Sometimes its hard to tell – Scavenger Hunt vs Treasure Hunt as they are very similar to one another. Many people even use the two terms interchangeably. Today I’m here to tell you that while scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are quite similar they are two different things, and I’ll also compare and contrast them so you’ll know exactly what makes them different. The differences between a treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt will be clear when you’re done reading this article and you’ll feel more comfortable knowing planning and coming up with ideas and invitations for parties if you know which is which.

Scavenger Hunt vs Treasure Hunt

Similarities between Scavenger Hunts and Treasure Hunts

Let’s start with how they are the same. First, they’re both games. People of all ages do these hunts and have a great time doing it. I’ve had grandparents and their great grandkids working on the same scavenger hunt. You can certainly design hunts that are too physically demanding for older people or two mentally challenging for younger people, but it’s very possible, I’ll say typical even, that both of these types of activities are great for getting everyone involved.

The second similarity is that both types of hunts are competition ready. They can both be played in teams or in an every man for himself type fashion. Scavenger hunts are often timed so you get all you can as fast as you can and planning can be a big part of a team’s success. Treasure hunts are often about solving clues and getting from one place to another quickly in order to stay ahead of the other participants.

Third, scavenger hunts and treasure hunts both typically involve having to decipher some set of clues. As mentioned in the competition paragraph above both of these hunts often require solving riddles or clues, though this is typically a feature of treasure hunts more so than scavenger hunts.

Difference between Scavenger Hunts and Treasure Hunts

The major difference between scavenger hunts and treasure hunts is that scavenger hunts tend to be focused towards collecting lots of things from a list in any order, but treasure hunts tend to be focused on finding the one final thing and finding it requires that you do things in a specific order. For example, in a treasure hunt you generally get one clue and then use it to get to the next clue and so on until eventually you uncover the final treasure. But in a scavenger hunt you are given clues (or maybe just a plain list) relating to things you need to find to complete the hunt. You can do it any order and whoever has the most items on the list at the end wins. Maybe it’s based on time, or different points for different items, but in general a scavenger hunt does not come down to just one final goal.

Combination Treasure / Scavenger Hunts

Many people like to combine features of the two types of hunts. One example is a treasure hunt that involves doing a scavenger hunt where each item in the scavenger hunt contains a clue about the final destination of the treasure. Another variation involves the requirement of completing a set of small scavenger hunts. Each mini-hunt completed gives the hunter access to the location of either the beginning of another sub hunt or a piece of information that will help you find the a special prize / treasure. These type of variations and mergers of the two types of hunts are a little more challenging to create, but the extra effort really pays off in making it more challenging and yields a great time.

Wrapping it up

The important thing to keep in mind is that scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are both a lot of fun.  They’re meant to be challenging, but they are also meant to get people together having a good time and to get them thinking or active. They’re great for team building in the corporate world and in the grade school world so get everyone involved and have a good time with it – no matter which type of hunt you choose to create!

Have you got ideas about what the difference is between the two? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below!

Happy Hunting!