Now Playing: Search your community for hidden stamps!
Topic: Web resources
Here's a way you can combine rubber stamping, treasure hunting, and the family vacation! What fun idea is this? It is called 'letterboxing' - a lot like geocaching but with a rubber stamp as the hidden goal.
From the website for Letterboxing North America http://www.letterboxing.org/index.php comes this explaination:
"Here's the basic idea: Someone hides a waterproof box somewhere (in a beautiful, interesting, or remote location) containing at least a logbook and a carved rubber stamp, and perhaps other goodies. The hider then usually writes directions to the box (called "clues" or "the map"), which can be straightforward, cryptic, or any degree in between. Often the clues involve map coordinates or compass bearings from landmarks, but they don't have to. Selecting a location and writing the clues is one aspect of the art.
"Once the clues are written, hunters in possession of the clues attempt to find the box. In addition to the clue and any maps or tools needed to solve it, the hunter should carry at least a pencil, his personal rubber stamp, an inkpad, and his personal logbook. When the hunter successfully deciphers the clue and finds the box, he stamps the logbook in the box with his personal stamp, and stamps his personal logbook with the box's stamp. The box's logbook keeps a record of all its visitors, and the hunters keep a record of all the boxes they have found, in their personal logbooks."
The Letterboxing North America website has instructions for getting started, a glossary of terms, and a way to locate targets to search for by either text-based searching or by clicking on a US map for the area you want to search in.
I used the map method (look under the 'clues' tab) by clicking on my own state and then the city closest to me. This brought me to a complete list of the letterboxes in my area. A quick scan down the cities for my own, and off I went to read some clues. I did my searching from my armchair and, working my way through the clues, could walk right to any one of the three I read up on. One fine day this summer I plan to create a letterboxing journal, assemble a kit, and start collecting those rubber stamp impressions from my local area.
My children both live in different states than I so I can plan some letterboxing when I go on family visits as well.
Other letterboxing sites include Atlas Quest at http://www.atlasquest.com/, Letterboxing in New Zealand at http://www.psychokiwi.org/letterboxing/nzboxing.htm Many others can be found by searching 'letterboxing' in Google.
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at 7:15 AM PDT