I’ve heard of Letterboxing in the past but never was motivated to give it a try.  So what has changed?  My main sport of Volksmarching seems to be struggling.  We are losing members (old age making it impossible to walk) and new younger walkers aren’t joining us on the trails to collect an event stamp in a record book.

So I decided to attempt to interest letterboxers in the sport of Volksmarching because they combine so well together.  Doing a search I’ve found that there are many letterboxes hidden along our Volksmarching trails.  So why not do both?

I decided on a trailname – Walksfar – and designed a stamp which I must admit I’m going to pay to have made up because I’m not crafty. I should get the stamp in the mail in 7-10 days.

Walksfar copy(2)

I’m going to start searching for the letterboxes along my Volkmarching trails and do a blog about it here.

I may even place some letterboxes along a trail if there is not one there already.  So we shall see.  If your interested in learning more about Volksmarching read on.

Volksmarches are leisurely walks.  They are through scenic, historic, and interesting areas over a predetermined route that has been checked for safety and walkability.  Our walks are sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association (AVA) and the International Volkssport Association. The purpose for doing sanctioned events and not just walking at a local park is to collect stamps in our record books. Stamp collecting as you probably know does becomes a passion. We have record books for Events, Distance and Special Programs. (Examples: College Campus, Rivers, Courthouses).

The AVA has sanctioned Volksmarches in all 50 states so wherever you go, you can take a walking tour and see things off the beaten path so to speak.  There are two kinds of Volksmarchers:  Traditional Events and Year Round Events.

Traditional Events are one day events that have people working the start/finish table and there are checkpoint people along the route with water plus candy and or fruit.

Year Round Events (YRE) are just that.  Year Round.  The registration box is kept at a place of business like a hotel, or a police station, firehouse, etc.  The Volksmarcher  goes in and requests the “walk box”.  They register and take a set of directions and/or map and complete the walk on their own.  When they get back from their walk they stamp their own books to show they’ve completed the walks.

Volksmarchers whether traditional or YRE will have two distance choices.  Usually 5K and 10K (3 mi or 6 mi).

Everyone doing a Volksmarch is required to register at the start. Registration costs $3.00. You will carry your start card with you.  At a traditional event you turn in the start card at the finish table and get your books stamps.  At a YRE,  you put your start card in an envelope with your check and mail it to the Point of Contact for that event.

So if you where doing the YRE in Belton, TX for example; you would register at the Shell/CEFCO Station and drive the couple of blocks to the start of the walk which is Confederate Park.  If you looked on http://www.atlasquest.com/boxes/directory/us/texas.html  you would see that there are two letterboxes listed at Confederate Park.  Now here comes the challenge.  The Volksmarch doesn’t head out from Confederate Park the same way the letterbox directions do.  But if you look closely you would see that the Volksmarch comes back to the park that way.

Now you could either walk the Volksmarch as written and hope to find the letterboxes as you neared the finish, or you could attempt to walk the Volksmarch backwards (a real challenge) and collect your letterboxes first.

These two letterboxes will be my first attempt at letterboxing as soon as I get my stamp.  Wish me luck.

If you’d like to learn more about Volksmarching the website is http://www.ava.org.


21 Responses to About

  1. Memfis Mafia says:

    I have heard about Volksmarching before and also letter boxing. I thought about checking both out but never got around to it. I have a list of hobbies/activities to try that is way too long. I guess I could have worse problems.
    We have tried to find a letterbox on three occasions and have yet to be successful. Admittedly the ones we tried had not been seen in quite a while but they were close to home. We are going to give letter boxing another try, today in fact. We are also going to check out Volksmarching. We ail be checking back in with your blog to see how your adventures unfurl.

  2. walktx says:

    Hope you have success with letterboxing. Make sure you pick one that has been found recently, it is more likely to still be there.

