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Letterbox Hybrids


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When we started GeoCaching we read all the FAQ Getting Started page and one of the things that caught my eye was the Letterbox Hybrid type of cache as the idea of collecting the impression from a stamp seemed a lot more fun than rummaging through the usual bits and bobs. Unfortunately our nearest Letterbox Hybrid cache is over 120 miles away. Not to be defeated in our quest for Letterbox Hybrids we set three of our own, and finally in June this year one of us actually got to visit a real Letterbox Hybrid (Baarnes Loch); but all the other Letterbox Hybrids I planned to visit had either had their stamps "swapped out" by previous cachers or the caches had been muggled.

 

We are now getting ready to set up some more with some fellow East Anglian cachers who despite being in the game longer than us had never heard of the Letterbox Hybrid type until they "swapped" a really nice rubber stamp out of the first LB they found. There is a thread on Letterbox Hybrids in the Getting Started Area and swapping/accidental muggling of the LB stamp seems to be a common problem.

 

So while the preteen members of both our teams apply their creative genius to designing LB Stamps (combined effort A5 sheet works out at about £1 per stamp) their dad's have turned to ways to restrain crazed swap fever victims from half inching theLB Stamps once they are set. So here's our questions:

  • Have you ever heard of/found a Letterbox Hybrid?
  • Do you like collecting the imprint left by a fellow cachers artistic creation, or would you prefer a regular swap?
  • If you have ever accidentally muggled a LB stamp why did this happen (you can always say "friends of ours who are cachers ...")?
  • Why aren't there more Letterbox Hybrids?
  • Are we wasting our time planning to set letterbox Hybrids?

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Thought we had better add this map of Letterbox Hybrid caches and a definition in case you have never encountered these beasties before:

letterbox.jpeg

 

Letterbox Hybrid

Letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting that uses clues to direct hunters to a hidden container. Each letterbox contains a stamp which is the signature for that box. Most letterboxers have their own personal stamps and personal logbooks. They stamp the letterbox logbook with their personal stamp, and use the stamp contained in the letterbox to “sign” their personal logbook.

 

Letterbox hybrids are a mixture of letterbox and geocache. They should contain a signature stamp that stays with the box, and they must conform to the guidelines for traditional caches and therefore must contain a logbook. They must be referenced by latitude and longitude, not just clues. Whether or not the letterbox hybrid contains trade items is up to the owner. In most cases personal stamp and personal logbook are not necessary to be a seeker of a letterbox hybrid.

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We really enjoyed one we did in North Wales so we set one of our own a few weeks ago in Tyrley Locks in Shropshire. We had a lot of fun devising it and we've had lovely comments off finders so far as it's something a little different.

 

I'd definitely go for any Letterboxes that were in target caching areas if there were more of them to find as we enjoy the challenge of finding a cache without a GPS as it adds variety to our caching.

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We've found two, searched for three -but I suspect it was missing due to recent hedge trimming.

 

We enjoyed them, and would certainly try for others.

We don't have our own stamp. If there were more LB's around us we would be tempted to get one sorted!

 

Is it possible to chain the stamp to the box? I've seen it with a TB, you can look at it, get the number, but other than walking off with the cache box (it was an ammo!) it is sort of obvious the TB has to stay.

 

G

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As a child we used to go on Dartmoor loooking for letterboxes. I only remembered this when describing geocaching to my mum who said "like we used to do dear?". So it seems there is no such thing as a new idea and the old stuff really is better. We had great fun and used to run up tors to be the first of the group to get the stamp. You had to take your own ink pad if I remember rightly. Mine was red, my brothers blue and if I got the stamp first his was purple which really annoyed him. Don't know what happened to my book probably got chucked out when it was no longer cool.

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When we started GeoCaching we read all the FAQ Getting Started page and one of the things that caught my eye was the Letterbox Hybrid type of cache as the idea of collecting the impression from a stamp seemed a lot more fun than rummaging through the usual bits and bobs. Unfortunately our nearest Letterbox Hybrid cache is over 120 miles away. Not to be defeated in our quest for Letterbox Hybrids we set three of our own, and finally in June this year one of us actually got to visit a real Letterbox Hybrid (Baarnes Loch); but all the other Letterbox Hybrids I planned to visit had either had their stamps "swapped out" by previous cachers or the caches had been muggled.

