Geocaching and Letterboxing: Treasure Hunting in Your Home Community

by | Posted June 18th, 2013


The summer is conducive to being outside and away from our screens, meetings, colleagues, to-do lists, deadlines, etc. But if you’re like me perhaps you’ve found yourself at home on a gorgeous Saturday or Sunday bored out of your stinkin’ mind cause you don’t want to work but are at a loss for something to do. Oh my, do I have an adventure for you!

Geocaching and letterboxing are real-life, like OUT IN THE WORLD, scavenger hunts you can do in your very own communities. Both geocaching and letterboxing have similar aims – to find the treasure – but each approach this goal differently. Geocaching uses GPS to guide you to a hidden treasure, while letterboxing relies on riddles and clues.

Geocaching.com is an arm of Groundspeak, a company specializing in “outdoor play using location-based technology.” As such, geocaching.com is the anchor point for this treasure hunting activity with a social network designed around over 2 million geocaches worldwide. For example (ATTN: Lansing area Dr. Who fans), there’s a series of geocaches hidden throughout the city commemorating the 50th anniversary of the longest running TV science fiction show, Dr. Who (The 10th Doctor – “Silence in the Library”). What treasures are in the geocache? Guess you’ll have to find one for yourself.

Letterboxing is a more artistic form of treasure hunting in that letterbox hunters are encouraged to create their own unique rubber stamp for stamping a journal included in each letterbox. Additionally, the letterbox contains its own stamp for the hunters journal, marking a location in the hunters passport of adventure. Atlastquest.com is the biggest web source of letterbox clues. This treasure hunting game requires the ability to write and interpret clues and codes. For example, in  “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” series here in the Lansing area, the F. o. R. D. Family writes, “After crossing the bridge and nibbling some grass, (You know how billy goats like grassy hills) Big headed up the path. Watch for some big rocks hiding in the tall grass on your right.”

Whether you’re bored indoors, looking for a family activity, or just love a good adventure, geocaching and letterboxing are guaranteed to bring you some good ol’ summer fun.