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Misunderstanding of Letterbox Hybrid?


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I started out as a letterboxer and have switched over to geocaching. Hence my only hide thus far is a letterbox hybrid, and my future plans are to make most of my hides letterbox hybrids. I thought my hide went pretty well since I have several favorite points but I'm recently considering whether I'm doing it right (if there even is a "right way" to do it.)

 

I considered a letterbox hybrid to be a hidden container that can be found by both geocachers and letterboxers. So I listed my hybrid on geocaching.com with exact GZ coordinates so that any geocacher could find the container as a typical geocache, and I also cross-listed the same container with AtlasQuest.com with step-by-step directions so that any letterboxer could find the container as a typical letterbox. I always thought of it as one container that was both a geocache and a letterbox.

 

But I was listening to podcacher last week when they mentioned the geocaching.com rules that that letterbox hybrids must have at least one set of GPS coordinates, but that turn by turn instructions may be given to locate the final cache. This description makes it sound like maybe a letterbox hybrid isn't supposed to be both a geocache and a letterbox sharing the same container (like how I thought of it), but that perhaps it is meant to be a geocache that geocachers are supposed to find letterbox-style, by following turn-by-turn instructions like a letterboxer. I know I didn't do anything incorrect because this is only an option, but I had never thought of a letterbox hybrid in that way before. I just figured that geocachers would want to use their GPS to find it, as usual.

 

(This recent realization is supported by an earlier log entry stating that the cacher had never seen a letterbox hybrid that was cross-listed on another service before.)

 

So while I don't think anything I did was incorrect, I wan to know if anybody else can elaborate on what you expect from a a letterbox hybrid geocache? Do you think of a letterbox hybrid as a geocache and a letterbox together, or as a geocache that is supposed to be found using letterboxing techniques?

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I've seen letterbox-hybrid caches done both ways: with the box located at the posted coordinates and directions that take you from the coordinates to the box. Most of them, however, have used directions to get you to the box.

 

I think this cache type is supposed to be a hybrid of letterbox and geocache -- a combination of the two. By specifying GPS coordinates, it involves some geocaching. By using directions to get you from the coordinates to the box, it involves some letterboxing. The stamp requirement also adds some letterboxing into the mix.

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I expect a letterbox hybrid to contain a stamp, but even with that expectation, I heard someone show a link of a cache where the CO even blatantly said Groundspeak does not force me to include a stamp, so he did not. To me, if one does not have to have a stamp nor follow the instructions of a letterbox, its not a letterbox cache, its just a fake icon.

 

Since step by step non GPS instructions are not required anymore, to me, the only consistent requirement is a stamp.

 

Personally I like using the non GPS instructions, but to be real, including them on our site will mostly be a waste as most folks will just use their GPS here. I personally included the non GPS instructions on my LBH for example, but was forced to list the final coordinates as you have learned. To me listing those instructions made it more genuine just in case someone wants to try it that way.

 

I think its great you have cross listed it on the LBH site, but I do not think many do anymore.

 

So, stamp.

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I personally included the non GPS instructions on my LBH for example, but was forced to list the final coordinates as you have learned.

While listing the final coordinates is required (like puzzle caches and multi-caches), I believe you're allowed to keep them hidden. Some sort of GPS coordinates is required, but they could be used simply as a starting point.

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I personally included the non GPS instructions on my LBH for example, but was forced to list the final coordinates as you have learned.

While listing the final coordinates is required (like puzzle caches and multi-caches), I believe you're allowed to keep them hidden. Some sort of GPS coordinates is required, but they could be used simply as a starting point.

 

No, I was not, the letterbox rules and/or interpretations have dictated you must include the final cache coordinates whether they are the listed coordinates or as a non-hidden final waypoint where the listed coordinates are the starting point.

 

I imagine its possible that some reviewers in different regions have not adopted this interpretation, but in the Pacific Northwest, you must include the final coordinates. Obviously some older LBHs do not have them, but newer ones do.

Edited by lamoracke
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We cross list most of our letterbox hybrids, and will list most in a similar fashion on the gc site. The no-no I was given by my reviewer is you can't list a parking spot for your starting point and give turn by turn from there, as that doesn't necessitate the use of the GPS really. So I'll use some point in my storyline as the starting point, then go from there with turn by turn.

 

My big frustration regarding the stamps is that even when the listing makes it boldly clear, even when the stamp is labeled on the stamp itself..."do not take!" they go missing on me. I've carved the same stamp three times. We also discovered that raccoons apparently really like the taste of anything rubbery.

