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Outdoor Scavenger Hunts

Updated on February 22, 2016
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FunScavengerHunts is here to try ind bring people together with scavenger hunts and photo scavenger hunts.


Scavenger hunts are great. They propose a whole new way to have fun and enjoy a great time while seeking and deciphering riddles. Outdoor scavenger hunts, however, can take things to a whole new level, as you have so much more room, plenty of possibilities for expansion, and a way to utilize good weather and a big play area.

Generic scavenger hunts can get a bit cramped, considering that they usually involve cooping up way too many people inside of a house and asking them to find things that are hidden around the place. People can start arguing, fighting, and throwing tantrums if you happen to be configuring a scavenger hunt involving kids, which many parents out there might be... yes, that means any of you reading, too! You know what happens when a bunch of children stumble upon the same item on the scavenger hunt list at the very same time. No, it’s by no means pretty. If you have a smaller house or apartment, this can be a factor that increases cramping and sends the discomfort of your participants potentially through the proverbial roof!

You also may plan on letting your scavenger hunt take place at a public building, like a museum or other indoor structure. This, of course, can be a great idea, as there are plenty of things to find and little nooks and crannies with valuable information in museums. However, what happens if the museum is scheduled to close, and your participants aren’t done yet? What happens if one of your eager scavengers happens to trip over another, stumble, and accidentally send a valuable artifact careening to the floor? Bad, bad things happen, that’s what.

The avoid the aforementioned forms of chaos, the best thing to do would be to instead organize an outdoor scavenger hunt! This is usually plenty of fun for the children, as they have room to run around and not aggravate each other subconsciously. A good place for this would be a park. The adults supervising the event can sit back and easily keep an eye on their little ones, instead of having to follow them like a dog’s tail everywhere they go, making sure they don’t get into tiny arguments with their fellow hunters, or to verify that they don’t accidentally break any of the host’s valuable furniture and/or ornamental decorations.

So far, we’ve discussed why parents of small children should probably choose to avoid small, and thoroughly cramped areas for scavenger hunts. Yes, kids could have plenty of fun in outdoor scavenger hunts, but so can older kids, teens, and even adults!

Even little ones can enjoy an outdoor scavenger hunt with a little assistance ;-)
Even little ones can enjoy an outdoor scavenger hunt with a little assistance ;-) | Source

Going the outdoor way opens up doors that wouldn’t even be in existence if you had opted for the indoor scavenger hunt. Of these, the greatest is the possibility of expansion. By this, we mean that you can, if you want, assign the scavenger hunt list and set a large open area to go seek the objects on the lists out. This can be a much better alternative to maneuvering around the squished up hallways and rooms of a building. Think about it. Would you rather have the Sun’s warm rays and the cool wind on you, or the roughly refined air of a building with dim incandescent lighting and narrow hallways? Yes, your participants likely feel the same way. If the weather in your region is suitable for long-term outdoor activity (referring to an hour or several hours’ worth), an outdoor scavenger hunt is one of your options for a fun and exciting time!

Teens and adults both still retain that love of exploration and adventure that begins in childhood; it’s one of the reasons why we all frequent movie theaters and watch fictional shows consisting of action and adventure on television and the Internet. This is why an outdoor scavenger hunt would especially appeal to older age groups, as they all love to explore and feel that otherwise unobtainable emotion of success and victory when scoring by unravelling some of the riddles or hints, or discovering one of the objects on a list.

Teens like nothing better than to be given a task and left alone to do it, without the constant observation of their parents over their shoulders. An outdoor scavenger hunt could be a potentially fantastic way to get them all to get out of the house for a bit and spend time with their friends, building new friendships and strengthening old. By putting them to work together in a team, they can also work on their communication skills. There is plenty to learn from outdoor scavenger hunts, also including the great brain puzzles that are the riddles and hints designed to lead you to your targeted objects and items.

An outdoor scavenger hunt gives you the ability to expand your hunt region throughout an entire park, block, or even town, depending on the depth that you decide to go with the whole scavenger hunt shebang. This can also depend on how much time you have on your hands for the scavenger hunt, so make sure to sit down and take a little to consider your options, making sure you make the absolute best out of your scavenger hunt while still staying within time parameters.