 

We are now getting ready to set up some more with some fellow East Anglian cachers who despite being in the game longer than us had never heard of the Letterbox Hybrid type until they "swapped" a really nice rubber stamp out of the first LB they found. There is a thread on Letterbox Hybrids in the Getting Started Area and swapping/accidental muggling of the LB stamp seems to be a common problem.

 

So while the preteen members of both our teams apply their creative genius to designing LB Stamps (combined effort A5 sheet works out at about £1 per stamp) their dad's have turned to ways to restrain crazed swap fever victims from half inching theLB Stamps once they are set. So here's our questions:

  • Have you ever heard of/found a Letterbox Hybrid?
  • Do you like collecting the imprint left by a fellow cachers artistic creation, or would you prefer a regular swap?
  • If you have ever accidentally muggled a LB stamp why did this happen (you can always say "friends of ours who are cachers ...")?
  • Why aren't there more Letterbox Hybrids?
  • Are we wasting our time planning to set letterbox Hybrids?

  • We must be lucky around here, I recently completed a small series of micro letterbox hybrids starting with this one GCWGBZ
  • I don't collect the imprints, swaps are always good to keep the kids interested.
  • Never happened.
  • As for why there aren't more I can only presume that quiet a few cachers have never seen one and therefore have not placed any of their own.
  • No you not wasting your time planning and setting out Letterbox Hybrids, Variety is the spice of life. :(

As for the stamps being swapped out. How about attaching a small laminated sheet to the stamp. Explaining that it's not a swap item and that your kids have spent a lot of time and effort designing the stamp for all to enjoy.

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... How about attaching a small laminated sheet to the stamp. Explaining that it's not a swap item and that your kids have spent a lot of time and effort designing the stamp for all to enjoy.

Excellent idea and not one we had thought of - the hectoring/educating approach seems to have only a limited effect and this seems like a really positive way to say enjoy your visit but leave the stamp behind. <_<

 

Looking at the online logs for other LB Hybrids I've noticed cachers sometimes say "claimed the stamp" which sounds a bit ambiguous to me: could mean we took the stamp as a swap/ftf prize or we took a print from the stamp, in any case it does suggest to those that follow that it is permissable to "take" the stamp. :ph34r:

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I've never found a letterbox hybrid but I like the idea of them and coincidently was planning to go and hunt for Jango & Bobbas next week when I'm over in that side of Norfolk. If I'm honest I've planned the visit to that paticular cache in order to bag the icon, but this thread has now got me wondering why there aren't more? Do you have to register LBH's on a letterboxing website as well as GC.com? It's a lack of knowledge about them which has meant I have I've never looking into placing a LBH of my own and I wonder if that's the reason why there aren't more of them about.

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A letterbox cache is listed on this site only, you make it up the same way as a normal cache, you can have it as a regular, multi or even a puzzle. What makes it the letterbox is that there is a stamp inside for people to use. That is the main requirement. It's no more difficult than placing an ordinary cache.

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What makes it the letterbox is that there is a stamp inside for people to use. That is the main requirement. It's no more difficult than placing an ordinary cache.

 

 

If that's all there is to it I think I'll set a few up myself. :D Now, does it matter if you don't make the stamp yourself - is it ok to just buy one? <_<

 

(Expects howls of outrage from purist letterboxers...) <_<

Edited by The Golem
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If that's all there is to it I think I'll set a few up myself. <_< Now, does it matter if you don't make the stamp yourself - is it ok to just buy one? <_<

The three that I've set all had specially designed stamps in them, which I think makes it obvious that the stamp goes with the cache and ISN'T A SWAP. The problem with using any off the shelf rubber stamp is how do cachers know that it isn't a swap as rubber stamps are relatively common swaps/signature items. Even if you make the cache container small and don't put any swaps in swap fiends will stuff them in (they do it with micros) and will also be expecting to find a swap - from the sounding around that we've both done it appears that many (possibly most) GeoCachers assume that most caches are Trads (as it takes a little ferreting around on two different pages to find out what a Letterbox Hybrid is (here and here). Before I get flamed for suggesting that most GeoCachers aren't familiar with the different types of cache just remember that 82% of UK cachers have never set their own cache and that only 4% of UK cachers have 200 or more finds.

