Sunday, August 28, 2011


We are TOTALLY stoked about this new hobby we just discovered!!

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.
The stamp is the most important part of the letterbox. Most of them are hand carved and have some significance to the location or follow some sort of theme. The detail in some of them is absolutely amazing, there are some really talented artists out there! Check this one out:

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?


  1. You put the clues on the letterboxes' web sites? Is that right? I have never heard of this. It's so great that people in your family all like to do the same things.

    Alas, we have a golfer and a blogger here. Maybe some day, I'll run into someone who does this and join them. It sounds like fun.

  2. Yes, when you plant a Letterbox, you write a series of clues for how to find it. You can make them easy or hard. Some of them require some research before you set out, some use brain teaser type puzzles, others are just simple step by step directions. It's totally up to the person planting the box.

    You can do it on your own too. You should take a look at the websites to see what might be in your area. Some of them make for a nice afternoon stroll in a park. You don't even have to register with the websites to look at the clues either. You could just go find the boxes just for the fun of finding them even and not bother with the stamps at all. There really aren't any hard and fast rules other than leaving the box where you found it and not giving away it's location to anyone else.

  3. This is like geocaching! Which I only did once, but it was so much fun.

    I like this idea with the stamps, though. That's really cool!

  4. It is like Geocaching but a lot better in my opinion! :) I haven't tried it but I would be afraid that the trinkets would be really cheap and pointless more often than not. The stamps are really cool and can be collected and saved easier! :)

  5. Andy I'd commented on this previously, or I thought I did, I know I read it and I think that it's an awesome idea, it sure sounds like fun! A fantastic way to spend time with the family! Maybe it was on fb that I read this, did you post something there about letterboxing? Either way, it's a great idea! I wonder if they have something like this here? If not it'd be fun to start one up in all my spare time! LOL Like I have spare time right now, it's an awesome idea when I'm working with clients to set up something like this for them to occupy their time with something fun, maybe not so much so in the winter though. Our winters are too harsh and the stamps would freeze, what a disappointment that would be!

    Have a great week!

  6. Actually Darlene, I looked at the Letterboxing North America site and there are quite a few boxes listed in the Edmonton area. Overall there aren't as many in Canada as in the US but it seems to be growing. We have been having a wonderful time with it every chance we get! :) And yes, I have posted several times on FB about it. I think some of my friends are starting to think I'm obsessed! :)

  7. This is SO COOL!!!!!! Seriously Andy, thanks for sharing. I'm definitely going to get into it. I hope you, Tammy and the kiddos are well. Sorry I haven't been around much to keep up.

    I just started a new blog over at and I'd love for you to follow.

    Happy Halloween!


  8. Oh and at some point in the future I'm going to do a link back post for this on my new blog. So awesome!!!

  9. Thanks Cheilsea, I'm sure you'll have fun! We just got our 100th find yesterday! I have to admit that I have been really bad on my blog as well! I've been spending a lot of time on Atlas Quest lately. If you sign up with Atlas Quest you'll have to contact me, here's a link to our profile:

    I followed you on your new blog. It looks really nice! :)

    Have a great day

  10. 100th find? My word, you weren't kidding when you said you've been spending a lot of time with this. I can't wait to get started. I need to design our stamp (and come up with a trail name of course). As soon as I do, I'll look you up on Atlas Quest. Thanks for following my new blog as well!

    Enjoy your Halloween Night!

  11. Stopping by to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. Ah, I see what you've been up to lately! sounds like a lot of fun.

  13. Hey! We miss you around here!

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  14. Hello from way over here Andy, how've you been? It's been a while since you've posted and sometime over the holidays I'm going to clean up my blog, I hope you don't take offense but I'm going to take your blog off my 'following' list...

    I'm the meantime I'd like to wish you and your loved ones a blessed and very Merry Christmas, all the best to you in the New Year!

  15. No, I won't take offense at all! There really isn't anything to follow is there? :) I often think about posting more but there are so many things that want a piece of my time that blogging has had to suffer! I do occasionally check out your posts still, and I have been praying for Austin as well and following his progress on Facebook. I do miss our exchanges in the comments though!
    We had a wonderful Christmas! I just wish I could have stayed home form work a couple more days! Have a wonderful day!!