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Big84

I want to Make a Letterbox Hybrid Cache

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Hi
I have been Geocaching for a couple of years now and have hid a few micros, nanos and clip boxes of which in most cases have been successful caches.
 
I want to hide a Letterbox Hybrid Cache. I have never found one myself but have seen a few online on YouTube, Google Images etc.
 

I know the bare basic. (Cache container must contain a log book and stamp). And that’s about it.

 

And here is where I ask the community for advice - 

 

I have started to design my stamp but I’ve hit a stumbling block. 
-    How large do you guys recommend I make the stamp as the cache container I intend to use will be of decent size? 
-    Should the stamp be a self-inking?
-    Should an ink pad  be included include in the cache?
-    And one very subjective question what are people preferences:  Round or Square for the shape of the Stamp

-    Is there anything else I need to know / be aware of?


Many thanks
Big84
 

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32 minutes ago, Big84 said:

How large do you guys recommend I make the stamp as the cache container I intend to use will be of decent size?

 

There is no restrictions for the size but it must be made from rubber. See these exaples:

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-letterboxing-godfrey-swinscow-at-shipley-bridge-dartmoor-showing-letterboxes-142346718.html

 

33 minutes ago, Big84 said:

Should the stamp be a self-inking?
Should an ink pad  be included include in the cache?

 

Letterboxers have own inkpads as geocachers have own pen. Not needed and not recommended.

 

34 minutes ago, Big84 said:

Round or Square for the shape of the Stamp

 

Round looks better.

 

35 minutes ago, Big84 said:

Is there anything else I need to know / be aware of?

 

No Letterboxer will visit your Letterbox hybrid cache if you don't list it to some Letterboxing site.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, arisoft said:

There is no restrictions for the size but it must be made from rubber.

 

Incorrect.  Rubber will certainly last the longest, which is what you want, but there's no guideline as to the material the stamp should be made of.  Foam, wood, glue, acetone, and even metal would work but rubber is the easiest to work with as well as the most common.  Of the over 300 LBHs I've found, only about 5 have been of a different material than rubber.

 

1 hour ago, arisoft said:

Letterboxers have own inkpads as geocachers have own pen. Not needed and not recommended.

 

But many geocachers do not. A letterboxer may not be a geocacher, just like a geocacher may not be a letterboxer.  I carry my own ink pad with me but appreciate it when COs take the added step of including an ink pad.  I ONLY include an ink pad if I keep it in a separate container from the rest of the contents so it doesn't leak all over the place.  I also include a paper towel around the ink pad as well as the stamp itself to minimize mess.  That means I also pay more visits to the cache for maintenance in order to keep things "nice".  Many geocachers don't use the stamp anyway but there are some of us who do enjoy "collecting" the imprints of the stamps in the LBHs we find.

 

1 hour ago, arisoft said:

No Letterboxer will visit your Letterbox hybrid cache if you don't list it to some Letterboxing site.

 

He's right but I haven't listed any of my LBHs on a letterboxing site.  Since you want to create a LBH for geocachers specifically, there's no need to cross list it unless you want to.  

 

2 hours ago, Big84 said:

How large do you guys recommend I make the stamp as the cache container I intend to use will be of decent size?

 

Ammo can?  Lock-n-lock container?  If you want to include an ink pad, swag, and a log, the stamp can be as large or small as you'd wish it to be with room left over for anything else you might want in the cache.  I've seen a few stamps that are rather large (6 x 6 inches) while the majority are 2x2 or smaller.

 

2 hours ago, Big84 said:

Should the stamp be a self-inking?

 

Again, personal preference here.  If I can't isolate the ink pad, I prefer self-inking.  My own personal stamp is self-inking.  I've used both.  It's whatever you think would work with your LBH.

 

2 hours ago, Big84 said:

Should an ink pad  be included include in the cache?

 

Already discussed above.  Personal preference but keep in mind that it can get messy in there if it leaks.  Even the best intentions of the CO can be ruined by someone not returning everything in the same manner in which it was originally placed.

 

2 hours ago, Big84 said:

And one very subjective question what are people preferences:  Round or Square for the shape of the Stamp

 

Doesn't matter.  I've found them in a variety of shapes.

 

2 hours ago, Big84 said:

Is there anything else I need to know / be aware of?

 

First of all, I find the best LBHs to be ones that are themed around the stamp.  If the stamp is unrelated to the cache, it seems that it was hidden solely because the CO wished to place a LBH rather than having a unified theme behind what they set out to do.  It wasn't created for an experience but rather created just because the CO could hide it.

 

Secondly, there are two types of LBHs you can choose to hide.  The simplest is done like a traditional cache.  You hide the cache, provide the coordinates, include the stamp, and call it a LBH.  Again, while there's nothing wrong with that, the memorable ones I've done don't usually do this.  I've found one or two that were done like this that I really liked but generally speaking, they're not much different than a regular cache, with the sole exception being that there's a stamp in the cache.

