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Looking for a fun way to keep the kids entertained on your next camping trip? Try a camping scavenger hunt! We’ve put together a list of ideas and a free printable camping scavenger hunt list to get you started. The best part is that most of these items can be found right near your campsite, making them great for all ages! So gather up the kids and get searching!
If you’re looking for an easy way to entertain the kids while camping, a scavenger hunt could not be easier! Best of all, there are plenty of ways you can add a fun twist to your camping scavenger hunts to keep them new and exciting for each camping trip.
You can also adapt your outdoor scavenger hunt camping fun to suit adults and kids of all ages, in case you’ve got a mixture of age groups, from younger kids to older kids, teens to adults.
We are sharing some of our favourite ideas for camping scavenger hunt fun, including a free scavenger hunt printable to save you time creating your own!
These fun camping scavenger hunt ideas are also perfect as camping birthday party game ideas if you are celebrating in the great outdoors!
Preparing For Your Camp Scavenger Hunt
When it comes to preparing for your camping scavenger hunts, it all depends on the type of camp scavenger hunt you have planned.
If it’s a simple, short, list of items or a single item to find, you do not need any prep at all, other than ensuring you cover over safety measures first.
If doing a scavenger hunt with young children, it’s a good idea to have them work together with an adult or in small groups, under supervision, to ensure they don’t venture too far.
Or, to make sure no one has a campsite emergency with a wild animal or poisonous plant. Hello, poison ivy or snakebite!
For older children, teenagers and adults, if it is safe to do so, your scavenger hunt might instead be a solo mission and going over safety is still a good precaution.
Scavenger Hunt Essentials
If using a list, make sure you either bring pen and paper to write your lists out or your camping scavenger hunt printable lists and a pen or pencil to mark them off.
Dry-erase boards and dry-erase markers can be a great reusable alternative.
If you are planning a camping treasure hunt instead, you need to keep the participants busy inside the tent for a few minutes while you set up your treasure and clues!
If participants are required to collect items as part of their search, a plastic bag or paper bag to collect their items will help keep them together.
You might also like to have small prizes for the winners!
Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Camping
Just when you thought there was only one type of camping scavenger hunt option, here are loads of fun ways to add a little twist to your basic scavenger hunt list for camping.
Check out these different scavenger hunts to try on your next family camping adventure:
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
The most simple option for a camping scavenger hunt is with a list of items to find or collect.
This version is great if you want to add a time limit to the challenge and see who can find or collect all the items on the list in the shortest amount of time!
Nature scavenger hunts can be completed by ticking items off the list or by collecting items and bringing them back to camp. Participants can work alone or in small groups.
You can make it a campground scavenger hunt or go for a nature walk or short hikes to tick off your list of items.
Here are some simple list ideas for your scavenger hunts:
A smooth rock
A pine cone
A trail of ants
Letter Of The Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
If you want a really challenging scavenger hunt for older kids or one you can do with the whole family as a team, the alphabet scavenger hunt is a great option!
The goal is easy – find an item to start with each letter of the alphabet and work your way through from A to Z.
You might have to get really creative towards the end of the alphabet.
Hint: Check out brand names on your camping equipment and clothes for the tricky letters, unless you happened to have taken your xylophone with you!
Sensory Scavenger Hunt
A sensory scavenger hunt is a great camping scavenger hunt idea for younger children. This is a guided scavenger hunt experience where children use their senses to find different items on the list.
You can give verbal clues or written clues for each item on the list. For example, “I am looking for something that smells nice” or “I am looking for something that is smooth to touch”.
Sensory scavenger hunts are great for helping young kids to engage with nature and use their imagination. It also helps them become more aware of their surroundings by using at least 4 of their 5 senses – touch, sight, smell and hearing.
For older kids, teenagers and adults, add a tricky twist to your outdoor scavenger hunt by making it a nighttime scavenger hunt!
You will need to bring a few torches or headlamps to help participants see in the dark.
Make sure it is a safe area to roam at night, so you don’t end up meeting any large creatures who are awake and hungry!
You can use the same nature scavenger hunt list you would use at daytime or create a list that includes a few nocturnal items too, such as an animal that is awake at night.
Camping Treasure Hunt
Who loves a good treasure hunt? Just as an Easter egg hunt brings joy to kids, a camping treasure hunt is equally fun!
This type of activity requires a little more pre-planning to make sure you can plant your treasure without sneaky eyes watching and making sure they line up with the scavenger hunt clues to lead the kids to your treasures.
These camping scavenger hunt riddles will help lead to the treasures:
Following clues can be hard to do, but the first one is easy! Go check your shoes – Inside a pair of shoes
Some can be little, but most are quite tall. You should look all around the tallest one of them all – At the base of the tallest tree
Birds sleep in nests, and hives are for bees. When sleeping outdoors, you will need one of these – Sleeping bag
Your next clue is hiding, but I won’t tell you where. You should look under something that is filled with air – Air mattress
Roses are red, and leaves are often green. Where do we go when we want to get clean? – Shower
Keep looking! Don’t stop for a chat. The next clue is underneath a hat! – Hat
This clue might make you quickly trot, to the place that makes your food hot – Camp stove
These clues are tricky, so think like a winner. You will find me where you sit to have your dinner – Camp chair
Brrr… the next clue is cold. But it won’t freeze. You will find me next to the cheese – In the cooler / esky
We travel near. We travel far. Now it’s time to go check the car – In the backseat or on one of the tyres
Seasonal Scavenger Hunt
A seasonal scavenger hunt is a great way to teach kids about the different seasons and what type of plants, animals and weather you can expect in each season.
You can do a spring scavenger hunt, summer scavenger hunt, autumn scavenger hunt or winter scavenger hunt, depending on the time of year your camping trip is taking place.
Your items can be things in nature you see during certain seasons, such as orange and yellow leaves or snow on branches. Or it can be items you pack to suit the seasons – sunscreen, swimsuits, beanies and scarves.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
A photo scavenger hunt is a great digital scavenger hunt option for older kids and teens who are always attached to their devices.
Charge up your electronic device and see who can get a photo of every item on your ‘digital’ scavenger hunt list the fastest.
With older kids, setting a time limit can be a great way to add a little friendly competition to their search, getting everyone to move as quickly as they can.
Best of all, at the end, you can get together and compare photographs of all the items you each found and see who happens to be the ultimate nature photographer in your group!
Scavenger Hunt Bingo
Scavenger hunt bingo or picture scavenger hunts are perfect for younger kids or early readers who might struggle with a written list. Instead, each person has a list of images of the items they need to find for their camping bingo game.
You can give each person the same list of items to find, or turn it into scavenger hunt bingo so no two are the same to see who can find a row, square or full house first!
This adds a little extra twist and makes this a funscavenger hunt activity you can reuse since each person has a different challenge each time.
Camping scavenger hunts are a great way to keep kids entertained while camping. There are so many fun ideas that can be adapted for all ages. These scavenger hunt ideas for camping are sure to help get you started and give you some exciting activities to do during your next camping trip! Don’t forget to grab the free printable list to save you time too!