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My expectation is a stamp, my hope is a hand carved stamp.

 

Re listing on Geocaching.com, however you write it up, it must involve gps use - like any other cache.

http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

 

This does NOT mean the coordinates for the letterbox must be visible on the listing, but it does mean that there must be coordinates provided that are necessary to finding the box, exactly the same as any Mystery or Multicache. You can't provide coords for a parking lot, and directions from there. The coords need to describe some distinct specific location needful for locating the box. Parking lot coords could probably vary by hundreds of feet, and still work. Coords for the giant pine stump along the trail, and then instructions from that point, would be okay.

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I am not a letterboxer, but the LBH caches I've done have started at the posted coordinates, and then used letterbox-style clues to find the cache. They met the "significant GPS usage" requirement by writing the letterbox-style clues such that you needed to be within a few feet of the starting coordinates to make sense of the initial clues (and of course, later clues depended on the earlier clues).

 

You can also meet the "significant GPS usage" requirement by simply posting the actual coordinates of the container, but what I enjoyed about the LBH caches was following the letterbox-style clues.

Edited by niraD
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Thanks all. It seems I was thinking of it incorrectly. Although there was nothing wrong with me listing the GZ coordinates, it seems I may have stolen some fun away from some seekers who may have expected to follow instructions. But then again, on my gecocaching.com listing I do include a link to the letterboxing listing with a note "For a change of pace you could try to find this cache without the aid of your GPS by just following the directions" so that option was available to them. I think I'll leave this listing the way it is, maybe add a few extra notes to make it clear, but it's good to know what is generally expected for when I hide future LBH.

 

P.S. I always include a hand-carved stamp, and I make sure the stamps physically can't be taken. In my one hide it is glued to the inside of the container lid, but for my next one I'm tying it to a thin wire so nobody can take it unintentionally.

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Although there was nothing wrong with me listing the GZ coordinates, it seems I may have stolen some fun away from some seekers who may have expected to follow instructions. But then again, on my gecocaching.com listing I do include a link to the letterboxing listing with a note "For a change of pace you could try to find this cache without the aid of your GPS by just following the directions" so that option was available to them. I think I'll leave this listing the way it is, maybe add a few extra notes to make it clear, but it's good to know what is generally expected for when I hide future LBH.

 

P.S. I always include a hand-carved stamp, and I make sure the stamps physically can't be taken. In my one hide it is glued to the inside of the container lid, but for my next one I'm tying it to a thin wire so nobody can take it unintentionally.

 

What I've done is provided directions but also included an extra waypoint to the final for those geocachers who don't like the step-by-step method.

 

Thanks for hiding a hand-carved stamp. All of my letterbox hides are hand-carved as well (and listed here and on AQ). I've never attached a stamp to the container. When hiding a letterbox where I encourage cachers to also trade trinkets, I put the letterbox portion into a small lock n lock (if I'm planting an ammo box and there's enough room), or an altoids tin. I label the little containers well plus I also write on the back of the stamp with a fine sharpie "DO NOT TRADE. LEAVE IN THE BOX."

Edited by L0ne R
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P.S. I always include a hand-carved stamp, and I make sure the stamps physically can't be taken. In my one hide it is glued to the inside of the container lid, but for my next one I'm tying it to a thin wire so nobody can take it unintentionally.

 

Is it easy to stamp the stamp when it's attached to the lid? What glue did you use?

When you attach with a wire, do you punch a hole in the container? If so, does the hole allow water to seep into the container? If not, how do you keep the contents dry?

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P.S. I always include a hand-carved stamp, and I make sure the stamps physically can't be taken. In my one hide it is glued to the inside of the container lid, but for my next one I'm tying it to a thin wire so nobody can take it unintentionally.

 

Is it easy to stamp the stamp when it's attached to the lid? What glue did you use?

When you attach with a wire, do you punch a hole in the container? If so, does the hole allow water to seep into the container? If not, how do you keep the contents dry?

 

For the one where I glued it to the lid of the container, I used Gorilla Glue. Great stuff, but after some testing I found that the lid was too smooth for a permanent hold, so I glued it again but reinforced it with a few tiny nuts and bolts going through the lid, which had to be below the surface level of the stamp to keep the stamp working right. A tiny rubber washer and some more Gorilla Glue kept the drilled holes water tight. It's easy to use because it's only about 2" in diameter, and the plastic lid acts as the base of the stamp. If you want I can go fetch it and snap a quick photo.

