What is Letterboxing

Letterboxing is a fun hobby involving elements of treasure hunting, hiking and adventure, and is suitable for the whole family. This activity is said to have been started in England during the 19th century by a Victorian gentleman who hid his calling card in a bottle. Present day letterboxing has deviated quite a bit from this original legend, where letterboxers – the players of the game – use the activity to express creativity as well have a lot of fun seeking out hidden letterboxes. With the advent of the Internet, letterboxers are now able to communicate with each other around the world, giving clues as to where letterboxes are hidden and encouraging others to go to these places and find these boxes. Letterboxing is not only an opportunity to get creative, but also encourages family time, exercise and gives you the opportunity to explore new scenic places they might have not previously gone to.

The rules of letterboxing are simple. It involves the creation of a letter box, which should have a rubber stamp, an ink pad, a log book, and details of the owner such as an email address or phone number. The letterboxer, i.e. the people who are seeking out the hidden letterboxes, should have a rubber stamp and stamp pad of their own, as well as a pencil or pen and journal. When a letterboxer finds a letterbox, they will open it, add their details in the log book as proof of their visit, but this is not always necessary. The main proof of your visit would be to stamp the log book with the personal stamp that you created. The idea is to make your stamp unique to you – maybe it will have your initials or a carved diagram. The decision is yours. While you are there at the letterbox, you will also stamp your own journal with the stamp that the owner of the letterbox has provided. You may wish to record the details of your find, such as the area you found the box in, as well as the date and time of the find. If the letterbox is damaged in any way, you need to report it to the owner.

Letterboxing is meant to be fun while being environmentally friendly. People creating letterboxes for other people to find need to place their boxes in naturally created crevices such as a hole in a tree, or perhaps in between or under rocks. Burying boxes in the earth is not allowed, and neither is hiding two boxes too close together. Discretion is important so that people around you do not get curious about the box and possibly steal or damage the box once you are gone.

As you can see, letterboxing is not at all difficult, and can be a whole lot of fun. Check out the national letterboxing website in the U.S. for more information and for details on how to participate in this fun activity.