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Read Thread: When you were a Muggle...

When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Mar 28, 2014 1:48pm
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When you were a Muggle, what did you think when you saw the word "Letterboxing"? Where did you first see or hear about it? My dearest apologies if there's been a similar thread. I couldn't find anything but I may have just used the wrong search terms.

Originally I was looking to make a couple of stamps for sprucing up the packaging on my art to sell. While looking for stamp carving supplies, lo and behold I come across the word "Letterboxing" several times. To a Muggle (like I was) Letterboxing sounded like someone who simply carved alphabetical letters in to stamps (how bizarre!). I wondered why I kept seeing people talk of Letterboxing and being outdoors... you folks carve letters and you do it outdoors/in the rain to boot? ...Why on earth would you do that?

So about a week later I find time to look into what rubber I really wanted to use for carving and I stumble on some tutorial about Letterbox carving. Aha! I was right on one part-- these folks are bonkers. At least they make cool stamps instead of alphabets. My order from Stampeaz came in and it wasn't long before I became totally addicted to carving. I decided I was already crazy and just a little more couldn't hurt.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 2:18pm
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I was told about letterboxing and I didn't get it. And then that person went out of town maybe a week later and was texting me while boxing. She was so excited when she found a box, but I still didn't get it. I thought the first finder kept the box and the contents. It was then that I finally went onto AQ and read what it was about and what you do. I then found a local box on my birthday and I was so impressed that I immediately went out to buy what I needed to carve my own trail stamp. And then I was hooked like a junkie!!
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 2:21pm
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I had never heard the term. It still boggles my 96-year old mother's mind that all those years we were camping & visiting parks, people were hiding stuff in them that we didn't know about.

I went to the zoo where I volunteer one Saturday and asked Abbycat what she had been doing. (Then Asst. Director.) She told me she had been letterboxing and showed me the website & told me about it. Seems there were 2 boxes right there at the zoo. That day I printed off the clues for the boxes in Springfield and in 2 days got all of them. I was addicted.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 2:30pm
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Welcome to a whole new world of crazy! Well, only to people who just don't get it. You may be surprised when you talk to some people about Letterboxing and you get looks like you are growing a second head. lol

I always thought that Letterboxing was just another term for a letterbox (mail box). I never paid much attention to it.

A friend of mine, when I was living in FL first mentioned it to a group of us while at a MOPs meeting. I looked it up thought it was interesting and never followed through.

Then two years ago I was living in NC and was reading a book where the main characters were Geocachers. It was a murder suspense, where the serial killer would place a body, and then post the coordinates as a cache.

I remembered my friend mentioning something about clues and stamps out in nature and that I had looked at a website about it. Couldn't remember what it was called. Asked her, she told me, I looked it up, and have been boxing ever since. I only wish I had known about it sooner.

You will meet some great people here. Happy Boxing!!
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 2:35pm
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Where did you first see or hear about it? My dearest apologies if there's been a similar thread

Welcome! There was an interesting thread in 2012. I'm sure a lot more stories will be added to the list.

How did you first hear of letterboxing?
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 2:56pm
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saw the word "Letterboxing"?

Preparing for a hiking trip to Dartmoor National Park.

I remember thinking that it sounded like a lot of fun. So, I packed an ink pad and a store-bought stamp just in case I could find any of the letterboxes. I used that trip journal as my first logbook.

Six years later .... I still love it. I try to gauge other people's interest before I blather on and on about how much fun I have with my Internet friends as we hike in the woods and search for secret art in sealed containers. Many times I just tell people that I like to hike. If they ask more questions, I may clue them in :)
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 3:06pm
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I read about it on a quilting blog of all places! The author of the quilt blog was apologizing for being absent from her blog as her family recently discovered a new obsession called letter boxing. She wrote a whole entry on her new hobby and I went online to learn more. Lo and behold she was right to call it an obsession. 4 1/2 months later and I am addicted. I hit rock bottom last week when I went out at 830p, in my slippers armed with a flashlight, in order to get a newly posted box in my area. I couldn't be happier! :)
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838012 by yellowzebra
Mar 28, 2014 3:41pm
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Yellowzebra "I hit rock bottom last week when I went out at 830p, in my slippers armed with a flashlight, in order to get a newly posted box in my area. I couldn't be happier! :)"

