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The exciting Facebook post got my attention. Adventure Hunt is a huge Instagram scavenger hunt where you complete challenges and post the proof to your Instagram account in an attempt to win buried treasure. The winners from each city also receive a free five night stay at a resort in Panama! I promised myself that I would be more adventurous in my own backyard, and the adventure hunt seemed like a great way to keep that promise.
Registration for the Adventure Hunt costs $60 per team, but I found a Facebook promo code that offered a $20 discount. Upon registration, Adventure Hunt sends an email with some coupons and also mails you two pairs of KZ Shades sunglasses, which you need to wear in all of the Instagram photos and videos. They claim it is to prove that the pictures and videos were taken that day, but it just screamed marketing scheme to me, and the KZ shades aren’t even that good. But this didn’t really bother me, I was still stoked to participate, and they had to make money off of it somehow.
On the day of the hunt, the Adventure Hunt team sends an email to all of the participants with a list of challenges that they can complete. Each Challenge is worth anywhere from 1-4 points. The challenges are a mix of silly things (proposing to a stranger, doing a handstand), sporty things (body boarding, surfing), and sponsorship things (promoting the sponsors). Once you acquire the set number of points from each list (approximately 25 sporty points, 15 silly points, 5 sponsor points), you send the Adventure Hunt team and email with a link to your Instagram account. They will review your pics and videos, and if you did indeed achieve the required points, they will send you a clue to the buried treasure, which you need to then decipher, locate, and dig up.
I loved the idea behind Adventure Hunt. I love the idea of scavenger hunts, of completing challenges for points, and of just getting out there and doing things. However, I feel like some of the challenges weren’t well thought out, and it was more of a money grab for the local businesses than anything else.
Challenges included surfing, body boarding, kayaking, paddle boating, tandem bike riding, long boarding, and rock climbing (they specified that a harness was required). As you can see, most of these required some type of sporting equipment. Most people don’t own all of these items (we didn’t own any of them!) but many could conveniently be rented from the surf shops nearby…at the adventurer’s expense.
I feel like this was a letdown. I already paid $40 to participate in the event, and now I have to pay additional money to rent all of the things that I need to score points. It would be impossible to win without doing at least some of the challenges which required equipment. I also feel like it was a letdown because the Adventure Hunt website did not specify that you would need these things. It did have pictures of surfing and body boarding, so you could assume that would probably be part of the adventure, but it said you shouldn’t need to purchase anything. It said be creative and that if equipment was necessary, you could always borrow it. But in reality, who is going to let you borrow their surfboard? Those are expensive, and people who actually buy their surfboards are quite attached to them. They aren’t going to let a novice ride! Also, how many people own a tandem bike, a kayak, or a paddle board? And of those who own one, how many are going to let strangers borrow them? The fact was that we, and probably most teams, would need to spend at least some additional money to score enough points to receive the final clue. I feel like it would have been better if they had a lot of challenges that didn’t require additional equipment – enough where you could gain the required points without any spending any extra money.
Another issue I had with the challenges is that many require skill, skill in which not many people have. Surfing is not easy! And the challenge specified that you had to be standing up riding a wave in the ocean. Ok, maybe Huntington Beach is a surf city, and lots of people in this city do know how to surf, but I don’t, and that challenge was worth more points than any other. Another challenge was doing an ollie on a skateboard. I wasn’t even going to attempt that, I’d break my neck!
After reviewing the list, Jonathan and I decided that there was no possible way we were going to win without spending a boatload of money on equipment, and even if we did that, our chances of winning were fairly slim because, let’s face it, we aren’t 20 anymore. So we decided to do our own Adventure Hunt, which we called #oldpeoplesadventurehunt and #ourownadventurehunt.
Instead of spending money on a surfboard rental and lessons, we gave money to a charity which helps send foster kids to camp (check out RFKC Activate Church). Instead of any of the water sports, I went ankle deep into the freezing cold water. Instead of giving money to a homeless person, we joined the Restore Huntington Beach cleanup effort. And instead of long boarding down the Huntington Beach pier, we took a casual stroll.
The Adventure Hunt wasn’t a complete bust. Jonathan and I got to spend a day hanging out together at Huntington Beach doing silly things. We never would have done this if not for the hunt. We actually had a lot of fun coming up with our own ideas for our old people’s adventure hunt.
The younger crowd seemed to have a great time as well, and one lucky team did dig up the buried treasure and win the stay at a resort in Panama. That team went all out, and really deserved the win. I’m happy for them and it looked like they had a blast doing it. Maybe I’m just too old for Adventure Hunt.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.