Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Letterboxing

So we picked up another new hobby: LETTERBOXING! It is so much fun.

Letterboxing is kind of like geocaching, excepting that you don't need a GPS, and rather than trading trinkets, you stamp each other's logbooks. Clues lead you to the location of the letterbox. So far, the clues we have followed have all been in interesting places with a 'theme' for the letterbox. Written up on the clues have been descriptions of the area, a short history of the topic, or a story behind the stamp. The most interesting stamps are hand carved, which makes this not only a fun activity, but a unique art form as well.

All you need is your own logbook, something to write with, an inkpad, a trial name and your own personal stamp. Sometimes you will be instructed to take along a compass, and it's wise to have water as well. You can find clues at letterboxing.org or at atlasquest.com. I think there are other sites, but that's a good start. There are letterboxes all over the United States, and around the world as well! (Especially England where this got its start.)

We got together as a family and made up a design for our stamp. Then I carved it onto an eraser with an exacto knife. (If you want more detailed information, contact me and I'll let you know how to make up your own stamp).

One of the more exciting aspects of this pasttime is that you have to be stealthy about it. Many of these letterboxes are hidden in somewhat public areas. You can't just rush in and dig it up! This is a clandestine opperation!

So we convinced Jessica to go along with us on our first trip, which was at Wheeler Farm. We didn't realize that there was so much snow there, and of the 5 boxes hidden, we only found 1. But it was so thrilling to sneak through the woods and find it, just where the clue said it was! We've been again since then, and even met a fellow letterboxer through our last trip.

So, yay! Go letterboxing!

3 comments:

Alyssa said...

Wow! That seriously sounds like a lot of fun! I've wanted to do geocaching for a long time, but never had a GPS... now I can do letterboxing! Thanks!

Ron & Jessica said...

That was cool and so was wheeler farm. I'm glad my feet have dried since then though...

KarenC said...

I was telling my husband about this. We've wanted to do geocaching but our GPS system doesn't seem to match the coordinates that are given. We think it would be super fun! Next time you go, we'd love to tag along and see how it works!