I happen to think it is nerdy in a super awesome, unique way (much like my chamberstick usage...I mean, come on). It is a hobby I picked up randomly and I kinda fell in love with it.
It combines all the things I really adore: handwritten letters, rubber stamps/ink, treasure hunting, riddles, geography, history, the outdoors, photography, and friendship (or solo time when I feel like it).
Letterboxing is a very old hobby but was introduced to America in the 1970's. Since then, it has grown so rapidly that you can pretty much find a Letterbox in any city.
You can read more about its origins on the Wiki page but it really *is* a cool hobby. I love to find Letterboxes in new cities because they usually tell you a little something about the area you are visiting. It is like a secret underground society where you solve clues and riddles to find the box locations, then record their 'signatures' in your journal. Also, you can log your finds on the websites Atlas Quest or Letterboxing of North America.
I enjoy letterboxing in new places, but I also love introducing it to my friends when I take them along. Many boxes are outdoors and it is like a giant scavenger hunt. We study maps and consolidate the locations like I did when I used to deliver flowers. I try to find the most efficient route to look for all the letterboxes in a given area. I told you this was nerdy.
I am going to show you some pics from my letterboxing but one rule is that you are not supposed to show the location of boxes or the stamp detail online (because it ruins the fun). So, I am going to show you my own stamp and, in later posts, I'll show pictures of vague locations for some of my finds. I do print these pics out and keep them with my logbook to remember the journey and the person I took with me. That's the fun, right?!
Here is how I got started:
|Gather supplies to carve your own 'signature' stamp |
(or you can use a store-bought one...that's kinda cheating though!)
|Draw the design and hope I can cut it out successfully|
|Cut out the part I don't want to stamp |
(this is my sister's hand...it's harder than it looks!)
|Make lots of boo-boos|
|Try the stamp and shave off any areas needing attention|
So that's pretty much how you get started. My 'signature' is Princess and the P (surprise...surprise); I use pink ink and write my signature in that lower space. This is the stamp that I 'sign' each letterbox log book with, along with the date and a message. Then, I take the letterbox's 'signature' stamp and record it into my journal.
Therefore, you also need a journal to record all the stamps from the letterboxes (I leave room for the pictures). I write a little note about the area and the day I'm letterboxing. It becomes like a little scrapbook:
|And of course, I never Letterbox without my Starbucks!|
*stamps & Letterbox name are blurred
I'll give more details in later posts. But for now, this is probably the most 'dork' you can handle in one sitting.