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Letterbox hybrid pet peeve:


L0ne.R
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I was re-reading some forum topics that I replied to and came across this one that I thought I might post as a separate topic and maybe discuss what letterbox (hybrid) enthusiasts like and don't like about GC letterbox hides....

 

My pet peeve is the stamp in most letterbox hybrids. It's usually any stamp the cache owner can find in the toybox. It usually has no connection to the box or location. It's almost always a commercial stamp - very rarely a piece of personal art i.e. a handcarved eraser or other carving medium (pzkut, safety-kut, speedy-cut, marscarve, etc.). Whenever I see the words "I threw a stamp in the box for the letterboxers" I know I'm going to be disappointed. In fact I'm a little insulted. I like to collect letterbox stamp images (I prefer them to trinkets) but not just any non-relevant, non-personalized image. When I look at the stamp image in my personal logbook I want to relate it to the box and the location and the planter. Even if it has to be a commercial stamp if the location is by a covered bridge I'd like to see a commercial stamp of a covered bridge, not Winnie the Pooh.

 

When I go to a letterbox in Fox Park whose title is "This Letterbox Will Out Fox You" I don't expect to find a cupcake stamp in it:

thumb_ha-d4959.jpg

Instead I want to see a handcarved fox stamp:

3823878473_3af6784b0a_m.jpg

 

Why bother planting a letterbox if you aren't going to get creative? Just hide a regular cache.

--

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I have only done two letterbox hybrids but I remember them well, the first had a huge stamp (about the size of an adult man's hand) and the other has a tiny stamp. I fully agree with Lone R's post and letterbox hybrid hiders should go to the trouble of making their own specific/theme stamp. It would make a more enjoyable hunt for the seekers.

 

However, this has been baffling me for sometime now. I think someone (Groundspeak or someone else) should sell letterbox stamp books, and services to make your own stamp. But at the same time make the size of the stamps the same size _ like poker chip size for instance.

 

Just a thought! Any entrepreneurs interested in doing this?

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I carve my own stamp! Albeit from an eraser, using my pen knife. It's not a fancy stamp, but it is based on the name of the cache.

Of the six that I've found, all had original carved stamps. The stamp I use to stamp the log book, on the other fin, is a store boughten stamp.

 

8b746cbb-0eaa-4da5-a92c-a22b737e5786.jpg

 

So, maybe it's a regional problem? More likely a lack of understanding and originality?

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Thank you for this thread. Just reading this, I finally "get" the whole letterbox thing. Until now, it seemed interesting but I couldn't quite grasp the concept. I didn't realize that each letter-boxer has their own personal logbook in which they "collect" the different stamps, just like I used to collect different stickers. And since that's the case, I would imagine a commercially mass-produced stamp would be rather disappointing.

 

So, what's a good size for a stamp? What kind of log books do you all use? Or does that vary from person to person? Are there specific letterboxing logbooks or do you make your own? I like this idea!

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So, what's a good size for a stamp? What kind of log books do you all use? Or does that vary from person to person? Are there specific letterboxing logbooks or do you make your own? I like this idea!

 

I've seen stamps ranging from the size of a thumbnail to about the size of a pack of cigarettes. Most are somewhere in between.

 

My personal stamp was carved out of an eraser so it's not very big.

 

I don't know what other letterboxers use but my personal logbook is a hard cover 4" x 6" unlined journal. It has accommodated every box's stamp I've encountered, but is small enough that it isn't a pain to carry around.

 

I usually see 3" x 5" wire bound steno pads used as logbooks in the letterboxes around here. Pretty much the same log most geocaches have.

 

Of course things might be quite different in other areas.

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I carve my own stamp! Albeit from an eraser, using my pen knife. It's not a fancy stamp, but it is based on the name of the cache.

Of the six that I've found, all had original carved stamps. The stamp I use to stamp the log book, on the other fin, is a store boughten stamp.

 

8b746cbb-0eaa-4da5-a92c-a22b737e5786.jpg

 

So, maybe it's a regional problem? More likely a lack of understanding and originality?

Ahh! A three legged bear! j/k :blink:

 

I was halfway done with my first (and only) hand carved stamp before I realized the letters were backwards.

 

Big dummy. :) I have not tried again.

