We went letterboxing yesterday and I couldn’t wait to come home and share this idea with all of you!
What is letterboxing you ask?
According to Letterboxing.org,
Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming “treasure hunt” style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels.
According to AtlasQuest.com,
Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining artistic ability with “treasure-hunts” in parks, forests, and cities around the world. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by cracking codes and following clues.
According to my daughters and their friends, letterboxing is awesome!
Here’s What You Need to Go Letterboxing:
- Rubber “Signature Stamp” (We used a rubber stamp kit we had because it included the ink pad.)
- Ink Pad
- Small Journal or Autograph Book
- Pencil or Pen
- Compass (optional)
- Trail Name (A nickname to call yourself.)
- Comfortable outdoor attire
Here’s How You Go Letterboxing:
1. Decide where you want to go letterboxing. Letterboxing is available all across North America and the world! To find locations near you, use the search page on Letterboxing.org or the search page on AtlasQuest.com.
2. Print out directions to the letterboxing location.
3. Print out the letterboxing clues. Letterboxing clues are like scavenger hunt list ideas.
4. In addition to the list above, pack drinks, snacks and even a picnic lunch if you want to make a day of it!
5. Once you’ve arrived at your letterboxing location, follow the directions to your starting point. This is usually a place to sign in so people know you’re on the trail to help ensure your safety.
6. Read the first clue! Since we had four kids with us, and eight clues, we let each kid read two clues.
Actually, we had five kids with us if you include our 16 month old, but she was just along for the ride!
7. Follow the directions to find the hidden letterbox. On our outing, the kid who read the clue got to be the leader.
8. Once you’ve found the letterbox, usually hidden under a rock or leaves behind a tree, open the plastic box and take out the rubber stamp. Since this activity is friendly to the environment, there is never a need to dig a hole in the ground, dismantle a rock wall or do any other serious alterations to find the letterbox.
9. Press the stamp you found in the letterbox onto your ink pad and then press it firmly in the small journal you brought. You may also want to write down the date and location you found the stamp. Then take your “signature stamp” and stamp the book included with the letterbox. Sometimes, there is only a book for you to leave your “signature stamp” in at the last clue.
10. Carefully put the stamp back in the box and replace it where you found it. Be sure it is well hidden and protected from the elements. Most letterboxes will be stored in a plastic bag for this reason.
Our letterboxing excursion included eight clues, while others may have only one or two clues. If possible, it’s great to pick a letterboxing site that has enough clues for each kid to find one. Since it was a beautiful day, we enjoyed the multiple clues and extended hike. There is even indoor letterboxing for those who prefer indoor activities or for those days when it rains. So the next time you’re looking for a great family outing, I highly recommend letterboxing!