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Scavenger hunt in the forest

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Scavenger hunt in the forest - our practical tips

The childhood classic, the scavenger hunt, is still very familiar to us adults. We were so excited when we received the first task and the adventure started! The thrilling treasure hunt is still a very popular game for young and old. And depending on the location and time, it can become a unique experience for the whole group. The individual tasks, which lead to the next if solved correctly, and the excitement of a great reward at the end, make the scavenger hunt an all-round adventure for almost all locations, ages and group sizes. Whether it's in a home settlement, amusement park, or forest, any location is possible.

A scavenger hunt in the woods, with the right planning, will be a great success for young and old. It offers fresh air, beautiful surroundings and an adventure experience that can provide knowledge as well as fun and excitement. So that you can carry out your adventure in the forest in a structured way and without major problems, here are a few points that you should definitely consider when planning your outdoor adventure.

1. Choosing the forest

Not just any forest is suitable for a scavenger hunt. The following points should therefore be considered before you decide on a particular forest for your scavenger hunt:

  • Make sure that the forest is open to the public. In the case of a private forest, you will need permission to conduct a scavenger hunt there. If necessary, contact the owner. You can usually get the info you need at the Municipal Land Use Office or at City Hall.
  • The forest should contain suitable footpaths/trails along which the city rally tasks can be located. It is also important that none of the roads are heavily traveled. It is best to walk the route of the rally beforehand.
  • The forest should offer enough opportunities for exciting tasks. Information signs about flora and fauna, fallen tree trunks or striking rock formations are great focal points for scavenger hunt tasks.
  • Also, the forest area should be easy to reach. Whether by public transport or by car, plan your starting point carefully.

2. The appropriate equipment for a scavenger hunt in the forest

Forests tend to be damp and cool. A rainproof jacket as well as sturdy shoes are an advantage during a scavenger hunt in the forest - unless the weather forecast predicts summer temperatures. Long pants are advisable for another, no less important reason: Ticks are often encountered in the woods. Long clothing that covers your arms and legs helps keep the parasites away. If a longer scavenger hunt is planned in the forest, it can be quite useful to take water bottles, a flashlight and a first aid kit with you.

3. Creating a scavenger hunt in the forest

The more exciting, varied and creative you make your scavenger hunt in the forest, the more motivated the participants will be to complete the individual tasks. The following scavenger hunt puzzles are particularly suitable in the forest:

  • Hidden objects: The forest is made for hiding clues. For example, you can use small knotholes to hide clue slips. However, be sure to point out to the scavenger hunt participants that they should take any props they find with them!
  • Plants: Plants have a big advantage over animals: They stay in one place and can therefore be the subject of puzzles during a scavenger hunt in the forest. For example, one task might be to determine the name of a tree species, count the number of letters in the name, and insert the number thus determined into a GPS coordinate.
  • Animals: Even if animals, as already mentioned, rarely stay in one place for a longer period of time, they can still be integrated into the task design: For example, a multiple-choice task can refer to the presumed inhabitant of a nearby fox den. An ant hill can also be the object of a task. What is important here is that the shy wild animals are not disrupted by the scavenger hunt in the forest.
  • Cardinal points: During a scavenger hunt in the forest, it is a good idea to include cardinal directions. For example, you can equip the participants with a compass and thus give them the way to the next task. Alternatively, you can point out to the participants that moss usually grows on the north side of a tree, so that they playfully determine the correct direction themselves.
  • Landscape: The landscape can also be incorporated into the tasks of a scavenger hunt in the forest. For example, one instruction can be that the team should follow a stream to the next bend. In hilly forest areas, it is a good idea to direct the team to a vantage point. From here, for example, they are supposed to find out in which direction the nearest church can be seen.

