first, and perhaps earliest, format is the previously described:
beginning with a treasure map, following the directions (however
simple) to lead one to the treasure. The interesting part
about this format is that it SEEMS like it would be the simplest
to create. It is if you are dealing with a deserted island
such as in the movie Cutthroat Island. Otherwise, it's not
long after you begin thinking about it that you realize there's
no real trick to it once the X on the map is seen. The adventurer
sees where the X is and heads straight to it. This kind of
map is fun in movies because there can be all kinds of natural
obstacles in the way such as cliffs, rivers and sand pits.
If you've begun to use this format and have gotten instantly
overwhelmed, you are in big company
you are considering this format, consider these options:
up the map into several pieces
NOT allowing the adventurers
all of the pieces initially. Perhaps the piece with the X
is only found AFTER they've completed a series of tasks.
Consider requiring the adventurers to complete a series of
tasks BEFORE they arrive at their final destination. They
might know immediately where the treasure is
if they must obtain five keys along the way first?
Treat the paper with the burn process as described below.
It will make the paper so brittle that they'll have to keep
the map in tact if they expect to use it.
The more you use the below treatment, the more brittle the
paper will be. This technique might take a little 'practice'
but the results just might be perfect for the hunt you want
to plan. Of course, the technique below can be use on ANY
clue in your hunt
I make pirate treasure maps, however, I use a different method
of aging the paper. Although it can be time consuming, the
result is well worth the time spent. Once I have the map image
copied onto the standard stock white copy paper (the cheaper
the paper, the better), I give it a crispy, water soaked feel
by treating it in the following way. Preheat a standard kitchen
oven to BROIL. Please do not confuse this with the BROILER
of the oven. Place an old, flat cookie sheet on the top rack
of the oven. With any can of cheap aerosol laundry spray starch,
spray a single piece of paper and quickly lay it flat on the
hot cookie sheet you have in the hot oven. Keep a close eye
on the paper as the oven does its work. Initially, the paper
will probably begin to curl and then finally flatten again.
As it flattens, keep your eye on it. The brown discoloring
can happen rather quickly. Once the paper is the desired color,
remove the paper from the cookie sheet with an oven mitt and
repeat the previous steps until you have aged all your maps
and clues. The process gives the paper a stiffer effect, like
paper that was once soaked in water and then left out in the
sun to dry. To further the effect, leave the paper in the
oven longer. The paper will get darker, however the image
should still be readable. Due to the prolonged time in the
oven, the paper will become extremely brittle. Now, your guests
will have to make sure they take extra care of the map/clue
or else it will break into several pieces.
to make the treasure hunt process even easier? Consider our
treasure hunt puzzles collections! They contain individual
puzzles that were designed to be INSERTED to a treasure hunt
you are creating - mini activities to give your adventurers
something more than just reading rhyming clues! With dozens
of themes to choose from, we've done what we can to make the
treasure hunt planning process as easy as possible without
sacrificing creativity! Click HERE
to see our adventure themes!