Letterboxing is sort of like a scavenger hunt, except that it’s not timed and the prize is the satisfaction of knowing that you found the hidden treasure.
In a nutshell: Using clues (usually found online), you’ll search for a letterbox in an interesting location such as a public park. The letterbox is usually a plastic container such as a Rubbermaid or Tupperware sandwich box.
Inside the letterbox, you’ll find a rubber stamp–sometimes a handcarved stamp–that you’ll use to stamp in your personal journal. It’s proof that you found it.
You’ll also stamp your personal rubber stamp (purchased or handmade) in the letterbox logbook, to show that you’ve been there.
Then, you’ll hide the letterbox where you found it, for the next visitor to find.
This is a rapidly-growing worldwide sport/hobby, that started in the U.K.
If you’d like to use your own handmade rubber stamp (almost no artistic skills required), see Carve Your Own Letterboxing Stamps.
Who goes letterboxing? See this page for photos and descriptions of a May 2002 letterbox gathering.
I began planting letterboxes early in 2002. The following are my letterboxes.
One at Odiorne Nature Center. (Details are at Letterboxing.Org. I’ll post them here, later.)
- Salem, MA – Briget Bishop letterbox. Reported missing.
- Nashua, NH – Gilson Road Cemetery letterboxes (2). Both reported missing.
- Portsmouth, NH & vicinity – Seacoast letterboxes. One active, one lost.
- Katy, TX (nr. Houston) – Katy Birdwatcher #1. Reported missing.
- Fort Worden, Port Townsend, WA (near Seattle) – Three letterboxes, all missing.
To learn more about letterboxing, check Letterboxing North America, letterboxing.org.
Also visit an international site, Atlas Quest.
For the GPS version of this hobby/sport, check Geocaching, geocaching.com.