  3. Hi Tex, How goes the walking? Sorry to hear the Volksmarching is fading but letterboxing can help take up the slack. We do it too. Have you tried Munzee? It’s a hoot and growing fast. You can read all about it on our blog up in the links bar. Speaking of our blog, thanks for your repeat visits. It is much appreciated… Dan

  4. Mia says:

    Love your blog. I live in Austin and I’ve done some geocaching but think letterboxing might be more engaging for my kids, so we’re going to make stamps and try it. Your blog posts will be the starting point for some of itineraries in the near future. Thanks so much!

  5. walktx says:

    Austin has so many letterboxes. Good luck. I hope you post pictures of your adventures. But don’t post pictures of the stamps you find. People like to be surprised at what the stamp they find will look like.

  6. Mia says:

    Thanks for the well wishes! Today was my first day and I found three gorgeous stamps all in the Zilker area. Great fun. 🙂

  7. walktx says:

    Hope you are recording them online. What is your letterboxing name?

  8. Mia says:

    Letterbox name is justduckie123. And yes, I’ve been diligently logging & commenting all my finds. I wish everyone did!

  9. walktx says:

    I agree. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the hitchhiker stamps. If the original box is big enough you can leave a hitchhiker in the box and the next person who comes along can either leave it there or move it. But they are supposed to record that they found it in either case. I’ve released several hitchhikers and have heard back nothing. I check the box I left one of them in, and it is gone, but no post to let me know who found it. As you may have guess my letterboxing name is the icon I used for the blog…. walksfar.

  10. Mia says:

    I found one HH yesterday and released it today into another letterbox. The HH was registered on atlasquest so I logged both the pickup and the drop on the HH’s page. Hopefully the fact that there was a note in the HH’s baggie noting the atlasquest.com registration and asking the taker to log it will help that one stay tracked…

  11. Mia says:

    Hi there – we were in San Marcos yesterday and excited to pick up your Squidward letter box, but it wasn’t there. Or at least, we think we looked in the right place but didn’t find it. I took a picture of the location – would you like me to email it to you to confirm we were in the right place? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news… we were looking forward to picking up one of your boxes.

  12. walktx says:

    Would like to see the picture. Did you post the attempt on Letterboxing.org?

  13. Mia says:

    Happy to send the picture – do you want to shoot me your email address via LBNA or AtlasQuest messaging? That would keep it private.

    And yes, I did post the attempt on both websites too. However, if it turns out I got the wrong tree, I’ll delete. I don’t want to discourage others from looking for it!

  14. Very cool. I have never heard of volksmarching. It sounds awesome. I am a letterboxer through and through. I have only been at it a couple years, but I love it. When I run out of letterboxes maybe I will check out volksmarching.

  15. walktx says:

    As you can see from my Weatherford blog, you can do both at once! (at least sometimes). A lot of the letterboxes have walking/hiking involved.

  16. walktx says:

    thespeckledrose isn’t listed on the letterboxing website. Is your logbook public or private. I would like to check out your adventures.

  17. Mia says:

    Hi Walksfar! I saw you just planted a box at Turkey Creek Trail in Emma Long Park today! How funny – I was there with my family just yesterday, and we picked up all the boxes in the Picnic series. Did you do the same? If so, you probably noticed that the “blanket” box had a substitute stamp. I took a picture of the original blanket impression and was thinking I’d carve a replacement blanket and put it into the box. Now that I know you’ve put a box out there too, that’s more incentive for me to carve the blanket and get back out to Turkey Creek!

  18. walktx says:

    I actually didn’t find Box #5 The Fruit. Is there a tree in the middle of the trail? How could I miss that? I think it would be great if you replaced the blanket stamp.

  19. Mia says:

    We did find the tree in the middle of the trail and The Fruit. If I remember correctly, we had to hunt around a bit for that one – more than one possible “middle of trail” tree candidate. I’m glad you think replacing the blanket stamp is a good idea – I just sat down and carved a replica a few minutes ago! I think it’s a reasonable substitute. I’ll drop it off next time I’m out that way.

  20. Mia says:

    We actually didn’t find Reason for the Season like you did, but we didn’t look very hard – the kids were starting to get tired. Another reason for heading back out to Turkey Creek Trail!

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