I have always loved a treasure hunt and was attracted to letterboxing from the moment I first heard about it.
What is Letterboxing?
Letterboxing is a hobby done around the world where individuals or groups will hide a box, make a map to the box, and then other will find it. The hidden box is usually placed in a scenic or exotic location in a waterproof container. The box contains a log book and a rubber stamp that is often custom made for the location. When someone hides a letterbox they will make a map, or series of often cryptic directions to get to the box. Letterboxers will then try to locate the box using the directions.
What do you do when you find the box?
Letterboxers will carry around with them a notebook and their own personal rubber stamp. When you find a hidden box you stamp your stamp in the log book inside the box saying you were there, and then use the boxes stamp to stamp your notebook like passport.
You can find sets of directions for boxes hidden in your area by looking at the letterboxing website. When I first started letterboxing I thought that the nine or ten people with letterboxes in my area were probably the only people in my area who would letterbox. When I found my first box in a park near my house, the box had over a hundred different entries made my people who had found it before I did.
Letterboxing is something you can do in your own town, neighboring towns, and while your on Vacation. Originating in Europe there are over 40,000 letterboxes estimated to be in England alone, with other letterboxes spread out throughout the world, a good deal of which are in the US.
Letterboxing is a great way to explore new places and take a new and interesting look at areas in your own town. I have taken several younger children out letterboxing with me, and have yet to find a child who didn’t have a ball.
Before You Go
Be sure to check the difficulty of the letterbox before you set out, some of them are pretty difficult to get to and are not made for amateurs. You also want to make sure that your first box at least was placed recently, or reported found recently. Occasionally letterboxes disappear due to weather or other circumstance.