 

The ones that I tend to like are done in a  letterbox style.  What that means is that you provide written instructions that guide you from the start of the cache to the end where the stamp and logbook are hidden.  Since you're hiding a geocache, you MUST include some sort of GPS usage within the instructions for it to be placed.  Your reviewer is a great point of reference for this as they would be able to provide you with what would work and what wouldn't work.  You can make these instructions as simple or as complicated as you'd like, making sure to raise or lower the D/T rating appropriately.  It's all up to you as to how you'd like to create one.

 

I'm including examples of the two types discussed above.

 

Hidden AT the posted coordinates - https://coord.info/GC429F2

 

Hidden using written instructions to get to the LBH - https://coord.info/GC2BPGW

Edited by coachstahly
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, coachstahly said:
5 hours ago, arisoft said:

There is no restrictions for the size but it must be made from rubber.

 

Incorrect.  Rubber will certainly last the longest, which is what you want, but there's no guideline as to the material the stamp should be made of.  Foam, wood, glue, acetone, and even metal would work but rubber is the easiest to work with as well as the most common.  Of the over 300 LBHs I've found, only about 5 have been of a different material than rubber.

 

This is extremely correct for two reasons. At first, the guideline states that

 

Quote

 

A Letterbox Hybrid container must contain:

  • A rubber stamp
  • A logbook

 

 

We also have a case where a LBH cache did not have a stamp made from rubber and the reviewer disabled the cache because the guideline strictly requires a rubber stamp. Any stamp is not good.

 

Edited by arisoft

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54 minutes ago, arisoft said:

This is extremely correct for two reasons. At first, the guideline states that

 

Quote

 

A Letterbox Hybrid container must contain:

  • A rubber stamp
  • A logbook

 

 

We also have a case where a LBH cache did not have a stamp made from rubber and the reviewer disabled the cache because the guideline strictly requires a rubber stamp. Any stamp is not good.

 

Curious as the Guidelines and Help Centre appear to be at odds over this. In the Guidelines it says:

 

Quote

A Letterbox Hybrid consists of at least a container with a logbook and a stamp.

 

Nothing about it having to be rubber in there.

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8 hours ago, Big84 said:

I have started to design my stamp but I’ve hit a stumbling block. 
-    How large do you guys recommend I make the stamp as the cache container I intend to use will be of decent size? 
-    Should the stamp be a self-inking?
-    Should an ink pad  be included include in the cache?
-    And one very subjective question what are people preferences:  Round or Square for the shape of the Stamp

-    Is there anything else I need to know / be aware of?

 

We find more actual letterboxes than letterbox hybrids here.   

We've seen very tiny stamps and some crazy-large ones.  Simply make or get one that fits your container.   :)

We never had much luck with self-inking, or inkpads left in caches.  Season changes freeze 'em, and it's a real mess when thawed.  YMMV...

All we know who have stamps bring their own ink.

The "shape" of the stamp shouldn't matter.  People are interested in the design.   We both have three-headed dogs. 

I think hers looks like a multi-headed scooby doo.   :D

We prefer one that acts as a letterbox, as in creative directions in addition to the basics (the GPS usage part...) is in the hunt somewhere.

Other than that, have a stamp.   You'd be surprised how many don't.  When asked, a few never had 'em,  couple others got swiped.

 

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Curious as the Guidelines and Help Centre appear to be at odds over this.

 

Sorry, I mixed the Guidelines and the Help Center.  I have no idea why we have two sources of requirements but both of them are valid at the same time. The third source of rules is not even published. It is available only for reviewers. In the end of the LBH guidelines you see this link: Learn more about Letterbox Hybrids.

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10 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Since you're hiding a geocache, you MUST include some sort of GPS usage within the instructions for it to be placed.

 

This is correct but it is too easy to understand wrong way as I did earlier. This doesn't mean that Letterboxers should use GPS. You can describe exactly how to find the cache without using any electronic device like a GPS receiver. This is how original Letterboxes have made before the GPS was invented. For geocachers, you must include opportunity to use GPS but it can be separate chapter in the description and it can be a mystery :bad:.

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  There's a guideline specific to GPS use, it's in the first section here, LINKY

The Help Center article on this is pretty clear - GPS Use LINKY

I mention this as the common issue I see as a reviewer is parking coords as posted coords for cache, then instructions to find box. This is not good enough.

 

I suspect "rubber" stamp is just an artifact of someone's composing that sentence. I don't know of any reviewer who is going to question a CO as to whether the stamp is rubber or some other material.

 

In player mode, I do NOT include ink, but I place in Florida, where it's always wet or humid, and ink pads are just messy.  The people who actually want your stamp impression will carry their own ink (often as roller and ink, rather than the much more expensive pad). There are some self inking stamps around, a bit pricey, but nice if you want to accommodate those who want the impression, but aren't carrying ink (most geocachers)

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, palmetto said:

There's a guideline specific to GPS use, it's in the first section here, LINKY

 

This part is the contradictory one.

 

Quote

For at least part of the search, the cache must require finders to navigate with a GPS-enabled device to specific coordinates necessary to finding the cache.

