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Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973878 by PiggyJaunt
Apr 7, 2019 8:34am
Board
I'd still say shoot a letter to the last finder, but at least be polite about it.

Extra polite since lots of people don't log their finds and you might insult a boxer who hid everything correctly, logged the finds and then a "non logger" came by afterwards and didn't properly rehide the boxes.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973869 by Janila
Apr 7, 2019 8:52am
Board
Just yesterday we went out and relocated a few boxes that we had planted during January for the Bean event. They had been planted with snow banks around - and were now in very exposed locations... they are safe again and in better locations now that the snow cover is minimal :)

A more concerning issue arose during that. During that event - someone went after my purple diamond box... even though it was probably a very bad time to get it and cracked the box. They reported that the box had a hole in it. Didn't have anything to replace it. I would have rather they had brought the box to me - as we were seeing each other at my own event.

Alas - the box stayed out as the snow melted... later another boxer found it and reported that the box was damaged - but they tucked the contents into a bag and tucked it into the location.

When I pulled the box yesterday - the whole side of the box was gone. Not a small hole - the whole long side of the box. The plastic bag was on the outside - and the contents were completely destroyed.

Honestly - if you damage a box of mine - just own up to it and PULL my box if you can't replace it and put it back safely. You can ship me the contents... I know accidents happen... I too have broken a box. I - for the record - am no longer allowed to use a trowel in the winter. We had a box and could replace it.

I'd rather my damaged box get pulled than have it destroyed because it was left out in the open.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973878 by PiggyJaunt
Apr 7, 2019 9:03am
Board
I can guess the event ;) Thus one more reason for me to step out of hosting events. But that aside - being gutsy does not exclude being polite. Jumping to conclusions can create unnecessary animosity amongst like minded souls.

Even at large events - when boxes are not properly hidden - even knowing many others might be hot on your heels - there still could be a muggle that steps in and grabs that which is exposed due to lack of properly replacing the box.

When we group box insert Teacup's moan here we go with - the one that pulled it, replaces it. Hopefully better than they found it. But in the jovialness that comes with group boxing - sometimes the finer details do sadly get missed.

Yesterday - we went out and found two solo plants. Both were exposed - not due to the last finder - but more likely due to changing weather conditions. And when I had my son return them - I reminded him both times, to add extra coverage. His response to me was "Really Mom? Like I'm new to this?? I know that and they are really covered." Habits taught early sometimes do carry forward.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973881 by mudflinginfools
Apr 7, 2019 9:04am
Board
It wasn't your event, actually :)
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973875 by Sirius Star Gazer
Apr 7, 2019 9:12am
Board
(I tend to use a lot of rocks LOL)

I once had a geocacher <boo/> <hiss/> ask me why I so often hide my caches under rocks or sticks. Well, the answer is that these items are what we have available to pile on top of our boxes.

I'm sure that you have the same answer.

Nevertheless, I have also hidden them in trees and let the natural cover take care of hiding them. I prefer evergreens for this, but I have used Russian olive trees too. For those unfamiliar with them, a distinguishing characteristic is the thorns of an inch or more. This tends to defer muggles.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973863 by Sirius Star Gazer
Apr 7, 2019 9:26am
Board
One of the first boxes I found when I started the hobby was in a local cemetery sitting on top of a gravestone in plain sight. It was right next to the tree the box should have been in. Since it had been several months since the last recorded log-in, my first thought was the box had fallen out of the tree and a cemetery caretaker had found it and, not knowing what to do with it, placed it there. After logging in, I put it securely back in the tree the clue specified.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973872 by Mama Stork
Apr 7, 2019 11:28am
Board
How does one politely address the possibility they did not rehide properly?

Blacklist them. Pay attention, see if that solves your problem, thereby confirming these were the boxers that couldn't be bothered to properly rehide a box. If they happen to notice that they can't see many boxes listed any more, perhaps they'll figure it out -- or perhaps they'll move on to geocaching. If they contact you to ask what's up, you can explain that box owners were sick and tired of their carelessness and would prefer they not find their boxes.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973883 by Oberon_Kenobi
Apr 7, 2019 11:40am
Board
I once had a geocacher <boo/> <hiss/> ask me why I so often hide my caches under rocks or sticks.

