I was chatting with my pastor the other day and he told me that his family does this thing called Letterboxing. He told me to Google it to learn more. (since his wife, who is really the one who knows all about it, wasn't there to teach me!) I went and looked it up and found two sites for it:
Letterboxing North America (which covers all of the North American Continent, not just the USA)
Atlas Quest (which covers the whole world!)
So what is Letterboxing you ask? Well, I'm glad you're interested! Let me enlighten you on this totally awesome family hobby! (It's totally free too!!)
A letterbox is any kind of waterproof container that contains a rubber stamp and a logbook. Here are a couple examples of the ones we have found:
|This one was in a heavy ziploc type bag.|
|This was just in a Tupperware container.|
When you find a Letterbox, you put the stamp in your logbook. We just used a three ring binder and blank paper for ours. Tammy had some page protectors for scrap-booking so we put the completed pages in those:
You also use your own stamp to stamp the logbook in the Letterbox and put whatever information you like in there. We put our names, the date, and where we are from.
Making a stamp was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I just carved it out of a big pink eraser with an X-acto knife and glued it to a small block of wood. There is a nice tutorial on how to do it on the Letterboxing North America website. Ours is pretty simple:
|That's our trail name, the Schafer Snoopers!|
I might try to make a nicer one sometime but for now we like this one! :)
Now, you're probably wondering how one goes about finding these Letterboxes. Never fear, I have been saving the best for last!
These things are hidden by people all over the world! People who have discovered Letterboxing make their own and hide them. They then post clues on the websites so people can go find them. Once you find it and do your stamping, you put it back where you found it for the next person to find. There are literally hundreds of thousands of them hidden around the world! They can be hidden in any publicly accessible location. In our first day of searching we visited a public library and found one hiding inside:
We went to several cemeteries to find them hidden in various locations. Some of them were placed in honor of a loved one even.
We also spent several hours hiking through the woods in a huge park to find some:
One of them was really hard to find but we managed to locate it tucked behind some loose bark on an ancient tree:
|That's it peaking out right in the center of the picture!|
Anyway, we spent an incredible day as a family, discovering new places and having tons of fun! It didn't cost us a dime (except for gas money and our lunch) but we loved it! We did it to celebrate Tammy's birthday and she said it was a wonderful way to celebrate!
This is an absolutely awesome hobby that anyone could enjoy, especially as a family! We intend to keep it up for a long time to come. We'll be hunting letterboxes when we go on vacation and any time we have an afternoon to spend together! You just can't beat it! At least that's my opinion! :)
So have any of you heard of this?