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Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
May 16, 2016 6:50am
Board
I went to check on one of my very first plants. The clues, which probably could use some improvement, nevertheless led me right to the box. There was some condensation in the box, but other than that the contents were in pristine condition. (L&L) I brought the box home for some maintenance and for consideration.

My question is this -- should I replant it? In the same location?

Pros:
It's an old box, 2008, so that's cool
There's really nothing wrong with it. It has a handcarved stamp, a handmade logbook, and it's in a Lock&Lock. Obviously the location is safe from muggles or animals.

Cons:
Not very popular, only 3 or so finds in 8 years

I'm thinking there are a few factors going into why it hasn't been found. One, it's out of the way from civilization, and there aren't any other boxes in the area. I am, however, planning to plant more in this area, so that might motivate boxers to go to this place to box. Two, the clues are not that great. But I could fix that.

So, what do you think? Let's vote!
Agree - Replant it with no changes
Disagree - Replant it with better clues
Huh? - Retire the box
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 7:17am
Board
If you know the clues aren't that great (maybe they're confusing?), I'd definitely recommend that you clean them up and put the box back in place.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 7:41am
Board
If you plan on planting more boxes in the area, to make all more appealing, then spruce up the clues and put it back. Also encourage others to plant in the area.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926436 by zoemomma
May 16, 2016 9:11am
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I agree with this... a lone box that is not even close to others will often get less visitors. I think these boxes get added to the itinerary as "if we have time" finds... and we all know how that goes. Of course it depends on the location and its feasible "box capacity", but I would try to plant a few more boxes there, or nearby, as that will make it more attractive to finders. I struggle with this at times because I tend to lean toward single plants, rather than series or even multiple boxes at the same place. But observation indicates that finders generally go where their time is likely to yield maximum finds.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 9:18am
Board
One of the perks of boxes that go so long without being found is that a boxer does get some joy when they find a box that has not been found in a while.

That is simply a note. :-)
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 9:22am
Board
Cons:
Not very popular, only 3 or so finds in 8 years

If I retired every box that I have that received less than 8 finds a year, I would have a grand total of 0 active boxes. I get excited when I get one finder!

I agree with what others have said about planting more boxes in the same area and cleaning up clues although that is no guarantee either. I have at least 40 boxes within a ten mile radius and I tend to make my walks less than a mile to encourage finders who don't want to spend a lot of time. I also try to plant groups of boxes in a common area but my boxes remain very, very lonely. But, I have no intention of pulling them and plan to continue planting.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 10:20am
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If it is that Moomintroll, please replant it! I failed in my first attempt, but I would look again.

I plant for my amusement and not to see how many finders I can claim. I hope my finders get a laugh from most of my letterboxes, or at least, have an aha moment.

As a hunter I will go out of the way for some letterboxes, especially if there is something of historical importance nearby. If a planter fails to add something to entice me further that box may be on the "if we have time" list.

I guess a person needs to know why he/she plants, and use that criteria to make the decision on the box's disposition.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 10:21am
Board
I would tend to leave it. Especially if you spruce up the clues.

Assuming that the carve and location aren't actual crap, then there's no reason to not leave the box.

Boxes are meant to live and die, but this one is alive. What's more is that it is unique, if only in that it is the only one within 30 miles.

I would rather see people plant in obscure back woods places (even drivebys if they must), than to have yet another box planted at some tourist destination. At your favorite sweet treat shop, 50 feet away from somebody else's favorite restaurant.

Planting in the obscure shows originality.

My ten cents
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926443 by Squatchis
May 16, 2016 10:32am
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I would rather see people plant in obscure back woods places (even drivebys if they must), than to have yet another box planted at some tourist destination.

Yes!! I do wish more people would visit the boxes we've planted in out-of-the-way locations, but the few people who do visit them are almost always appreciative that we took them on a beautiful, interesting hike that they wouldn't have known about otherwise. And that makes it worth it. :^)
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 10:41am
Board
Some of the best/most rewarding boxes that I have found have come from clues that may not be the best, but still allow you to look at your surroundings and figure it out. I'm all for it. Now, if there have been major changes to the landscape, they should probably be mentioned.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 12:13pm
Board
I'd like more clarity on exactly what you think is wrong about the clues. Three people have found the box, indicating they couldn't be TOO bad. Do you think they may be confusing? If so, there's nothing stopping you from tweaking them for clarity. Do you think they're too difficult or challenging? No such thing, leave as is, not every box is for every boxer. Do you think they're too easy, not challenging enough? If that's the case, I'd be tempted to retire the box rather than revise the listing, because making the clues challenging at this point would mean those who already found it got off easy.