This is the elephant in the room. In geocaching, proper etiquette is to leave the cache slightly visible. This is because the GPS coordinates only lead to a roughly 30-foot radius referred to as the "geocache zone" and from there on the cacher must simply search for the cache. If he's any good he'll use "geomojo" which means to look around and think about where a cache would be hidden. But the more ignorant geocachers -- most of them -- will simply look around, and if they can't plainly see the cache they will start digging stuff up -- and they will make a first-class mess out of the entire 30-foot radius. Seriously, it'll look like wild hogs dug it up looking for grubs. And heaven forbid the cache goes missing, because then they'll simply expand the radius looking for it until they've dug up everything within 100 feet.

Hence, conscientious geocachers, upon finding a cache, will usually try to rehide it so it's a bit visible. The problem is convincing letterboxers that this is not a geocache, the box should be completely hidden from view.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973864 by Angel Winks
Apr 7, 2019 11:45am
Board
That's why I now begin my clues with this.

LETTERBOXING REMINDER (especially if you are new to the hobby)
It is so important to completely cover the letterbox after returning it to its hiding spot. Especially if boxing with children (and I'm so glad you are!), please check to be sure the box is returned and covered properly. Thank you for keeping this letterbox well-hidden for the next finder.

And then you add a similar paragraph explaining why the contents need to be properly returned to the baggies so they don't get soggy. Then another paragraph explaining that they shouldn't be doing all this while standing directly over the hiding spot in plain view of everyone passing by. Then another paragraph explaining how to properly stamp in.

Now your clue prints out to two pages long, even though the actual clue is a haiku. And guess what? Nobody reads it! They just skip past all that boilerplate nonsense and get right to finding the treasure.

Quit pandering to the lowest common denominator. Start blacklisting these goobers.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973892 by Kirbert
Apr 7, 2019 12:56pm
Board
Quit pandering to the lowest common denominator. Start blacklisting these goobers.

I was under the impression that blacklisting went away several years ago. If it is still an option, can you explain how to do it?
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973894 by Janila
Apr 7, 2019 1:10pm
Board
Blacklists are gone. One could create a whitelist group of all the local boxers who aren't suspects in the exposed boxes, but any travelers to the area not in the whitelist group won't see the clues. One could figure out what the potential offending boxers don't typically hunt (drive-bys? Longer hikes? Mysteries?) and plant those types of boxes. Ultimately if/unless the offending boxers are kindly made aware of what they are doing and care about the feedback/hobby/not being an ass, changes won't likely happen.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973864 by Angel Winks
Apr 7, 2019 2:44pm
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Angel Winks~Would you mind if we copy and use your wording for the reminder???
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973891 by Kirbert
Apr 7, 2019 3:23pm
Board
In geocaching, proper etiquette is to leave the cache slightly visible.

We apparently do it differently around here, in Utah. We completely hide them. Sometimes they are so thoroughly hidden that it takes a few trips. This is a main difference between the two hobbies: Letterboxing is about the find (the stamp), but geocaching is about the hide. Sometimes the hide is meant to be easy; sometimes it is meant to be difficult. Hence the terrain and difficulty ratings.

But with letterboxing the difficulty is in figuring out what the clue means. Sometimes it is easy; sometimes it is also hidden by a difficult cipher.

This is because the GPS coordinates only lead to a roughly 30-foot radius referred to as the "geocache zone" and from there on the cacher must simply search for the cache. If he's any good he'll use "geomojo" which means to look around and think about where a cache would be hidden. But the more ignorant geocachers -- most of them -- will simply look around, and if they can't plainly see the cache they will start digging stuff up -- and they will make a first-class mess out of the entire 30-foot radius. Seriously, it'll look like wild hogs dug it up looking for grubs.

We don't like geocachers that do this; the digging up of everything. There are a few of them around here who will do this, but lately we haven't seen them doing this. Maybe they have learned the proper way to search, or they have grown more mature with their (retirement) age.

Hence, conscientious geocachers, upon finding a cache, will usually try to rehide it so it's a bit visible. The problem is convincing letterboxers that this is not a geocache, the box should be completely hidden from view.

A common note on geocaches around here is to "hide better than you found it." I follow that admonishment. Some of my caches I have hidden very well. A few times I have even been greeted at geocaching events with, "I hate you!" because I did, hide it better than I found it.

People around here learn to "use the Force", or "geomojo" as you put it.

Different regions have different cultures. We hide both letterboxes and geocaches around here.