 

The simplest example is a Traditional cache with a spoiler image. Using GPS-enabled device is not needed as required if you can determine the correct position from the spoiler image. I understand that the correct interpretation is "For at least part of the search, the cache must offer finders an opportunity to navigate with a GPS-enabled device to specific coordinates necessary to finding the cache."

Edited by arisoft

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3 hours ago, palmetto said:

I suspect "rubber" stamp is just an artifact of someone's composing that sentence. I don't know of any reviewer who is going to question a CO as to whether the stamp is rubber or some other material.

Yeah, especially since the common advice I've seen for carving a custom stamp is to use an eraser, and almost all erasers are made of various synthetic materials rather than natural rubber.

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I'm finding this thread on Letterbox Hybrid caches most interesting! Up until I started geocaching 2 years and a few months ago, I had never heard of "letterboxing".  The first couple of that cache type that I found were more like puzzles, or multis, except there was a stamp in the container, and I was supposed to use it for ... ?  I wasn't sure what it was all about, but claiming the find gave me another smilie, and following the clues was interesting too.

 

Eventually we figured out what it was all about.  We had a 1" x 1" rubber stamp with our initials intertwined that we had gotten years ago, and I added that and an ink pad to my geo-bag.  When we come across a LBH cache, we stamp the book with our stamp.  We don't have one to stamp with the cache's stamp, but we aren't avid letterboxers either, so I hope it's ok to just leave our stamp impression in the logbook and claim the find on geocaching.com  Some of the stamps I've seen in the hybrid caches are nothing more than a cheapy self inking kid's stamp, the 1/2" round with a butterfly or heart or something.  Others have been more elaborate and creative.  I carry our stamp but I haven't been motivated enough to carry an additional book to collect others' stamps when/if I come across them.

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43 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

We don't have one to stamp with the cache's stamp, but we aren't avid letterboxers either, so I hope it's ok to just leave our stamp impression in the logbook and claim the find on geocaching.com

 

This is probably what the majority of geocachers do, although I'm guessing that many don't have a stamp of their own either and they just sign the log. I wouldn't worry about it.  I've yet to come across a LBH CO who has emailed me about my stamp or who has made a plea for cachers to "sign" the log with their stamp.  I have come across a couple LBHs that have 2 logs, with one specifically for stamps and the other for people to just sign like it's a regular cache.

 

I'm not a letterboxer either but I've been carrying around my LBH notebook since 2012 so the first ones I found in my first couple of years aren't represented in the notebook.  The ones that are missing their stamps are missing in there as well.  I've been carrying around my ink pad for about 4 years now.  In a pinch, my self inking stamp has been used to ink the stamp in the LBH when I didn't have my pad with me.

 

 

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3 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

When we come across a LBH cache, we stamp the book with our stamp.  We don't have one to stamp with the cache's stamp, but we aren't avid letterboxers either, so I hope it's ok to just leave our stamp impression in the logbook and claim the find on geocaching.com 

 Some of the stamps I've seen in the hybrid caches are nothing more than a cheapy self inking kid's stamp, the 1/2" round with a butterfly or heart or something. 

 

We see most do the same. 

We carry a hardcover book for their stamp (when they have one  ;-) , and besides the inked collection, there's added "proof" we were there.  :)

Agree, most we've found on this site are kiddie dollar store stamps.  IIRC, our last was a heart.

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Here's what I find in my area when I find letterboxes via the atlas quest site:

1279181228_2019-08-2916_10_45-Photo-GooglePhotos.png.a94af5fd4811b5408689816781902a7c.png472497447_2019-08-2916_11_09-Photo-GooglePhotos.png.91b7a64320db3e50fbffe6c92edaa4db.png1561523142_2019-08-2916_11_28-Photo-GooglePhotos.png.b810c19396557b7781ad9341b9de28fe.png 1366625362_2019-08-2916_11_44-Photo-GooglePhotos.png.31b59bae2c973e5bcdac1dfddbd66d73.png

 

 

 

Here's what I find in my area when I find letterboxes via the geocaching site:

 

1097423647_2019-08-2916_12_56-Photo-GooglePhotos.png.4f76fbcaaa1fd2851b431bde17bcb518.png382020097_2019-08-2916_13_07-letterboxing-GooglePhotos.png.57a3f97bf35bcff1cebe865dc868f389.png1559588494_2019-08-2916_13_28-Photo-GooglePhotos.png.96ec789b4ffe78340f3d40776c24fee1.png

2019-08-29 16_14_00-Photo - Google Photos.png

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My LBH has been out for twelve years.  941 finds.  106 favorite points.  We found a great spot!  The starting point is NOT a parking area.  From there, follow the LBH hints to find the cache.  The cache is  two MKHs.  One with the log, one with the stamp.  The stamp I carved from an eraser.  No ink pad included.  The LBHs that I've found with ink pads are very messy and inky.  I prefer Letterbox hints to find the cache, rather than a traditional with a stamp.  I dislike the 'project coordinates' LBHs.  

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Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I never expected so many replies. It has certainly given me a lot to think about.

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