Getting Started

Getting the naggy stuff over with…

Before trekking around outside, it is important to ensure your skill level and gear measure up to what’s needed. For longer walks into wilder areas, respect the potential of wildlife and the weather. Bring warm enough clothing and adequate food and water. If your quest involves hill climbing, ensure you have the skills to navigate using compass and map if there is any chance of clouds or mist sinking in. People die up in the hills each year, and it is sometimes the case it is a result of inadequate preparation or skills. Alright, enough mother henning!

Another naggy point: respect the environment. Please avoid hiding boxes in fragile sites where those looking for it might do problematic damage (e.g. stone walls). Pack out what your bring in, and respect private lands. Most folks who are into letterboxing don’t need to be told this, and apologies if you are one of them. Okay, no more nagging.

What You Need

To start out, you’ll need a journal, a stamp and an inkpad. Journals can be found in stationery or gift shops, and ones without lines are often preferable for better stamped effect.

If you’re keen to learn to carve your own stamp, there is loads of information available online. A search using ‘rubber stamp carving’ on a search engine will yield many hits. You can also buy a rubber stamp. The link below can be a good starting point for looking for one. It gives several vendors in the UK who sell rubber stamps:
http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/artemalluk.html

Inkpads can be found at most stationery shops, though there are many more colours and colour combination pads now available. Many of the sites in the link above will also sell these inkpads in their accessories section.

Additional Items

A few additional items will be quite useful when searching out boxes:

  • Sturdy gloves--to protect your hands from muck or bites when accessing a box
  • A compass for clues that involve compass points
  • Something to write with
  • Kitchen paper or a towel—to clean off a mucky box and hands before opening it, and to clean the stamp before returning it to the box.

This is only the bare basics, and there are several sites that give much better detail for getting started. Have a scout about, and then go for it!