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Supported by Niantic

Incident Hike

Add a twist to a planned hike with surprise games and encounters along the way.

You will need

  • Compass
  • Paper maps
  • Specific equipment for the games and activities
  • Tokens to reward successful teams

This activity is supported by Niantic

Niantic turn the world around us into a game which motivates players to head outside, visit new places close to home and far away and to see the world with new perspective. They are the creators behind popular games, such as Pokémon GO and Ingress Prime, which use augmented reality technologies to achieve their mission of enriching our experiences as human beings in the physical world.

Read more about our partnership with Niantic

Before you begin

  • Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk asses your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples, can be found here.  Make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Plan a route around the local area with checkpoints. It is up to you how long the hike is and how frequent the checkpoints are. Make sure the checkpoints are positioned to allow the game or activity to be played without affecting access to the path.
  • Plan activities at each checkpoint. We have included links to some games below. Make sure leaders are happy with the activities they are running and have all equipment ready before the hike begins.
  • Make sure you have enough adults to run each checkpoint as well as supervise the hike. Consider asking young leaders to help run the checkpoints.
  • Decide on whether you are theming your hike (we have included a Pokémon themed example below).
  • If you are providing reward tokens, make sure that there is a scoring system in place that leaders are informed of.

Activity Examples


Set the scene

  1. Everyone should split into small groups.
  2. Each group should receive a compass and a map showing the route (but don’t include the checkpoints so each encounter will be a surprise).
  3. Make sure everyone is ready to walk – have they got everything they need? Are they dressed appropriately for the weather and time of year?
  4. You might want to read everyone a story to set the scene for the theme of the incident hike.

Run the hike

  1. Each team should start the hike with a leader. They should have a map marked with the checkpoints, so they know when to anticipate the next activity.
  1. Everyone should participate in the activities at the checkpoints.
  2. When everyone returns at the end of the hike, check everyone’s scores and see how all the teams have done.


This activity was about being a team player and developing skills to try to beat the challenges at the checkpoints. In this activity you needed to work as a team. How did you work together during the hike? Did you walk at a pace that worked for everyone? How did you communicate? Did you enjoy working as a team during the challenges?

You also worked on your navigation skills to make sure you stuck to the right route. Did you find navigating challenging? Did you discover new routes or places that you hadn’t noticed before?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Road safety

Manage groups carefully when near or on roads. Consider adult supervision and additional equipment (such as lights and high visibility clothing) in your risk assessment.


Provide some light, so the environment isn’t completely dark. Everyone must be able to see others and move around the area safely.

Hiking and walking

Follow the guidance for activities in Terrain Zero, or the guidance from the adventure page.

Visits away from your meeting place

Do a risk assessment and include hazards such as roads, woodland, bodies of water (for example, rivers, ponds, lakes, and seas), plants, and animals.

You’ll probably need more adult helpers than usual. Your risk assessment should include how many adults you need. The young people to adult ratios are a minimum requirement; when you do your risk assessment, you might decide that you need more adults than the ratio specifies.

Think about extra equipment that you may need to take with you, for example, a first aid kit, water, and waterproofs.

Throughout the activity, watch out for changes in the weather and do regular headcounts. 

This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts