Returning to the moor

General letterboxing discussion.

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RiTchYBoy
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Returning to the moor

Post by RiTchYBoy »

Hi all,

Back in the last century (the 90s!) my father an I were keen letterboxers travelling to Dartmoor from Somerset every weekend (weather permitting). We were know as Frog & Toad, you may recall us, if you were boxing back then, from the meets when they were at Princetown, we'd sit down with a new Frog or Toad themed 'pun' stamp, things like 'Toad Away' - car begin towed etc and we had about 50 WoM boxes on the moor with a small networks of contacts to swap clues e.g. 'Stake Man'

I went off to Uni and we stopped or visits but I have a family of my own now and the time has come to return to the fold. The 100 club still has my details and I've been able to by the latest 2020 clues but there are notably less clues than back in the day (when they had to take travellers out the catalogue) but I assume this is because of the growing trend toward WoM and the reaction to the letterbox thief

I had a few questions to help me get restarted:

1) Where are the areas we can't site boxes, it was Birch Tor in my day but I've seen mention of newtakes?

2) What is the 5 year rule for the catalogue, do they get removed after 5 years but might still be out on the moor?

3) Obviously the GeoCaching world has appeared, do 'hybrid' boxes with stamps count as letterboxes in your opinion?

4) Has anyone managed to improve boxing and planning walks with technology, I see mention of Mike Halliday computerising the catalogue and an improved process from Colin Masters but I can find no trace on the web to download these tools - what do people use today? Are there databases, programmes, GPS things, Memory Maps with just the catalogue clues that can be shared?

5) Any current recommendations for getting stamps made up by the sheet?


I'm planning to get the kids involved in August this year and site a memorial box for my father (old Toad) near High Willhays, any help would be appreciated

Rich
(formerly Frog - new personal stamp identity currently undergoing the wife's design review :? )
Dartymoor
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by Dartymoor »

Hi Frog,

Welcome back to the fold. I don't do much letterboxing myself, although I do geocache quite a lot. Hopefully someone else will be along to add their view, but here's my answers to your little quiz;

1) Where are the areas we can't site boxes, it was Birch Tor in my day but I've seen mention of newtakes?

DNPA have recently combined their Letterboxing and Geocaching page at https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/enjoy-dartm ... geocaching

From there, there is a link, and the 100 club maintain specific exclusion lists.

2) What is the 5 year rule for the catalogue, do they get removed after 5 years but might still be out on the moor?

AIUI, they are removed unless re-added (or the owner contacts the club)

3) Obviously the GeoCaching world has appeared, do 'hybrid' boxes with stamps count as letterboxes in your opinion?

Depends hugely on the stamp. If it's a good quality stamp in a box hidden on Dartmoor, I'd say yes.

If it's a kids stamp that doesn't mean anything (such as a dolphin or shape), then you can if you like, why not? IMO (and I own a few hybrids), they're generally better quality than the kids boxes you find on honeypot tors (soggy paper, bad stamp, chinese takeaway container), but not as quality as the old fashioned letterboxes. As geocaches are generally easier to find, the theft rate is higher and the investment possible therefore less. (That said, I've got a few ammo cans out at geocaches that haven't yet been nicked!)

4) Has anyone managed to improve boxing and planning walks with technology, I see mention of Mike Halliday computerising the catalogue and an improved process from Colin Masters but I can find no trace on the web to download these tools - what do people use today? Are there databases, programmes, GPS things, Memory Maps with just the catalogue clues that can be shared?

Yes, I've heard of such, but have no details. I imagine there are the hardcore boxers who prefer map and compass, and those who prefer technology have gravitated more towards geocaching. (Like myself and quite a few other much better known letterboxers.) Plenty combine both things at the same time.

5) Any current recommendations for getting stamps made up by the sheet?

Sorry, no.


Good luck!
RiTchYBoy
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by RiTchYBoy »

Thanks for the quick reply Dartymoor
RiTchYBoy
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by RiTchYBoy »

Does anyone have any pointers on software or a copy of Colin Masters software or even an excel of clues no matter how old to try and save me typing up clues from the catalogue?
low creep
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by low creep »

Hello Frog and Toad,

I have read your post and reviewed my old Meet books, but unfortunately did not have a copy of your stamp in them. Pity!
I may be able to help you if you email me on [email protected] (my brother and I walked under the name of High Flyer and Low Creep of Dartmoor).

Ian
RiTchYBoy
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by RiTchYBoy »

Just thought I'd update everyone in case they were interested

We spent the week down on Dartmoor and got the kids hooked, it was fairly hard going with a little one on my back the whole time, make looking under rocks quiet an effort with the constant worry he was going to slide out over my head !
We did the Pew Tor, Little Mis and Hound Tor (bracken!!!) areas inbetween the rain and got just short of the 100 needed to get the kids their badge.
Did some charity walks to boost the box count but found the clues from the catalogue to be a bit hit and miss which is a shame given the previous quality in years gone by. I was also surprised by the lack of visitors books so not a lot of places to stamp in, given the size of some of the containers and that many where full of water (now emptied) I guess it's dying out, possibly a virtual visitors book on the web?

We've been back since for a weekend to site a few boxes of our own and get the kids over the 100 box count. I'm on the fence at present over publishing the clues or not given the prevalence of WoM and potentially needing your own list in order to swap, at present they are just out there waiting to be found by chance :? Time will tell, I feel the catalogue needs new blood but at what cost to my boxes?

Anyway everyone like pictures don't they (?):


Reproduction of my old personal stamp

(to follow after I've read the instructions)


Our new family stamp

(to follow after I've read the instructions)


One of our new boxes

(to follow after I've read the instructions)
RiTchYBoy
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by RiTchYBoy »

(can't edit above so trying again)

Old Personal
Image

New Personal
Image

New box
Image
User avatar
coenishtin
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by coenishtin »

Like your Pew Tor stamp, looks great.
smartieb
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Re: Returning to the moor

Post by smartieb »

Rich
Welcome back and believe we have been in touch, just noticed your personnel stamp!
Martin
Always Looking for More!
aka Munchers Searching the Moor
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