IOW: If the clues just need tweaking, go for it. But don't change the fundamental nature of the clues without calling it a new box. Don't replace a simple set of directions with a cypher or a puzzle clue at this point.

And above all, don't pull a box just because it hasn't got a lot of finders. Some of the BEST boxes don't get a lot of finders, while some of the most mundane drive-by's get lots of finders. You're free to pull a box for whatever reason you want -- I pulled a couple of my early boxes simply because I was embarrassed to have them out there -- but you won't find anyone encouraging you to pull a box because they haven't gotten around to hunting for it yet.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 16, 2016 5:39pm
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Most of us would get a huge kick from finding a box that hasn't been found in three years *and* one that some people have been unable to find. If you feel the clues are good, just not clues that everyone has an easy time with then just leave it alone.

If you feel there might be a genuine issue with the clues you could tweak them a little. But the fact that some people have not been able to find it doesn't necessarily mean there is a problem with the clues. Lots of people *have* found it.

Rarely found boxes that last for many years years are special. People appreciate them when they *do* find them. Rarely found doesn't necessarily mean unpopular. Not by any means. It just means rarely found.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926454 by Kirbert
May 16, 2016 7:12pm
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you won't find anyone encouraging you to pull a box because they haven't gotten around to hunting for it yet.

Not that geocachers are better or worse (than letterboxers) there are just more of them. This means that even small, minuscule possibilities are more likely to happen.

There is a local cache named Juicey Juice. It was published on 19 July 2008 and has never been found. After a few years there was a log made that it should be archived because it had never been found. This log has since been deleted, but the logs saying that it should remain are still there.

The cache owner has even received the solution from a cacher in Europe who has solved it and hopes to find the cache some day. That cacher has even been told to log it (by the cache owner) since he solved it and is so far away, but he's insisting on finding it first. (Bully for him!)

There are even some letterboxes that have never been found. While I am still frustrated by these letterboxes, I don't think that they should be retired.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926483 by Oberon_Kenobi
May 17, 2016 1:55am
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Most of the boxes in that search have been found.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 17, 2016 5:31am
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Sort of on this topic

A year ago I moved. I used to live in a city with a yearly average of one plant a week. I now live In the middle of nowhere and it's been 8 years since a box was planted within 50 miles give or take. Its been a difficult transition. Plus there isn't cell phone coverage to look up letter boxes. My son wanted to go out boxing or caching this past weekend. So I went to a library and printed out clues for boxes in towns near where we were headed.

My wife isn't a fan of lettering. We reached the town the box was listed to be at. I figured it was a small town... How hard can it be. We drove around the towns 20 or so streets... Couldn't find the right street. Tried the cell phones map app... No coverage cell phones a no go. Asked a local the street name... 4 locals later found out it was 2 miles down the road in another town.

Got to the right town stumbled through the clues a little. Made the find. I thought it was going to be an easy 20 to 30 minute stop. Turned out to be over an hour long not so fun half arguement, yelling, scobble between me and the non boxer in the car.

Cleaned up clues like the town it was really in, an exit number, better details of where to drive once inside the park. A person like myself with no internet research before I headed out cleaned up clues would of been a great help. Did we find it.. Yes. Did I get to look for anymore boxes that day... No. 300 miles of driving and 14 boxes to go after. It was all cut short after box number two. To each his/her own. I'm sad I passed up a chance at 12 more finds but no more argueing on a day long road trip was better at the time.

I did make the find but it could of been way easier than it turned out.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926489 by Rocklun
May 17, 2016 6:20am
Board
Yes, but my point is that not all of them have been and I'm okay with that.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926454 by Kirbert
May 17, 2016 9:27am
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I'd like more clarity on exactly what you think is wrong about the clues.

