How did anyone manage a walk in the park before GPS was invented?
I am intrigued by the contrast between Letterboxing and Geocaching. Geocaching.com tells us that
Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.
People love their high tech toys; I certainly approve of outdoor family adventures and online communities; and hey, the official Getting Started page does advise “Bring both a map and a compass.” But it seems kinda thin.
Letterboxing.org’s FAQ page goes on forever. For starters,
Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places…
Someone hides a waterproof box somewhere (in a beautiful, interesting, or remote location) containing at least a logbook and a carved rubber stamp, and perhaps other goodies. The hider then usually writes directions to the box (called “clues” or “the map”), which can be straightforward, cryptic, or any degree in between. Often the clues involve map coordinates or compass bearings from landmarks, but they don’t have to. Selecting a location and writing the clues is one aspect of the art.
Before you seek out a letterbox, you should carve your own rubber stamp to stamp in the cached logbook. Not cool to buy one, unless you have a really good reason why that store-bought rubber stamp is simply perfect for you.
Who needs cryptic clues when you can just enter the coordinates in your GPS?
I confess that I have never participated in either of these sports. So far, a walk in the woods or park has always been its own justification. But I deeply admire the work some letterboxers put into their clues.
It did not take long to find this masterpiece of the genre. GretchenF’s opus is a playful tribute to twelve beloved children’s books. Plus, in a two hour, stroller friendly 2 mile walk you will be compelled to reflect upon nearly every statue and point of interest in Providence’s beautiful Roger Williams Park. Such nice work I am posting about it even though you do not even need a map.