 

Thanks for the reminder though. I will try to carve a stamp tomorrow and place a letterbox cache soon. :)

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Carving the stamp is precisely why I love letterboxes. I have one hidden, it's called Le Courrier du Renard (The Fox' Mail) and since it's not likely to see one of you come here to log it, here's the stamp :

2923713740028999818S425x425Q85.jpg

 

I have another letterbox in the plans, the stamp is already carved but I won't reveal it before actually placing the cache!

Letterboxes are far far from common at my place and i would like to give people the taste for it. I often place toybox stamps or small inkpads as swag in caches, in case some people would like to use them!

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I carve my own stamp! Albeit from an eraser, using my pen knife. It's not a fancy stamp, but it is based on the name of the cache.

Of the six that I've found, all had original carved stamps. The stamp I use to stamp the log book, on the other fin, is a store boughten stamp.

 

8b746cbb-0eaa-4da5-a92c-a22b737e5786.jpg

 

I like it. Primitive, like a cave painting.

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I was halfway done with my first (and only) hand carved stamp before I realized the letters were backwards.

 

Write your text on regular paper or tracing paper, then flip it over onto the rubber. Rub the back of the paper to transfer the pencil carbon to the rubber. Voila! Your backwards text ready for carving.

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I carve my own stamp! Albeit from an eraser, using my pen knife. It's not a fancy stamp, but it is based on the name of the cache.

Of the six that I've found, all had original carved stamps. The stamp I use to stamp the log book, on the other fin, is a store boughten stamp.

 

8b746cbb-0eaa-4da5-a92c-a22b737e5786.jpg

 

So, maybe it's a regional problem? More likely a lack of understanding and originality?

Ahh! A three legged bear! j/k :blink:

That's not a tapir?
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So, what's a good size for a stamp?

 

I carry a couple of signature stamps, one is about 1/2" square, the other about 1" square. The 1" square fits in most logbooks. I use the 1/2" square on logsheets.

 

What kind of log books do you all use? Or does that vary from person to person? Are there specific letterboxing logbooks or do you make your own? I like this idea!

 

My first logbook was a spiral bound index card pad:

174318_sk_lg.jpg

 

The next was like Briansnat's - a hard cover Strathmore 4x6" unlined sketchbook. Nice one because the pages were thick (no bleed through) and the spine opened up so that the book laid flat when stamping.

 

My current logbook is a spiral bound unlined journal that my sister gave me.

 

Once that's full, I'm considering cutting up cardstock to 4x6" and carrying those. If I make a mistake while stamping in I can throw away the card and stamp again. Now when I make a mistake I stamp again on the same page -- looks a little messy. I'll put the stamped cards in photo sleeves when I get home.

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My pet peeve is the stamp in most letterbox hybrids. It's usually any stamp the cache owner can find in the toybox. It usually has no connection to the box or location. It's almost always a commercial stamp - very rarely a piece of personal art

 

Da**it Jim, I'm a geocacher, not an artist.

 

Then why hide a letterbox, why not just hide a regular cache with trinkets. Why do people hide letterboxes if they don't want to put a theme-centric stamp (preferably handcarved) in the box. What's the point?

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My pet peeve is the stamp in most letterbox hybrids. It's usually any stamp the cache owner can find in the toybox. It usually has no connection to the box or location. It's almost always a commercial stamp - very rarely a piece of personal art

 

Da**it Jim, I'm a geocacher, not an artist.

 

Then why hide a letterbox, why not just hide a regular cache with trinkets. Why do people hide letterboxes if they don't want to put a theme-centric stamp (preferably handcarved) in the box. What's the point?

 

I have desire to hide a letterbox. BTW, my response was a take-off on a line from an old Star Trek episode.

 

I frankly don't quite understand Letterbox hybrids. Even if it does have a thematic hand carved stamp in it, it still seem more like a regular cache with a stamp in it. Geocaching has guidelines for placing a cache, one of them being that the use of a GPS integral for hiding and finding the cache. I assume that letterboxing sites have a set of guidelines as well and that rather than use a GPS to find the container those that seek it follow a set of instructions. If a letterbox hybrid is listed on a letterboxing site than one would not need a GPS (or even coordinates) to find the container. If it's not listed on a letterboxing site, then, to me it's not a hybrid, but merely a geocache with a stamp in it.

