Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Letterboxing 101

I have told you before about our family hobby of letterboxing. I wanted to share with all those newbies out there what our letterboxing bag has in it. (I am in the process of planning a LB event for some local homeschool families and wanted to send them this way for ideas of how to get started on this activity).

Here is a peak into our bag. We use a mini back pack that we had. As you can see it can hold a lot of essentials. I always have our logbooks, ink pad and or markers, garden gloves, bug spray, compass, pen/pencil, our stamp (in the small green pouch) and paper towel or wet wipe (not pictured). We usually take water too (depending on how long the hike is).

Our bag is always packed and ready to go. We print our clues from atlasquest or letterboxing north america and bring those along with us. We search out the location to see if there are more than one LB hidden at each park or trail. We would hate to walk right past one and miss it. =)

When we started out on this journey we carved our stamp out of a pink pearl eraser. All we had was an exacto knife to cut out the design. We are still using the same stamp. **NOT an activity for kids if you are carving with an exacto knife.** I have, since then, ordered the speedball carving kit (about $12) and have used it a lot. But it is not necessary to invest in those kind of supplies. You can even carve a stamp out of foam (good idea for kids). The instructions for carving a stamp without the tools is here. You don't even have to carve your own stamp, you can used a store bought one.One of the first things you will need to do is choose a trail name. Something that represents you and that you can sign into the logbooks that isn't your real name. Ours is 3 Ps in a Pod. And our stamp is a peapod with 3 peas in it. Don't fret over a name, just choose something that you like. Remember you will sign in with that name when you find a box.

We have been LB about a year now and just completed our first log book of stamps. I get mine at Hobby Lobby or you can order it online here. Any notebook will do. I like ones without lines so the images show up well. We each have one (kids and I) but one would also work for the whole family if that is what you prefer. You can also make your own if you are feeling creative (here are some ideas)

I have recently found a great site that has lots of links to helpful tips. Check it out the get familiar with this fun hobby. HERE Hope this doesn't overwhelm you but I hope it inspires you to get started. Click here to follow some of our adventures of letterboxing. Let me know how I can help, ask me questions and I can help you get started.

9 comments:

GardenofGems said...

Looks like fun. I can't wait to get started. Thanks for organizing the event.

Rachel said...

Thanks so much for sharing...I am so interested in this and hope to learn more from you.

cindy said...

I am so glad to see someone post on this! Our family is considering trying this and your post makes me more excited to do so!

Susan said...

I can't wait to start letter-boxing as soon as our life quiets down a bit. It will be fun to carve our stamps I think.

Tiffany said...

I'm going to work on our design this weekend with my artsy-fartsy sister. I'll be ready to carve next week!

Andrea said...

saw this blog and thought about your girls....

http://shedoeshair.blogspot.com/

Smith Schoolhouse said...

I am going to come back and reference this post soon. I think we are the only ones in our circle of friends who has never done this.

Kris said...

I really liked this post. We have been slowly gathering items for our LB adventures but we're still really unprepared. This helped a lot.

I have a strange LB question... all the info about bringing a stick, poking boxes with a stick first, etc just gives me the willies. Do you bring a walking stick and how often do you find "unwelcomed" visitors in and around the LB's.

BTW... on Atlas Quest my trail name is "KnittingWannabe".

Thanks for the link to the blog and the letterboxing info. :-)

crispy said...

Good question about the unwelcomed visitors. Of all our LB adventures, we have only seen one wild friend that we wouldn't want to pick up. My hubby almost grabbed a snake once. It was too funny to watch him leap into the air. =)

We always find some stick to poke around to make sure nothing is there and hopefully to poke the box itself. We never bring a walking stick.

I do tend to save those kind of trails for when someone else is with us. I would hate to find something scary out there when I am on my own with my kids.

We have seen some great wild life. Bald eagle, wild turkeys, and lots of neat animal prints.