The clues aren't a puzzle or anything, they are more of the 'directions' variety. So I'm not worried about them being too difficult. It's more that they could have more clarity to them. (Remember this was one of my first plants -- I almost exclusively have puzzle or cipher clues now.) I would, for example, add a distance measurement to help locate how far to proceed on the trail before looking for a particular landmark.

So I think I'll just dry this one out and put it back. On another note, I'm not sure why there was moisture in a Lock & Lock -- I didn't inspect it closely but it looked structurally sound.

Perhaps this discussion will generate some interest in the box!
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926442 by speedsquare
May 17, 2016 9:35am
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No, it's not Moomintroll. That box is actually fairly popular compared to other boxes of mine. (Average of three finds a year!) I did check on Moomintroll in November and he's patiently waiting for you to find him. :)

If a planter fails to add something to entice me further

That was another thought of mine -- although there's a basic handcarved stamp, handmade logbook, nice container, and a decent location in nature, there's really nothing special about it. For my more recent boxes, I try to have something special, such as a clever clue, intricate carve, or neat location.

In the end I think I'll clean up the clues so they are more clear and put the box back where it belongs. Maybe just the fact that the box is 8 years old is special enough. :)
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926503 by RideTheMoose
May 17, 2016 10:12am
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I try to have something special, such as a clever clue, intricate carve, or neat location.

I put a pile of old silver coins in my last box. I can't even pay people to find mine :) (not entirely true, as some people are trying).

In any case, in my backward view of the world, rarely found boxes are way cooler than frequently found ones.

So, excuse my ignorance if this was mentioned, but can you give a link to this box? (Don't bother if it has restrictions).
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926505 by Sir Braemoor
May 17, 2016 10:27am
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I can't even pay people to find mine :) (not entirely true, as some people are trying)

I think after adding up the man/women hours, it'll be third world wages - though for a feather in the cap of the first order.

Hopefully folks will someday have that Carter's reply to Carnarvon moment!

(P.S. I am doing the lightest lifting in our group's efforts)
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 18, 2016 1:20am
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It took 3 years for lig to find my letterbox in the Philippines. Before that, I had one attempt, who said it was missing, but it was by a person who was not a letterboxer, so I hoped they just didn't know what they were doing. They didn't. The box was there. For 3 years, it remained in a very public spot and probably thousands of people passed by it. So it was a great joy to me when lig found it. Lig was also the first of just a few people to find all 3 letterboxes on my kayak accessible series. Some people like these out of the way boxes.

So definitely fix up your clues. Maybe post an update that the box has been maintained, so people won't think it just went missing. I personally love finding boxes that are rarely found. It does help to have 2 or 3 others nearby. That way, if one goes missing, at least your trip out there results in a few finds. Hopefully the location is also interesting, so it's worth it no matter what.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926505 by Sir Braemoor
May 18, 2016 5:21pm
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I put a pile of old silver coins in my last box. I can't even pay people to find mine :) (not entirely true, as some people are trying).

In any case, in my backward view of the world, rarely found boxes are way cooler than frequently found ones.

We're trying! Enjoying the process immensely, though it may still be a little while before we find anything. I wholeheartedly agree that rarely found boxes, especially those that are rarely found because they're insidiously clever, are so much rewarding for those who do eventually find them.
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926505 by Sir Braemoor
May 19, 2016 6:34am
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can you give a link to this box?

Here it is in its unedited glory!

http://www.atlasquest.com/boxes/clue/?boxId=63991
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926592 by RideTheMoose
May 19, 2016 7:00am
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You have lots of cool clue sets! On this one, the planter could legitimately log it as a find after the right cocktail ;)

Keep the Owl in play!
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926597 by dingus dufus
May 19, 2016 8:13am
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On this one, the planter could legitimately log it as a find after the right cocktail ;) Keep the Owl in play!

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926433 by RideTheMoose
May 19, 2016 4:54pm
Board
Keep it. Improve clues and appeal. Plant another one or two or three in the general area to attract for multiple finds. What would you want as a LBs?
Re: Opinion: Old & Unpopular Box
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #926503 by RideTheMoose
Mar 11, 2017 6:37pm
Board
Update on this box -- I replanted it, cleaned up the clues, and planted a Maine Pine Cone Project box on the same trail. About a month ago a find was logged here on AQ! The box lives!