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My pet peeve is the stamp in most letterbox hybrids. It's usually any stamp the cache owner can find in the toybox. It usually has no connection to the box or location. It's almost always a commercial stamp - very rarely a piece of personal art

 

Da**it Jim, I'm a geocacher, not an artist.

 

Then why hide a letterbox, why not just hide a regular cache with trinkets. Why do people hide letterboxes if they don't want to put a theme-centric stamp (preferably handcarved) in the box. What's the point?

 

I have desire to hide a letterbox. BTW, my response was a take-off on a line from an old Star Trek episode.

 

 

I did think that was funny.

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I frankly don't quite understand Letterbox hybrids. Even if it does have a thematic hand carved stamp in it, it still seem more like a regular cache with a stamp in it. Geocaching has guidelines for placing a cache, one of them being that the use of a GPS integral for hiding and finding the cache. I assume that letterboxing sites have a set of guidelines as well and that rather than use a GPS to find the container those that seek it follow a set of instructions. If a letterbox hybrid is listed on a letterboxing site than one would not need a GPS (or even coordinates) to find the container. If it's not listed on a letterboxing site, then, to me it's not a hybrid, but merely a geocache with a stamp in it.

 

There's nothing on the letterboxing sites that says a clue can't be a latitude/longitude coordinate (i.e. GPS coordinates), i.e. that it has to found using directions. Traditionally clues are used, but I have heard that lat/long coords have been used as clues back before GPS units were on the market. In Britain grid references are used. So how you get to a letterbox can vary.

 

The important thing about letterboxes both on the letterboxing sites and here on gc.com are that they contain a stamp. A letterbox is foremost about the stamp image - it proves you visited the box.... 'I found "This Box Will Out Fox You" in "Fox Park" by owner Redd Foxx. See, <pointing to logbook page> here's the one-of-a-kind stamp handcarved by Redd Foxx in my personal logbook.'

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I'm working on a letterbox hybrid and, yes, I do have a store-bought stamp for it. I'm not sure where I'll go with that, tho. I'll probably end up carving one anyway since the stamp doesn't reflect the design motif I'm using for the cache.

 

However, the store-bought stamp is hilarious. It's "Chip & Dale" and has katakana on top. (the Japanese syllable script used for foreign loan words and for emphasis -- especially sound effects -- in comic books). Chip and Dale are facing each other with their usual extremely enthusiastic smiles and bright happy eyes...and the katakana reads "FIGHT!"

 

I couldn't resist buying it -- yet another example of the surreal stuff you occasionally come across in the 100 Yen store. ; ) Now I just have to figure out something else to do with this stamp!

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I frankly don't quite understand Letterbox hybrids. Even if it does have a thematic hand carved stamp in it, it still seem more like a regular cache with a stamp in it. Geocaching has guidelines for placing a cache, one of them being that the use of a GPS integral for hiding and finding the cache. I assume that letterboxing sites have a set of guidelines as well and that rather than use a GPS to find the container those that seek it follow a set of instructions. If a letterbox hybrid is listed on a letterboxing site than one would not need a GPS (or even coordinates) to find the container. If it's not listed on a letterboxing site, then, to me it's not a hybrid, but merely a geocache with a stamp in it.

 

One of the things I'm thinking about for the LH I'm working on is an option for letterboxers: a link that links to a page that provides a traditional "clew" method of finding the cache. You can either opt to print out the cache page and use the coordinates (which take you straight to the cache) (and/)or you can print out the clues and do it that way. I just have to get my lazy bottom back to the site, figure out the paces/clues, figure out how to measure out calibration paces at the local, etc. It'll probably be a while before I get it done!

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Carving the stamp is precisely why I love letterboxes. I have one hidden, it's called Le Courrier du Renard (The Fox' Mail) and since it's not likely to see one of you come here to log it, here's the stamp :

2923713740028999818S425x425Q85.jpg

 

I have another letterbox in the plans, the stamp is already carved but I won't reveal it before actually placing the cache!

Letterboxes are far far from common at my place and i would like to give people the taste for it. I often place toybox stamps or small inkpads as swag in caches, in case some people would like to use them!

