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Goldenwattle

Letterbox caches

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9 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

In spirit, the LBH starts from non-gps task, requiring a gps alternative. Others start from gps-required, but you can provide a non-gps alternative.

 

Right! LBH guidelines are made only for the publishing process. In spirit, we may wish that the real undelying cache type of the LBH cache is a Letterbox - not a Traditional Cache.

 

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On 2/10/2019 at 10:27 PM, Goldenwattle said:

I wish there was more restriction on what can be called a Letterbox cache. I am disappointed when I find them and all they are is a plastic box with a stamp added to it. Sometimes the log is so small I can't fit my (not large) stamp on it. So, why are they called a Letterbox cache? Why were they allowed to be published as such? Surely the reviewer should ask questions how this varies from ordinary traditionals, because often they don't, except for the stamp, almost added as an after thought.

The Letter box caches I remember (and which are worth being called letter box caches) are those that are actually a letter box, or something else interesting. I found several Letter box caches by one CO, which were mini metal sculptures. Brilliant caches. Effort and thought had gone into them.

I feel Letter box caches should be something out of the ordinary, not just another common plastic box with a stamp added as an after thought.

 

 

It's already been mentioned by others, but it's not a Letterbox, it's a Letterbox hybrid.  It's a combination between the two and allows for two different types - one which is no different than a traditional cache, except for the stamp, and the other which incorporates more traditional letterbox instructions. 

 

As to GPS usage, I've been told (and always do so) that I MUST have some sort of GPS usage in the "directions" to get to the location of my LBHs, just like Harry stipulates.  It doesn't have to be at the start (although that's where I usually include it); just somewhere in the written description from start to finish.  While I've never hidden an "at the posted coordinates" type of LBH, I have found quite a few and don't mind them at all.  My preference is to find one more in line with the following written instructions style of letterbox.  

 

I have a LBH notebook I keep with imprints of stamps I find in each LBH.  Sadly, not every LBH has a stamp inside so not every LBH is accounted for.  I purposefully created a small self-inking stamp to "sign" the LBH logs as the complaint about the size of the log is born out in my experiences as well.  I also carry an ink pad with me for those LBHs that don't supply ink, just a stamp. Oftentimes, it appears I'm the first cacher to actually use the stamp.

 

I personally wouldn't like to see any more restrictions placed on LBHs.  However, I would like to see more creativity involved when creating them, even if it's a pre-made stamp inside (which mine are).  I make sure that the theme of the LBH is related to the stamp I've found to use for a LBH as well.  It can be a bit of a letdown when you find a LBH and the stamp has no relevance to the cache, other than the fact that it's a stamp and therefore a LBH.

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For what it's worth, here's mine:

 

https://coord.info/GC718C2 a tribute to my late parents and keen Dartmoor letterboxers. It's an ammo box (as many Dartmoor letterboxes are), hidden like a trad (except the log is in one of the 20 or so Kinder egg capsules in the box) - if you have time, read the cache page. 

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6 hours ago, Oxford Stone said:

except the log is in one of the 20 or so Kinder egg capsules in the box

Which sounds like it's not big enough for the finder to stamp. So why is it a letterbox cache? They should be two way. Stamp for the finder to stamp their book if they want and a big enough log for them to stamp. When I see it's a letterbox cache I pack my my wattle stamp and yellow ink in my bag for the purpose of stamping the log. It is marked a letterbox cache and I should be able to do this. But all the Kinder eggs I have seen are tiny. Although the main container is a regular, the log container (the Kinder egg) is in effect in a micro.

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4 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Which sounds like it's not big enough for the finder to stamp. So why is it a letterbox cache? They should be two way. Stamp for the finder to stamp their book if they want and a big enough log for them to stamp. When I see it's a letterbox cache I pack my my wattle stamp and yellow ink in my bag for the purpose of stamping the log. It is marked a letterbox cache and I should be able to do this. But all the Kinder eggs I have seen are tiny. Although the main container is a regular, the log container (the Kinder egg) is in effect in a micro.

It would depend on the size of your stamp. A kinder Surprise egg could hold a 40mm wide scroll. How wide is yours?

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2 hours ago, colleda said:

It would depend on the size of your stamp. A kinder Surprise egg could hold a 40mm wide scroll. How wide is yours?

A bit bigger by a few mms. But a log in a small kinder is hardly likely to be a decent log book as should be expected in a Letter box cache. It is likely to be a scrap of tatty paper, or end up that way as people shove it back in. As it's in a regular sized ammo box, perhaps a decent sized note book could also be supplied for those with stamps. Find the log and sign, but stamp the note book. Or better, get rid of the kinder idea and just have a decent sized note book. The kinder idea is not unique; having found several caches using them.

