Sunshine, birds chirping, and 50 degrees—I can only hope this isn’t another tease followed by freezing rain, cloudy skies, and whipping winds. As spring attempts to poke its head out in Baltimore, I have been trying to think of ways to get some fresh air, along with a healthy dose of much needed vitamin D (a tan wouldn’t hurt either). Then I remembered something my roommate mentioned to me a few months ago—“Letterboxing”.
Letterboxing is an outdoor treasure-hunt activity, or should I say adventure, that combines navigational skills with a keen ability to decode clues. Letterboxers hide small weatherproof boxes in public places and post clues to find their boxes online. Many times each box will contain a logbook and rubber stamp, allowing each finder to make an imprint of the stamp in his or her own personal logbook.
It is believed that letterboxing began in England in 1854 by a national park guide, who left a glass bottle with a clue somewhere within the park for visitors to find. The trend then caught on in the United States around 1998, when Smithsonian Magazine published an article about the unique hobby.
There are believed to be over 20,000 boxes throughout North America, and many just within Maryland. Here are some clues for letterboxes in the area.
So if you love scavenger hunts, the outdoors, and adventure as much as I do, check out this interesting pastime.
How to Get Started:
Get your gear together (pen, logbook, compass, friends), and head out to find boxes in your area. Here are some more tips on preparing for you journey.
Making Your Own Letterbox:
Maybe you want to try your hand at making your own clues, and hiding a box somewhere. You will need to find a weatherproof container (Tupperware), rubber stamp, and small notebook. You can even add other personal items, like a pre-addressed postcard to yourself!
Let us know if you have ever Letterboxed! We would love to hear of any fun locations and stories!
Katie Windt, Intern