That is hilarious! I can't say I wouldn't be doing the exact same thing if someone put one in the neighborhood. :D
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 5:43pm
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A good friend of mine mentioned it a long while ago, I thought she was a nut case who made up some kind of game I just didnt get. Then another friend mentioned it and thought she was in on the game lol But I finaly went online, looked it up, thought what the heck, printed clues and off I went, found 7 boxes and just couldent stop!
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838011 by Dartmoor Dreamer
Mar 28, 2014 6:09pm
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before I blather on and on about how much fun I have with my Internet friends as we hike in the woods and search for secret art in sealed containers

*ahem* well, yes.

Most of us try to gauge whether or not the person we're talking to will call the men with the straight jackets before we start talking to them about how much fun we're having with our internet friends as we hike in the woods and search for secret art in sealed containers.

And then again, another way to put it: i trust people i've never met to lead me to places i've never been to find stuff i'd never see otherwise. And then i put it back.

~tigs
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838053 by tiggermama
Mar 28, 2014 6:11pm
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And then i put it back.

Unless I'm with you. Then you make ME put it back.

;)
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838055 by Bubbaloo Magoo
Mar 28, 2014 6:17pm
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Then you make ME put it back.

Well, DUH. that's what you're for!

Dork. ;-)
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 7:21pm
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The only "Letterboxing" I knew of were those black bars that appeared on the top and bottom of the TV screen when they showed a movie in wide-screen format.

Jaxx
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 28, 2014 8:02pm
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I heard of it through geocaching. They have hybrid geocache/letterboxes. When I hear they hand-carved intricate stamps, and how it was done, and made their own logbooks, made elaborate fairy-tale-like clues... I thought they were all bonkers, too.

Then I got bored of geocaching. Looked to see if there were any letterboxes near me, and found my first one. After a few more finds, I carved my first crude stamp. Then I bought a beginner carving kit, loved it and was hooked.

It is nuts, and totally does sound nuts. But I'm nutty, so that's cool!

I usually tell people I belong to a hiking group, or an art group. If they ask more, I add a little more, depending on if they like art or hiking.. If I find out they are interested in both, then they get the whole story. But if I see their eyes glaze over or a weird look on their face, or they say it seems like a waste of time, I have been known to stop mid-sentence and say, "nevermind." It may be rude, but when people literally won't listen to my short explanation... I just stop talking.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838009 by Book Hoarder
Mar 28, 2014 8:55pm
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I think that Geocache book was made into a movie...my little sister told me about it and asked if I was scared of getting murdered. I'm a punk rock guy the size of a football player, and the other Lost Boy is about the same size...I think that we would worry the murderers to be honest.

I heard about Letterboxing through Pinterest. I typed in the wrong search...can't even remember what I was looking for and only a few pins came up, one being the Rustic-looking front page of Letterboxing.org, which immediately appealed to me since I love anything that looks old and mysterious and rustic. I went to the site and was like "WHAT!? THERE IS TREASURE HIDDEN ALL OVER THE WORLD IN PLACES I PASS BY ALL OF THE TIME!? SOLD!"

And that's how it began for The Lost Boys.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838084 by FloridaFour
Mar 28, 2014 9:38pm
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Well said! And I ditto it all.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838090 by Boxer Lover47
Mar 28, 2014 10:12pm
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I am happy to say that I got in on the ground floor so to speak in 2001. That was the year things really exploded in the USA and there was just this huge growth of letterboxing. I had read the Smithsonian Article in the 1998 issue of the magazine. Which was about about Dartmoor in England, and I thought, well if I ever go there, I am definitely going to do that!!! And then later on there was just a short blurb about Dartmoor and letterboxing in Backpacker magazine and they mentioned that there were boxes here in the USA. And I found LBNA and there was only one lonely letterbox in Seattle, WA at the time and I hiked up to find it and it was there and I had such a great time....I started driving to Portland, OR (3 hours away) because that was where the nearest letterboxes were to me at the time!!! And the yahoo groups on the internet was how letterboxers placed clues on LBNA, so letterboxers would surf Yahoo groups all the time looking for the newest clues and started chatting with other letterboxers and then we would all plant more letterboxes for each other to find and every time I traveled, I would plant boxes.
It really has changed my life. I have met some of my best friends (and my boyfriend) through letterboxing. I spend more time with letterboxers than I do with the folks I grew up with or went to college with, or the folks I work with!!

