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  1. how do I upload more than one picture to new letterbox clue?
  2. What are some LTC ideas and techniques?
  3. What's the difference between public, protected, and private groups?
  4. Is there a way to join a particular state group instead of the United States group?
  5. How do I rename tags?
  6. What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?
  7. How does communication between members of a group take place?
  8. How do I add a virtual find?
  9. How do I find a letterbox in my town?
  10. What is a restricted letterbox?
  11. How do I add a friend?
  12. How do I install a widget?
  13. What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?
  14. Any tips for attending a gathering?
  15. How do I add a tracker?
  16. How do I start or create a tracker?
  17. What type of tracker should I create?
  18. What is an LTC?
  19. Do I sign my trail name on the book with my stamp and the date I found the box?
  20. How do I add finds for unlisted boxes?
  21. What are Treasure Hikers?
  22. How do I list a bonus box?
  23. How do I rate a letterbox that I've already found?
  24. How does the Basic Search work?
  25. How do I search the message boards?
  26. What the P-club and F-club restrictions?
  27. Why is the auto-login not working for my account?
  28. Where do we get stamp carving tools?
  29. How do I change my trail name?
  30. New York State Parks
  31. What are the posting limits for the AQ message boards?
  32. Is there a way to remove my e-mail address?
  33. Why does my AQ mail always show up as old?
  34. How can I receive AQ mail via my email address?
  35. How do I record a find or an attempted find?
  36. What do all the options for printing multiple clues mean?
  37. Do I print out clues or is there an app to save them to an electronic device?
  38. Missouri State Parks
  39. Army Corps of Engineers
  40. Webster Groves
  41. St. Louis City
  42. St. Louis County
  43. St. Louis Arch
  44. St. Peters City Parks
  45. St. Charles County
  46. St. Charles City
  47. St. Ann
  48. Olivette
  49. Lake St. Louis
  50. Jefferson City

how do I upload more than one picture to new letterbox clue?

Last Updated: December 17, 2014 12:22:33 PM

Help Home > Letterboxes > Traditionals > Planting

What are some LTC ideas and techniques?

Last Updated: December 7, 2014 01:33:20 PM

Here is a tracker by FloridaFour, which included links from several people for LTC techniques and tutorials. Many others are available online. Facebook is particularly a good way to discuss ideas, by joining various mixed media, art journaling, ATC and card making groups. Also look to see what groups your artsy friends have joined, and check them out.

Help Home > Letterboxes > LTC

What's the difference between public, protected, and private groups?

Last Updated: December 1, 2014 09:21:01 AM

A public group is visible to everyone, and anyone can join or leave the group at a whim. You are not able to restrict letterboxes or trackers to those in a public group—it wouldn't be much of a restriction if anyone could join whenever they wanted to, after all!
Protected groups are hidden from everyone except from those who are members of it. Nobody outside of the group can read messages on boards in a protected group, and members will be able to restrict boxes and trackers to members of their group. Any member of a protected group can invite non-members into the group.
A private group is almost identical to the protected group, except only group admins are able to invite new members to the group rather than any member of the group.

Help Home > Groups

Is there a way to join a particular state group instead of the United States group?

Last Updated: December 1, 2014 09:20:22 AM

No, you either join a group or don't join a group. There is no way to "partly" join a group.

If you want to follow the message board for a particular state, you can mark the states you're interested in as a favorite and only those will show up on your Favorite Boards widget. Clicking on the heart icon next to the board name will automatically add that one board as a favorite (and insure you're included in the group it's a part of).

If there are specific states you'd like to ignore, that's also an option. So even if you're part of the United States group, you can still ignore the rest of the states that do not interest you.

You can set favorites state boards and ignore specific state boards from the United States Letterboxing group.

Help Home > Groups

How do I rename tags?

Last Updated: November 30, 2014 05:51:05 PM

While viewing the details of a tracker, in the section that allows you to set which tags are on and off, you'll also see a pencil image. Clicking on that will allow you to edit the names on the tags.

Help Home > Trackers

What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?

Last Updated: November 30, 2014 02:04:33 PM

Stamp Types

The creator promises you'll find a genuine, 100% hand-carved stamp in the letterbox and not a store-bought or custom-made stamp.
The letterbox contains a unique, custom-made stamp.
The letterbox contains a store-bought stamp rather than a hand-carved or custom-made stamp.


