Letterboxing is an amazing (and surprisingly old) outdoor activity that's really cool, a lot of fun, and right under your nose! In short, it's a hide and seek scavenger hunt game played by thousands of people all over the world. It's easy to get started and very rewarding, and somewhat similar to the more modern hobby of geocaching.
I got my start letterboxing through geocaching--I'm told a lot of letterboxers do. I heard about geocaching from somewhere or another, I don't remember specifically. I didn't have a GPS, so I pretty much filed it in the "Some Day!" section of my brain. If you're not familiar with geocaching, it's a sort of GPS based scavenger hunt game. About a year ago I finally got a smart phone, and after a while I started finding some geocaches. It's a lot of fun, and I'm still playing, but now I've added letterboxing to my outings.
I was talking about it with my roommate, and he asked if I'd ever heard of letterboxing. I said no, and he described it like this: "It's sort of like geocaching, only instead of following your GPS, you follow a set of clues. You bring a blank book, an ink pad, and your personal stamp, and when you find the letterbox, you stamp their book with your stamp, and your book with their stamp."
The idea sounded awesome! He showed me his logbook and a couple of the stamps he'd carved, and then a little while later he bought some carving material and showed me what was up. I loved it! This is such a maker/DIY sort of activity, I figured there must be a thousand letterboxing instructables, but to my surprise I saw only one that bore any relation to the activity.
So, read on to learn all about letterboxing, from getting started to finding, hiding, and maintaining your own letterboxes!