As workplaces become increasingly complex and fast-paced, team building activities are more important than ever. Team building activities are a great way to enhance team communication, build trust, and foster teamwork among colleagues.
And while there are many team building activities available, outdoor team building activities in particular offer unique advantages and benefits that can’t be found in indoor activities. There’s no denying the fact that spending time in nature can be incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating.
Outdoor team building activities can also provide a welcome break from the monotony of the office and help employees reconnect with nature. With that in mind, if you’re looking for new and unique outdoor team building activities for your small group, this post will provide you with some ideas to get started.
Read on for some inspiration!
1. Nature scavenger hunt
A nature scavenger hunt is an exciting and fun outdoor team building activity that encourages collaboration and problem-solving skills. The goal of this activity is to collect various items found in nature within a designated area in a specified amount of time.
To get started, divide your team into smaller groups of three to five people, each with a designated leader. Each team will be given a list of items to find, such as different types of leaves, rocks, flowers, and insects.
The items on the list should be chosen in such a way that they are not easy to find, and some may require creative thinking or problem-solving skills to locate.
It is important to set some ground rules and safety guidelines before starting the scavenger hunt. Ensure that participants wear appropriate clothing and footwear and remind them to respect the environment and wildlife. You may also want to set a time limit and establish a designated meeting point to gather the teams at the end of the activity.
As participants search for the items on their list, they will have to communicate and collaborate with their team members, share ideas, and use their problem-solving skills to find the items. Once a team has found all the items on their list, they should return to the designated meeting point.
To add an extra level of fun and competition to the activity, you can award points for each item found, with bonus points given for creativity, teamwork, and leadership skills. The team with the most points at the end of the scavenger hunt wins.
2. Wilderness survival challenge
The wilderness survival challenge is a thrilling and challenging team building activity that will test your team’s survival skills in the great outdoors. The goal of this activity is to survive in the wilderness with limited resources and compete against other teams to see who can survive the longest.
To start, divide your team into smaller groups of three to five people, each with a designated leader. Provide each team with limited supplies, such as a knife, a compass, a map, and a water bottle, and drop them off in the wilderness.
You can choose to have the teams dropped off in a nearby forest, desert, or any other location that is suitable for the challenge.
The teams will have to rely on their survival skills to build shelter, find food and water, and make a fire to stay warm. Encourage your team members to work together and use their problem-solving skills to overcome any challenges they may face.
You may want to include challenges, such as building a shelter that can withstand a heavy rainstorm or creating a signal fire that can be seen from a distance.
It’s important to set some ground rules and safety guidelines before starting the wilderness survival challenge. Ensure that participants wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and remind them to respect the environment and wildlife. You may also want to establish a designated meeting point and a set time limit for the activity.
At the end of the challenge, gather the teams and evaluate their survival skills and teamwork. You can award points based on various criteria, such as the quality of the shelter, the number of edible plants found, or the length of time the team was able to survive.
3. Outdoor escape room
The outdoor escape room is a challenging and exciting team building activity that combines problem-solving and teamwork in an outdoor setting. The goal of this activity is for your team to solve puzzles and riddles to escape a designated outdoor area within a specified amount of time.
To start, choose a suitable outdoor location such as a park, forest, or beach, and create a series of clues, puzzles, and riddles that your team will have to solve to escape. Divide your team into smaller groups of three to five people, each with a designated leader, and provide them with the first clue to get started.
As your team solves each puzzle or riddle, they will receive a new clue to lead them to the next challenge. The challenges can be as simple or complex as you want them to be, and you can include physical challenges such as climbing or crawling to add an extra level of difficulty.
It’s important to set some ground rules and safety guidelines before starting the outdoor escape room. Ensure that participants wear appropriate clothing and footwear and remind them to respect the environment and wildlife.
You may also want to set a time limit and establish a designated meeting point to gather the teams at the end of the activity.
At the end of the activity, gather the teams and evaluate their performance. You can award points based on various criteria, such as the time taken to complete the challenge, the number of clues solved, or the level of teamwork demonstrated.
4. Orienteering race
Orienteering is a popular outdoor activity that involves using a map and compass to navigate through unfamiliar terrain. An orienteering race is a team building activity that combines the skills of navigation, problem-solving, and teamwork.
To begin the orienteering race, you will need to choose a suitable outdoor location and create a course using a map and compass. The course should include various checkpoints that your team will have to find and navigate through in the correct order. You can set the difficulty level based on your team’s skill level and experience.
Divide your team into smaller groups of two to four people and provide them with a map, a compass, and a list of checkpoints to find. Each team will have a different starting point, and the goal is to be the first team to complete the course by finding all the checkpoints in the correct order.
To make the orienteering race more challenging, you can set time limits, incorporate physical challenges, or add puzzles or riddles that must be solved at each checkpoint. You can also assign roles to each team member, such as navigator, compass holder, or map reader, to encourage teamwork and communication.
It’s important to emphasize safety during the orienteering race. Ensure that participants are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear and remind them to respect the environment and wildlife. You may also want to have a safety team on standby in case of any emergencies.
At the end of the race, gather the teams and evaluate their performance. You can award points based on various criteria, such as the time taken to complete the course, the number of checkpoints found, or the level of teamwork demonstrated.
5. Outdoor cooking challenge
The outdoor cooking challenge is a fun and interactive team building activity that involves cooking a meal together in the great outdoors. This activity encourages teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving skills while enjoying the beauty of nature.
To start the outdoor cooking challenge, divide your team into smaller groups and assign each group a specific meal to prepare. You can also assign different roles to team members, such as the chef, sous chef, or kitchen helper, to encourage teamwork and communication.
