MISSOULA — There are ways to reconnect and meet new people as we come out of a time feeling alone and isolated from each other due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new app called Pastimes hit the app store and is all about connecting outdoor enthusiasts in Montana with each other.
“It's like the LinkedIn for outdoors because it's a great place to meet people to find new people and connect with,” said app COO and founder Phil Belena.
It was an idea born in the pandemic and quickly became a way of connecting. Pastimes was brought on the market in 2020 and of its 40,000 users across the nation, a lot of them reside in the state of Montana.
“It's really just a great way of facilitating making those initial connections and then also continuing it,” user Sam Clinard told MTN News.
The app takes on the saying, “there’s a group for that” with the goal of connecting people who have similar interests. There are over 90 activities you can add to your profile. Some of the favorites in Montana are skiing, fishing, hiking, and biking.
“Each user has a profile, they could say I'm a backcountry skier, and then within that profile, they could give very specific tags,” said Belena.
Users have the ability to match with people who are experienced through specific tags. For example, people can identity beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert. Users can also share certain certifications or training they have in their different 'pastimes.'
“It's easy to find not just a partner but also a partner that you know is capable,” said Clinard.
There is also an element of safety — as you can ask about weather, trail, or avalanche conditions to groups.