If you don’t want to risk people getting lost or having too much trouble finding the things on their lists in too large of an area, you can always confine an outdoor scavenger hunt to set boundaries. For example, you can choose to set your location of your scavenger hunt to a public outdoor location, such as a park or even a zoo. For the latter idea, you could state certain riddles about animals, and have your hunters go throughout the zoo looking for potential candidates that solve the riddle perfectly. This is a fun way to inspire thought and creativity amongst everyone, while still preserving order and maintaining teamwork and bonding.

Outdoor scavenger hunts make theming the scavenger hunt much easier, simply because there are vast amounts of things outdoors, and also because you can choose what location you want outside. Rather than hiding things having to do with a farm inside of your house and making a mess of things, you can always just go to a real farm and host an outdoor scavenger hunt there. Your clues or riddles can include live animals and the real deal things rather than little symbolic figurines that you would be forced to used if you chose to host an indoor scavenger hunt.

The great outdoors sports fantastic places to host many events, including but not limited to scavenger hunts for adults and teen scavenger hunts. You can also organize to have a scavenger hunt for younger children outdoors, but that can pose certain issues that some are not willing to contend with. Your hands are far less bound by constraints when you choose outdoors over indoors, in many ways. Size of the event, amount of people, ages groups, and types of scavenger hunt riddles are just some of the things that you can modify for a bigger, better hunt when you opt for the idea of an outside treasure hunt. It’s also said to be a great deal easier and faster to come up with scavenger hunt clue and riddle ideas for the outdoors, as they are much more open and hold more possibilities for that sort of thing. Whatever you choose to do - objects, riddles and such – your outdoor scavenger hunt will be a huge hit amongst your hunters!


Photo Scavenger Hunt Ideas for the Park

There are plenty of reasons to go the local park. You can enjoy the weather and grill, have a picnic with your family, swim if that is allowed, sunbath, read a book or even just walk your dog around. The park can be very peaceful place and if you have a family you could easily head out of the house and get the kids to work out some energy for the day. If you are not going to the park with your family, you could be getting together with your friends or even co-workers to celebrate a birthday, graduation or even have a work related function as a team building exercise. Regardless of what the reason is that you went to the park there is at least one other thing that you could plan.

A photo scavenger hunt for kids or adults is a great activity you can plan at a local park. If you are not sure what a photo scavenger hunt would be, let me explain. Just like a normal scavenger hunt, where you are given a list of things to find, a photo scavenger hunt is the same concept, but you are taking photos of the items when you find them rather than collecting them. Each item would grant you a point and the team or individual with the most points would be awarded a prize. Regular scavenger hunts have been around for many years as a way to give children something to do in the summer months, so this is really just similar with a twist.

What do you need for the park photo scavenger hunt?

A scavenger hunt can be for people of all ages and that is truly one of the best things about them. If you are a young child, the scavenger hunt can be tailored for you, and the same thing goes for those that are adults. If you are planning to do a photo scavenger hunt at the park there are a few things that you should be aware that you will need in order to make the event a memorable one. First, make sure that you have the list of items that you need to photograph, or “collect”, you will need a camera for each person or team (smartphones work great for this type of event) and make sure that you have a set of rules in place for everyone to follow.

When you have all of these things in place, you just have to decide which day you are going, what park everyone will be meeting at and what time of the day you would like to have your adventure. Sometimes, it might be easier to schedule your event when the park is not as busy so there is less interfering and more focus on the photo scavenger hunt.

A couple of different ways to have the event

Because the scavenger hunt in the park is one that is customizable the way you want it, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Do you have enough people to form teams? Did you want a different point value for each item on the list or should they all be the same? Do you think that just going with a straight forward list would be sufficient? You could have a couple people on a team looking for items on the list and photographing what they find, but also have a couple of bonus items based on what was already found. Only have the bonus items tied to a few finds and that way the bonuses are more of a surprise.

Things that are typically at parks can be included in the scavenger hunt as well. Most of the time you have trees, grills, water fountains, playground areas, park benches, other people, animals and other buildings. If you have something specific at your park that you would want included in the scavenger hunt, it is very easy to include with your clue pack. Another twist that you could put on the hunt is having a time limit set for each of the items on the list. This way, there is a sense of urgency when you get the item name and are set out to photograph it. You might want to do this if your park is very large and required a lot of walking, otherwise there could be hours before the end of the event.