 

I've already carved the stamp for my next hybrid. Actually I carved it several years ago when I was still letterboxing but I never got around to planting it. It's mounted on a wooden block (Gorilla Glue again) so drilling a small hole through the base so I can thread a thin cable through it was easy. I haven't yet attached the other end to the inside of a container yet but I will make sure it remains waterproof.

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From http://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_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.

Seems that a letterbox hybrid is suppose to be a letterbox that the owner also crosslisted onto Geocaching.com. So I would think that if it isn't crosslisted, then it isn't a hybrid, just simply a traditional, or a mystery if you use clues.

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Although there was nothing wrong with me listing the GZ coordinates, it seems I may have stolen some fun away from some seekers who may have expected to follow instructions. But then again, on my gecocaching.com listing I do include a link to the letterboxing listing with a note "For a change of pace you could try to find this cache without the aid of your GPS by just following the directions" so that option was available to them. I think I'll leave this listing the way it is, maybe add a few extra notes to make it clear, but it's good to know what is generally expected for when I hide future LBH.

 

P.S. I always include a hand-carved stamp, and I make sure the stamps physically can't be taken. In my one hide it is glued to the inside of the container lid, but for my next one I'm tying it to a thin wire so nobody can take it unintentionally.

 

What I've done is provided directions but also included an extra waypoint to the final for those geocachers who don't like the step-by-step method.

 

Thanks for hiding a hand-carved stamp. All of my letterbox hides are hand-carved as well (and listed here and on AQ). I've never attached a stamp to the container. When hiding a letterbox where I encourage cachers to also trade trinkets, I put the letterbox portion into a small lock n lock (if I'm planting an ammo box and there's enough room), or an altoids tin. I label the little containers well plus I also write on the back of the stamp with a fine sharpie "DO NOT TRADE. LEAVE IN THE BOX."

The Extra Waypoint is a nice touch...

 

As opinions go...it all just depends on what you focus on...I like the technology part and appreciate those that include the coords...otherwise (and this is only my opinion) it is a letterbox disguised as a geocache...not really a hybrid...just a way to get around listing guidelines...

 

Don't get me wrong, I totally respect the process of letterboxing...it just isn't for me. I have my own stamp for when I find a letterbox while out caching and have created my own account for letterboxing...but it just isn't my thing...

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Thanks all. It seems I was thinking of it incorrectly.

 

After more input, I think the answer is that there aren't any universal expectations and that either way is acceptable.

Yep...but...for those of us that prefer Geocaching over Letterboxing...please give that extra waypoint idea consideration (mentioned by LOne R)...I know I will in future hides should I get more into the process of letterboxing...

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P.S. I always include a hand-carved stamp, and I make sure the stamps physically can't be taken. In my one hide it is glued to the inside of the container lid, but for my next one I'm tying it to a thin wire so nobody can take it unintentionally.

 

Is it easy to stamp the stamp when it's attached to the lid? What glue did you use?

When you attach with a wire, do you punch a hole in the container? If so, does the hole allow water to seep into the container? If not, how do you keep the contents dry?

 

For the one where I glued it to the lid of the container, I used Gorilla Glue. Great stuff, but after some testing I found that the lid was too smooth for a permanent hold, so I glued it again but reinforced it with a few tiny nuts and bolts going through the lid, which had to be below the surface level of the stamp to keep the stamp working right. A tiny rubber washer and some more Gorilla Glue kept the drilled holes water tight. It's easy to use because it's only about 2" in diameter, and the plastic lid acts as the base of the stamp. If you want I can go fetch it and snap a quick photo.

 

I've already carved the stamp for my next hybrid. Actually I carved it several years ago when I was still letterboxing but I never got around to planting it. It's mounted on a wooden block (Gorilla Glue again) so drilling a small hole through the base so I can thread a thin cable through it was easy. I haven't yet attached the other end to the inside of a container yet but I will make sure it remains waterproof.

 

Thanks for the clear description. If my handcarved stamps go missing I will try the tethering method. So far I've (almost) lost one to a geocacher. That was about 4 years ago. But actually, the finder left an online note that he traded for the stamp so I emailed him and he returned the stamp to me.

 

I have lost whole letterboxes i.e. the whole container and contents were gone or bits and pieces strewn about but the stamp was gone. But fortunately only had the stamp traded out the one time.

Edited by L0ne R
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From 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.

