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Thread: Question on Letterboxing Hybrids

  1. #11
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    Dec 2005
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    I love hybids but have learned to read the pages carefully. Am not really into the letterboxing thing but enjoy the hybribs and was happy when I could find a babyfoot stamp at Marden's. I had a stamp pad and the footprints - well I thought it fit. As for references for things found in caches - that is easy as there are links to contact everyone on line. As long as they log - and read their accounts - they are reachable. Have learned to love the hybrids and look forward to more.

  2. #12
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    Apr 2005
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    stonington me
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameoooooo
    Non-letterboxers sometime miss the point of having a stamp in the box and take it as a trade item. If you do plant a hybrid, make sure you have a simple carved stamp that can be redone easily, or make multiples in advance.
    i think i should go check mine at shore acres. i am pretty sure the stamp and stamp pad are in a separate ziplock; i never thought of anyone taking it!
    "life is short...make a mess of it!"

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Nowhere, Maine
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    Robotbunny;

    There are also some nice 'true' letterbox hybrids in New Hampshire, though that might not make for the best article in a Maine newspaper article? : )~

    You can do a search for a particular style of cache (in this case 'letterbox hybrids') by clicking on advanced search options under the 'hide and seek' page wherever you like.

    Even so: there are still two different 'hybrids' floating around on gc.com?

    Old school: Only a hint or a series of hints are provided by the cache owner as to the physical location of the geocache. Think low-tech; your GPS MAY get you to the parking area and/or close to the cache but not to the cache itself. The much rarer of the two.

    New School: The cache owner has made it both a letterbox and a 'high-tech' geocache. It has the classic log stamp for letterboxers but also has coordinates that bring you right to the cache itself. This is BY FAR the most common kind of hybrid you'll come across. In fact, it will feel exactly as a 'regular' cache does - only it adds a cool little icon to your 'found' categories and has a pretty stamp inside the cache in which to look at.

    My original 'Highland Lake' cache that you found and published (the one without the coords and only having a pretty picture to look at) was styled after the hybrid without having the 'official' title of being one.

    If you ever get the chance, bring your kids to Madison Boulder Earthcache by HartClimbs - a cache they will certainly never forget and if you go up the hill in a straight line directly from the 'pepple' you'll have little trouble finding the honest to goodness letterbox cache that was planted up there.

    Sorry to bring this up here in the forums, but I had tried quite some time ago to retract my very poorly chosen and ill thought out post to your online article regarding this very website. Needless to say, it's still up there and this site now enjoys a MUCH better reputation than that (stupid) post of mine might lead your readers to believe when read at face value. There was a bit of childishness going on but no different than any other forum suffers every now and again.

    I ask you again. Can we somehow make that go away?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Bangor, ME
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoMaine
    Old school: Only a hint or a series of hints are provided by the cache owner as to the physical location of the geocache. Think low-tech; your GPS MAY get you to the parking area and/or close to the cache but not to the cache itself. The much rarer of the two.

    New School: The cache owner has made it both a letterbox and a 'high-tech' geocache. It has the classic log stamp for letterboxers but also has coordinates that bring you right to the cache itself. This is BY FAR the most common kind of hybrid you'll come across. In fact, it will feel exactly as a 'regular' cache does - only it adds a cool little icon to your 'found' categories and has a pretty stamp inside the cache in which to look at.

    My original 'Highland Lake' cache that you found and published (the one without the coords and only having a pretty picture to look at) was styled after the hybrid without having the 'official' title of being one.
    Your definition is not quite accurate according to geocaching.com:

    Letterbox Hybrid

    Letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting that uses clues to direct hunters to a hidden container. Each letterbox contains a stamp which is the signature for that box. Most letterboxers have their own personal stamps and personal logbooks. They stamp the letterbox logbook with their personal stamp, and use the stamp contained in the letterbox to “sign” their personal logbook.

    Letterbox hybrids are a mixture of letterbox and geocache. They should contain a signature stamp that stays with the box, and they must conform to the guidelines for traditional caches and therefore must contain a logbook. They must be referenced by latitude and longitude, not just clues. Whether or not the letterbox hybrid contains trade items is up to the owner. In most cases personal stamp and personal logbook are not necessary to be a seeker of a letterbox hybrid.


    A letterbox hybrid is geocache first, and is supposed to have the features of one. From that point at minimal it would have a letterboxing stamp. It could also have letterboxing clues to access the cache on the cache page, or be listed on letterboxing.org or any of the other various sources of letterboxing.

    I know you and I have been down this road before, and I really don't want to get into it, but Highland Lake was not what a hybrid was intended to be. I just want everyone else to understand what geocaching.com intends.
    DNFTT! DNFTT! DNFTT!

    "The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it..."

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Nowhere, Maine
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    Unhappy

    brdad;

    My apologies, I have never read the ‘in depth’ cache descriptions. I did not even know that such a thing existed until I searched and searched for where you had gotten that from?

    Here is the ‘short cache description’ information as I found it and as it still exists directly on the geocache.com website:

    http://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_types.aspx

    "A letterbox is another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates. In some cases, however, a letterbox has coordinates, and the owner has made it a letterbox and a geocache. To read more about letterboxing, visit the Letterboxing North America web site.

    That is where I gathered my interpretation from. When I read ‘In some cases…’ it led me to believe that we were now discussing the letterbox hybrid?

    Regardless, when one reads the full cache guidelines and about the hybrid in particular:

    http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

    You are 100% correct. It’s now immediately obvious (even to me) that the intentions of groundspeak were to simply have a regular geocache with a stamp for letterboxers in it. Even so, I’m a little surprised to see the cache does not even have to be a legitimate ‘letterbox’, meaning that it does not even have to be listed on the letterboxing website. Am I correct in that last assessment?

