The Uber Duper Treasure Hunt

An uber treasure hunt featuring creative clues and an afternoon adventure

What do you need?

This very much depends on the type of clues that you’re going to lay – see steps below for inspiration. You’ll also need to decide what treasure you’re going to bury.

As with any activity, they will need an adult to help them.

  • How many can do this?
  • Will suit what age? Will suit what age
  • How long does the fun last?

Forget the traditional ‘hunt the egg’ style treasure hunts. This takes it to a whole new cryptic level that even the most cynical teenager will be inspired to take part in.

Step 1

First of all you need to do a bit of planning and the best place to start is to decide on your treasure and where the finishing point for the hunt is. Then decide how you are going to conceal the treasure. You could be traditional and bury it in the ground or even hang it from a tree.

Step 2
Step 2

Next you need to plan your route to the treasure. Try to make it as scenic and interesting as possible, but also make sure you don’t make it too challenging that your hunters lose interest. For novice treasure hunters, it’s best to stick to no more than 6 to 8 clues.

Step 3
Step 3

Now for the challenging part, you need to write out your clues that lead the treasure hunters from one point to the next. Make sure you match the clues to the age of the children involved – anything too challenging could put them off. If for example, you had hidden a clue hanging off the branch of a tree, you might want to write a simple riddle such as ‘What has bark but does not bite and can be found at the bottom of the garden?’

Step 4
Step 4

And now to setting the trail. This is the fun part and your chance to be as creative as possible. A few ideas are featured below:

If you can manage to persuade a couple of accomplices to help out, then asking someone who can be relied on to be at a certain place, at a certain time to hold a clue, is a great way to add some excitement to the proceedings. Shop owners, paper boys or even the vicar at your local church are all great prospective accomplices

You could start your hunt by positioning the first clue somewhere where you know one of the players will spot it. It could be stuck to the back of a cereal packet or written on the bathroom mirror in Vaseline just before you know one of the players is going to take a shower

If you’re playing near a beach or a riverside one idea is to paint a clue on the bottom of a stone (using waterproof or acrylic paint), meaning the hunters have to turn over endless rocks and stones to find the next instruction

If you’re any good at origami and are laying a trail that will take you through some garden blooms you can re-create a flower out of paper with the clue hidden on it and strategically position this amongst the real McCoys

You could also hang a clue in an unusual place such as from a bridge or up in a tree

If the children are good with a compass and an OS map then you could plan your hunt using ordinance survey coordinates, combined with a cryptic clue

Step 5
Step 5

You can also lead ‘teasers’ to help hunters find the right way. A few ideas are featured below:

Arrows laid out in twigs, flour or even orange lentils

Messages written in shaving foam or spray on chalk

Step 6

Once you’re set up, lead the players to their first clue, then sit back and enjoy watching the entertainment unfold.