Seems that a letterbox hybrid is suppose to be a letterbox that the owner also crosslisted onto Geocaching.com. So I would think that if it isn't crosslisted, then it isn't a hybrid, just simply a traditional, or a mystery if you use clues.

 

There's no requirement to crosslist a letterbox hybrid. Most of the LHs I've found are not cross-listed. Where the letterbox is hosted does not define it's status as a letterbox.

 

What makes a letterbox a letterbox is the unique stamp in the box, which identifies that specific box as the one you found. You stamp it into your logbook as proof that you found that specific box with the one-of-a-kind stamp. That's why commercial mass produced stamps are less desireable. Anyone can walk into Michaels or a dollar store and get a swirl/star/hello kitty stamp. But when someone carves their own stamp it's personalized, unique and collectable.

 

The stamp is the defining factor. You can't post a letterbox on Atlas Quest and state that the box is full of stickers (no stamp). If the AQ website owner/managers were alerted, the listing would be removed from the site. It would be a stickerbox not a letterbox.

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I personally included the non GPS instructions on my LBH for example, but was forced to list the final coordinates as you have learned.

While listing the final coordinates is required (like puzzle caches and multi-caches), I believe you're allowed to keep them hidden. Some sort of GPS coordinates is required, but they could be used simply as a starting point.

 

Yep--the coordinates for mine are the starting point, though I give an easy math hint in the hints if folks don't want to follow the directions.

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From 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.

Seems that a letterbox hybrid is suppose to be a letterbox that the owner also crosslisted onto Geocaching.com. So I would think that if it isn't crosslisted, then it isn't a hybrid, just simply a traditional, or a mystery if you use clues.

 

There's no requirement to crosslist a letterbox hybrid. Most of the LHs I've found are not cross-listed. Where the letterbox is hosted does not define it's status as a letterbox.

 

What makes a letterbox a letterbox is the unique stamp in the box, which identifies that specific box as the one you found. You stamp it into your logbook as proof that you found that specific box with the one-of-a-kind stamp. ...

 

Yes. There is no requirement for cross-listing, It is the stamp that makes it a letterbox. I do not give the final coords for mine. You have to follow the clues. I have 339 finds on mine in five years and 23 favorite points. I have had to replace the stamp twice. But, as far as I know, it is the only letterbox hybrid remaining in New York City, so it does get a lot of foreign visitors. And it does take a lot of maintenance. Oh, well.

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As the guidelines and others say, the only requirement is a stamp.

 

I've only found 5 of them:

 

- 3 of them were at the posted coordinates: I.e. a Traditional cache with a stamp.

- 1 of them was like a Multi-Cache (with a stamp). Go to the posted locations, get some info to get the final coordinates.

- 1 of them used clues a bit like a Letterbox. Go to the posted coordinates then follow a pirate map to get to the cache (which has a stamp).

 

By the way I have found other caches which combine GPS with additional instructions or a map to get to the final that do not have a stamp and were listed as puzzles or multis - e.g GC2W6F8. This one you use your GPS to get to stage 1, where you are provided a treasure map to find the final.

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A letterbox hybrid is not a geocache that is like a letterbox, it is a geocache AND a letterbox.

 

From a geocacher's standpoint the designation means absolutely nothing other than getting a different icon when it is logged.

 

cache at posted coordinates = traditional cache

cache at posted coordinates with LB stamp = letterbox hybrid

 

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way = multi cache

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way, w LB stamp inside = letterbox hybrid.

 

Cross posting on a letterboxing site is not required, but if it is meant to be a LB hybrid, it would be silly not to do it. What would the point of placing a LB hybrid be if it isn't advertized to letterboxers?

Edited by briansnat
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cache at posted coordinates = traditional cache

cache at posted coordinates with LB stamp = letterbox hybrid

 

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way = multi cache

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way, w LB stamp inside = letterbox hybrid.

 

 

Exactly. This definition needs to be in the cache types description page.

 

But it's a very odd cache type - it confuses a lot of people including reviewers.

 

Do you think there will ever come a time where Groundspeak grandfathers the LH cache type and provides a "letterbox stamp" attribute? It could stop people who place a letterbox with an irrelevant discard mass-produced stamp just to get the LH icon in their repertory of hides, rather then post it as a puzzle.

Edited by L0ne R
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A letterbox hybrid is not a geocache that is like a letterbox, it is a geocache AND a letterbox.

 

From a geocacher's standpoint the designation means absolutely nothing other than getting a different icon when it is logged.