 

That is tremendously cute. I love it. : )

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that's one less film can that can be used for a cache. :anibad:

Puritan! :anibad::laughing:

 

Why do people hide letterboxes if they don't want to put a theme-centric stamp (preferably handcarved) in the box. What's the point?

To get the icon? :laughing:

To aggrivate the Letterboxers? :anitongue:

Because they're lazy? :laughing:

Because they don't care? :laughing:

They recognize their lack of artistic talent? :laughing:

Because they don't know that hiding a commercial stamp makes them lesser beings? :laughing:

 

I could go on all day.

Edited by Clan Riffster
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I carve my own stamp! Albeit from an eraser, using my pen knife. It's not a fancy stamp, but it is based on the name of the cache.

Of the six that I've found, all had original carved stamps. The stamp I use to stamp the log book, on the other fin, is a store boughten stamp.

 

8b746cbb-0eaa-4da5-a92c-a22b737e5786.jpg

 

So, maybe it's a regional problem? More likely a lack of understanding and originality?

Ahh! A three legged bear! j/k :anibad:

That's not a tapir?

 

Nope, it's a Wombat...definitely a Wombat.

 

If I were to place a LBH, I would definitely use a custom stamp.

 

As I understand it though, the stamps tend to be taken by those geocachers who don't understand the concept of the LBH.

 

EDITED: to stay on-topic.

Edited by AZcachemeister
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My pet peeve is the stamp in most letterbox hybrids. It's usually any stamp the cache owner can find in the toybox. It usually has no connection to the box or location. It's almost always a commercial stamp - very rarely a piece of personal art

 

Da**it Jim, I'm a geocacher, not an artist.

 

Haha!!! Love that!

 

Thanks for this thread. I am about to start letterboxing (as soon as i have my signature stamp) and i can't wait!

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that's one less film can that can be used for a cache. :D

Puritan! B)B)

 

Why do people hide letterboxes if they don't want to put a theme-centric stamp (preferably handcarved) in the box. What's the point?

To get the icon? <_<

 

Stop right there. it's the icon. You can close the thread now.

 

To aggrivate the Letterboxers? :unsure:

Because they're lazy? ;)

Because they don't care? :)

They recognize their lack of artistic talent? :D

Because they don't know that hiding a commercial stamp makes them lesser beings? :D

 

I could go on all day.

 

On second thought, I like these choices too. But I'll still go with the first one.

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There's nothing on the letterboxing sites that says a clue can't be a latitude/longitude coordinate (i.e. GPS coordinates)

 

I realize that - and that Groundspeak does not require anything more than a cache with a stamp in it. But I am still disappointed when that is all a letterbox cache is. My letterbox caches are cross listed and allow both groups to have a similar experience. But after a couple of failed attempts to carve a stamp I have to confess that I bought custom made hand crafted thematic stamps for the hybrid caches. So far I have not gotten complaints from either letterboxes or cachers.

Edited by mulvaney
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I'm planning a letterbox, that will be cross listed and will offer letterbox clues on the cache page for people who want it. I'm going to make my own stamp, but nobody sells the parts for them here in town (even though we have a large craft store). Ergh. I'm going to have to wait for a trip somewhere else and hopefully time to visit a Michael's or something. :D

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But after a couple of failed attempts to carve a stamp

 

See the Stamp Swap board on Atlas Quest. There are carvers who will send you one of their carved stamps to place in your letterbox. You can even ask for a particular image. You will need to credit them in the cache description and you will probably have to cross post the letterbox on Atlas Quest.

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I am just happy that they took the time to hide the cache for me to find!

When YOU hide ONE cache that you put some work into (preferably a LETTERBOX) then come back and vent!!

 

I was re-reading some forum topics that I replied to and came across this one that I thought I might post as a separate topic and maybe discuss what letterbox (hybrid) enthusiasts like and don't like about GC letterbox hides....