The creator does not specify the location of the nearest city for this letterbox. They may have specified the state or country of its location, but you're expected to discover the actual starting point for the hunt yourself. From a technical standpoint, a location is considered a mystery box if the location has no name, address, and city. If the location spans less than one mile, it is not a mystery. And if a location is "somewhere within a city," the owner of the box can specify if it's a mystery location or not. And finally, just because you solve a mystery and add a custom location, the letterbox is still considered a mystery box-adding a specific custom location will not remove this icon.
This picture represents a bonus box, where the clue for the box will be found (usually) in a pre-existing nearby letterbox.
A Word of Mouth (WOM) box. The clues are distributed somewhere other than online, such as via e-mail, postal mail, or delivered in person.

Hike Types

This letterbox is located indoors -- perfect for those cold, wet days when you really do not want to go outside.
A drive-by letterbox, as defined on this website, is a letterbox that requires perhaps 5 to 10 minutes to nab from the time you park your car. A drive-by letterbox will be hidden within eyesight of where one parks, or at least so close that if it were raining, the person would take the box to their car to stamp in.
A stroll is something that's less than a mile round-trip of walking, which would take most people less than 30 minutes to complete (find and return to their starting point) but still too far out to be considered a drive by.
A walk is something that requires 1 to 2 miles round-trip of walking/hiking, which would take most people between 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
A hike is a box that requires 2 to 4 miles round-trip of hiking, which would take most people between 1 to 2 hours to complete.
A trek is 4 to 8 miles round-trip of hiking, and will typically take most people anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to complete.
An backpack is 8 to 15 miles round-trip of hiking, and will typically take most people anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to complete.
An thru-hike requires 15 or more miles round-trip of hiking, and will typically take most people a minimum of 8 hours to complete.

Note: Use a little common sense with these icons. A flat, paved, 1-mile trail would be a stroll. A rugged 1-mile trail that climbs 1,000 feet in elevation gain would be a walk. Even though both trails are one mile long, they would each fall into different categories since the difficulty level is very different. There are no hard or fast rules regarding this-just use a little common sense. A typical hiking trail that's two miles long would normally be a walk, but if the walk requires an extreme climb going up thousands of feet on a rarely maintained trail, mark it as a hike.


