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From the day in 1854 when James Perrott placed a bottle for visitors' cards on a moor in Dartmoor, England, to the feature article in a 1998 issue ofSmithsonianintroducing the sport to a U.S. audience, to the thousands of letterboxes today scattered throughout North America, the quaint Old World pastime of letterboxing has come a long way. And it's not surprising. This fascinating, family-friendly sport--an intriguing mix of hiking, puzzle solving, treasure hunting, and rubber stamp artistry, topped off with the thrill of discovery--offers something for everyone. The basic idea is simple enough: Clues, usually posted on a website, lead to the secret location of a "letterbox." And yet there is much more to know.The Letterboxer's Companionis a complete introduction that covers everything from a history of letterboxing to tips on writing and following clues, from instruction in carving personal stamps to letterboxing etiquette--in short, everything an aspiring letterboxer needs to get started.
Randy Hall is a cofounder of the Letterboxing North America website, letterboxing.org, and is a nationally ranked orienteer. A software engineer by day, he lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
(1) Introduction to Letterboxing (2) Gearing Up to Find Letterboxes (3) Basics of Finding Letterboxes (4) Basics of Creating Letterboxes (5) Basics of Rubber Stamp Artistry (6) Letterboxing Etiquette and Conventions (7) Advance Techniques (8) Internet Resources (9) Glossary (10) Index
Nothing compares to the thrill of the hunt. You're hiking through a forest of ancient hemlocks on a forgotten road, following a trail of cunning riddles to something cryptically referred to as the "wizard of the wood." You check your compass, then spy a gnarled oak just upstream that looks eerily like an old man. At its feet you find the cubbyhole that you know will be there, and pull out a small box containing some of the most exquisite stamp art you've ever seen.