Letterboxing – What is Letterboxing?
When a long-time Geocacher explains Geocaching they often say “It’s like letterboxing.” I know when I first heard of Geocaching that’s exactly what I heard. I immediately said “oh ok. And what is letterboxing?”
So I decided to write a little post explaining what letterboxing is. But first, a disclaimer. I am not a letterboxer (or whatever they call themselves.) I’ve never done it, although I may try it soon. My knowledge of the hobby is derived entirely from reading about it online from letterboxing.org (I THINK that’s the official site) atlasquest.com (Seems to be an unofficial site that works together with letterboxing.com and even contains some of the hints for the letterboxes) and of course Wikipedia.
So what is Letterboxing and how does it relate to Geocaching?
The hobby actually started in 1854 in Dartmoor, England with a bottle placed by James Perrott. I was going to attempt to explain the details, but admittedly I became confused myself. lol Just know that it began in 1854, but it has changed drastically from then until now.
I knew that Letterboxing was similar to Geocaching, but I had no idea just HOW similar it is. It is so similar that it’s obvious Geocaching basically copied the entire concept, just making a few changes.
Congratulations, you just went Letterboxing Of course there are more details than that, but from what I’ve read that is the gist of it.Just think of everything you know about Geocaching. Now, get rid of the GPS and get a rubber stamp, ink pad and a big notepad. Now imagine the cache pages (online) are much more specific in regards to the location of the cache (which is why you don’t need the GPS.) Now imagine each cache also contains a stamp (just like the one you own.) You pick up that stamp and stamp it on your ink pad and stamp your notepad. Then You take your personal stamp (not the one in the cache) and you stamp the log sheet.
The popularity doesn’t seem to be anywhere close to that of Geocaching. You can see the letterboxes in your area on the
letterboxing website. Although many Geocachers refer to letterboxing when explaining geocaching, it seems to me that Goecaching has actually increased the popularity of letterboxing, not the other way around.
So there you have it. Maybe you already knew this… maybe you know more than me about it (VERY likely.) But if not I hope that helps with your understanding. So next time someone mentions letterboxing you’ll know exactly what it is.