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Msg: 129264
Wandering Pirate Subject: safety concern
Author: Wandering PirateProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 7:22 AM
P-3F-101M-18Inactive > 1 year
Hello all. I certainly don't mean to start any controversy, but I came accross a letterboxing website that had suggestions on how to make and plant letterboxes that concerned me a bit. It suggested making boxes out of PVC pipe and capping the ends. It did go on to say that some areas require clear plastic letterboxes so that you can see the contents without opening the box and that it was a little silly because that no terrorist would plant a bomb in the middle of the woods.

I work in a profession that gave me the opportunity to witness 2 pipe bombs on 2 different occassions in the middle of the woods in 2 different towns. The pipe bombs were made of PVC pipe and looked very much like the letterbox described on the website. These were real pipe bombs and one had gone off. They were NOT terrorist attempts. They were placed by people to protect their homegrown marajuana gardens.

My concern is not that a non-letter boxer will call the police because they find a letterbox that looks suspicious. I am concerned of the letterboxer who finds by chance without clues a "letter box" made of PVC or similar construction that is not a letterbox.

So I would strongly recommend NOT making letterboxes out of PVC pipe and that you don't touch anything that looks like this unless you have the clues for it and that you know that is in fact what you are looking for.

Unfortunately not everyone in the world is as nice as letterboxers.
Msg: 129269
J Walkers Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: J WalkersProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 7:25 AM
P-262F-1311M-2042Premium
Reply to: Msg 129264 by Wandering Pirate
Wow. Thanks for the info. We'll be careful.

Flour Girl
Msg: 129289
BrewHiker Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: BrewHikerProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 8:28 AM
P-110F-845M-5503
Reply to: Msg 129264 by Wandering Pirate
now that you've opened the can of worms you should divulge the site...
Msg: 129305
Wandering Pirate Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: Wandering PirateProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 9:13 AM
P-3F-101M-18Inactive > 1 year
Reply to: Msg 129289 by BrewHiker
I did not post the site because I am not trying to single out anyone nor do I wish to start controversy. I just wanted to make people aware so they will stay safe. I did send you a personal email with the address however.
Msg: 129337
Trailtracker Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: TrailtrackerProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 10:01 AM
P-181F-2079M-5204PremiumInactive > 1 year
Reply to: Msg 129264 by Wandering Pirate
WP---I think you bring up some EXCELLENT perspective!!! EXCELLENT. Thank you for speaking up. We are so lucky our hobby has not had to come to a screeching halt because of these "goofballs" (putting it mildly) who are more than willing to plant pipebombs in the woods with zero regard to human life. KNOWING that harm would come someone's way either because they are searching out to destroy their cash-crop or by accident.

Multiply that times 40 and that is what the Taliban is all about....
Msg: 129349
BrewHiker Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: BrewHikerProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 10:29 AM
P-110F-845M-5503
Reply to: Msg 129305 by Wandering Pirate
Thanks... I should have remembered that one. I read that page a long time ago...

Three guesses as to who it is...
Msg: 129352
Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: speedsquareProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 10:32 AM
P-58F-1796M-4663Premium
Reply to: Msg 129349 by BrewHiker
I googled "pvc hide letterbox" and I found the second entry.
Msg: 129357
Green Tortuga Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: Green TortugaProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 10:34 AM
P-257F-1781M-20889Premium
Reply to: Msg 129264 by Wandering Pirate
It suggested making boxes out of PVC pipe and capping the ends.


I do not endorse or encourage those style of letterboxes on this site. It's just plain stupid.

-- Ryan
Msg: 129358
Kirbert Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: KirbertProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 10:35 AM
P-502F-735M-13551Premium
Reply to: Msg 129305 by Wandering Pirate
Quote I did not post the site because I am not trying to single out anyone nor do I wish to start controversy.


I will; it's my site. I've already made a few changes, since he made some good points. However, I hasten to point out that nobody here is advocating making and planting bombs. Planting a letterbox in a piece of PVC pipe won't hurt anyone.
Msg: 129360
Kirbert Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: KirbertProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 10:40 AM
P-502F-735M-13551Premium
Reply to: Msg 129358 by Kirbert
I'd also suggest that, if you're a terrorist, put your bombs inside Lock&Lock containers. Obviously nobody will ever suspect a thing.

The stupidity of all this is overwhelming. If it's a hidden container, there's a chance that it'll be mistaken for a bomb, and there's a chance that it'll BE a bomb. No way around any of that. If you don't like it, take up a different pastime.
Msg: 129368
Don and Gwen Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: Don and GwenProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 10:58 AM
P-210F-216M-2376Inactive > 1 year
Reply to: Msg 129360 by Kirbert
Quote I'd also suggest that, if you're a terrorist, put your bombs inside Lock&Lock containers. Obviously nobody will ever suspect a thing.


While this may be true of an urban letterbox there are very good examples of similar (PVC pipes) bombs being set up on perimeters of marijuana fields in the forests in California. Nasty other things can be set on the perimeter as well. Anyone that is hiking into the forest and stumbles upon drip tubing that should be a great big hint that you should leave the area asap.
We have had several occurances of crops being grown in the southern sequioas.


