Treasure Hunting in Your Own Neighborhood


Erin Moriarty writes, Have you ever wanted to be a pirate searching for hidden treasure?

Have you ever wanted to be a pirate searching for hidden treasure? Or maybe a detective following clues to solve a mystery? Well, now you can be! Letterboxing is a treasure hunt you can go on in your own town. You follow clues to find a container (not necessarily a mailbox) that someone else has hidden. Inside is a rubber stamp, a journal, and sometimes, an inkpad. You use their stamp to stamp your book and your stamp to stamp their book. Mom and I recently moved and, to get to know the town, we decided to look for a letterbox. we printed out the clues and drove to find the starting point. we usedclues such as “. . . Take 29 steps down this path.” and “Cross the bridge that spans the river.” The box was hidden under a tree. This was a short walk to the letterbox and it was fairly easy to find; not all are this simple. To get started go to and sign up. You will need to choose a ‘trail name’ to be known as while on the site. Once you’re a member, you can record finds, post comments, and more! There are a few simple things you need to start out. First, a rubber stamp and an ink pad. You can buy these at your local craft store. (Note: Hand carved stamps are highly prized in the letterboxing community. Eventually you’ll want to make one. Go to for more info).You will also need a journal or sketch pad – one that is medium or thicker pages so the ink doesn’t bleed through. Just like in school or work, letterboxing has some rules; please wipe off the stamp after you use it and rehide the letterbox the way it was, if not better. Plus you should pick up any trash you see along the way. Remember to let any wildlife be and ‘leave no trace’. After all, letterboxing is more about enjoying nature than racing to the finish! I have had a lot of fun letterboxing, and I hope you do too!