An urban letterbox, as defined here, is located in an area where one is unlikely to experience "The Great Outdoors". Like in a big city, such as New York city. A rest area in the middle of nowhere is an urban box. A large city park with trees and hiking trails is not an urban box. The 'setting' for the letterbox is urban, not necessarily the location, if that makes any sense.
A snow friendly box is rather a squishy concept. Some people might consider a box that requires several miles of cross-country travel using snow shoes or skies as snow 'friendly,' while other may not. Other boxes might be quite findable if there's an inch or two of snow on the ground but may no longer be easily found if there's a foot or two of snow on the ground. In theory, though, a snow friendly box is one in which important landmarks in the clue would not be covered, nor will digging through layers of snow be required to find the box.
A pet friendly letterbox is located in an area that allows pets to roam, usually with a leash requirement.
This letterbox is available only for a limited time. A limited time letterbox is either a box that is planted for only part of the year or a box that you intend to retire within the next three months. Letterboxes planted in regions that are covered in snow for nine months of the year or in stores that require a visit during store hours do not count as limited time boxes.
A bike friendly letterbox is located in an area where bicycles or mountain bikes are permitted and have plenty of room to roam. For instance, while it is legal to ride ones bicycle on busy city streets, it is not considered bike friendly if there are no designated bike lanes available for use near the letterbox. And while many trails may be accessible to mountain bike, it is not considered bike friendly if the trail is for hikers only.
The trail or path to the letterbox should be accessible by wheelchairs or strollers the entire way. However, the letterbox itself may not be reachable from a wheelchair or stroller, and those using them may need assistance from others to actually acquire the box. The letterbox may be planted too high or low for someone in a wheelchair to physically reach, or too far off from the main trail for a wheelchair, but as long as an assistant can retrieve the box and bring it back for the wheelchair-bound person, it's considered wheelchair accessible.
You'll be expected to use your head on this one in order to decipher the clue. The code might be easy or hard-this image promises nothing on that count-the only thing it does promise is that the clue won't be straight-forward as most.
A box that requires some sort of special or unusual equipment like for scuba diving or rock climbing, or even something as simple as a ladder. A compass is not considered "special" equipment for letterboxers!
The owner or author of the letterbox has indicated that the box requires repairs, but for whatever reason, they aren't able to do it themselves and are asking for your help, should you choose to look for the letterbox. Maybe the container is cracked and needs replacing. Maybe the logbook is soaked and needs to be replaced. Maybe a torn ZipLock needs replacing. Whatever it is, this icon is a call for help!
This image marks letterboxes that require a compass in order to find. The lack of this picture means the clue doesn't require a compass OR that the creator of the letterbox did not specify a compass requirement. It's generally a good idea to always carry a compass in your letterboxing kit, though, so you'll always be prepared.
This letterbox requires payment of some sort of fee-probably a parking or entrance fee-in order to find. The lack of this picture does not necessarily mean no fees are required. The creator may not have specified fees, or perhaps fees were added since the box was planted. It's always a good idea to carry a few extra dollars in case of an unexpected fee or two.
Those who plant letterboxes are able to point out their favorite plants by assigning them the Planter's Choice Award. They might do this because they consider it one of their best boxes, or perhaps it has sentimental value. Whatever the reason, the planter wants you to notice this box.
The blue diamond marks letterboxes that are highly recommended by other letterboxers. If your time is limited, you might want to focus on finding a Blue Diamond letterbox.
Each week, the highest rated box on Atlas Quest is designated the Box of the Week. Use this to search for boxes that have reached such lofty heights.
Some people like to find boxes that are 'historic,' and using this option in one's search can help narrow down the possibilities. A historic box, in this case, is any letterbox that was planted at least ten years ago and has been listed on Atlas Quest for at least five years.
Some letterboxers want to find that elusive box few people ever find or even search for. Searching for 'rare finds,' in this case, will return all boxes that have not had a recorded find for at least one full year.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Traditionals

How does communication between members of a group take place?

Last Updated: November 30, 2014 07:41:20 AM

Message boards. Once you've created a group, create at least a message board for group members to discuss issues or ask questions. You can also organize times for members to use existing chat rooms, but at this time there is no way to create a chat room that only members of your group can enter.

Help Home > Groups

How do I add a virtual find?

Last Updated: November 4, 2014 07:43:57 AM

Click the 'solve' button, then solve the virtual.

Help Home > Virtuals

How do I find a letterbox in my town?

Last Updated: October 22, 2014 11:25:55 AM

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching

What is a restricted letterbox?

Last Updated: October 20, 2014 04:45:29 AM

Some people like the ability to restrict a letterbox to a subset of members for various reasons. At this time, letterboxes may be restricted to other members with minimum P- or F-counts or to members of specific member groups. Someone can also restrict boxes so that only certain people can see the box (a "whitelist"). A dependency restricts a box (e.g., a bonus box) to only the users that have logged a find on a specific box (the dependency). The exact restrictions for a letterbox will not be displayed to help prevent abuse (for instance, some people may try to find a member who meets the requirements and bug them for the clue).

The specific reasons aren't important, and different people will have different reasons for the restrictions. Some people might restrict boxes to help ensure that search engines can't index them. Others might be wary that someone is targeting their boxes for vandalism. Other boxes might not be appropriate for everyone (perhaps it has an adult-oriented stamp) so the planter might want to ensure only specific people or types of people will look for it. It doesn't really matter what the reason is - a restricted box just means you have to meet the restrictions before you can access the clue on Atlas Quest.

If you find a box that is restricted, you won't be able to record finds on it or even find the listing on the Atlas Quest. For all intents and purposes, until you meet the restrictions, it's as if the box isn't listed on Atlas Quest at all. You can record the box as a find on an unlisted box if you are a premium member or wait until the box does show up in your searches once the restrictions are met. Most of the time, the restrictions are quite low. Most restricted boxes require less than ten finds and one plant.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching

How do I add a friend?

Last Updated: October 17, 2014 08:25:45 AM

There's no "friend list" per se on Atlas Quest. You can add friends as an AQ mail contact (use the box in the upper-right corner of the page). If you've exchanged with them, you can also list them as an exchange.