-Amanda from Seattle
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 29, 2014 4:42am
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You know how, you often try to get new people interested in letterboxing but they just never seem to get hooked. Well our story is the opposite. We had our Pastor and his wife over for dinner and they were telling us about letterboxing. They had been doing it for a little while and loved it. They told us how you could even find them at rest areas while you were traveling, and about how stealthy you had to be. We had been looking for something that we could do together as a couple and decided to try it, we loved it. Now we are the ones that are hooked with 1000 finds in just under 3 years, and though they still box they don't have a lot of free time so they have under 100 in 5 years.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838096 by Amanda from Seattle
Mar 29, 2014 5:35am
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And thank you, Amanda, for taking the Washington Post reporter letterboxing in 2002. Her article introduced me to the hobby.

~Donna
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 29, 2014 9:50am
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I learned about letterboxing through Dog Scouts of America (www.dogscouts.org). Lacey and Jasper were almost finished earning their Ultimate Pack Dog titles (200 miles with their packs) and I was looking for badges we could earn. Found the three Letterboxing badges. Lacey has earned all three of the badges and Jasper has earned the first one. It's a good way to get hiking time with the dogs, but sometimes it is hard to be sneaky with two dogs in tow wearing packs. We originally used three separate store bought stamps together as a signature stamp, but eventually carved the one we use now. I'm not the best carver, but do enjoy trying. The best part of letterboxing is finding the perfect location for a box, planting it and waiting for someone to find it.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 29, 2014 12:38pm
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When you were a Muggle, what did you think when you saw the word "Letterboxing"?

..... at the time (2006), we were totally "clueless"!

Finding LBNA and AQ certainly changed that!!! ;o)

Pete
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838053 by tiggermama
Mar 29, 2014 2:58pm
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did you trust mama wolf as far as the drainage pipe?
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838253 by Baqash
Mar 29, 2014 3:53pm
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I think the crazy stuff we can get each other to do is awesome! There are so many things I never would have done without someone else egging me on to do it. Not sure that's a good thing, but it has been fun!
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838084 by FloridaFour
Mar 29, 2014 6:46pm
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{I heard of it through geocaching. They have hybrid geocache/letterboxes.}}

Me too!

In 2003 I wanted to know what a real letterbox was. I found letterboxing.org, but there weren't many letterboxes in this area at the time. I still went and found a box that was in the same park as two of my geocaches. I didn't want to do any more until I had my own personal stamp. Since there weren't very many letterboxes around here I wasn't in too much of a hurry.

In spring 2011 I finally made my first letterbox hybrid, with a stamp I carved on an erader. (It is 1/2 mile from any distinct landmark so a GPS is really required.) I also carved a personal stamp at that time. That's when I looked for letterboxing web sites again and found AQ. I signed up here and made that first letterbox my official first letterbox.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838253 by Baqash
Mar 29, 2014 6:56pm
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did you trust mama wolf as far as the drainage pipe?

absolutely!! it was large, you could still see daylight - and it was on a city street.

Now, on the top of a mountain in the backcountry?? I'M CARRYING THE MAP!!

~tigs
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #838296 by tiggermama
Mar 30, 2014 6:16am
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Daylight. You had DAYLIGHT. I didn't get to have daylight.
Re: When you were a Muggle...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #837996 by Peachfaced
Mar 31, 2014 1:55am
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When I first came across letterboxing, it was by seeing a photo of a stamp and logbook my friend had found (and that logbook had a link to LBNA, so I had to check that out) - and posted that picture to Facebook. So in a way I came across example of what it was at the same time I heard the name for the first time. But well - I do think "letterboxing" is bit of an odd term. It makes me think of a) decorating mail boxes b) dropping something random to people's mailboxes or c) bit like some play chess by sending their moves in a letter, but boxing instead of chess. Like, first you send your friend a letter saying "I hit you with my right" and s/he sends back "I dodge, and hit you back with my right", and so the match goes on :D