Cool activity for kids and adults: Letterboxing

Remember my childhood friend Beth, of the bento boxes for her kids’ lunches? She’s back with more coolness in parenting:

"I like to think I’m relatively
creative with my money (aka cheap). And have found a FREE activity for all
ages:  letterboxing (

The kids (2, 5 and 8), my mom (60),
nephew (18) and I (34) did it yesterday.  As it happens there is one
in our town.  What fun!

So any travelers, or adventurer, that
want to do something a little different… check out letterboxing.  The
stamps in the books were fun to see.  And following the clues no too
hard.  My 5 year old found the box, but we all had fun exploring the
surroundings after our find.  Add a picnic lunch or snack, and you can have
an all day event.


What is letterboxing? 

Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of
treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and
sometimes remote places. It takes the ancient custom of placing a rock on a
cairn upon reaching the summit of a mountain to an artform. It started when a
gentleman simply left his calling card in a bottle by a remote pool on the moors
of Dartmoor, in England.

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

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