Outdoor Team Building Activities: 
Take the 4WD Challenge

When it comes to outdoor team building activities, the world’s your oyster. We’ve got pursuits that will get pulses racing, brains into gear and help build trust within teams. That’s just for starters!

Here we take a look at 4WD sessions and why they’ve become a corporate classic.

Why Choose a 4WD Activity?

It has two big benefits.

On a basic level, it’s a fun group activity that gets the team out of the office. If you want to boost workplace motivation with a treat, it’s a good place to start.

However, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll see that there’s more to it than fun and games.

4WD off-road driving days can be designed to require high team performance skills and collaboration. It’s all down to the choice of course, and how your team works together to negotiate tricky terrain and master the art of driving a beast of a vehicle!

4WD-ing proves the old saying ‘it takes two to tango!’ 

Outdoor team building activities 4WD

involve one person taking the driver’s seat and another offering help as passenger. They require patience, collaboration and communication.

Of all the outdoor team building activities, this is arguably the most thrilling and challenging.

It's Particularly Good For...

  • Boosting problem solving skills – unfamiliar territory requires creative thinking to overcome obstacles.

  • Employee motivation and retention.

  • Teaching teams to work within constraints and deadlines. A 4WD challenge usually requires teams to stay on track and complete the course within a certain time. They’ll need to stay focused on the job at hand and use problem solving skills to complete it as quickly as possible.

  • Anyone looking for outdoor team building activities suited to smaller groups. Activity centres have a finite number of cars available at any one time. If you have a large group to occupy, a 4WD session is too time-consuming as people will have to wait their turn.

Can I Customise a 4WD Session?

The majority of outdoor team building activities can be tailored to suit specific groups. 4WD days are particularly open to adaptation.

Basically because you can choose between different courses designed for specific purposes.

Keep things simple with a straightforward flat track on a field. Or move them up a gear and explore more challenging cross-country trails.

Pop a couple of prizes into the mix if you want to add an extra competitive element. I’m not talking huge holidays or big cash prizes. A bottle of bubbly should do it. The winning team gets the glory of standing on the podium and spraying the crowd at the end.

Can I Organise 4WD Myself?

In short, no. Theoretically you could hire 4WD vehicles from a car rental agency, but you're likely to run into all sorts of issues with insurance, liability and restrictions on where you can take the vehicles.

You have two options:

  1. Book direct with a 4WD activity centre.
  2. Book through an external events company.

There are heaps of different 4WD sessions to try. We’ve outlined a couple below to get you started.

Heard About 4WD Blindfold Driving?

I can heartily recommend this if you want to enhance team building through communication.

Blindfold driving literally takes the idea of backseat drivers to a new level! As the name suggests, the driver is blindfolded at the start. The idea is for the passengers to steer him in the right direction using clear directions. It’s not as easy as it might sound.

Any vehicle could be used, but the adrenalin really flows in a 4WD vehicle over tough terrain. The challenge revolves round negotiating tricky bends, steep inclines and water obstacles.

The guy in the driving seat is completely reliant on his team mates to get him round the course. If everyone’s shouting directions at once, you’ll get nowhere fast. This one requires people to get smart and allocate team member roles. It’s all about communicating effectively to achieve a common goal.There’s a competitive element in there too. The team to get round the course in the best time wins.

If you’re looking for unique outdoor team building activities, they don’t come much more unusual than blindfold driving!

Check out the video clip above to get an idea of what the experience feels like.

Take a Jeep Safari Tour

One of the most popular outdoor team building activities, a jeep safari gets people out of their comfort zones.

You can do it all over the world, from New Zealand to the mountains of Catalonia in Spain. In addition to seeing some truly awesome scenery, team members get to work on their collaboration techniques.

You could be tackling everything from waterfalls to daunting jumps, tunnels and winding woodland trails. Rocky terrain sometimes features on jeep safari trails as it requires quick thinking!

If you’re looking for outdoor team building activities that last at least 2 hours, a jeep safari will fit the bill. Most involve a journey up into hills or out into the countryside. Expect to be out of the office for at least half a day.

Have a look at the movie below. I love this one as it combines a jeep tour with a scavenger hunt.

Pros & Cons

Some outdoor team building activities are only available in certain areas or countries. Not so with this one! 4WD sessions can take place literally anywhere.

On the downside, the majority of your team will need to know how to drive. You will find that many activity centres require all participants to hold a full and valid driver’s license from their country of origin.

There are time constraints. This probably isn’t the way to go if you’re looking for an activity that only requires you to be away from the workplace for an hour or two. You’ll need to factor in the time it takes to get to the centre or trail, plus instruction, driving time and the trip back.

Cost of a 4WD Session

Outdoor team building activities are sometimes perceived as expensive. The good news about 4WD sessions is their variety. You’ll find there’s a choice of different options to suit all budgets.

On average, you can expect to pay around $40 per person for a basic session.

For more ideas for outdoor team building activities, go to our index of Corporate Team Building Activities.

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