A few weeks ago, in her review of the book The Green Hour, the Conscious Shopper mentioned Letterboxing. I'd heard about the hobby a few years ago, but it had completely slipped my mind until then.
If you haven't heard of Letterboxing, well then I'm sure it sounds a little odd. It's sort of a cross between a treasure hunt, an art and a scenic exploration. All across the US -- and internationally as well -- people have hidden small, waterproof boxes in interesting locations. The boxes hold the person's stamp and a journal. Clues to the whereabouts are found on a variety of websites, and some only by word of mouth. Some of the letterboxes are relatively easy to find, others are found only after solving riddles, or navigating one's way with a compass. Once the box is found, you use the owner's stamp to stamp your journal, then you stamp the owner's journal with your personal stamp.
In addition to the Letterboxing.org and Letterboxing.info sites, you'll want to visit the New Letterboxers Yahoo Group, which provides lots of great information for newbies. There are also quite a few good blogs including Pinecone Boxing and AtlasQuest.
If you're interested in something a little more modern and technology-oriented, you can try geocaching. Geocaching is very similar to Letterboxing, but you use a GPS system. There are over one million geocaches located all over the world.
For our family, I think Letterboxing is the way to go. As it turns out, there are 9 letterboxes hidden in our town and around 50 just in the cities that surround us. With a tight budget and three kids who love being outdoors, this will give us plenty to do this summer!
Have you tried Letterboxing? Have any tips or advice to share?