 

cache at posted coordinates = traditional cache

cache at posted coordinates with LB stamp = letterbox hybrid

 

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way = multi cache

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way, w LB stamp inside = letterbox hybrid.

 

Cross posting on a letterboxing site is not required, but if it is meant to be a LB hybrid, it would be silly not to do it. What would the point of placing a LB hybrid be if it isn't advertized to letterboxers?

Yeah what he said.

I explained to my sister is that a letterbox hybrid can be anything a geocache (Trads, Multi, Mystery) can be but with a stamp. But the final coords have to be either at the posted coords or at the starting coords if it is like a multi or mystery (can be clues or directions). It just only needs a stamp to make the difference.

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A letterbox hybrid is not a geocache that is like a letterbox, it is a geocache AND a letterbox.

 

From a geocacher's standpoint the designation means absolutely nothing other than getting a different icon when it is logged.

 

cache at posted coordinates = traditional cache

cache at posted coordinates with LB stamp = letterbox hybrid

 

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way = multi cache

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way, w LB stamp inside = letterbox hybrid.

 

Cross posting on a letterboxing site is not required, but if it is meant to be a LB hybrid, it would be silly not to do it. What would the point of placing a LB hybrid be if it isn't advertized to letterboxers?

 

That pretty much agrees with my take on it. Most of the discussions that I've read in the forums about letterbox hybrids only look at it from a geocaching perspective, and suggest that if it has a stamp, it can be published on the geocaching site as a letterbox hybrid.

 

If a letterbox hybrid is a geocache *AND* a letterbox then it should not only be viewed from the geocachers perspective but also from a letterboxers perspective. Although I can't say that I'm a letterboxer my assumption is that a letterbox not only contains a stamp, but also includes textual directions for how to find it, rather than specific lat/long coordinates. Would a LB hybrid posted on one of the Letterbox site be acceptable if it only had lat/long coordinates and no textual directions?

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A letterbox hybrid is not a geocache that is like a letterbox, it is a geocache AND a letterbox.

 

From a geocacher's standpoint the designation means absolutely nothing other than getting a different icon when it is logged.

 

cache at posted coordinates = traditional cache

cache at posted coordinates with LB stamp = letterbox hybrid

 

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way = multi cache

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way, w LB stamp inside = letterbox hybrid.

 

Cross posting on a letterboxing site is not required, but if it is meant to be a LB hybrid, it would be silly not to do it. What would the point of placing a LB hybrid be if it isn't advertized to letterboxers?

 

That pretty much agrees with my take on it. Most of the discussions that I've read in the forums about letterbox hybrids only look at it from a geocaching perspective, and suggest that if it has a stamp, it can be published on the geocaching site as a letterbox hybrid.

 

If a letterbox hybrid is a geocache *AND* a letterbox then it should not only be viewed from the geocachers perspective but also from a letterboxers perspective. Although I can't say that I'm a letterboxer my assumption is that a letterbox not only contains a stamp, but also includes textual directions for how to find it, rather than specific lat/long coordinates. Would a LB hybrid posted on one of the Letterbox site be acceptable if it only had lat/long coordinates and no textual directions?

 

Actually I don't think there is a rule in letterboxing that says specific coordinates can not be a clue.

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A letterbox hybrid is not a geocache that is like a letterbox, it is a geocache AND a letterbox.

 

From a geocacher's standpoint the designation means absolutely nothing other than getting a different icon when it is logged.

 

cache at posted coordinates = traditional cache

cache at posted coordinates with LB stamp = letterbox hybrid

 

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way = multi cache

cache where the posted coordinates bring you to a specific location and from there clues take you the rest of the way, w LB stamp inside = letterbox hybrid.

 

Cross posting on a letterboxing site is not required, but if it is meant to be a LB hybrid, it would be silly not to do it. What would the point of placing a LB hybrid be if it isn't advertized to letterboxers?

 

That pretty much agrees with my take on it. Most of the discussions that I've read in the forums about letterbox hybrids only look at it from a geocaching perspective, and suggest that if it has a stamp, it can be published on the geocaching site as a letterbox hybrid.

 

If a letterbox hybrid is a geocache *AND* a letterbox then it should not only be viewed from the geocachers perspective but also from a letterboxers perspective. Although I can't say that I'm a letterboxer my assumption is that a letterbox not only contains a stamp, but also includes textual directions for how to find it, rather than specific lat/long coordinates. Would a LB hybrid posted on one of the Letterbox site be acceptable if it only had lat/long coordinates and no textual directions?

