I did read through the wiki page, but I am sort of confused now.

Is Letterboxing the same concept as what we usually call a Treasure hunt?

2 Answers 2


The biggest difference between letterboxing (at least on Dartmoor, its original home) are:

  • letterboxes are usually intended to be left out indefinitely.
  • they're put out for anyone to find. It's quite common when looking for a specific box with a precise clue (or even GPS) to find another box. If part of a series this may tell you how to get the clues for the rest of the series.
  • a letterbox is a container (to hold the stamp and book it has to be). A treasure hunt clue could be (e.g.) taped to the bottom of a rock
  • letterboxes are usually on (effectively) public land. Treasure hunts are more often within the boundaries of a particular place with much more control over access and more chance of repairing
  • in a treasure hunt, one point leads to the next. Even with a letterbox series arranged as a walk this isn't the norm - all clues are given at the beginning. As boxes go missing or get damaged this can be important.
  • letterbox clues are usually straight geographic directions (bearings, GPS, paces from a distinctive tree or rock) while treasure hunt clues are often riddles or otherwise cryptic.

According to the Treasure Hunt wiki page, Letterboxing is considered a form of treasure hunting. Clues are distributed by various manners, including orally, and lead to a specific destination. A difference that stands out to me is that Letterboxing, specifically, tends to include stamps that a player can stamp their own personal log book with to keep track of their exploits. My overall impression of treasure hunts, in contrast, is that you are retrieving a specific object in a treasure hunt.

Along the same lines is geocaching, which has a wiki page that compares and contrasts with other forms of treasure hunting. Geocaching tends to use GPS coordinates instead of a series of distributed clues - although there are caches which list clues to another cache in a chain.


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