 

My pet peeve is the stamp in most letterbox hybrids. It's usually any stamp the cache owner can find in the toybox. It usually has no connection to the box or location. It's almost always a commercial stamp - very rarely a piece of personal art i.e. a handcarved eraser or other carving medium (pzkut, safety-kut, speedy-cut, marscarve, etc.). Whenever I see the words "I threw a stamp in the box for the letterboxers" I know I'm going to be disappointed. In fact I'm a little insulted. I like to collect letterbox stamp images (I prefer them to trinkets) but not just any non-relevant, non-personalized image. When I look at the stamp image in my personal logbook I want to relate it to the box and the location and the planter. Even if it has to be a commercial stamp if the location is by a covered bridge I'd like to see a commercial stamp of a covered bridge, not Winnie the Pooh.

 

When I go to a letterbox in Fox Park whose title is "This Letterbox Will Out Fox You" I don't expect to find a cupcake stamp in it:

thumb_ha-d4959.jpg

Instead I want to see a handcarved fox stamp:

3823878473_3af6784b0a_m.jpg

 

Why bother planting a letterbox if you aren't going to get creative? Just hide a regular cache.

--

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GC3RWHM this one didn't even have a stamp, and claims it isn't a requirement to have a stamp in a letterbox cache.... which rather makes it not a letterbox cache i'd have thought....

 

Hmmmm...let's check the Guidelines:

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=308

 

3. Letterbox Hybrids

 

This cache type pays homage to an older form of scavenger hunt. A Letterbox Hybrid must include significant GPS usage for at least part of the hunt. Letterbox-style clues may be used to guide seekers to the container, but only if the clues are accompanied by coordinates specific to the hide. The container for a Letterbox Hybrid must include a stamp, which stays with the geocache and may be used by letter-boxers to stamp their personal letter-boxing book. The cache can be logged without using the stamp.

 

 

B.

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I am just happy that they took the time to hide the cache for me to find!

When YOU hide ONE cache that you put some work into (preferably a LETTERBOX) then come back and vent!!

I find it very odd that you would bump a long-dormant thread for the purpose of violating the forum guidelines. Don't do that again.

 

All posters are entitled to respect, whether they have 5 posts or 5,000, zero cache hides or 100 hides.

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GC3RWHM this one didn't even have a stamp, and claims it isn't a requirement to have a stamp in a letterbox cache.... which rather makes it not a letterbox cache i'd have thought....

 

The CO is completely wrong. I wonder if that was added post publication.

 

No disagreement from me, but here is the CO's reasoning http://coord.info/GL9130R6

 

I think the Guideline I posted was quite clear. It doesn't seem to be "open to interpretation" to me.

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=308

 

3. Letterbox Hybrids

 

This cache type pays homage to an older form of scavenger hunt. A Letterbox Hybrid must include significant GPS usage for at least part of the hunt. Letterbox-style clues may be used to guide seekers to the container, but only if the clues are accompanied by coordinates specific to the hide. The container for a Letterbox Hybrid must include a stamp, which stays with the geocache and may be used by letter-boxers to stamp their personal letter-boxing book. The cache can be logged without using the stamp.

 

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol
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I am just happy that they took the time to hide the cache for me to find!

When YOU hide ONE cache that you put some work into (preferably a LETTERBOX) then come back and vent!!

I find it very odd that you would bump a long-dormant thread for the purpose of violating the forum guidelines. Don't do that again.

 

All posters are entitled to respect, whether they have 5 posts or 5,000, zero cache hides or 100 hides.

 

Thanks Keystone.

And btw I have 10 active letterbox hybrids listed under our team account and crossposted on AQ. Example.And all hand-carved by me or another letterboxer and all relate to the theme or location.

Edited by L0ne R
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Well I learned something from this zombie. I've been meaning to find a stamp store so I could visit the local LBHs...but I've been meaning to do this for about a year and a half. It never crossed my mind to carve one. So I guess it's off to the eraser store...wonder if they have Xacto knives too? Who am I kidding...I'll never get those LBHs. :(

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GC3RWHM this one didn't even have a stamp, and claims it isn't a requirement to have a stamp in a letterbox cache.... which rather makes it not a letterbox cache i'd have thought....

 

The CO is completely wrong. I wonder if that was added post publication.

 

No disagreement from me, but here is the CO's reasoning http://coord.info/GL9130R6

 

I think the Guideline I posted was quite clear. It doesn't seem to be "open to interpretation" to me.