Quote The stupidity of all this is overwhelming. If it's a hidden container, there's a chance that it'll be mistaken for a bomb, and there's a chance that it'll BE a bomb. No way around any of that. If you don't like it, take up a different pastime.


You may think that it is stupid but that doesn't generally translate to many folks. If you wish to push questionable containers that is your business, but it (PVC Containers) certainly isn't something that most folks would use. Cost for one thing make it less desirable than a lock & Lock. With the many sources for better containers the use of something that could be mistaken for an explosive device seems silly and potentially problimatic for the letterboxing community. Remember the scare when it came to electronic signage not too long ago?
One can only imagine the reaction to a PVC type container accidently found in a city park.

Don
Msg: 129369
Don and Gwen Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: Don and GwenProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 11:03 AM
P-210F-216M-2376Inactive > 1 year
Reply to: Msg 129360 by Kirbert
Quote If you don't like it, take up a different pastime.


Who the heck set you up as the judge of every letterboxing concept? From stamps that must have backers to this concept of containers. Seems as though we are having another "Kibert" moment.

Don
Msg: 129372
BrewHiker Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: BrewHikerProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 11:11 AM
P-110F-845M-5503
Reply to: Msg 129369 by Don and Gwen
Seems as though we are having another "Kibert" moment.


I'm just gonna sit back and watch the fireworks. Too bad I'm still at work or I pour myself a beer a light a cigar...
Msg: 129377
Kirbert Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: KirbertProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 11:39 AM
P-502F-735M-13551Premium
Reply to: Msg 129368 by Don and Gwen
Quote If you wish to push questionable containers that is your business, but it (PVC Containers) certainly isn't something that most folks would use.


Hogwash. I've found several PVC pipe containers, both letterboxes and geocaches. There's nothing questionable about them, they're sturdy and reliable. The only problem is that they often prove difficult to get open -- which I address in my discussion of them.

Quote Cost for one thing make it less desirable than a lock & Lock.


Which is why I personally don't use them. That's the only reason, though -- and others may happen to have a supply of surplus PVC fittings to work with.

Quote With the many sources for better containers...


I'm sorry, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a better container. PVC is robust, durable, and absolutely waterproof. And comes in an assortment of sizes, any of which can be cut to whatever length you desire. And you can buy them at any Lowe's or Home Depot.

Quote the use of something that could be mistaken for an explosive device seems silly and potentially problimatic for the letterboxing community.


Read my lips: Any container used for letterboxing can by mistaken for an explosive device. If you want to avoid using things that are potentially problematic for the letterboxing community, stick with PLB's. Oh, excuse me, somebody will probably think you're mailing bombs around.

Quote Remember the scare when it came to electronic signage not too long ago?


S-T-O-O-O-O-P-I-D! I was waiting patiently for the reporters to point out just how overblown that whole episode was, but the media apparently dropped it from embarrassment. The guilty varmits guilty of planting the things sure thought it was funny, smiling and giggling for the cameras as the cops hauled them off to jail like terrorists. I wonder if they sued.

Quote One can only imagine the reaction to a PVC type container accidently found in a city park.


Which points out the best of all possible solutions: Make sure your boxes don't get accidentally found!

Actually, I've found geocaches in PVC pipes in plain sight in city parks. The camo is the fact that they are PVC pipes, which everyone ignores, thinks they're part of the sprinkler system or something.
Msg: 129379
Kirbert Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: KirbertProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 11:40 AM
P-502F-735M-13551Premium
Reply to: Msg 129369 by Don and Gwen
Quote Seems as though we are having another "Kibert" moment.


Gee, the least you could do is spell my trailname correctly while slandering me!
Msg: 129380
Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: Mr YukProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 11:48 AM
P-26F-219M-988
Reply to: Msg 129379 by Kirbert
Kirbert,

I think the thing here is that the general public already associates PVC with pipebombs, and they do not associate sandwich containers with bombs. Agreed, one could make a bomb out of anything, but the conception is what's important. I know you already changed your site and it's a moot point, but if I were to accidentally find capped pvc, I'd worry a lot more than if I ran into a sealed L'n'L.

- Yuk
Msg: 129382
BrewHiker Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: BrewHikerProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 11:58 AM
P-110F-845M-5503
Reply to: Msg 129380 by Mr Yuk
if I were to accidentally find capped pvc, I'd worry a lot more than if I ran into a sealed L'n'L.


I've always put a label of some kind on the inside of my boxes, so that it can be read from the outside. With people paranoia that the way it is, I've put a label under the top lid and on each vertical side.

Up until now, I haven't "artificially camouflaged" my containers, relying instead on "natural camouflage." But for the next set of six, I spray-painted them matte black with the Krylon Fusion. Not wanting to eliminate the easy-ID labels, I printed new ones with white letters on a black background and masked off each little section. Now I have black boxes with black labels.

Hmm... should I amend "This is not an explosive device!" to "This is a letterbox, this is not trash, this is not a geocache"?