 

Actually I don't think there is a rule in letterboxing that says specific coordinates can not be a clue.

 

Correct, coordinate clues are allowed. You wouldn't get a lot of finders, but they are allowed.

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Would a LB hybrid posted on one of the Letterbox site be acceptable if it only had lat/long coordinates and no textual directions?

 

Actually I don't think there is a rule in letterboxing that says specific coordinates can not be a clue.

 

As a former letterboxer, I don't know about the rules but a letterbox with only GPS coordinates would be a letterbox that nobody would ever find because letterboxers don't use GPSrs at all. A compass is the only navigational tool that is sometimes used. (ie. "go 20 steps at a heading of 30 degrees NNW")

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I do both hobbies, and for me... I like to have gps and clues in my hybrids for the geocachers. For me, it is important to educate geocachers about letterboxing so when they do find a letterbox by accident, the stamp isn't traded out. If I only provide coords... I guarantee some of them don't even look at the icon and realise or understand what a Letterbox hybrid even is.... so.. they MUST look at my clues.

 

I don't think it's wrong to make gps-only hybrids, (and it sure is easier to pass reviewer scrutiny), but then it's not as much a clue-based letterbox, as a geocache with a stamp.

 

I list them on the letterboxing site, and put a link to over here. I mention on this site, that they should go to the letterboxing site if they want to log the letterbox, but I don't provide a link, as it is not allowed, and I've been asked to remove the link.

 

I have two logbooks in one of my hybrids, and just one in the other, as a test. So far, no confusion on either one of those. The only confusion has been when geocachers follow the coords and start to look for the cache.... only to look at the description and hint after coming up short-handed, and realising they need to follow clues after they reach the coords.

Edited by FloridaFour
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I also do both hobbies and letterboxes are my absolute favorite types. They give me something more to look at than just a scroll of names and dates. I keep a personal journal and I like looking back over the stamps that I've collected in my journal. I like being able to cross-list a box and have it get found by cachers and boxers. Most of my stamps are hand-carved as well and I am playing around with creating my own logbooks. Letterboxes are more for those who want to slow down and enjoy the journey and the creativity in the box.

 

I think Reviewers in different parts of the country interpret the Guidelines in various ways. Some get it, some don't. Some require things that are not specifically stated in the guidelines and that makes trying to list a new one a less-than-pleasant experience (and cause some of the confusion in finders as well).

 

The guidelines state: 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.

 

Note that is says that significant GPS usage for at least PART of the hunt. It MUST include a stamp (however, it does not have to be hand-carved).

 

In my case, my Reviewer insists on my including the final waypoint as visible to cachers. It's frustrating to say the least. According to the guidelines, using a trailhead or prominent landmark SHOULD be good enough. The directional clues are just as much part of the "letterbox" experience as is the stamp.

 

The final location of a Puzzle cache or Multi-cache is not required to be public, so I don't see why it would be forced to be included on LBH caches. As with any cache type...no one is forced to go hunt these. It's just an option. I personally am not a puzzle fanatic, so I generally don't go after those. I'm not going to fuss about it and require a final location to be listed just because I would rather someone just give me the waypoint so I can just go sign the log. It would kind of defeat the purpose of that type of cache, don't you think?

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According to the guidelines, using a trailhead or prominent landmark SHOULD be good enough.

Putting on my reviewer hat, I disagree with this. One can find a trailhead or prominent landmark without a GPS, so those would not satisfy the guideline. However if you use a random tree or a fork in the trail as your GPS-found starting point, I would allow it.

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According to the guidelines, using a trailhead or prominent landmark SHOULD be good enough.
Putting on my reviewer hat, I disagree with this. One can find a trailhead or prominent landmark without a GPS, so those would not satisfy the guideline. However if you use a random tree or a fork in the trail as your GPS-found starting point, I would allow it.
FWIW, this matches the way the LBH caches I've found have been done. The coordinates pointed to a starting location, and you needed the coordinates to get to the starting location. It wasn't a parking lot or trailhead that could be found easily without coordinates. But from there on, everything used letterbox-style clues.
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According to the guidelines, using a trailhead or prominent landmark SHOULD be good enough.
Putting on my reviewer hat, I disagree with this. One can find a trailhead or prominent landmark without a GPS, so those would not satisfy the guideline. However if you use a random tree or a fork in the trail as your GPS-found starting point, I would allow it.
FWIW, this matches the way the LBH caches I've found have been done. The coordinates pointed to a starting location, and you needed the coordinates to get to the starting location. It wasn't a parking lot or trailhead that could be found easily without coordinates. But from there on, everything used letterbox-style clues.

