Go around town to find a place where you can pay to play laser tag, and most places offer convenient arenas for indoor play. That’s a lot of fun and all, but is it possible to play the game outdoors?
Actually, you can play laser tag outdoors. And there’s a lot of fun to be had, though, of course, you have to take the weather into account.
Reasons to Play Outdoors
Why, exactly, would you want to even try playing outdoors? Here are some very good reasons to switch from indoor play:
Lots of Fresh Air
Admit it—these days, you’re probably tired of being indoors all the time. Even in the post-Covid era, there will come a time when you just can’t stand being inside when you can have your fun outdoors.
Play outdoors, and it’s a breath of fresh air that can truly refresh your spirit. You get nice sunshine for your daily vitamin D needs. You get to sweat freely as well.
More Space for More Players
Play outdoors, and you can have lots more space to play with. That means you can have larger teams involved in your games. In fact, some commercial enterprises host large-scale outdoor laser tag events that can involve hundreds of players.
That means if you have a large party, you won’t have to take turns playing in an indoor arena. Everyone can play together.
Easy Area Modifications
When you play indoors, you have to play with virtually the same layout each time. Sure, the administrators can change up some covers, but they can’t just put down the walls.
When you play outdoors, some companies can set up different buildings very easily. You can then enjoy a vastly different scenario in the very same outdoor space where you previously played.
Larger Shooting Range
Laser tag weapons use infrared that can get up to a range of maybe 1,000 feet. You don’t get to use that range often when playing indoors, with so many walls around you. But outdoors, you have more space that you can employ (or worry about) sniper tactics.
More Challenging Environments
For newbies and kids, it may not be all that fun to play outdoors when it’s raining. Or when the sun us shining harshly and frying everyone up.
Then you also may have to contend with uneven flooring, brooks and muddy spaces, and maybe even bothersome insects.
But for more serious players, these environmental factors just add to the challenge, and therefore also adds to the fun. More advanced players welcome the added “realism” of these factors. After all, “real” battles don’t always occur in airconditioned rooms!
Where Can You Play?
“Outdoors” cover many types of areas. These include:
- Commercial outdoor spaces
- Local parks
- Hilly areas near your town
- By the lake or other body of water
- Or even your backyard
For a few players, a local park or even your large backyard will do. With a dozen players or so, then you will need a larger park. With several dozen players, then you may want to reserve some time in a nature reserve.
You may want to check local town or park authorities whether you need to ask permission to play, or whether you need to pay a fee. You don’t usually have to bother if you have only about 10 players or so in your party. But if you plan on having 50 players take over a local park or play in a nature reserve, then you may want to check in first.
What Should You Wear?
In general, you’ll want to wear tougher and more durable clothes. You’ll want thicker shirts and trousers. Jeans and military fatigues will do just fine. Go with fatigues with lots of pockets, so you have space for accessories like your water bottle, radios, and extra weapons.
For shoes, try to wear outdoor running shoes, or military or hiking boots. You need soles that offer excellent traction, and can deal with uneven walking surfaces. Go with high-cut boots or shoes to protect your ankles from sprains.
Of course, if you’re using running shoes, avoid the ones with reflectors. These may be useful when you’re running where there are cars, but they’re liabilities for outdoor laser tag play.
It may be best if you wear layers. You can have a jacket with a hood to provide cover when it rains, and you can take off the jacket when it gets too warm
You may want to think about bringing these items along with you if you’re playing outdoors:
- A good field watch with adequate waterproofing. This can tell you when your time’s up playing, and also help with coordinating the action between 2 sub-teams.
- Walkie-talkie radio. Again, this helps with communications between sub-teams. Your scours can also tell the main body where the enemy soldiers are and what they’re doing.
- A good field knife. With outdoor play, you’ll often need to cut down something along the way.
- Your water bottle. You’ll need to hydrate regularly, especially when playing under the sun.
- An accurate map. Sure, with your smartphone and a map app you can get a good map. But you may not always have smartphone reception.
Games to Play
Some laser tag games are better played outdoors than indoors. These games here can take real advantage of the wider spaces available.
Capture the Flag
This game really rocks when it’s played outdoors. A team can approach the flag from any direction, so defending the flag becomes a lot more challenging. But with the greater distances involved, it’s also not as easy to capture a flag and return it to base.
With this game, one team’s mission is to get from point A to point B with a VIP to protect. Along the way, the enemy team’s mission is to ambush the other team and kill the VIP.
This game can involve lots of use of scouts for both teams, and you’ll want to use snipers for maximum impact.
Hunter and Prey
You can give your “preys” a head start, and then the rest of the hunters can go after them. The problem, however, is that the preys can lay an ambush, so the hunters better proceed with care!
It’s basically safe to play outdoors as it is to play indoors. Sure, you have uneven terrain to deal with, and falls can occur quite often. But that shouldn’t lead to any serious injuries at all.
What’s clear is that playing outdoors can be a lot more fun. You have more space for more players, so you can bring all your friends and family.
You also have more challenging weather conditions and outdoor stuff like trees to deal with. These things just add more fun because playing outdoors is a lot less boring. You have more things to think about.
With the added realism you get from outdoor play, laser tag becomes less playful and more serious. It gets you out and you breath in some fresh air—and that’s always a good thing!