Pokemon Go is pushing more people than ever to get outside to explore.
I am sure by now you have heard about Pokemon Go from one outlet or another. It has literally taken the world by storm with millions downloading the app to try their luck at capturing rare pocket monsters to battle with others.
For those that are older or did not have young kids in the mid 90s, you may not even know what Pokemon are, much less why everyone is losing their minds over finding them.
Pokemon, short for pocket monsters, are fictional creatures that inhabit another universe alongside humans. In this universe, “trainers” travel around to capture and raise these creatures. They are then used to battle other trainers Pokemon to make them stronger.
It was the dream of nearly every kid of the time for scientist to actually create the Pokemon from the games so they could become trainers in real life. 20 years later that dream has almost come true with the mobile augmented reality rebirth of Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go forces you to get out into the world by tracking your movements with a phone’s GPS. Pokemon, items, and gyms can only be gained by literally walking to them.
Just like the original games, certain types of Pokemon only appear near certain areas such as fields, lakes, and forests. This little feature is causing some to try out new activities to be able to get to them.
People are renting kayaks to be able to reach rare Pokemon or gyms that are too far from the bank to access. One man was even reported to have swam out to a fountain to be able to battle at a gym that had spawned there.
Numerous others who wouldn’t go hiking if their lives depended on it are now lacing up their boots to see what creatures lurk down their paths.
Pokemon Go is also getting people to have face to face interaction time with each other, instead of just talking through social media. Some parks and places have had hundreds of people meet up at once to show off their day’s catches and talk tactics.
It may seem like a childish reason for people to head outside and meet, but they are doing it. In my eyes this is a great thing to help introduce and build more people into the outdoor community.
Why they may be doing it for a game at the moment, once the newness wears off they may just get out there because they want to do it. They will realize how good it feels to have the sun on their skin while they paddle through the water or just spend the afternoon walking some trails with friends.
Now maybe we can convince them that fishing is a lot like Pokemon. Replace the phone with a fish finder, a bobber looks just like a pokeball, and you goal is to catch as many different species as you can.