 

So, if I used a random point along a trail as the start coordinates, that's ok? But not starting the hunt at the trailhead? That seems odd, but I guess I can deal with that. So the big question remains...do the final coordinates HAVE to be visible to the public or not?

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So, if I used a random point along a trail as the start coordinates, that's ok? But not starting the hunt at the trailhead? That seems odd, but I guess I can deal with that. So the big question remains...do the final coordinates HAVE to be visible to the public or not?

 

I now have a letterbox hybrid in two different states. Just by my choice (not the reviewer telling me), one of them lists the final location just like most geocaches. The other one does NOT list the final location publicly - only waypoints to help you find the final location (although it is entered in the system and accessible for the reviewer). But neither is on a real trail so to say you have to list the trailhead seems ridiculous. Sure it's a good idea but it can't be mandated because it may not even be applicable.

Edited by Fife Club
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According to the guidelines, using a trailhead or prominent landmark SHOULD be good enough.
Putting on my reviewer hat, I disagree with this. One can find a trailhead or prominent landmark without a GPS, so those would not satisfy the guideline. However if you use a random tree or a fork in the trail as your GPS-found starting point, I would allow it.
FWIW, this matches the way the LBH caches I've found have been done. The coordinates pointed to a starting location, and you needed the coordinates to get to the starting location. It wasn't a parking lot or trailhead that could be found easily without coordinates. But from there on, everything used letterbox-style clues.
So, if I used a random point along a trail as the start coordinates, that's ok? But not starting the hunt at the trailhead? That seems odd, but I guess I can deal with that. So the big question remains...do the final coordinates HAVE to be visible to the public or not?
It doesn't seem odd if you understand that GPS usage and accurate coordinates are required for geocaches. If the starting point is a random location along a trail, then you need GPS coordinates to find it. If the starting point is a trailhead, then you can find it without GPS coordinates at all.

 

And FWIW, the LBH caches I've done have not displayed the final location publicly. They are visible only to the CO and the volunteer reviewers.

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So, if I used a random point along a trail as the start coordinates, that's ok? But not starting the hunt at the trailhead? That seems odd, but I guess I can deal with that. So the big question remains...do the final coordinates HAVE to be visible to the public or not?

It doesn't seem odd if you understand that GPS usage and accurate coordinates are required for geocaches. If the starting point is a random location along a trail, then you need GPS coordinates to find it. If the starting point is a trailhead, then you can find it without GPS coordinates at all.

From what you're saying, it sounds as if it would be OK if the letterbox coordinates "just happen to be" a trailhead as long as I don't make the mistake of telling you it's a trailhead. Is that right?

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It doesn't seem odd if you understand that GPS usage and accurate coordinates are required for geocaches. If the starting point is a random location along a trail, then you need GPS coordinates to find it. If the starting point is a trailhead, then you can find it without GPS coordinates at all.
From what you're saying, it sounds as if it would be OK if the letterbox coordinates "just happen to be" a trailhead as long as I don't make the mistake of telling you it's a trailhead. Is that right?
I am not a volunteer reviewer, and I don't play one on TV, so take this with a grain of salt.

 

I think it could be within the guidelines to post starting coordinates that just happen to be very near a trailhead or parking lot, as long as seekers need to use the coordinates and can't just start from the trailhead or parking lot you told them to go to.

 

But I think it would be better to start somewhere else, so there's no question about whether the GPS usage requirement is met. The starting locations for the LBH caches I've found haven't been far from parking or trailheads, but you couldn't just stand at the parking lot or trailhead and start working on the directions. You had to walk a short distance to get within 20ft or so of the coordinates before the directions made sense.

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as far as I know, it is the only letterbox hybrid remaining in New York City,

I just found this one recently, after not finding it and having it in my head for years!

It's tied for my favorite LBH ("The Depot").

I brought my own hand-carved stamp but my ink-making experiment was a failure.

 

I've seen it done at least three different ways:

1) GPS coordinates AND letterbox clues, find it either way you want.

2) GPS coordinates to start and then you must use letterbox clues.

3) A normal geocache with a stamp tossed in the box to give it the LBH icon.

I've also found many letterboxes while hunting for a geocache.

