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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Letterboxing Fun!!

The tradition of "Letterboxing" began in Dartmoor, England and in short, was introduced to Americans when the Smithsonian Magazine published an article about the practice in 1998.  Since that time, thousands of letterboxes have been planted all over the United States and two major websites have been created to allow those with a love for sleuthing to obtain the clues needed to discover their locations. My wife actually discovered this activity while reading an article in Family Fun Magazine!  It became an instant hit with our Frugal Family Travelers who now have been letterboxing for years and actually prefer this to Geocaching because of the hand carved rubber stamps inside each box. Each stamp is carved with a picture that has some connection to the location where the box is hidden.  Sleuthing has led our Frugal Family Travelers to some of the most unique locations, which has definitely provided a second tier of adventure during the process.  We have discovered some of the most amazing parks, trails and family hotspots while letterboxing!  

The nuts and bolts of letterboxing:

A letterbox contains a small logbook and a hand carved rubber stamp.  The finder takes the stamp and marks it in their logbook.  For this reason participants should be armed with a notebook of some sort to keep track of the stamps collected, a pen and a stamp pad.   You should also have a stamp of your own to mark in the logbook of the letterbox to indicate your find.  This can be a stamp you purchase at the store or it can be one you carve yourself!!!!  Be creative and come up with a trail name for your group!  Use that name when you stamp and date the logbook of each letterbox you find.  This adventure will create lots of family fun and memories for families of ALL ages!   Like our Frugal Family Travelers, yours will love looking back at the stamps collected in the logbook to reminisce about all of the places you have visited over the years!  

*Have a box of some sort to hold your stamp, stamp pad
Pens, and logbook(s).
*Purchase a washable ink stamp pad and logbook(s). One logbook and stamp for each family member or one for your entire family!
*Baby wipes are handy to clean hands after inking the stamps.
*Create an account at one of the two letterboxing websites to log all of your "finds".
*Download the "Clue Tracker for Letterboxing" App- available at the iOS App Store.

Note: Combine this activity with our White Water or Waterfall posts to create an enhanced adventure for your Frugal Family Travelers.  

Letterboxing websites:  Letterboxing North America and Atlas Quest

Grandparents joining us on a letterboxing adventure!!

Examining the logbook of a letterbox!

(Be sure to click on all highlighted text within the blog for additional information regarding activities, including websites, special instructions and travel directions!)

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