*S
Msg: 129393
sunnyside seeker Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: sunnyside seekerProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 12:34 PM
P-3F-185M-622Inactive > 1 year
Reply to: Msg 129377 by Kirbert
Quote Read my lips: Any container used for letterboxing can by mistaken for an explosive device. If you want to avoid using things that are potentially problematic for the letterboxing community, stick with PLB's. Oh, excuse me, somebody will probably think you're mailing bombs around.


Fair enough, but you have not addressed the concern that a real bomb could be mistaken for a letterbox. We are not talking hypothetically here. I am personally familiar with this bomb design. I became familiar with this in mountain biking circles where we had to become familiar with typical backwoods defense practices used by marajuana growers in remote areas. I never expected to actually run into this sort of thing, and was surprised both times that I did. While we never saw any pipe bombs, we were warned that they were being used. I would not want to be affiliated with propagating an idea that may put other people at risk unnecessarily. Yes, there is inherent risk in any activity, including letterboxing. Insisting that because there is already SOME risk that we should be willing to accept other, unnecessary risk, is foolish at the least.

You jested that terrorists could start placing bombs in Lock&Locks. If there were a real world case of that I expect that many people would approach this hobby differently and adjust as necessary.

Sunnyside Seeker
Msg: 129402
Kirbert Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: KirbertProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 12:58 PM
P-502F-735M-13551Premium
Reply to: Msg 129393 by sunnyside seeker
Quote Fair enough, but you have not addressed the concern that a real bomb could be mistaken for a letterbox.


Ah, yes, that's true. I guess there are two possibilities here:

1) You follow the clues to the hiding place, and the clues tell you that the container is a section of PVC pipe. You find a section of PVC pipe with "letterbox" written on the side in the hiding place, try to open it, and get your head blown off. That means that either the planter is a terrorist, or a terrorist looked up all the letterboxes that mention that they are in sections of PVC pipe and is out there systematically replacing each one with a pipe bomb. A possibility, I suppose -- but of course he could just as easily be replacing other letterboxes with pipe bombs, or installing pipe bombs inside letterboxes.

2) You are in the woods and stumble upon what looks like a pipe bomb, but it's nowhere near where the clues are telling you the letterbox is. I'd probably be cautious, especially if there are wires attached or marijuana plants nearby. But whether or not letterboxers use PVC pipe for containers shouldn't make any difference there, you should be cautious in such situations anyway.

I don't use PVC for containers myself, and I don't necessarily suggest that anyone should. The reason it's mentioned on my site is to clarify that, if you do use PVC for a container, you should arrange it so that it can be opened easily. I've found several -- mainly geocaches, but a couple of letterboxes too -- that were really difficult to get open. But other than the difficulty of opening, I haven't had any concerns with them.
Msg: 129404
Kirbert Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: KirbertProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 1:01 PM
P-502F-735M-13551Premium
Reply to: Msg 129393 by sunnyside seeker
Quote I am personally familiar with this bomb design. I became familiar with this in mountain biking circles where we had to become familiar with typical backwoods defense practices used by marajuana growers in remote areas.


Y'know, it might not be a bad idea to post those backwoods defense practices in the wiki. If the knowledge helps mountain bikers, it should help letterboxers.
Msg: 129428
Big Ox and the Herd Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: Big Ox and the HerdProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 14, 2007 2:11 PM
P-37F-124M-386Inactive > 3 months
Reply to: Msg 129402 by Kirbert
Quote I don't use PVC for containers myself, and I don't necessarily suggest that anyone should.


Then, you should not have a problem with removing any mention of PVC containers from your site. There are so many other viable alternatives that removing PVC would not affect the quality of the rest of your site in the least bit.

Quote I haven't had any concerns with them.


I think you have heard today from a fair number of folks who do.

Many people recognize your experience, and I believe you are relatively well-respected in this community. I can personally attest to your carving ability. It looks to me like you are placing your good reputation in jeopardy.
Msg: 129625
Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: BellavardProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 15, 2007 12:40 AM
F-207M-59Inactive > 1 year
Reply to: Msg 129264 by Wandering Pirate
Well, I am glad that I took time to read this post. Now I know so if I see something like that I will not go near it.

Thank you
Msg: 130223
Subject: Re: safety concern
Author: CP and The WeeFolkProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Sep 17, 2007 6:11 AM
P-20F-10M-161Inactive > 1 year
Reply to: Msg 129379 by Kirbert
Throw me back a couple centuries, I think I have witnessed a true witch trial!!

I will file this memory with the idea of having to take my shoes off everytime I go to the airport even though I have red hair and white freckled skin, I may 'look like' one of the hijackers from the news. You never know, I may be a terrorist with my nail clippers floating around the bottom of my designer purse which I would never want blown up over the vast deserts of Texas. Even though I have reveled in the thought of jabbing the file part of the clippers into the guy next to me that always seems to get drunk during the flight and thinks I want to listen to his garbled nonsense.

I honestly hope no one makes a bomb out of any food container or this whole hobby will become extinct.

CP
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Board: Traditional Letterboxes
Group: Everybody