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4 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

A bit bigger by a few mms. But a log in a small kinder is hardly likely to be a decent log book as should be expected in a Letter box cache. It is likely to be a scrap of tatty paper, or end up that way as people shove it back in. As it's in a regular sized ammo box, perhaps a decent sized note book could also be supplied for those with stamps. Find the log and sign, but stamp the note book. Or better, get rid of the kinder idea and just have a decent sized note book. The kinder idea is not unique; having found several caches using them.

 

Steady on, feller, this is a tribute to Oxford Stone's late parents.  Let's not jump in with criticism based simply on our own assumptions and expectations ... especially if we've not even visited the cache.  It appears that almost 50% of its visitors have liked it well enough to add a Favourite Point.

 

I really need to get out to Dartmoor for some caching...

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38 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

 

Steady on, feller, this is a tribute to Oxford Stone's late parents.  Let's not jump in with criticism based simply on our own assumptions and expectations ... especially if we've not even visited the cache.  It appears that almost 50% of its visitors have liked it well enough to add a Favourite Point.

 

I really need to get out to Dartmoor for some caching...

 

No offence taken...

Yes the log paper is too small for a finder to add their stamp - so I'm taking that as positive feedback and will add a book for that purpose, though there will be the danger that finders think they just have to sign that. 

I've found 83 letterbox caches - many of them have been micros with a token tiny stamp in there. I can't remember a single one having loads of visitors' stamp imprints in a book. Maybe that's just the UK way of doing things.

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2 minutes ago, Oxford Stone said:

I'm taking that as positive feedback

 

Great attitude.  And apologies for taking offence on your behalf. ;-)

Edited by IceColdUK

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

 

Steady on, feller, this is a tribute to Oxford Stone's late parents.  Let's not jump in with criticism based simply on our own assumptions and expectations ... especially if we've not even visited the cache.  It appears that almost 50% of its visitors have liked it well enough to add a Favourite Point.

 

I really need to get out to Dartmoor for some caching...

And it could still be a tribute with a bigger note book. Not criticising the tribute part. That's a nice thought.

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On 2/11/2019 at 7:17 AM, baer2006 said:

This LBH powertrail (which is not too far from my home zone) is a textbook example of what can be "wrong" with PTs:

  • Type LBH just to please the stats crowd. Many boxes had no stamp whatsoever from the beginning.
  • D/T ratings arbitrarily distributed in the D>3/T>3 corner, quite often way off a realistic rating, again just to please those who like to ramp up their D/T "loop count".
  • Owner account is a sock puppet, and the "real" owners (who are, incidentally, also known almost country-wide as "creative loggers" a.k.a. cheaters) have all logged all caches as "beta testers". Again, just to boost their own stats.
  • No maintenance plan whatsoever, and obvious fake logging (e.g. the whole trail on one day, which is physically impossible) is never questioned. Ok, these two points are probably standard procedure for all PTs.

 

What you describe is not a problem with LBHs; that behavior is what's wrong with geocaching. 

 

P.S. no stamp = NM

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I've found a fair amount of LBHs. I don't care about the stamp; they're a non-traditional, usually not a micro, and usually have a little more thought put into them than an average traditional. 

 

As for having to follow directions instead of being at the posted coordinates: I've done some of these and often find them very difficult to follow the instructions successfully. 

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I've found bison tube LBH caches, having a tiny stamp in them, and the long 1-2" wide scroll. Many people I know with stamps now have smaller stamps, or a couple of sizes. Not just for letterboxes but for caching in general. LBHs have no size restriction - it only has to have a stamp (and still some don't have even that) - it's doesn't have to have a large enough logbook for larger stamping. It is a hybrid remember, an adoption of some of the letterboxing experience placed into the geocaching container.

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I've seen very simple stamps that fit in film cans or matchstick containers, but i have trouble imagining one that fits in a bison tube.

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Technically, a traditional cache must have a container and a log, and meet various guidelines related to proximity to other caches, commercial or agenda restrictions, etc.  Fortunately a lot of cache owners go beyond what the guidelines require and place caches in interesting locations, use good containers, and hide them in a manner that might be more interesting than just tossing it on the ground.   The same can be said for LBH caches.  There are minimal requirements for what must be done to have it published but a "good" LBH cache goes beyond what is minimally required.

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The first, and best Letterbox I've done was Coyote's Journey GC103QQ. It matched, and surpassed, my expectations, from reading the Geocaching Letterbox description, "...uses clues instead of coordinates..." Now-a-days, 100% of the, so called "Letterboxs" I've found are simply caches with stamps. Nothing to avoid, yet nothing special.

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