Highlands & Islands

Peak-achu: Mountain safety advice for Pokémon Go fans

Heather Morning and Pokémon Go creature in Cairngorms Image copyright MCofS
Image caption Mountain safety adviser heather Morning with a Pokémon Go character in the Cairngorms

Pokémon Go fans are being asked to take precautions if searching for the game's digital creatures in Scotland's hills.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has found some of the characters in the Cairngorms.

The organisation said the game, which is played via a phone app, offered a good way for people to enjoy the outdoors.

However, it added that gamers should be aware of the potential hazards associated with hillwalking.

Pokémon Go sees players search for digital creatures in real-life locations.

Image copyright MCofS

Heather Morning, MCofS mountain safety adviser, said: "From a mountain safety perspective there are clearly a few issues here.

"It is not difficult to imagine a situation where a Pokémon Go gamer finds themselves lost and unable to find their way back to safety.

"It would be equally easy to see how someone could put themselves into danger focusing on their game rather than focusing on the ground in front of them."

She added: "Another aspect of Pokémon Go is the game's ability to eat your battery life. All the biggest battery-eating culprits are in action, and your screen is the biggest battery hog.

"On top of that, you will be using your camera, so that you can see the Pokémon in the real world. And to top it all off, the ever hungry GPS is a must to find the Pokémon in the first place. A classic combo for a dead phone very quickly.

"If your phone is your only tool for navigating your way out of wherever you have found yourself, then you are in for trouble."

Image copyright MCofS

Ms Morning has come across some of the digital creatures while on a trek in the Cairngorms.

She said: "It's a fun game, and it does encourage folk to get out and about and enjoy the great outdoors with all the health benefits that brings.

"However, gamers need to be aware if they are playing in an area that they are not familiar with - particularly in the mountains - that they should very much stay 'switched on' to where they are and how to get themselves home safely."

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