What if I need help with my scavenger hunt?

If you need help with the items that you can send others out to photograph, there are clue packs available online that cost less than $5 each. They are designed to get you out and about faster with less planning for your scavenger hunt. The clue packs will guide you to the items and are also very easy to cut out. Other reasons you can do a scavenger hunt at the park besides what is listed above include a nice long day in the sun with your friends while you are away at college. Being away from home can be tough, but if you have a group of friends to do things like this with, it makes the time away much easier.

If you are not up for a photo scavenger hunt, there is another option that you could go with. Setting up a riddle based scavenger hunt for children or adults, is just as easy and can be done for any location. While at the park, you can use these riddles to guide members of the teams to the items they need to collect, or photograph. Riddle scavenger hunts are a little harder because you are not just using your eyes to find the item on the list; you are also using your mind to solve the riddle before you even get to the item for collection. The riddles are not going to be completely impossible, but are really needed to guide you to the item.

Scavenger hunts are fun for the entire family

When putting together a scavenger hunt it makes a lot more sense to have all the planning done a head of time. If you are going to plan the event at the park, you are not going to want to be putting things together once you get in the park as it will waste valuable time. When you are getting your family or friends together, every minute counts and you should not have to be wasting that time on planning. There are also scavenger hunt clue packs available for other types of events as well, not that you think you are limited to the park area.

Many people use a scavenger hunt as part of a birthday at the beach, a bachelor party with your closest friends or even as a way to teach children about animals at the zoo. Planning a scavenger hunt can be a lot of fun for the entire family as well. If you are planning a trip in the summer and you are trying to think of things that you can do during that trip, think about some scavenger hunt ideas. Because you can turn just about any occasion into one, there is barely a limit on the possibilities of what you can do.

In summary, when planning wonderful day at the park, make sure that you have everything that you are going to need for the day, as well as your plan for the photo scavenger hunt. Don’t forget the cameras, the ideas and of course, the prizes for those that participate and find the most items from the list. Whether it is a photo scavenger hunt or a riddle scavenger hunt, the concept is the same. Find as many items that you can from the provided list and see which team or individual has the most found by the end of the event. Remember to give everyone a chance at winning, so plan items and clues for all ages that are participating.

Nature Lovers’ Scavenger Hunt Ideas

What better way to indulge in your love of nature and passion for the environment than to explore it in the course of a fun game with friends and family? Any lover of the outdoors will love the opportunity to participate in an outdoor scavenger hunt. Here is a very brief list of just a few of the ways in which you can have an incredible amount of fun at your next scavenger hunt event.

Explore the Water:

For lovers of nature that is more wet and wild, a scavenger hunt around a body of water is an excellent way to have fun while exploring this awesome part of the natural landscape. Hold this event near a lake, river, or by the ocean for a fantastic bonding experience for you and your family and friends. Design clues that will encourage the players of your game to explore the are around them, on air and in water. An example of a great clue for a water scavenger hunt could go like so: “Find a perfectly smooth rock along the banks of the river” or “stand with your feet firmly in place on the sand and let the tide wash over them until you are ankle-deep in sand.” Clues can come in the form of “find an item” or “perform a task.” Depending on the age of participants in your game, you can adjust clues to differing levels of difficulty. Keep it simple and easy for kids, but don’t be afraid to pull out the big guns and make it harder for the adults and teens. This is a great way to explore water environments through a good, old-fashioned scavenger hunt.


For families or groups of friends who love the ambience of the mountains and love to hike, this version of an outdoor scavenger hunt just might be the perfect thing for a great time in the green and beautiful wild. Host a scavenger hunt in the mountains or in some other area where hiking is popular. Create clues that will guide players of the game around the area, giving them a chance to explore the area like they never have before. You can give clues that will help lead them to other clues hidden on or around the hiking trail. Players can even get the chance to find little goodies or treats to enjoy that could be hidden along the way, if the organizer of the game decides to go that route. Of course, you should always be sure to do this in a safe way that will not leave behind any litter and will not attract unwanted animals to the area. This is a great way for hiking aficionados or complete beginners to outdoorsy hobbies to enjoy their time in the wilderness and maybe even learn a bit more about the area that surrounds them.

