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Tracking down dinner

Spice up mealtimes in the outdoors by laying trails and searching for treat tokens in this tasty tracking trial.

You will need

  • Kindling (for example, small sticks)
  • Stones
  • Food for cooking
  • Images or tokens to represent ingredients
Tracking signs
PDF – 533.3KB

Before you begin

  • Choose a recipe. It's best to keep it simple, as the more ingredients, the more teams and tokens needed.
  • Create a token or image to represent each ingredient in the recipe.
  • Decide whether you’ll cook straightaway at the end of the game, and make sure you have everything you need.

Lay your trails

  1. Split into as many teams as there are ingredients.
  2. Name each team after an ingredient.
  3. The person leading the game should give each team member a token to represent their ingredient.
  1. Choose a starting area.
  1. Teams should hide their tokens somewhere nearby, and lay a trail from the starting area to the hiding place. The tokens should be visible from the final symbol of the trail.
  2. Once they’ve finished their trails, everyone should return to the starting area.

Track your treat

  1. The teams should follow each of the trails to find all of the tokens they need to get the ingredients for their meal.
  2. If a team finishes before the others, they could help the other groups or start preparing the fires and ingredients (if you’re cooking).


This activity helped you to value the outdoors. Did you enjoy finding the tokens? Did the natural environment give you good hiding places, or natural obstacles for your trail to avoid? What natural outdoors things did you use to make the tracking symbols? Did you feel connected to the natural environment?

This activity needed you to communicate to find items (and to help other teams find items). How did you check whether your trails would be easy to follow? How easy was it to understand (or misunderstand!) the symbols? Why do you think people might use tracking symbols in the wild? Why can’t they just call each other or leave a map?


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.


Check for allergies before you begin and read the guidance on food safety. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.