 

Before I forget Golem, the cheapest place I've found for making custom stamps is here, starting from c£6.

 

{edited to add some examples of the stamps we've made/found}

stamps.jpg

Edited by Jango & Boba Fett
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[*]Have you ever heard of/found a Letterbox Hybrid?

[*]Do you like collecting the imprint left by a fellow cachers artistic creation, or would you prefer a regular swap?

[*]If you have ever accidentally muggled a LB stamp why did this happen (you can always say "friends of ours who are cachers ...")?

[*]Why aren't there more Letterbox Hybrids?

[*]Are we wasting our time planning to set letterbox Hybrids?

 

Yes I have heard of them.

 

Yes I have found plenty.

 

Although an artistic creation would be lovely to find, you do run the risk of the stamp being taken or even the box being muggled like any cache. So perhaps cheaper/easier to buy ready made stamps?

 

It clearly states on the site what a Letterbox cache is if you just click on the Letter icon on the 'Seek Geocache' page, which provides a further link for you, or If you are unsure, just contact the owner??

 

Yes I have had the stamps taken away, and the Ink Pad, so glad I didn't have a personal stamp.

 

There are plenty of letterbox hybrids in Scotland, I hope it catches on elsewhere.

 

 

examples;

 

allieballie - 14 letterboxes

Cookster - 4 letterboxes

Haggis Hunter - 1 letterbox

Marmal - 3 letterboxes

McKryton - 10 letterboxes

PP - 26 letterboxes

Snaik - 16 letterboxes

Team Clova - 28 letterboxes

 

and I'm sure there are other people I have missed, as you can see they are very popular up here in Fife/Perthshire/Angus/Lothian

 

Go ahead and set one, see how it goes, and Good Luck. - er perhaps with a note on the page explaining not to remove the stamp and ink pad?? A sticker on both saying do not remove sounds an excellent idea.

 

It might be an idea as well for those hunting for them to carry their own ink pad, as these can dry up over time in a box.

Edited by perth pathfinders
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Letterboxing is an honourable game, much much much older than geocaching; however, I don't like letterbox hybrids.

 

Why? Because although in theory any cache become a letterbox with the addition of a stamp, in practice the instructions for finding a letterbox hybrid tend to be the "pure letterbox" instructions. In other zords, if you're lucky, your GPSr will get you to the car park, but after that, you're on your own.

 

In theory all LH listings should "meet the requirements for a traditional". Maybe it's because the reviewers - at least round where I live - don't get many of them, but I have yet to see an LH cache which had "posted coords equals cache coords". More often, it's a three-to-ten stage puzzle walk, with compass directions and counting steps etc. Great fun perhaps, but if I wanted to do letterboxing, I'd sign up for that.

 

(Yes, I know, nobody forces me to do a cache. But if you're like me, if someone puts a new cache 5 miles from your house, you "have to" do it!)

 

So, LH caches which meet the guidelines, OK, but let's see some teeth from the reviewers.

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Good thread. I was a letterboxer in a previous life and now wonder how I ever managed to find nearly 3000 of them in such a small area! My personal stamp for caching is an old letterbox rubbercut stamp. What is a rubbercut? For the uninitiated letterboxers used to design a stamp, photocopy the design then iron it onto a rubber (so the reverse image is left on the rubber). using a lino cutter or a knife blade the design is then cut out to leave the stamp.

 

There were some fantastic designs cut in this way and I was just an average 'cutter' at the time. I will post some of the better designs to show how good they were then. having lost contact with the old team I don't know who they have developed but there were some really gifted designs back 5 years ago so I suspect they are even better now with PC assistance.

 

In my view there are not enough cachers with their own stamp to sign in to the log books. Go for it, they are far more interesting than the handwritten entries.

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A stamp that looks like a pair of pants!! you are probably better off designing your own, unless that's your thing

 

http://www.userfriendly-devon.com/shops/st...mp;productId=55

 

.....no seroiusly, all the others look great and good price for making your own designs up. If I made my own with a rubber and a craft knofe the first ink pad would end up being my blood, I am far too clumsy to try this.

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Can I make a stamp from a carved potato like wot we did at skool? :laughing:

 

You could make a stamp to carry with you from a potato, but the one in the cache can't be, as that would count as 'foodstuffs' which are not allowed in a cache (although, to a goat, anything counts as edible).

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