Letter boxing: In case you missed this post, here is a description of it: Letterboxing is growing hobby that combines elements of hiking, treasure hunting and creative expression into an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues that are posted on the Internet (see the Web sites listed below), and then record their discovery in their personal journal with the help of a rubber stamp that's part of the letterbox. In addition, letterboxers have their own personal stamps which they use to stamp into the letterbox's log book.
As I search with http://www.swagbucks.com/ I am seeing many letterboxing sites I have never seen before.
At this link: http://www.letterboxing.info/articles/00000002.php. Here is wonderful article written by Silent Doug who I believe has this site. He gets the credit not me for writing all this. I am not that passionate lol. I am glad someone is so I can learn with you. This is a supply and start up article:
You don't need much in order to start letterboxing -- a log book in which you record your finds, a personal stamp, an inkpad and a pen. If a letterbox includes any sort of hiking or orienteering, then you may need a trail map and compass, too.
- Personal Journal
You'll need a journal of some kind to record your letterbox adventures. You can make your own, or you can buy one -- it's up to you. Look for one with unlined pages and with paper thick enough that a stamped impression won't bleed through the pages. It doesn't need to be large -- most letterbox stamps are 2½" x 2½" or smaller. An artist's sketch book is preferred by many letterboxers. Links
- Personal rubber stamp
Most letterboxers make their own personal stamps, carved from erasers or similar soft block carving materials. While this may sound intimidating, it's really not as hard as it seems! There are plenty of tutorials and web sites devoted to soft block carving and rubber stamping to help you get started. Links
- Ink Pad
You'll need to bring along an ink pad (or perhaps several in different colors) in order to stamp your personal journal and to stamp into the letterbox log. Many letterboxers prefer a pad with "pigment" type ink, instead of "dye-based" inks. Make sure it's big enough to accommodate a 2½" x 2½" letterbox stamp, or has a raised pad surface to allow you to ink large stamps. Links
- Pen or pencil
In addition to your stamp, you may wish to add a note to your entries in your personal journal and the letterbox journal. The advantage of a pencil is that it can be sharpened on the trail with a pen knife and your entries won't fade away if the box gets wet (unlike a pen with water-based ink).
You may need a trail map in order to find a letterbox (or to find your way home!). Check at a park office, ranger station or trail head, or buy a trail map or guide before you go. Links
A good compass is essential for deciphering many letterbox clues. An orienteering (baseplate) compass on a retangular base made of clear plastic will allow you to follow the bearings laid out in a letterbox clue, but a mirrored sighting compass offers much better precision. Links
- Paper towels, cotton rag
Letterboxing can be messy. A letterbox that's been buried in leaves or underneath rocks is sure to covered in dirt or mud. Clean it off before you open it up, to protect the contents. Also wipe your hands -- there's no need for leaving dirty fingerprints in letterbox journal. Also, before you repack a letterbox, you should clean off the surface of the stamp (same goes for your personal stamp). Bring along some paper towels or a soft cotton rag to clean up as you go. Baby wipes might be handy, but aren't recommended -- they have a scent (even the soap on the unscented ones) that shouldn't be transferred to a letterbox, either directly or from just-cleaned hands -- since it could attract critters.
- Hiking supplies
You should be be well-equipped and prepared on every letterbox excursion you make. A pair of sturdy shoes or boots is a must, especially for off-trail searching. Long pants will be a barrier against poison ivy, stinging nettles, thorns, and bugs. A small first aid kit can come in handy, and a flashlight might be more useful than you think, especially if a search takes longer than you expected and dusk arrives.
- Work gloves
A pair of sturdy work gloves can help when turning over rocks and reaching into hidden places. These can be tough on the hands and fingers, so a little protection can't hurt.
That was quite a bit to post and swallow all at one. So I am just going to introduce another type of hobby that is somewhat the same as letter boxing with a twist. I would love to do this one, but it is much less frugal since you need a GPS and it seems all have one but me. So if you have one already or can splurge you may like doing this.
Geo caching is similar to the 150-year-old game letterboxing, which uses clues and references to landmarks embedded in stories. Geocaching was conceived shortly after the removal of Selective Availability from GPS on May 2, 2000, because the improved accuracy of the system allowed for a small container to be specifically placed and located. The first documented placement of a GPS-located cache took place on May 3, 2000, by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon. The location was posted on the Usenet newsgroup as . By May 6, 2000, it had been found twice and logged once (by Mike Teague of Vancouver, Washington). According to Dave Ulmer's message, the original stash was a black plastic bucket buried most of the way in the ground and contained software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot.[9. This is the summary of this hobby with a smattering of history. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching
One site to check out more on is: http://www.opencaching.com/en/. Here we discover a pretty sandy colored site with simple places to find out more. I do not know what parts need registration, but I was able to go to the guide and read there w/out registering. I want to study more on there. Extremely fun to study and Espy.