It has always been popular: the scavenger hunt! We all remember it from our childhood as a program item at children's birthday parties, church retreats or club parties. Oh, how much fun it was to follow clues and solve riddles together with friends in the garden, forest or on the sports field! And of course, there was always a grand prize at the end of the scavenger hunt.
Of course, this kind of leisure activity is not limited to children. Scavenger hunts for adults are becoming increasingly popular, whether among friends, in clubs or even within the company. There are now commercial providers who specialize in conducting city rallies, especially for adults. In this case, it doesn't have to be the classic scavenger hunt with map and compass or following chalk arrows. High-tech scavenger hunts, e.g. with tablet support, which primarily appeal to companies, are the current trend.
Of course, these highly equipped scavenger hunts have their price. But there are also ways to experience a lively scavenger hunt without having to dig too deep into your wallet and still not having to forgo technology.
Geocaching has become a trendy leisure activity. Here you enter geo-coordinates into a GPS tracking device. The electronic compass now guides you to the location of the coordinate. On site you will find a hiding place (=cache), in which a can or a small casket can be found. In turn, depending on the concept of this electronic scavenger hunt, you will find: the next geo-coordinate, a riddle to be solved, an object that you can take in exchange for a small item you brought with you, or a logbook. This is where you enter your name, showing future geocachers that you, too, have found this cache. Code of honor of all geocachers: The casket/box will be placed back exactly where it was found! After all, subsequent scavenger hunters want to make the same discovery.
Passionate geocachers have made it their hobby to develop such scavenger hunt tours. Corresponding geocachings now exist in almost every major city and in countless natural areas. A brief Internet search should bring numerous of these free scavenger hunts to light. As a rule, the developers provide information about the degree of difficulty and the duration of such a scavenger hunt. Several hours, even several days, of geocaching can keep their players on their toes! You can also find out whether the desired route is playable with children.
You have decided to go geocaching? You now need to do nothing more than download the appropriate instructions - usually free of charge. However, you still need to buy a suitable GPS device in advance. Make sure that it is suitable for outdoor use, i.e. waterproof and shockproof. The price range of these hand-sized devices ranges from 90 to 500 £, although you can confidently strike at a cheap device. With a bit of luck, bargains can also be found at Internet auction houses!
If you don't want to invest so much money, various smartphone apps are also suitable. At least for beginners, these programs offer sufficient functions. Any commercially available smartphone can be used for reliable GPS tracking. These apps are priced in the low single-digit euro range. Apps with ads can even be downloaded and installed completely free of charge.
In addition to free apps, whose quality is often of a dubious nature, there are also a number of providers that offer digital scavenger hunts for a small fee. These are not free, but they do not cost the scavenger hunters more than an average movie ticket. In return, you sometimes get a lot on offer during such a rally. You can find such an inexpensive scavenger hunt here.
Another place to go for free scavenger hunts: tourist information centers. Many cities have prepared routes for tourists and locals who want to playfully explore their region. Here, the game is usually a classic one, with a ballpoint pen and a solution sheet. However, many cities also offer their own city rally apps, sometimes even for free! You can download them to your smartphone with just a few clicks and the puzzle fun begins. In addition to entertaining puzzles, you can often expect interesting information about the history, culture and celebrities of the respective region. This information is provided in the form of attractively produced multimedia content, and a high score shows you how you performed in comparison with previous players. Just ask your tourist information office about it!
Of course, it is also possible to design a scavenger hunt independently. In this case, it is guaranteed free of charge, apart from the materials used. This is especially suitable when the available budget is small, for example, a children's birthday party. Organizing such a scavenger hunt, developing scavenger hunt ideas and designing scavenger hunt tasks can be a lot of fun for the organizer. However, do not lose sight of the time involved. Planning such a city rally may well take several days, so that the expenses would be small, but the effort would be great.
We hope one of the ideas for a free or almost free scavenger hunt appealed to you. In order not to lose track of the numerous options, here is another overview:
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|
|Paper only||Intuitive web application|
|Free of charge (except material costs)||Not free of charge|