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Read Thread: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?

Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 16, 2019 10:36am
Board
Cutoff?!? I seek those boxes out specifically... I’ve found dozens of forgotten boxes that hadn’t been found in 4 or 5 years, a few that hadn’t been found in 7 or 8, and one that hadn’t been found in over 10.

Most people don’t want to hike, and they don’t want to solve clues. When 3 of us hiked up to the Mt Baldy box in 2013, we were only the third group to make the journey since 2002. Very rewarding experience.

Just a couple weeks ago I found a box with a vague starting point that hadn’t had a find in 4 years. I also found a 2 year old box about a stones throw away at the same location with simple directions and dozens of finds. Which do you think was the more rewarding experience?

I met the first finder on a 12 year old Mapsurfer box. He has some that still haven’t been found. Cutoff? Never!

K
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 16, 2019 11:04am
Board
No cut off date.
The thing that will stop me is my ability vs. the trail.
There are a few boxes near me planted on a trails that are beyond my hiking ability.

Things that will stop me from searching for an old, never found box:
1. A search that is in a very dicey area safety wise. Think guardrail on the side of a highway with nowhere to park or safely walk.
2. The planter is known for "flinging" boxes into bushes in high traffic areas. Never had a find nor a recorded attempt, I probably won't bother going out of my way to look.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 16, 2019 11:10am
Board
From a planter’s perspective: if it’s a box I can check on, I will do a maintenance check on it, and then it shows up as currently active. If it’s too far away to visit, I simply let it go . . . unless I get a report from a seasoned boxer who searched thoroughly and is certain it’s gone missing (or reports that the area has been renovated, etc.). Even then, I will change the status to “unknown”.

As a finder: I have limited ability for endurance-heavy outings. So I will look for any age box, UNLESS the comments indicate one or more boxers “searched thoroughly” and couldn’t find it. Then, whether it’s old OR new, I will probably skip it.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 16, 2019 11:21am
Board
My buddy and I recently found a box that hadn't been found (or attempted, as far as I know) in 14 years. That was one of my favorite finds ever!
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 16, 2019 2:40pm
Board
I recently got a found notice on a box that hadn’t been found in eight years. Made my day!!!
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 16, 2019 2:43pm
Board
I don't have a cutoff because people who don't come to a particular place, and don't look for a box (so nearly everyone who letterboxes some place else) don't have any idea whether a box is there or not. Only the person who actually goes and hunts for them knows, and even then, I'm not always sure it's really gone. I've been known to make mistakes and fail to find a box that's there.

I recently found three out of six boxes that had not been found since 2010. One was my own so I just did a little maintenance on it - the others needed some attention, but were fine. One of the two "missing" boxes might be findable yet so I am going back in the fall; as for the sixth one, I found the bottom half of the container, but nothing more. I'll probably look one more time when I go back, just in case it was tossed, not taken.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 16, 2019 3:28pm
Board
But still, 6 years. Where's your cutoff? Or do you even have a cutoff?

You say "6 years" like that's forever.

If you disregard a box because it just hasn't been found in a few years you are missing out on some great finds. For instance.......Look at message #968672 on the Massachusetts board. People have found tons of boxes after several years and as that message shows......many years.

If it's not missing it's not dead. What would be the point of boxing if one just considers boxes not found in a long time to be "dead"?

So no, I have no cut off.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978404 by Kelsung
Aug 16, 2019 6:32pm
Board
I wish the planter would at least ever year or two check on it to make sure it's still there. I'm working on some in my area now that I'm finding they haven't been found in 4+ years and the trees where they have been hidden are completely gone. It's frustrating since I'm just starting out and only have three finds so far.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978426 by theworldisoutthere
Aug 16, 2019 7:02pm
Board
Patience, patience.
I have hidden boxes all over the country on trips and will never revisit many of those places. There's no way I could check on all of them, but I still think finders are glad I planted. I depend on local boxers to maintain the boxes, and indeed they have stepped up when needed - as have I, reciprocally, here at home. I get comments all the time from folks who say they are happy to see a fresh, new box appear from someone/somewhere else. It's a chance to see somebody else's work.
I know it's frustrating when the directions seem wrong because of changing landscape. Try to think out of the box (punny?) or imagine where a missing tree might have once been - now a stump or big hole where it may have once been. And keep trying. Those 'aha' moments are memorable!
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978404 by Kelsung
Aug 16, 2019 7:05pm
Board
Cutoff?!? I seek those boxes out specifically... I’ve found dozens of forgotten boxes that hadn’t been found in 4 or 5 years, a few that hadn’t been found in 7 or 8, and one that hadn’t been found in over 10.

