Friday, February 24, 2012

X marks the spot

my kit: logbook, stamp, ink pads, cloth, pen

Are you a fan of deciphering cryptic clues, embarking on treasure hunts, recording important data in log books, rubber stamps, and being outside, hiking about?  Thought so.  Well, then, letterboxing may be your next favorite hobby.  In case you've yet to 'box, here are the basics:

  1. Clever and creative people carve a stamp.
  2. The stamp is secured, along with a logbook (and hopefully an ink pad), in a water-tight container.  This nifty little package is dubbed the letterbox.
  3. The planter hides the letterbox.  Often the stamp and the 'box's location are linked thematically.  Sometimes, it's just a sweet spot, with a memorable view.  See photos below.
  4. Finally, the planter writes mysterious directions, and posts them online, so you can be a treasure hunter.  Like Indiana Jones, sans all the dangerous boulders and snakes and stuff.
  1. Before you head out on your first hunt, acquire your own logbook and personal stamp.  Part of the fun of letterboxing is carving stamps—both when you create your personal stamp and each time you plant a 'box.  There are countless tutorials online that explain (or even show with video!) how to make your own rubber stamps.  I like to keep it simple, so I've always used erasers and borrowed friends' linoleum cutters.    
  2. Browse Letterboxing North America or Atlas Quest to find a 'box to seek.  Print the clues, or use your smart phone as your electronic treasure map!
  3. When you discover a letterbox (Eureka!), you ink your personal stamp in the letterbox's logbook.  It's also customary to write the date on which you discovered the 'box.  Some people also include little tidbits regarding the weather or scenery, but that's not essential.  Then, be sure to collect your well-earned reward!  Enter the planter's stamp in your log book, and record whatever information you'd like to help capture the memory.

Any questions?  Did you know there were hidden treasures all around you?  Will you begin a quest to find one this weekend?

I couldn't wait till the weekend.  We in the Bay Area experienced unusual winter weather today.  At one point, my car thermometer gauged the outside temperature at 73ยบ!  I knew I wanted to soak in as much sun and outdoorsy air as possible, so I decided today was a lovely day for a letterbox adventure.  I grabbed my 'boxing kit and went in search of this guy at Garin Park in Hayward.  Unfortunately, the letterbox was missing its stamp!  My outing was not for naught, though.  Look at the sights I saw!  I still managed to find some treasure.  :)     

Garin Park; Hayward, CA
the view from the letterbox's hiding place
close up

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of mini-adventures.  Should you become an avid letterboxer, and decide to plant one, let me know!  A) I'd love to seek and find it, and B) I think that'd be another perfect way to participate in the Magic Mission.  ;)  Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. I smell a Girl's Night craft...writing fun directions!