Friday, June 12, 2009

letterboxing

Have you ever heard about letterboxing? I hadn't until I read this post on the blog wide open spaces. It sounds like such a fun diversion on a roadtrip, etc. Here's a little description of it, taken from letterboxing.org:
    "Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places. It takes the ancient custom of placing a rock on a cairn upon reaching the summit of a mountain to an artform. It started when a gentleman simply left his calling card in a bottle by a remote pool on the moors of Dartmoor, in England.

    Here's the basic idea: Someone hides a waterproof box somewhere (in a beautiful, interesting, or remote location) containing at least a logbook and a carved rubber stamp, and perhaps other goodies. The hider then usually writes directions to the box (called "clues" or "the map"), which can be straightforward, cryptic, or any degree in between. Often the clues involve map coordinates or compass bearings from landmarks, but they don't have to. Selecting a location and writing the clues is one aspect of the art.

    Once the clues are written, hunters in possession of the clues attempt to find the box. In addition to the clue and any maps or tools needed to solve it, the hunter should carry at least a pencil, his personal rubber stamp, an inkpad, and his personal logbook. When the hunter successfully deciphers the clue and finds the box, he stamps the logbook in the box with his personal stamp, and stamps his personal logbook with the box's stamp. The box's logbook keeps a record of all its visitors, and the hunters keep a record of all the boxes they have found, in their personal logbooks."

Photo uploaded from here.

5 comments:

tiffanyandink said...

My husband is from England and he first told me about letterboxing after we were first married. We went on a letterboxing hike last summer and what boxes we did find were all wet and yuck!

We live in the Seattle area and, sadly, I think geocaching has taken its place and what little popularity it had.

It really is fun to try and fun for kids because they feel like they're on a scavenger hunt.

Thanks for sharing!

Sarah Moulson said...

What a fun idea, Betsy! Steve did something like this called geocaching that involves using a GPS system to find hidden treasures, but I like the "old-school" method of letterboxing. I found a website (www.letterboxing.org) that lists a ton of boxes hidden around Tucson. We're always looking for a cheap date idea, so this is perfect! (P.S. Love your blog and miss seeing you around school!)

Lindsey said...

Isn't this such a fun idea!? I blogged a little about this last month here: http://piggyinthepuddle.blogspot.com/2009/05/letterboxing-and-bee-stamp-giveaway.html

but I have yet to try it. Let me know how it goes if you do!

B Dunlap said...

Hey Sarah! So good to hear from you! I would love to get together sometime for lunch!

Lindsey- Thanks for stopping by!

B Dunlap said...

Tiffanyandink- What a bummer about the wet boxes....maybe they would be drier in Tucson since it rarely rains. Thanks for commenting!