Agree! I love searching for lonely and forgotten boxes. Oldest unfound/found box for us is 9 years. Nothing like it.

😄 DZ
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978419 by MissMoon
Aug 16, 2019 11:20pm
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True, 6 years was just the arbitrary number that came to mind.

I'm just a bit gun-shy I suppose. Because the last 2 boxes I attempted were somewhere around the 7 year mark, one was missing from where we supposed it should be, the other had missing landmarks to even get to it.

Looking at a couple in a park now that are at 7 and 10 years. I mostly just wish there was one good, confident find nearby so I could have something to show for my efforts. But there I go again, making this about the destination instead of the journey.

Thanks everyone for your input.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 17, 2019 4:18am
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I like to look for those classic boxes!! As I live in an area with lots of boxes and we get lots of visitors, most seem to go for the more recently found boxes, so a lot of older boxes haven't been found in the last many years. Every so often, I take a few hours and see if I can find one of those treasures. I love to see the stamps of old friends--and those I never knew. And the rush of success is fantastic!!

So, no cutoff although I do choose base on history and time available.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978434 by Brown Wolf
Aug 17, 2019 8:21am
Board
I'm just a bit gun-shy I suppose. Because the last 2 boxes I attempted were somewhere around the 7 year mark, one was missing from where we supposed it should be, the other had missing landmarks to even get to it.

I envy you that you live in an area that’s so rich in available boxes. Around here we’ll be lucky to find 50% of searched for boxes on any given excursion. We’ve had days where we’ve only found one on our list. And those aren’t the necessarily 7 year old type, just plain old everyday hides.

If not finding 2 boxes discouraged me, I would’ve quit this game long ago.

I think it comes down to expectation and mind-set. Just know that a long unfound box probably won’t be there and the surprise of finding it will be that much sweeter.

So relax and enjoy the zen of the hunt, grasshopper.
😄
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 17, 2019 12:59pm
Board
City boxer - generally after no one finds it after 3-4 years. They just are so likely to be destroyed.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978445 by DarkZen and Evil Cow Pie
Aug 17, 2019 1:58pm
Board
Just know that a long unfound box probably won’t be there

You’re assuming it won’t be there? Too many people hunt for and find old and rarely found boxes for the word ‘probably’ to be the case. I think broad statements like that discourage people from making the effort.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978458 by MissMoon
Aug 17, 2019 2:46pm
Board
Too many people hunt for and find old and rarely found boxes for the word ‘probably’ to be the case.

I think there’s a correlation to the location. A box on a short walk in a high-traffic area or an urban box that hasn’t been found in years, is “probably” no longer there. But a box at the end of a long hike into a remote area, is quite likely to still be there, with long periods between very few finders.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978458 by MissMoon
Aug 17, 2019 4:54pm
Board
Too many people hunt for and find old and rarely found boxes for the word ‘probably’ to be the case.

Maybe, maybe not. I bet stats would bear me out if they were kept... at least in my case they do.

But as Wise Wanderer points out, it depends. If your goal is to find every box you search for you have to use a little common sense.

Personally, I don’t use long ago “last found” dates as a prerequisite for my searches. From what I read that’s a common attitude around here.

YMMV.
;~)
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 17, 2019 6:33pm
Board
I once went after a box that was planted in 03/05, found a couple times, then reported missing after an attempt was logged in 8/05. The planter had/still has it tagged MISSING next to the box name on LbNA, which was where I had printed my clues. Not sure how I didn't notice all that, but I went looking for it anyway. I found it in Feb 2016, right where the clues said it would be, missing the pile of sticks because the tree had grown around the box. That was the best.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978434 by Brown Wolf
Aug 17, 2019 6:38pm
Board
one was missing from where we supposed it should be, the other had missing landmarks to even get to it.

I feel your pain. I struck out many, many times recently. Even worse because I was showing my noxer friend how we do it. Ha!