Provide each group with a limited set of ingredients and cooking tools, such as a portable stove, pots and pans, and utensils. The ingredients and cooking tools can be selected based on the meal the team is preparing and the difficulty level you want to set for the activity.
The teams must work together to plan their menu, prepare their ingredients, and cook their meal within the allotted time frame. To make the activity more challenging, you can incorporate different themes or restrictions, such as a vegan or gluten-free menu or using only local ingredients.
After the teams have finished cooking, have them present their dishes to the group and evaluate them based on taste, presentation, and creativity. You can also assign points based on teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills demonstrated during the activity.
The outdoor cooking challenge is a great way to build team camaraderie and improve communication skills. By working together to prepare a meal in the great outdoors, your team will learn to rely on each other’s strengths, develop creative problem-solving skills, and have fun while enjoying a delicious meal.
6. Geocaching adventure
Geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt that combines technology and the outdoors. It is a fun and interactive team building activity that can be enjoyed by all ages and fitness levels.
To start a geocaching adventure, you will need a GPS device or a smartphone with a geocaching app installed. The app will provide you with the coordinates of hidden caches or containers in the area you are exploring.
Divide your team into smaller groups and assign each group a specific cache to find. You can also create your own cache and hide it in the area for the teams to find. The caches can be hidden in a variety of locations, such as parks, hiking trails, or even in urban areas.
Once the teams have found their cache, they can open it to discover a logbook and small trinkets or treasures left by other geocachers. The team can leave their own trinket and sign the logbook before moving on to the next cache.
To add an element of competition, you can assign points based on the difficulty of the cache, the distance traveled, and the time taken to find it. You can also incorporate challenges or puzzles that the teams must solve to receive extra points.
Geocaching is a great way to explore the outdoors, discover new places, and build team camaraderie. It encourages problem-solving skills, communication, and teamwork while providing a sense of adventure and excitement.
7. Outdoor obstacle course
If you are looking for an exciting and challenging team building activity, an outdoor obstacle course might be just the thing for you. An obstacle course involves physical challenges that require teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills to complete.
You can create your own obstacle course using natural and man-made elements in the area, such as logs, tires, ropes, and balance beams. The course can be designed to cater to different fitness levels and abilities, with varying degrees of difficulty.
Divide your team into smaller groups and assign them a specific challenge to complete. The team must work together to overcome obstacles such as crawling under a net, climbing over walls, crossing a balance beam, or navigating through a maze.
To add an element of competition, you can assign points to each obstacle based on the difficulty level and time taken to complete it. The team with the most points at the end of the course wins.
An outdoor obstacle course is a great way to build trust, communication, and teamwork among team members. It encourages individuals to step out of their comfort zone, take risks, and support one another.
Moreover, an outdoor obstacle course provides a fun and exciting way to stay active and improve physical fitness. It also helps to relieve stress and promote overall well-being.
8. Stand-up paddleboarding relay
If you’re looking for a unique and fun team building activity that involves water, consider a stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) relay. SUP is a water sport that involves standing on a large board and paddling with a long paddle.
The SUP relay involves dividing your team into two or more groups and having them race against each other on SUP boards. The relay race can be set up with multiple laps, with each team member completing one lap before tagging the next team member to take over.
To add an element of challenge, you can also include obstacle courses or challenges, such as paddleboarding through a series of buoys or completing a task before moving onto the next lap.
The SUP relay is a great way to build trust, communication, and teamwork among team members. It requires coordination and synchronization between team members to successfully navigate the course and pass the baton to the next teammate.
Moreover, SUP is a low-impact and easy-to-learn sport that is suitable for all fitness levels. It also provides a great workout for the core, legs, and arms, while being surrounded by the serene beauty of water.
9. Beach Olympics
If you want to infuse some fun and competition into your team building activity, consider organizing a Beach Olympics. It’s a perfect way to get your team outside and engaged in a variety of fun and challenging activities.
The Beach Olympics can include a wide range of games and challenges such as beach volleyball, tug-of-war, sandcastle building, Frisbee toss, beach soccer, and much more. You can also come up with creative games like water balloon toss or the limbo.
One way to set up the Beach Olympics is to divide your team into smaller groups and have them compete against each other in a series of events. Each event can earn points, and the team with the most points at the end of the day wins the Beach Olympics.
The Beach Olympics is an excellent way to build teamwork, trust, and communication skills in your team. It encourages team members to collaborate and support each other while having fun.
Moreover, a day at the beach provides a refreshing break from the usual office routine and allows team members to connect with nature and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
10. Outdoor photography challenge
An Outdoor Photography Challenge is a unique and exciting team building activity that will allow your team to explore the great outdoors while improving their photography skills.
The idea of the Outdoor Photography Challenge is to provide your team with a list of outdoor locations or objects to capture with their cameras. For instance, you can ask them to capture a stunning sunset, an intriguing landscape, or an interesting wildlife shot. The challenge can be tailored to fit the interests and skills of your team.
The team members can work individually or in small groups to capture the best shots. You can also set a time limit or a certain number of shots that each team member must take. Once the time limit is up, the teams can come back together and share their photos with each other.
The photos can be judged by a panel of judges or by the team members themselves.
An Outdoor Photography Challenge not only encourages creativity and artistic expression but also helps team members improve their communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. It provides an opportunity for team members to bond over their shared interest in photography and the great outdoors.
Additionally, the Outdoor Photography Challenge can be a cost-effective team building activity that doesn’t require any special equipment or training. All you need is a camera or a smartphone and a beautiful outdoor location.