The best idea is to hide your letterboxes away from geocaches. Find a geocacher in your area to help this to happen. I have let letterboxers know where geocaches are so that they can hide them away from them. I have even convinced a geocacher to move his cache because there was a letterbox placed nearby, before his geocache. I know of another geocache in the area that was moved because the letterbox was placed first. Maybe the geocachers around here are just more friendly. Except for the (very) few jerks, that the geocachers don't like either.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973892 by Kirbert
Apr 7, 2019 3:27pm
Board
In MN we don't get big on adding addendums to clues, but if someone is being a goober, word gets around very quickly, and said goober gets shunned pretty quickly, and their reputation follows them.

sad, but true.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973896 by Weeping Willow 52
Apr 7, 2019 4:07pm
Board
Of course not. I also have a last phrase reminder to log the find. Use any part of my clue format that might be helpful.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973863 by Sirius Star Gazer
Apr 7, 2019 5:39pm
Board
It might not be the last finder/hider. At the end of March, I was the first finder of two that were exposed. It was expressed that one of those boxes in particular needs to be well hidden. I am pretty certain they covered their own plants well. It might not always be the last person who left it exposed.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973868 by Basset Mom
Apr 7, 2019 8:04pm
Board
"Makes me think that people who don't hide them back well must be newer to the hobby or LBers who haven't carved and hidden any (or many) plants of their own yet ... or they'd understand the need better. "

If only this were true........just sayin'.......

How hard is it to look back where you put the box and make sure you CANT SEE IT.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973910 by SherlockMiles
Apr 8, 2019 1:38am
Board
How hard is it to look back where you put the box and make sure you CANT SEE IT.

Too hard, apparently.

I give my containers a pretty good camo paint job. That way even if the finder just tosses them back into the bushes, they are still not overly visible. I must say that I've found quite a few letterboxes in containers that were not camo'd, which IMHO is just asking for them to get picked up and tossed as litter.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973910 by SherlockMiles
Apr 8, 2019 8:44am
Board
AGREE! 2 seconds!
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973894 by Janila
Apr 8, 2019 9:12am
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as a mountain gorilla i often find letterboxes uncovered in the woods and my reaction is " ah, its ONLY A PIECE OF RUBBER" why do these people expend such vitriol when one of their boxes disappears?
We gorillas, squirrels, and raccoons have an excellent sense of smell which far exceeds the ability of any human to hide anythng with a scent on it from us and we often forage and carry off those little plastic things or just leave them lying in the open.
Now as to you super sleuths who claim to know who committed the evil deed of leaving your box uncovered, lets remember the metaphor of the falling log in the woods. If no one heard it, did it make any noise? If you didnt actually see someone abandon a letterbox in the woods improperly, how do you know he did it? unless you just dont like the person and want to heap some shade on her anyway....Now i have your attention go back and read the caps phrase above and get a life,,grunt
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973940 by Old Silverback
Apr 8, 2019 9:23am
Board
So, I have a question for all you animal-types. What is it about pooping outside that makes a flat, raised surface so desirable for so many of you? I mean, doesn't that leave you, ahem, rather vulnerable, not to mention visible in the moment? Now we know where you've been, so to speak, and can follow you around from there.

I mean, are you showing off? "Hey, I can poop AND take off at a moment's notice" or "Yeah, beeches! No one hunches and grunts like I do! Check out these move(ment)s!" or "Hey, look what I did! I made it myself." Or is surveying your surroundings from a high spot the animal equivalent of reading the paper while perched? Do birds get jealous? Please ask around and get back to me.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973869 by Janila
Apr 8, 2019 9:55am
Board
That being said, there are also other reasons boxes can be found uncovered.

True, and as an aside to this thread, if you think you found the right spot and there's no box, ask yourself if that might be a spot where an animal could have a den (or if it's a micro, how about a chipmunk - is there stash of nut shells)? If that's a possibility, then take a look around the area for a good 30 feet or so. Animals will pick up an offensive box and carry it away.

I found my own box about 50 feet from its hidey hole in a wall. The box was unopened and I had suspected the hole might be a den when I planted it. I've also found a number of other people's boxes unopened many feet from the original spot (one time my terrier was having a fit about a mysterious animal in the hole, which prompted me to look about and I found the box 25 feet away up a hill).

And in Northwest Connecticut where there are a lot of bears sniffing about, I'm finding that rotting logs and stumps seem to be favorite places for bears to find a box and give a big crunch of the jaws before tossing it aside as they look for grubs. The boxes hidden by rocks there seem to be better off.
Re: Leaving boxes uncovered
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #973945 by Trailhead Tessie
Apr 8, 2019 10:19am
Board
The boxes hidden by rocks there seem to be better off.

Pretty much true for anywhere