 

http://support.Groun...=kb.page&id=308

 

3. Letterbox Hybrids

 

This cache type pays homage to an older form of scavenger hunt. A Letterbox Hybrid must include significant GPS usage for at least part of the hunt. Letterbox-style clues may be used to guide seekers to the container, but only if the clues are accompanied by coordinates specific to the hide. The container for a Letterbox Hybrid must include a stamp, which stays with the geocache and may be used by letter-boxers to stamp their personal letter-boxing book. The cache can be logged without using the stamp.

 

 

B.

 

I wonder where s/he is getting their quoted letterbox hybrid definition. It appears to be an old version which had the phrase "if there is a stamp inside a Letterbox Hybrid".. But they are ignoring the rest of the statement "the stamp is meant to remain in the box so that visitors can use it to record their visit." The cache was planted in August of this year and I'm pretty sure the guidelines that Pup Patrol listed have been in effect for at least a year and are clear that a stamp is a requirement and defines what a letterbox is.

 

Reading the logs it seems no one cares about the stamp aspect and are just happy to get the icon. Personally I'd rather see the letterbox hybrid type grandfathered and add a "letterbox stamp" attribute. If anyone is keen on collecting stamp images they can set PQs for these. Might stop all the icon-collector letterbox hides.

Edited by L0ne R
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Well I learned something from this zombie. I've been meaning to find a stamp store so I could visit the local LBHs...but I've been meaning to do this for about a year and a half. It never crossed my mind to carve one. So I guess it's off to the eraser store...wonder if they have Xacto knives too? Who am I kidding...I'll never get those LBHs. :(

 

You don't need a carved stamp to find letterboxes. You can simply sign in like you would with a regular cache find. But it's nice if you can find a signature stamp that represents you -- maybe a commercial shark stamp.

Even if you planted a letterbox with a commercial stamp it would be more interesting and unique if the commercial stamp related to the cache theme or location. Example, if you plant in a cemetery, an angel stamp would make for a more relevant letterbox stamp.

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It is likely an older version of the guideline. I sort of remember a time when neither Groundspeak nor cache reviewers had any interest in enforcing letterboxing rules. The Letterbox Hybrid type was simply created for people who were interesting in cross-posting hides on Geocaching and a letterboxing site. While the stated objective may have been to let cachers know that the stamp was not a trade item, Groundspeak had no reason to care whether a cache has a stamp in it or not (or even if the the cache was actually cross listed).

 

Had attributes existed when letterbox hybrids were first created, I have no doubt that there would never have been this "cache type" and instead there would be an attribute for "Contains Letterbox Stamp" that would make it clear that the cache could be listed on a letterbox site and that the stamp is not a trade item.

 

The letterbox hybrid type is extremely confusing to most people who do not read the guidelines or at best just skim through them. It is widely interpreted by many to be a cache where letterboxing style clues are used. It's almost impossible to get someone who believes this to read the guidelines and see where it mentions a stamp.

 

I've suggested in the past doing away with the Letterbox Hybrid type and replacing it with an attribute. The main arguments against this are 1. it would cause havoc with some challenge caches, and 2. newbies are more likely to read the page on a letterbox hybrid (since it's not a traditional cache), and a cache owner can take advantage of this to write that the stamp is not for trade.

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I think that any letterbox cache listed here but not on a letterbox site is a damned lie.

 

I also think anyone one who lists a letterbox on a letterbox site should stay away from listing it on a geocachig site.

 

This whole stamp thing isn't part of geocaching.

 

 

edit: two t's in letter

Edited by BlueDeuce
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It looks like the CO copied this: http://www.geocachin...ache_types.aspx

 

Letterbox Hybrid

Letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates. In some cases, the letterbox owner has made their container both a letterbox and a geocache and posted its coordinates on Geocaching.com. If there is a stamp inside a Letterbox Hybrid, it is not an item intended for trade; the stamp is meant to remain in the box so that visitors can use it to record their visit. To read more about letterboxing, visit the Letterboxing North America web site.

 

The funny thing is that the CO doesn't even use clues on his page even though he quoted that in his explanation. rolleyes.gif

Edited by UMainah
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UMainah is correct, of course. Both the listing guideline and the cache type summary have peacefully coexisted alongside each other for years. They are not inconsistent. The listing guidelines trump the summary page, of course, when it comes to deciding whether a letterbox hybrid cache can be published.

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