Hitchhiker Protocol

It is always very easy to make errors with hitchhikers, but especially when you are tired, it is raining & you have logbooks & stamps scattered all over the place.

Picking Up a Hitchhiker

  1. Exchange stamps with the letterbox, as you normally would. Sign and date your entries.
  2. Prior to taking a hitchhiker (HH) be sure you will be able to get it to a letterbox within a reasonable amount of time (varies), usually within about one week.
  3. Check the hitchhiker carefully for movement restrictions. Is it limited to one state, one town, or maybe to one park, or just to Scouts etc. etc.? Be certain you can comply with the owner's wishes. Some owners require that the hitchhiker be moved within 24 hours etc. Some HH's are marked "No Gathers."
  4. Be sure the stamp & logbook are present. Check the box & the ground if the stamp is missing. If you take a broken hitchhiker you should be willing to contact the owner & try to help.
  5. Verify that the hitchhiker was stamped into the letterbox logbook correctly by the letterboxer who dropped off the hitchhiker (see Dropping off a Hitchhiker below).
  6. Ready to take the hitchhiker? If yes, record in the letterbox log that you have taken the hitchhiker, this is very important. Some people stamp the HH into their log now, some wait until they get home (don't forget!). Reassemble the HH and take it.

Stamping into a Hitchhiker

  1. Find a convient time before dropping off a hitchhiker to stamp into it. You could do this when you pick up the hitchhiker, when you get home, or at any convient time on the trail.
  2. Stamp the hitchhiker stamp into your personal logbook. Sign & date your entry.
  3. Stamp your personal stamp into the hitchhiker's logbook. Sign & date your entry.

Dropping off a Hitchhiker

  1. Find a letterbox that meets the requirements of the HH, sign/stamp into it, and stamp the HH into the letterbox logbook.
  2. Stamp the letterbox stamp into the HH. Sign & date your entry.
  3. Record that you left the hitchhiker. Double check that the HH still has its stamp & log sealed into its own container; drop it off.

It is really pretty easy. Mistakes are made all the time, but most of them are easily fixed.