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Letterboxing Glossary: H

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hand-carved stamp
Hand-carved stamp

As you might guess, a stamp carved by an individual person rather than mass produced like store-bought stamps. Letterboxers, as a whole, prefer hand-carved stamps since they are guaranteed to be unique and personalized and it's fun to see what other people can do. Don't know where to begin? Try our Stamp Carving 101 tutorial!

 
handrails

A longish feature such as a trail or river that runs parallel to the direction being traveled that can keep someone on the right track.

HIPS

Short for Hidden In Plain Sight—event boxes that are in plain view, but disguised in such a way that it's not obviously a box. It might be hidden inside of a salt shaker, or inside of a pickle jar, or disguised as a book, or.... the options are limitless! But it will always look like something other than an event box when you first find it.

hitchhiker

A letterbox without a home. A hitchhiker is hidden with another letterbox, and the person that finds it is expected to take the hitchhiker to another letterbox. For more hitchhiker discussions, visit our Hitchhikers board or check out What is a Hitchhiker? and Hitchhiker Tips and Etiquette by Silent Doug.

hitchhiker hostel

To get hitchhikers moving around the country faster, the hitchhiker hostel was created. In theory, it's a designated box used at an event, and anyone that has a hitchhiker may switch out their hitchhiker with one from the hitchhiker hostel.

homage stamp

Homage stamps typically look like a letterboxer's signature stamp, but with a slight change in the image and name as a form of paying respect to the person in question. The original homage stamp, for instance, was Silent Doug's stamp recreated with a duck's bill and called Silent Duck.

housing

The part of a compass that contains the magnetic needle, usually filled with fluid and turnable.

huffing

When inking a complex stamp with multiple colors, sometimes the first colors you inked with dry out before you finish with the last colors. To help get a better impression, letterboxes will blow a thick, moist breathe of air onto the stamp to help moisten it again. Because the process sounds like a huff, we call it huffing.

hybrid box

A combination of a letterbox and a geocache. Be warned, however, that a geocacher who does not know about letterboxing will often take the stamp thinking it's something that is meant to be traded.