Get Started

The Best Outdoor Team Building Activities

Organizing activities for team building outdoors is a great way to develop strong teams and boost teamwork effectiveness. Group events in the fresh air, sunshine, or even snow are excellent ways to strengthen camaraderie, trust, communication skills, and strong bonds. Outdoor team building exercises also allow everyone to get out of the office and engage in fun games designed to benefit the entire team and organization.

The best outdoor activities for team building should be fun activities that include a measure of healthy competition, personal development, and exercises to develop soft skills. Some of the best activities for team building outdoors are scavenger hunts, weekend company retreats, cardboard boat building, beach Olympics, outdoor cooking challenges, and rescue missions.

Of course, team building in an outdoor venue takes plenty of planning, organization, and creativity to come up with ideas. After all, you don’t want to organize team building exercises outdoors that suck or are too challenging for the average participant.

Are you looking for outdoor team building activities near you? If so, Full Tilt Team Development has an extensive list of activities for team building in outdoor venues. In addition, we have many years of experience helping organizations like yours stage successful outdoor team building events.

In this article, you will find a list of suitable outdoor exercises for team building. Additionally, you will learn about the benefits of team building games in an outdoor setting.

What Makes a Successful Team?

A successful team is when all its members work toward a common goal and outcome. To work effectively, team members must show mutual respect, communicate well, and have skill sets to reach their goals. Good teamwork involves everyone demonstrating soft skills like time management, problem-solving, and leadership.

Team building activities form the basis of successful teams. This is because group activities help teach effective teamwork. For example, the New York Times said that a successful team requires more than putting together a group of people with the right professional skills. There must be a plan to foster a strong sense of teamwork.

Why Plan Activities For Team Building Outdoors?

Activities for team building in outdoor venues are one of the best ways of engaging the entire team. For example, outdoor activities give everyone a healthy dose of sunlight and plenty of fresh air. Not only is this good for employee well-being and mental health, but you can also include fun activities that have tangible benefits in the workplace.

Related: How team building can improve mental health in the workplace.

Another reason to plan fun outdoor activities is that you can include training that focuses on personal and professional development. For example, team building helps to encourage creative thinking, strengthen leadership skills, and boost employee engagement. This, in turn, reduces stress and increases happiness in the workplace.

Unlike indoor team building activities, holding events in outdoor venues gets everyone away from the office in a neutral location. Therefore, holding fun activities outside is a win-win situation for your team and the entire organization.

What Makes a Good Team Building Outdoor Activity For Adults?

The best outdoor activities for team building should include several elements. And although the activity should be fun and enjoyable for everyone, it must have a purpose and create positive memories. Indoor or outdoor team activities without a purpose become lame, and you run the risk of ruining your entire team building strategy.

Here are some essential elements that each outdoor team event should have:

  • Strong focus on developing leadership skills
  • Encourage diversity in team bonding activities
  • Plan activities that develop trust among team members
  • Strengthen and improve communication skills, including active listening
  • Teach the importance of teamwork
  • Develop collaboration skills in a positive environment

Including the six essential elements of team building activities for outdoor venues teach the essential skills required for teams to flourish.

The Best Activities for Team Building Outdoors

There are many different types of team building activities that you can do outdoors. However, just because an event is planned off-site and outside doesn’t mean it will help teams to bond. The following activities have proven successful in being effective team activities and teamwork learning exercises in outdoor venues.

1. Cardboard Boat Build

One of the most fun team building activities for an outdoor venue is the Cardboard Boat Build. With this activity, participants are divided into teams and must think creatively, work cohesively, and engage in friendly competition. To succeed, each team must earn materials, design and build a cardboard boat, and compete against other teams.

full tilt team building strategies

Outdoor team building image: Cardboard Boat Build

You can plan this event outdoors wherever there is access to water — a pool, lake, or river.

Outdoor team building activity benefits:

  • Encourage cohesive teamwork
  • Strengthen communication skills
  • Help team members work under pressure to make good decisions
  • Blue Ocean thinking (thinking outside of the box)
  • Develop problem-solving skills

2. Maker Bootcamp

Organizing an outdoor team building event like Maker Bootcamp can help promote acts of kindness. This exercise helps to support a specific charity or cause. Depending on the cause, teams can build benches, playgrounds, or bicycles. However, the possibilities are endless for this event.

Call Full Tilt to discuss your plans and ideas for organizing this charitable team building activity.

