Lost in The Wilderness Online

A starter activity to get teams working together online!

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Lost in The Wilderness Online is a short starter activity to get teams working together, solving a problem and making decisions under time pressure. It is a perfect early team exercise to establish how a team works virtually together. It will typically take a team between 30 and 45 minutes of activity to complete.

This activity is supplied digitally, for use in virtual or face-to-face training sessions.


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 20-30 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.


  • 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

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 20 minutes for the task (you may want to extend this to 25 or 30 minutes).
  • 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.

What's Included 

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

This Northgate training activity is delivered through an online portal and comes with a five-year license for repeat use with up to 24 participants per training session within the license-holding organization.

This is a downloadable product. You will receive emailed instructions on how to download the software. It may take 1-3 days to receive this email, depending on the day of the week that the order is placed. 


Lost in The Wilderness Online

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