General tips for your scavenger hunt in the forest

To make your scavenger hunt in the forest a complete success, we have put together a number of general tips and scavenger hunt ideas. These are not just for a scavenger hunt in the forest – a city rally in the city can also benefit from these tips:


The scavenger hunt should have various levels of challenge appropriate to the average age. Only difficult tasks demotivate in the long run. And only easy tasks offer no room for excitement and pondering. Sure, you can include one or two "hard nuts" in your task list. But leave it at those. Most tasks should be moderately difficult.


Build knowledge tasks, math tasks, team challenges, search and collection tasks, coloring and craft tasks, and whatever else you can think of into the forest version of a classic city rally. One rule of thumb you can set is: no task should be too similar to another.

Involve participants

Try to get the whole team involved. Not all tasks can always involve all group members, but try to make as many tasks as possible a team task. Then no one feels left out and everyone has fun.


Locate the tasks of the scavenger hunt in the forest in such a way that the participants pass the most interesting places possible. The route should be neither too short nor too long. Experience shows that 4-5 kilometers is a comfortable distance for most people. Passionate hikers can be expected to take a longer walk. For children, pensioners as well as people in poor health you should plan a shorter route.

Most important for the scavenger hunt in the forest: Pay attention to the preservation of the forest!

The forest is home to many animals and plants. The preservation of the forest ecosystem is the responsibility of visitors of the forest. Please note the following points:

  • Do not leave wrappers or task slips, and take back your food waste as well. Even a banana peel (which has often been sprayed with pesticides) can upset the forest ecosystem.
  • Do not take any plants or animals home. The ecosystem is fragile and many plants and animals, even in native forests, are protected.
  • Pay attention to signs and notices. Some forest types, such as national parks, are only conditionally suitable for a scavenger hunt in the forest. Inform yourself about the applicable regulations!
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More ideas for your scavenger hunt in the forest


Combine the scavenger hunt with a picnic get-together! You can include the culinary intermezzo before, during or after the scavenger hunt in the forest. The forest theme can also be reflected in the food offered: With cranberry jam, wild boar pâté or pickled wild mushrooms, you are guaranteed to delight the scavenger hunters!

Forest themed winning prizes

Whether it's a self-designed t-shirt with "King/Queen of the Forest" printed on it, a candy tree (a branch with candy attached to it), or an invitation to a forest breakfast. Be creative in your choice of prizes. Participants will remember the scavenger hunt for a long time.


Rely on a mixture of information and entertainment for your scavenger hunt in the forest. Thus, each task can contain a short paragraph with facts about the forest that are worth knowing, but can also be amusing: Did you know, for example, that the number of trees in German forests exceeds the number of people living on earth?

Organize a scavenger hunt yourself or book it?

Equipped with the above information, you have already taken a big step towards creating your scavenger hunt. However, you will have noticed that there are many things to consider and that developing your scavenger hunt takes a lot of time. There is also the question of whether the participants will like their scavenger hunt puzzles in the end. Therefore, it is worth considering whether you want to plan and organize the scavenger hunt yourself or whether you would prefer to use a tried and tested concept. In the following table, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

Organize yourself
Pros & cons self-organization
Book tickets
Pros & cons ticket booking
Very time consuming Simple booking
  • Correct level of difficulty difficult to estimate
  • Extensive research
  • A lot of creativity needed
  • Already played over 223,000 times
  • Optimized concept
  • Elaborately designed tours
Paper only Intuitive web application
Free of charge (except material costs) Not free of charge
Customizable Not customizable

How do I organize a scavenger hunt in the forest?

First of all, you should choose a suitable forest and decide where the route should be. The scavenger hunt tasks should be about the forest: Plants, animals and the landscape should be the main focus. The equipment (clothes, water, flashlight) is very important for a scavenger hunt in the forest.

What tasks are suitable for a scavenger hunt in the forest?

These 5 task types go well with a scavenger hunt in the woods:

  • Hidden objects: Hide the clue in a knothole!
  • Plants: Have the leaf of a tree drawn!
  • Animals: The next clue may be hidden not far from a fox's den.
  • Orientation: Find out where north is by looking at the side of the tree where moss grows.
  • Landscape: climb hills and answer question about the view!
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