Lost in the Wilderness! | Energiser | Virtual Training Activity

**FOR USE IN VIRTUAL & FACE-TO-FACE TRAINING SESSIONS** ​ ​A short starter activity to get teams working together, solving a problem and making decisions under time pressure. *This activity is delivered electronically. No delivery charges apply.*

Learning Objectives

  • To discuss an issue under time pressure
  • To analyse a problem
  • To work together as a team
  • The usefulness of brainstorming
  • How to prioritise
  • The need for decisive leadership
  • To express their own ideas forcefully

Repeat Use Licence

This Northgate training activity comes with a licence for repeat use with up to 24 participants per training session within your organisation and the activity files can be stored on one device. Please ask for a discount for use with larger groups, for trainers in multiple locations and/or cloud storage.

  • Participants

    3-24 (up to six teams of 3-4 per team)

  • Timing

    30 - 40 minutes + debrief

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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  • UK delivery

    (normally next working day)


  • Europe delivery

    (1-2 working days)


  • World delivery

    (1-5 working days)



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The Activity

Each team receives a Brief. It tells them they are part of a team on a flight over Canadian territory en route to a fishing holiday in a remote location.

Their seaplane is fitted with amphibious floats and when the engine falters it crash lands in the wilderness killing the pilot. The plane points in the direction the pilot was flying and his last words were that they were 20 minutes flying time from the destination (so knowing their speed they can work out how far they are from their goal).

There are 15 items that have survived the plane crash. No food or water but some useful items that might help with survival. Teams do NOT rank these items but can use them in any plan they come up with.

Each team's objective is to plan a way forward. They have limited time - just 30 minutes! Should they stay with the plane? Striking off into the wilderness, especially as two of the team are slightly injured, without food and water, compass or map could be dangerous.

Teams must sum up the situation, list the options and decide on a plan. Good leadership and decisiveness required.

Trainer's Role

  • Explain the general nature of what is going to happen. (Do not go into detail or repeat what is on the Team Brief.)
  • Divide your group into teams (of 3-4 delegates per virtual team) and send them to virtual breakout rooms. Give a Team Brief to each team.
  • Write down the current time on a shared virtual message board or whiteboard or announce the time. Tell teams they have 30 minutes for the task (you may want to extend or shorten this by 10 minutes either side).
  • Visit the virtual breakout rooms in turn, and observe the teams at work. Note how their discussions progress, how they work as a team, whether they elect a leader or one emerges etc.
  • Give teams a one minute warning before you stop the activity. Then stop the activity at the deadline and bring your delegates out of their virtual breakout rooms and back into plenary session. (You may want to give extra time if they are behind schedule. It's up to you.)
  • Start the Debrief: ask each team to report back on how they approached the task, what options they considered and their final plans. Allow teams to quiz each other on their decisions.
  • Use the Trainer's Notes to raise points for discussion.
  • Finally, ask teams what they learned from the session about themselves and their teamwork. What lessons can they take away from the experience? Draw up a set of learning points that can be taken back to the workplace.

Full guidance is provided in the Trainer's Notes.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer's Notes (supplied as a PDF)
  • Team Brief (supplied as a PDF)

This activity is delivered electronically. Delivery charges do not apply.

'Lost in the Wilderness!' is a great activity! A fast-moving pace in which the scenario quickly becomes a real situation in the way the delegates discuss options and look at the outcomes. It encourages them to discuss, make decisions, work together by listening and speaking, and thinking about the resources they have and how they can use them effectively.

L. James, BaseWales

I’ve used Lost in the Wilderness a few times now and found it works well with lots of different teams, from teams that work together regularly to groups who may not know each other too well. It creates a great sense of fun and urgency all at the same time – highly recommended for a great team / leadership game.

Rachael McNidder, Leadership Development Coach, Pursuit Coaching & Development

We held the virtual activity 'Lost in the Wilderness!' today for 24 people and it went really well – lots of good discussion!

Allison Lochhead, Programme Co-ordinator, VolkerWessels UK

We used 'Lost in the Wilderness!' for a virtual team conference and it was a great energiser that everyone enjoyed. We've kept this in our L&D toolbox to use at future events in the coming months.

L&D Manager, Housing Sector

I've used 'Lost in the Wilderness!' virtually a number of times now with groups from lots of different backgrounds - from existing teams needing a refocus to new starters looking to form as a team during an induction. The supporting materials make the task clear and the guidance for the debrief is useful and helps structure that section well for the trainer. Definitely a fan - it goes down well!

People Development Manager, Financial Services Sector

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