Outdoor team building activity benefits:

  • Develop empathy for people living with challenges
  • Encourage outside-the-box thinking
  • High-pressure project strategy and execution
  • Learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration

3. Kidnapped: A Rescue Mission

This team building outdoor idea is based on a kidnapping scenario where team members must collaborate under pressure to solve the “crime.” The objective of this fun game is to rescue the victim, identify the kidnapper, and become the “Hero of the Day.” Everyone must collect clues and use their powers of deduction to ensure a successful rescue.

team building activities outdoor

Team building image: Kidnapped – A Rescue Mission

One of the benefits of this outdoor challenge is that teams learn the importance of defining roles, mutual trust, leadership, and collaboration. Additionally, individual team members obtain vital conflict-resolution skills that are transferable to the workplace.

Outdoor team building activity benefits

  • Strengthen team cohesiveness
  • Develop skills to prioritize, show initiative, and make decisions
  • Develop mutual trust
  • Improve communication skills
  • Learn how to resolve conflicts
  • Demonstrate the importance of interpersonal relationships

4. City Scavenger Hunt for Adults

There are various examples of challenges that can be used as fun scavenger hunt ideas for adults. For example, the scavenger hunt can be based in a city you use for a company weekend retreat. Teams must successfully solve a series of challenges to come first. This is not only a fun physical activity, but it has an educational aspect to it as well.

outdoor scavenger hunt activity

Team Building Image: Scavenger Hunt

At Full Tilt, we have many fun activities that can be incorporated into a scavenger hunt type team building event. For example, in Charlotte, NC, we organize scavenger hunts for adults in the NoDa brewery.

Related reading: Team-building activities for Austin, TX.

Outdoor team building activity benefits

  • Strengthen company culture
  • Encourage learning and creativity
  • Boost social interaction between team members
  • Develop vital skills for critical thinking and problem-solving.

5. The Great Race

The Great Race team building event is ideal for outdoor locations in all cities throughout North America. Expert facilitators from Full Tilt develop a series of challenges that must be completed in time. Participants must overcome obstacles and roadblocks and solve problems. To be successful, each team must show a level of creativity.

If you plan a weekend corporate retreat, the Great Race challenge is a perfect outdoor team building event. This will help participant bond and create positive, happy memories.

Team building activity benefits

  • Perfect for developing teamwork in outdoor locations
  • Learn how to work effectively under time constraints and pressure
  • Develop Blue Ocean thinking
  • Understand the importance of clear communication and active listening

6. Beach Olympics

our Beach Olympic event is one of the best activities for team building outdoors during summer. This fun activity is ideal for any coastal resort with a beach. Teams go head-to-head in events that require strategy, speed, willpower, and speed. This event encompasses various challenges for beach locations.

Facilitators at Full Tilt can work with you to develop a series of suitable challenges for your team

Outdoor team building activity benefits

  • Promote healthy competition
  • Ideal for weekend retreats to foster strong bonds
  • Create memorable and exciting experiences
  • Highly collaborative

7. The Art of Flight

Suitable for outdoor or indoor activities, the Art of Flight gets team members working toward a common cause. The goal is to create a cardboard airplane that glides — the one that flies the longest is the winner.

outdoor team building event

This event teaches vital business skills that are transferable to the workplace. For example, teams must earn materials, plan wisely, and execute their ideas to win. In addition, the aircraft should be aesthetically pleasing. Our facilitators also throw curve balls to make the event more fun, like only using specific materials, new time constraints, or design parameters.

Outdoor team building activity benefits

  • Learn the importance of leadership and collaboration
  • Develop better time-management and problem-solving skills
  • Help team members communicate clearly and precisely
  • Develop out-of-the-box thinking skills

The Best Team Building Activities For Outdoors In Winter

It can be challenging to organize activities for team building outdoors in winter. That is why many organizations arrange indoor team building activities from late fall until early spring. Or, winter is an ideal time to arrange a company retreat in the southern states like Florida, California, or even as far away as Hawaii.

However, there are several outdoor activities suitable for snowy landscapes in winter. One such example is the Human Dog Sled event.

Human Dog Sled

Ideal for an outdoor team building event in winter, the Human Dog Sled challenge teaches transferable workplace skills to team members. Participants must build a working sled from cardboard and race other teams along a designated race course. The ones who built the sleds are the same ones who race them.

Outdoor team building activity benefits for winter

  • Learn the importance of communication and listening skills
  • Develop skills to adjust to challenging and unforeseen circumstances
  • Project management and execution skills.

Activities For Successful Team Building Outdoors

Outdoor team building activities have many benefits for your organization. Not only do they teach valuable skills for the workplace, but they allow you to give something back to employees. Planning outdoor team events is one of the greatest investments in your business.

Are you wondering about how to plan your next outdoor team building exercise? If so, Full Tilt is here to help. Call us at 310-400-6285 or complete our online contact form to chat with a facilitator about your goals. We can help organize an outdoor event in your city or any other city in North America.