Build Your Collection:

This is the best scavenger hunt for anyone for whom collection is a hobby. Any avid collectors of natural objects will love this excellent and fun-filled opportunity to search for, examine, and collect objects in the outdoors. Give players of your game a chance to search an outdoor venue for cool natural objects to add to their collection, whether it is a rock collection, a leaf specimen collection, or any other type of collection, this is a great way for hobbyists of this type to have a great time exploring the outdoors while indulging in their chosen pastime. Design clues that encourage players to search for unique and individual types of things. For example, instead of simply saying, “find a rock,” it would be much better to make a clue that says, “find a rock that is of a reddish hue” or “find a rock that is perfectly round.” The more unique the items are that you are asking players to look for, the more challenging and fun for everyone involved. For games made up of younger players, try to make the clues simpler and a little bit easier, just for the sake of making the tasks doable.

Snap the Outdoors:

The best scavenger hunt to hold out in nature is a photo scavenger hunt. Taking photographs of the things that are being looked for is a great way for players to have fun while enjoying the fantastic natural beauty that is evident once you step outside the house and take it all in. Have players follow a list of clues that will prompt them to find a specific thing to photograph. Each clue will lead them to a specific place or ask them to record an image of a certain thing or a certain place. For example, a clue could look something like this: “Turn left at the sign for base camp, walk three and a half feet, and turn one hundred and eighty degrees around. Snap a photo of what you see.” It could also read, “Take a picture of a squirrel climbing up a tree” or “snap a photo of a red leaf on the ground.” You can also have players in this game take videos of what they see. Clues such as “record an ant crawling on the ground” or “make a video of a bird flying through the sky” are great options for this kid of scavenger hunt. Clues can be as complex or as simple as you like. For children, they should probably be on the easier side, but the discretion is left up to the designer of the game. This is a great way to get the whole family engaged in the game using modern technology.


When you are in the great outdoors, what better way to get totally into it than to track your prey just like a hunter? Well, a scavenger hunt trail is not the exact same thing, but it’s pretty close and it’s just about as exciting. Have the players of this game follow a trail that is laid out by clues. You can design clues that are set up in a way so that one clue will lead to another. For example, a clue reading, “hike up to the top of the first hill and look in the branches of the tree on top” could lead to another clue which reads, “walk to the right for five feet and look under the big boulder.” At the end of the trail, the players will find the coveted prize. You could also adapt this version of the game to be a children’s or adult treasure hunt pretty easily.

Educational Clues:

This is probably the best way to conduct a nature scavenger hunt when you are talking about throwing a children’s event or family event involving a scavenger hunt. Design clues for this scavenger hunt that are educational and prompt players to learn more about nature and the specific kind of environment that surrounds them. If you are holding this event in a forest environment, for example, then you can write clues that will lead players to learn more about forest habitats. This is a great way to introduce these topics to students, in particular.

Some Tips:

o Be Safe: This is always the number one priority. Make sure to have all of the necessary gear that you need to spend a lot of time in any area outdoors. If you don’t have that equipment, either stay close to civilization or don’t go at all. You should also make sure to note the time issue. If you are holding an event outdoors, be sure to have your stuff packed up and out of there before sundown, so you can stay as safe as possible. If you plan to camp out for the night, be sure to have the proper equipment and gear.

o Don’t Go Too Rural: When venturing out into the great outdoors, it is important to remember how close or how far away you are from civilization and other people. The closer you are to people, the safer you are, in general. Be sure to only use designated areas, like hiking trails, areas with cabins, or spots where swimming is allowed (if you are participating in a water-based scavenger hunt).

o Beware of Animals: Always be careful to stay away from any kind of animal that could be potentially dangerous. This is another benefit of sticking to areas with people around—animals tend to stay away from areas that are highly populated by humans. Make sure that you are safe from the elements and that you are not putting yourself in a terribly high amount of danger.

o Have fun!: Of course, the most important part of any event like this is to have fun. Always be sure to have a blast when you are playing a scavenger hunt game!

© 2014 Brett


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