Citywide Questival Scavenger Hunt Returns to Boise 

click to enlarge arts_questival_cotopaxi.jpg

Courtesy Cotopaxi

Can you mentally assemble a group of six or so friends who'd help you survive a zombie apocalypse? Are they both badass adventurers and good, giving people? If your answer was yes to both, you just picked out your team for Questival 2018, the 24-hour, cross-town scavenger hunt coming to Boise this weekend. From February through October, Questival events pop up across the country to encourage people to both venture into the outdoors and give back to their communities.

Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company and that makes brightly colored sweaters, backpacks, jackets and more, started hosting Questivals in 2015, partly as a marketing gambit and partly to raise funds for its nonprofit partners. Last year, Questival made its Boise debut, and on Friday, April 13, Cotopaxi and the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit that assists in refugee resettlement, will be back again for round two.

"We're a registered B Corp, so we give a lot back, we give a lot to nonprofits. 'Do Good' is our mantra," said Cotopaxi Event Director Callan Graham. "So the purpose of Questival is to get people to learn about our event, to get one of our products in their hands and to get them to go out and have a meaningful adventure experience where they're also incentivised to do good along the way for 24 hours."

The process is easy. Questival teams can pay a race fee to sign up on the company website, then download the Questival app to their smartphones to get the list of more than 200 local challenges, which will appear 24 hours before the race. On the day of, teams check in at Ann Morrison Park to pick up their race materials (including a free 18-liter Luzon daypack from Cotopaxi and a team flag) and take in some food and live music before setting of on their whirlwind adventures. Each time the group completes a challenge, they have to prove it by posting a photo with their team flag to the Questival app.

"There are a lot of generic outdoor challenges, like 'go camping' or 'go rock climbing.' There are some local-themed ones like 'hike up to Tablerock' or 'go to Bruneau Sand Dunes,' and a lot of challenges are more focused on downtown, like 'go to the Basque Block, do a little research on the Basque people and tell us what you've learned,'" explained Graham, adding that the app will also challenge groups to pay it forward by buying someone a coffee or donating to a local charity.

The range of challenges means teams can pick the ones that appeal to them, and this year they'll compete for reactions in the app rather than checking the most challenges off the list. As Graham described it, the competition this year is "qualitative rather than quantitative."

"Teams will win prizes for having the most love reactions [on their challenge completion photos] from other teams, or the most laugh reactions," he said.

More than 20 teams will take home prizes, including lots of Cotopaxi swag. Boiseans thirsty for adventure with mad smartphone video and photo skills still have time to head to the Questival website to register.

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