Because I often seek older boxes with no luck, and because many times the landscape has changed significantly, I have evolved in how I plant boxes now. I rely less on landmarks that will inevitably change in favor of compass headings whenever possible, and I'm not in a hurry. I don't plant in stumps or fallen logs (except maybe close to home if I were going to maintain it). At least this way, you stand a chance of knowing which stump-that-used-to-be-a-tree is the one you're looking for.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978463 by DarkZen and Evil Cow Pie
Aug 18, 2019 2:05pm
Board
Personally, I don’t use long ago “last found” dates as a prerequisite for my searches.

Neither do I. But on the other hand I don’t dismiss a box because of it. And I think far too many people do. But then that may leave more old boxes safe and sound for me and others who want them. HEHHEHHEH
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978460 by Wise Wanderer
Aug 18, 2019 2:09pm
Board
I think there’s a correlation to the location

Valid point. But that correlation wasn’t made in the statement I responded to. :)
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978458 by MissMoon
Aug 18, 2019 4:54pm
Board
I recently found a box on my second try - the first try was 5 years ago with no luck. This time, I brought a friend who viewed the clue just differently enough to make the box findable. This isn't always the case, but sometimes.....
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978401 by Brown Wolf
Aug 18, 2019 6:09pm
Board
No cutoff for us, either. We've found boxes with 8, 10, even 14 years in between finds for a whole host of reasons. If the area's pretty remote, it's typically more likely the box is still there somewhere. Even a couple of attempts won't discourage us for bringing the clues along with us on this type of hunt. We've also found that there's a significant correlation between length of hike and frequency of finds, so a lack of a recent find date on longer hikes would not bother us. We enjoy the added challenge of finding an older box.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978516 by Juanita Rojas
Aug 18, 2019 7:14pm
Board
That’s very cool. It’s just so weird how people can see it differently. And some clues can be interpreted in such different ways.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978523 by Nairon
Aug 19, 2019 2:53pm
Board
All this thread has shown is that the “old last finds” setting on AQ searches is bad, very bad. I’m not opposed to it being there as an option, but I think the default for new players should be “off” because far to many people are unaware those preferences even exist. Perfectly good letterboxes are being forgotten, and since new people don’t know they are there to find, that old last find just gets older.

Whenever I’m in an area where I remember finding boxes before, I check up on them for maintenance. I have an alias I use explicitly to log new finds to keep them in searches, but I can’t “refind” every old box that is still viable.

K
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978573 by Kelsung
Aug 19, 2019 3:44pm
Board
All this thread has shown is that the “old last finds” setting on AQ searches is bad, very bad. I’m not opposed to it being there as an option, but I think the default for new players should be “off” because far to many people are unaware those preferences even exist. Perfectly good letterboxes are being forgotten

I didn’t even know that was a default setting. I joined so long ago I don’t remember if it was then or not. Wow. It’s been shown over and over by the questions asked on the boards that new boxers often don’t explore the site and see their options. So you make a great point!
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978576 by MissMoon
Aug 19, 2019 4:12pm
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It’s been shown over and over by the questions asked on the boards that new boxers often don’t explore the site and see their options.

They are too busy basking in the Glory of The Wassa Widget. All other thoughts and plans fall by the wayside once one dives into that rabbit hole. I should have named it "The Wassa Hole" instead. Oh wait... Maybe not...
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978576 by MissMoon
Aug 19, 2019 8:11pm
Board
Well before I stir up something unintentionally, could Ryan or another admin confirm whether those search options are “opt in” or “opt out”? When someone new signs up, do their searches automatically hide 3 strikeouts, 12 month old last finds and 12 month old abandoned listings?

K
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978577 by wassamatta u
Aug 20, 2019 6:02am
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They are too busy basking in the Glory of The Wassa Widget. All other thoughts and plans fall by the wayside once one dives into that rabbit hole. I should have named it "The Wassa Hole" instead.

Speaking of Wassa’s Hole, maybe you could toot your own horn a bit and explain where one goes to get this wonderful widget and what the virtues of it are.
Re: Age or Inactivity to Attempt?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #978593 by DarkZen and Evil Cow Pie
Aug 20, 2019 7:11am
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Let's not talk of "Wassa's Hole" and tooting in the same sentence please