Treasure hunts don’t necessarily require good hiding spots but they can add an interesting new element to the game. Not only do players need to solve the riddles, they will also need to search for them. Using the strategies covered below will help you select some killer hiding spots.
What can really throw players off the scent is if you go to a lot of effort or expense. They will rule some hiding spots out because of the perceived effort or cost that they represent. The classic hiding spot in a hollowed out book works so well because it requires the effort of hollowing out the book – and the cost of destroying the book.
A spot that has already been checked makes a great hiding spot. If you can find some means of swapping spots mid-search then this can be a really effective strategy.
Gradually introduce new techniques rather than showing all of your cards at once. Lets assume that you have acces to a ladder and can also waterproof the riddles before hiding them. Hiding the first riddle both out of reach and under water – an aquarium on top of a cupboard for example – would be a mistake. Better would be to use two separate hiding spots – one up high and one under water – both are good hiding spots in their own right and two are better than one.
Change the behavior of the object that you will hide. Write your riddles on pebbles and hide the first couple by placing them on the ground or on top of a table – get players used to looking for them sitting on top of something. Then use adhesive to stick one to the side of a cupboard. Add a hook to another and hang it from a twig in a tree. Strap a piece of wood to the next and float it on some water. Use a helium balloon to float one up to the ceiling.
Use protection to hide the object in a spot that would normally cause it damage. Waterproofing is one example. A little more extreme would be to make your riddle out of metal or ceramic and place it under the coals in a smoldering fire.
Searchers will be less likely to search in dirty areas and will assume that the hider will be less inclined to choose them as hiding places. Take advantage of this tendency and seek out such hiding spots. Drains, toilets, drip trays and mud patches would all fit the bill.
Disguise your riddles as ordinary objects and leave them in locations that you would normally expect to find those objects. Think spice jars, coke cans, books, DVD cases etc.
Use only the bare minimum of cover. Don’t close the door to the room in which the riddle is hidden. Leave the flour bag in which you hide your riddle mostly empty and use just enough flour to conceal it.
Finally, these two tips – based on experimental findings – are killers despite there not being any good explanation for them.
Choose hiding spots in bright areas and near windows – searchers are more likely to look in dark corners.
Go with your intuition and choose spots that feel like good hiding spots. Strangely enough, you are less likely to search in the same area that you would choose to hide something. As long as the players would also consider them good hiding spots, they will have trouble finding them!