and in case that you want to invite strangers and collect money, you may need some additional paper work so you are not putting yourself in a position where someone can sue you.

If you want to play airsoft in your own backyard it’s fine and there are only a few important things to check prior to that.


I know many guys who often go to the abandoned hotels, ex-military complexes, flats and other forgotten places deep in the woods and I love the idea, but as you can see, sometimes it can get tricky if there are other people minding their own business.

Should you play your next game in the woods if the airsoft field is unavailable is certainly up to you, but be careful and expect the unexpected sometimes.

One thing is certain, avoid any public place where bunch of people daily inhabit and always double check whether the spot is safe or not.

In case that you receive a fee because you broke the law, it may not be pleasant and it is not something that you need in life, but getting counter shot by someone who misunderstood your airsoft replica for a real gun is another story.

Try to play airsoft in the fields or in the private places with the permission of the owner to minimize any negative odd against you and your brothers in replicas or try to get that permission from the local sheriff, so you can play it somewhere deep outside of civilization without worries.


Dino is a thrill seeker who loves to share what he learns about his favorite hobbies.

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