    (A little hard at this time to submit it anyway since the website is currently down.)

    Okay, so how about this. Highland Lake was a mystery cache that was horribly mislabeled as a regular cache but was still well received. I only had two visitors that didn’t much like it. : )

    Besides, the cache was approved exactly as I had written it (even without the coords) and it was my first hidden cache as well.

    There must be a break in there somewhere for me? Somewhere?

  6. #16
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    Jun 2004
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    Bangor, ME
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoMaine
    Here is the ‘short cache description’ information as I found it and as it still exists directly on the geocache.com website:

    http://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_types.aspx

    "A letterbox is another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates. In some cases, however, a letterbox has coordinates, and the owner has made it a letterbox and a geocache. To read more about letterboxing, visit the Letterboxing North America web site.

    That is where I gathered my interpretation from. When I read ‘In some cases…’ it led me to believe that we were now discussing the letterbox hybrid?
    Yes - A letterbox is another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates.

    Yes, in some cases, a letterbox has coordinates, and the owner has made it a letterbox and a geocache. This means it has clues and coordinates.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeoMaine
    You are 100% correct. It’s now immediately obvious (even to me) that the intentions of groundspeak were to simply have a regular geocache with a stamp for letterboxers in it. Even so, I’m a little surprised to see the cache does not even have to be a legitimate ‘letterbox’, meaning that it does not even have to be listed on the letterboxing website. Am I correct in that last assessment?
    That sounds correct. And I think the reasoning for that is that letterboxing is a much looser game, meaning there is no definitive site that lists a major percentage of letterboxes. Many are not even listed on web sites. I guess to be a legitimate letterbox, it only needs the letterbox and clues posted somewhere on some form of media....

    And yes, I would say Highland Lake most closely resembled a mystery cache. And yes, it was approved and not so against the rules that anyone should post SBA to it. And yes, knowing what I know today, I would have read the description and the fact it had no coordinates might not have detracted my enjoyment of the cache location as much. And, if it was listed as a mystery cache, I would have more likely paid attention to the description ahead of time as well.
    DNFTT! DNFTT! DNFTT!

    "The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it..."

  7. #17

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    brdad : I think the reasoning for that is that letterboxing is a much looser game, meaning there is no definitive site that lists a major percentage of letterboxes. Many are not even listed on web sites. I guess to be a legitimate letterbox, it only needs the letterbox and clues posted somewhere on some form of media....

    You have the right idea there, but go even further - The clue can even spread by word-of-mouth only. And it need not use words - One of my own LBs has just a slideshow of pictures as the clue. I know of one (not mine) travelling letterbox that the "clue" consists of knowing to ask a certain LB'ing couple about their dog... So if you encounter them on the trail or at an event, you can "find" it; other than that, you can't.

    As the ONLY real "requirement" for considering a letterbox "find", you need to get a copy of its stamp, and leave your stamp in its logbook (if it has one and you can find room - That part has a bit more flexibility, and many micros don't include a log at all, just a stamp). And believe it or not, I've done one letterbox that deliberately left out a stamp just to mess with the heads of people who focus too much on the numbers (not one to accept defeat easily, I inked up the bottom of the container itself and took a stamp of that, though just for the joke of turning the tables on the placer and finding an "officially" unfindable box, not for the paltry one extra "F" count ).

    But at the most basic, if you don't get a stamp image from it, you don't get a find. Just about anything goes, beyond that.

    You'll understand, then, why I seem a bit amused (or frustrated, depending on my mood) at some of the rules-lawyering that goes on in the GC'ing community. It doesn't even occur to me to worry about (just as an example I read here recently) whether or not the owner has flagged it as daytime-only if I can physically access the site at night.


    So, if Groundspeak has a ton of requirements for a letterbox hybrid, you can consider those requirements solely for the purpose of satisfying the "cache" side of its description. If it contains a box-specific stamp, you can safely call it a letterbox without any other qualifications - Thus my surprise that so few people plant LB hybrids - With as little extra effort as carving the name of the cache into a block of rubber or lino (I prefer the soft linoleum on wood, myself) with a Dremel, you can call any cache a hybrid.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Gainesville, Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribnag
    [ whether or not the owner has flagged it as daytime-only if I can physically access the site at night.



    I think that reasoning is mostly for the safety aspect of that particular cache or maybe it is even prohibited to trespassing at night. Most rules are there for a particular reason and that is for either the hiders or finders safety.
    Just smile it won't crack your face

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  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Maine
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    Thanks for the Madison tip -- it sounds fun for my kids and is on my list of places to see in NH :-)

    As for your Highland cache, I liked it and was sorry it got destroyed.

    And your comment on my column - I just deleted per your request :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by GeoMaine
    Robotbunny;

    My original 'Highland Lake' cache that you found and published (the one without the coords and only having a pretty picture to look at) was styled after the hybrid without having the 'official' title of being one.

    If you ever get the chance, bring your kids to Madison Boulder Earthcache by HartClimbs - a cache they will certainly never forget and if you go up the hill in a straight line directly from the 'pepple' you'll have little trouble finding the honest to goodness letterbox cache that was planted up there.

    I ask you again. Can we somehow make that go away?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Maine
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    THanks for the tip on attaching stamp to lid -- we plan to do that with another type of container we have.

    But, where do you buy the ammo cans? Is there anywhere in the Portland area to get one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram357
    ya know... if you used an ammo can for the cache, you could permantley attach the ink pad to the underside of the lid of the can, so you flip the lid open, theres the pad, attached and not going anywhere, and still plenty of room for goodies.

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