I was inspired to create an update to the field building guide on where to find lots of good free stuff. Before I get started though, I want to add a bit of a note about safety and all that goes along with it. When it comes to making a field out of free stuff, you’re not looking at making a “Pretty” field. Or a neat and tidy field. You’re looking at making a field that looks like it was slapped together with just about anything you could find…which probably isn’t far from the truth. So with that in mind I just want to say that a lot of things we all build bunkers out of don’t exactly lend themselves to being the most safe materials ever. You’ll want to make sure that everything you build is free of protruding nails, screws, glass, sharp edges and stuff like that. You’ll also want to make sure that everything that could possibly be tipped over, climbed on, blown over, or caved in is properly secured so no one ends up under your bunkers(without their willingness to be under them…like they fell on them…hence the securing them with ropy things).
Where to look for free stuff
An obvious place to start looking for free stuff is on your own property…things that you own already that can be used as bunkers or materials to build bunkers. Things like:
- Old trashcans(*)
- Old vehicles
- Old carpet
- and lots more things like that
(*)Some of this stuff wont last forever. Old trashcans can become briddle and brake and tarps can also deteriate quite easily when left outside.
Dumpsters are a great place to look for free stuff. People are always throwing away good stuff. It’s like the old saying “One mans trash is another mans treasure”, people can always find joy in other peoples trash.
Construction sites are also a great place to look for free materials to build your bunkers. They often will have a dump pile that they will have to pay someone to haul off to the dump(or do it themselves), and most of the time they will let you have your pick of whatever you want. You’re offering to get rid of their trash for them.
Basically the trash pile from the store in the alley.
Often stores will toss all of their unwanted crap into a pile in the back alley, either in the dumpster or next to it. This is a good place to find pallets and other things like that. Good stores to check out are:
- Tile stores
- Tire stores
- Carpet stores
- Wherehouse stores
In the Woods
If you’re the lumberjack type, you can find lots of good material for bunkers out in the woods. You’ll just have to work for it. Chop down a couple of trees and you’ll have bunkers for days.
Unless you’re willing to take pallets without the permission of the store owner, pallets are not as easy to come by as people say. If you walk into a store and ask them if you can take some of their pallets they have stacked up in the back a common answer is “No, we reuse them” or “They’re not ours, they belong to our wherehouse who reuses them” or just plain “No”. The best places to get pallets from are the wherehouses themselves, the suppliers, and the mom n pop places that don’t have they’re corporate supplier feeding them from their wherehouse. When I first started building our field, I went all over town within a 50 mile radius looking to pickup some pallets. I went in store after store getting the same reply. After a while I got discouraged and decided to just go with a different way of doing things. If you can find a good place to pick them up for free (without stealing them, or taking them without asking first), then that’s great…but I had a hard time finding a place like that. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of responses to this part of the post saying how dumb I am or whatever, but I’m just sharing my experiences..It doesn’t mean that’s how it is for everyone.
Tires are a great material to use for making bunkers. You might be able to go down to the local tire shop and get them to give you all of their old, dead tires. I’ve never tried this but I’ve heard of others doing it successfully. You can be creative with this one. Just think “What place in my town might have an abundance of old tires, that are no good for selling, that I could walk in and offer to take them off their hands, and have them be happy to unload all of their garbage on me?”.
Definition of a Bunker
When you think about it, it’s not about “what can I use as a bunker?”, it’s about “how desperate am I?”. Just about anything can be used to make a bunker…If it will stop paintballs…and you can hide behind it…it’s a paintball bunker. So really just about anything you can find that meets those two requirements will serve as a paintball bunker.
The cheapest bunker of all:
A hole….If you can’t find anything else, just dig a hole and hide in it.