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ABOUT LETTERBOXING

 

What is this all about?

 

Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime that combines map-reading skills with delightful “treasure-hunts" in beautiful, scenic places.

 

How can YOU participate?

 

1.     Get a personalized rubber stamp, either hand-carved or commercially made, The image should portray something of importance to you. You will use this to sign in to the guestbook contained in each box you find.
 (This is optional; some just write their details in the book with a pen)

 

2.     Obtain a small journal (such as an artist’s sketch book) and an inked stamp pad.

 

NOTE: Each letterbox contains a rubber stamp for you to print into your personal book as proof of your visit.

 

3.     Now you are ready to begin! Go to the website: www.letterboxing.org

 

4.     Click on “Search for Boxes”. Type in the necessary information, click on “Search Boxes”

 

5.     Begin by selecting “Moose Country” and begin your hunt by following the clues. Once you have discovered the letterbox, confiscate it, open the box, use the ink pad to stamp your image in the journal along with some details of your trip. Then you can use the image in the letterbox to stamp your own journal.
 
Please be sure to reseal baggies and boxes carefully so that they stay dry and re-hide letterboxes in their original location, completely hidden from view.
 

NOTE:   Some letterboxes contain a small token for the first visitor who discovers the letterbox. Others contain clues to search for other letterboxes.

 

6.     You may Sign Up on www.letterboxing.org and add your own letterbox to the database. Think of an intriguing name, hide the new letterbox, provide clues for others to discover your letterbox and enjoy the amazing number of unique stamps that will be entered in your letterbox journal.

 

             IMPORTANT: Before you set out, please read the Waiver of Responsibility and Disclaimer 
                                      provided by Letterboxing North America.

 

 

How did this all get started?

According to legend, in 1854 a Victorian gentlemen hiker put his calling card in a bottle and stuck it into a bank at Cranmere Pool, located in a remote part of Dartmoor in southwestern England.  The hobby has simply developed over the years. Current reports indicate that as many as 10,000 letterboxes are presently hidden in Dartmoor, now a National Park. Visitors from around the globe search Dartmoor to discover elusive letterboxes and the artful stamps inside.

 

How did the hobby get started in the United States?

In April of 1998, Smithsonian magazine published an article on the Dartmoor letterboxes. Within a very short time, a loose alliance of adventurers and rubber stamp enthusiasts pioneered the introduction of

Letterboxing .With the Internet as a primary means of communication, the idea soon spread around the country. Letterboxes began to be placed in inconspicuous but interesting locations throughout the US.

 

Are there any rules?

 

1.     Letterboxes should be hidden on land to which the public has access. They should be placed so that a casual find by a "non-letterboxer" is unlikely, yet they must be accessible without impacting the natural surroundings. They are not to be buried in the earth, but placed under rocks or in existing natural holes, crevices or cavities. They should not interfere with native wildlife or habitats. Do not break sod, remove native vegetation, disturb natural rock formations, or interfere with animals or their habitats.

2.     They should not be placed close to one another (to avoid damage from over-intensive use of an area), nor should they be located in any potentially dangerous situation.

3.     A contact number/address should be provided so that information pertaining to the box can be passed to the owner. When hunting for letterboxes, please respect the land upon which they are hidden.

4.      Do not disturb any historical landmark or private property.

5.     Leave the site better than you find it; you are encouraged to remove any litter left behind by people who care less for the land than you.

6.     Also, please respect the contents of each letterbox and the effort put into it by its sponsor. Replace the box carefully and leave it as you would hope to find it: hidden from view, with contents intact. If a box is damaged, please notify its owner.

7.     If you wish to create some boxes of your own and hide them in interesting places. There are no rules as to size or format.

 

Reference Sources:

 

United States:

“Letterboxing North America” website: http://www.letterboxing.org

“Letterbox USA” Internet e-mail discussion group:

 (to join, send an e-mail message to: letterbox-usa-subscribe@egroups.com)

Dartmoor:

“They Live and Breathe Letterboxing,” Smithsonian Magazine, April 1998.