Letterboxing is an activity kind of like a creative treasure hunt. And it’s worldwide, which is totally awesome!
When we letterbox, we end up seeing things we would never have seen before and even learning a little bit, too!
It’s a great activity for road trips because it gives you places to stop along a route. Usually, you’ll be treated to scenery you otherwise would have missed and making memories with your family! Who wouldn’t want to do that?
How Do You Start Letterboxing?
First you need to make your own a letterboxing kit. It’s super easy!
How To Make A Letterboxing Kit:
- Start with your own logbook and pen. A logbook can be anything, but we usually use a diary.
- You also need a stamp. You can carve your own stamp out of an eraser, or you can buy one. Our family shares a stamp, but we’ve been thinking about each getting our own so that way we all get a chance to stamp it!
- A stamping ink pad. Any color, or multi-color. Whatever you choose! We have a rainbow one that each color detaches, so we can use it together or apart. It’s kind of fun!
- We also carry a pack of unscented, resealable baby wipes in our kit. Those have come in handy. We like to keep our stamp clean!
There are many resources available online for Letterboxing. Our favorite site to use is http://www.atlasquest.com. On their home page you will find lots of great info on Letterboxing. It even has tutorials for how to make your own stamps. You can enter in your location, plan a route or let the GPS service find the ones closest to where you are. It has lots of information that helps you choose which boxes are right for you for that day.
Today we found a neighborhood we didn’t even know existed with a cute little park leading to the Jordan River.
Once you’ve done a search on atlasquest.com. It will look like this:
The little icons, as seen above give you info on what kind of box it is. A drive-by box, a hike, a walk. Is the box pet friendly? Things like that so you can plan accordingly. You can make it a quick little afternoon jaunt or a day of fun!
Once you’ve picked a box to look for you will click on it and go to the clue page. This page gives you written directions on how to locate the box or a link to that information. Clues can be just turn by turn directions, riddles, brain puzzles or a combination. Pick something you are ready for!
Today’s box was easy to find. It only took a few minutes and the box was found! A box is a container that includes a stamp (hand-carved a lot of the time, but not always) and a logbook.
Okay. You’ve found the box. Now What?
- Pull out the contents and look at them! This is a lot of the fun! All the “Boxers” that have come before you will have stamped the logbook with their personal stamps, dated it and included where they are from. The kid’s love it!
- After you’ve had your fun looking at all the logbook, stamp the “found stamp” in your logbook and your stamp in the boxes logbook. You’ll want to record the date, where you are from and your call name, if it isn’t incorporated into your stamp. Ours is P6g. Also a brief comment can be fun if you so desire!
- If there is more than one stamp and logbook in your box, you may have hit the Letter-boxing jackpot and found a Hitchhiker stamp! This is a stamp that travels from box to box. These are especially fun because of the places they’ve been! Plus, you get to take it with you and decide which box to leave the hitchhiker in next! We’ve found two hitchhikers since we started doing this in 2009.
- Carefully and stealthily re-hide the box in the same location you found it so the next “Boxers” can enjoy it too! You can also record your findings (or lack there-of) on Atlasquest.com. It’s a good idea to read people’s comments on a box you’ve chosen to search for because they can be very helpful!
This fun little hobby has turned into a family journal which is kind of fun for all the memories we’ve made and recorded. I usually write something fun about the find and the day. We have loved doing this on family road-trips and vacations. We’ve been to so many places we would’ve missed without our fun tradition.
Once you start it’s so much fun! Another whole side to Letterboxing is stamp carving and new box placement. We are hoping to place our first box soon! I hope you get out there and have some fun with this the way we have!
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