 

It's ALL been fun and I really have no complaints about any of the methods.

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It doesn't seem odd if you understand that GPS usage and accurate coordinates are required for geocaches. If the starting point is a random location along a trail, then you need GPS coordinates to find it. If the starting point is a trailhead, then you can find it without GPS coordinates at all.
From what you're saying, it sounds as if it would be OK if the letterbox coordinates "just happen to be" a trailhead as long as I don't make the mistake of telling you it's a trailhead. Is that right?
I am not a volunteer reviewer, and I don't play one on TV, so take this with a grain of salt.

 

I think it could be within the guidelines to post starting coordinates that just happen to be very near a trailhead or parking lot, as long as seekers need to use the coordinates and can't just start from the trailhead or parking lot you told them to go to.

 

But I think it would be better to start somewhere else, so there's no question about whether the GPS usage requirement is met. The starting locations for the LBH caches I've found haven't been far from parking or trailheads, but you couldn't just stand at the parking lot or trailhead and start working on the directions. You had to walk a short distance to get within 20ft or so of the coordinates before the directions made sense.

 

The way I interpret the GPS usage guideline is that at some point in the hunt the GPS should bring you to a specific object, not a place or general area.

Edited by briansnat
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The starting locations for the LBH caches I've found haven't been far from parking or trailheads, but you couldn't just stand at the parking lot or trailhead and start working on the directions. You had to walk a short distance to get within 20ft or so of the coordinates before the directions made sense.
The way I interpret the GPS usage guideline is that at some point in the hunt the GPS should bring you to a specific object, not a place or general area.
Actually, I think that was the case for the LBH caches I've found. But you needed the GPS coordinates to find whatever it was that marked the start location.
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I've found 6 letterbox hybrids, and every single one was at the coordinates and without clues. They were just traditionals with a stamp in them (some really nice stamps at some). I'd love to find one with just clues. I think that's just a local thing.

 

I've done letterboxing through atlasquest, etc. and enjoy it.

Edited by Ambrosia
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I started out as a Letterboxer, but it wasn't too popular around here so after finding about 20 my immediate area was finished. I am disappointed that the LBH's contain cheap store bought stamps and no ink pads. I loved the feel of hand carved stamps in the Letterboxes around here. I have carved quite a few stamps for LBing, and I miss it. All the LBH's in my area are hidden by the same people, and while I am glad they exist, I wish they felt more like Letterboxes.

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I've seen it done at least three different ways:

1) GPS coordinates AND letterbox clues, find it either way you want.

This is how I make all of mine...

 

When you list them it is like a multi or a puzzle in which you put the starting and ending coords right on the first page of the form. you can choose to have the ending coords hidden. I always put the same for starting and ending since I make all my LBHs with both real coords and clues that you can choose to follow if you wish.... so I do not know if my local reviewer would say I have to show the final coords... but I assume since the form forces you to put in 2 coords that this was allowable (or not just allowable - but the intent)

Edited by TheMasses
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What about the guy who wants to make his bonus cache* into a LBH just by tossing in a rubber stamp?

 

*bonus cache-a mystery cache whereby you must find several other caches to get the co-ordinates.

 

Not the first time I have seen what should be listed as a mystery turned into an LBH by simply tossing in a rubber stamp from the crafts store. <_<

 

As well, doesn't this negate the 'requirement' that the actual co-ordinates be posted?

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What about the guy who wants to make his bonus cache* into a LBH just by tossing in a rubber stamp?

 

*bonus cache-a mystery cache whereby you must find several other caches to get the co-ordinates.

 

Not the first time I have seen what should be listed as a mystery turned into an LBH by simply tossing in a rubber stamp from the crafts store. <_<

 

As well, doesn't this negate the 'requirement' that the actual co-ordinates be posted?

 

There is no requirement that you need to have the actual coordinates posted, but GPS use should be a significant factor for at least part of the letterbox hunt. There should be coordinates specific to the search, but final coordinates need not be used. At least the cache you link to has a stamp of some sort and is taking a creative approach. One of the last ones I did is a very fun cache, with a few different containers depending on the way that you proceed, but the two containers I found were simply micros without any stamps.

 

I realize that all that Groundspeak requires is a rubber stamp thrown into a container. But it is nice when there is more. Even for those of us who do not have carving skills, custom made stamps can easily be obtained. And the letterbox format has a lot of room for creativity. I appreciate it when people give a letterbox hybrid a little more thought or effort.

Edited by geodarts
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