Help Home > Atlas Quest

How do I install a widget?

Last Updated: October 14, 2014 08:07:07 PM

From My Page, click the Add Widgets button in the upper-right corner of the page.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > My Page

What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?

Last Updated: October 13, 2014 03:08:58 PM

View Profile Allows you to view this member's profile.
Contact Member Allows you to contact this member.
View Logbook Allows you to view this member's online logbook.
Planted 55 letterboxes Planted 123 letterboxes Trophies represent the number of planted letterboxes. Silver trophies represent between 10 and 99 planted boxes, while gold trophies represent between 100 and 999 boxes. The number on the trophy matches the first digit of the number of planted letterboxes. For example: A silver trophy with the number 5 on it means the person has listed between 50 and 59 letterboxes on Atlas Quest. Another example: A gold trophy with the number 1 on it means the person has listed between 100 and 199 letterboxes on Atlas Quest.
Found 12 letterboxes Found 423 letterboxes Found 2196 letterboxes Ribbons represent the number of found letterboxes. The ribbons are color coded to the numbers on them, then count the number of 'strips' behind the ribbon and add that many zeros after the number. That'll give you a rough idea of how many finds the person has. First, the colors: blue = 1, red = 2, white = 3, yellow = 4, green = 5, pink = 6, purple = 7, brown = 8, light blue = 9. Second, the design: A ribbon with one background strips = x10. With two background strips = x100. With three background strips = x1000. With four background strips = x10000. A couple of examples will help make this more clear: A blue ribbon with one background strip behind it means the person has found between 10 and 19 letterboxes listed on Atlas Quest. (1 x 10 = 10) A yellow ribbon with the two background strips means the member has found between 400 and 499 letterboxes. (4 x 100 = 400) And a red ribbon with three background strips means the member has found between 2,000 and 2,999 letterboxes. (2 x 1000 = 2000) And if all that is just too confusing, just hover your mouse cursor over the ribbon and it'll tell you exactly how many finds the person has. =)
StarsStars represent the number of messages the member has posted to the Atlas Quest message boards. After 25 posts, a member gets a single, yellow star. After 50 posts, they get a second yellow star. And after 75 posts, three yellow stars. Upon their 100th post, the stars begin to change colors. First red, then blue, and finally, after 10,000 posts, they will begin to turn purple. The full cycle is shown below.
25 - 49 message board posts
50 - 74 message board posts
75 - 99 message board posts
100 - 249 message board posts
250 - 499 message board posts
500 - 999 message board posts
1,000 - 2,499 message board posts
2,500 - 4,999 message board posts
5,000 - 9,999 message board posts
10,000 - 24,999 message board posts
25,000 - 49,999 message board posts
50,000+ message board posts
Happily hatched November 11, 2011 This image of an egg about to hatch indicates that the user is new to Atlas Quest and will appear for the first two weeks from the time they signed up.
Profile updated November 11, 2011 An egg wearing sunglasses (for lack of a better image!) means that member has updated their profile within the last seven days. It may be nothing more exciting than adding a favorite food to the profile, or it may be they have filled out their interview!
Last Login: > 2 weeks This member has not logged into Atlas Quest for at least two weeks.
Last Login: > 1 month This member has not logged into Atlas Quest for at least one month.
Last Login: > 3 months This member has not logged into Atlas Quest for at least three months.
Last Login: > 1 year This member has not logged into Atlas Quest for at least one year.
Happy Anniversary! The picture of a cake means this user is celebrating an anniversary—the anniversary of the date they signed up on Atlas Quest!
Resting in Peace This is one icon you will never see next to your name, and you would probably prefer if others did not see it next to your name either since it means you have died. We won't delete your account if we find out about your death, but it lets other people know why you are no longer replying to AQ mail or maintaining your letterboxes. It also means there is a tribute section for you in the letterboxer obituaries.
Those with premium memberships at Atlas Quest get a feather in the cap to recognize their important contribution in helping to fund Atlas Quest. There are a few dozen hats available for premium members to choose, but you'll see a red or yellow feather in their hat regardless of the type they've selected. Additionally, as premium members, they get access to special features not accessible with a free membership. Learn more about the benefits of premium membership and how you can become one too!

Help Home > Atlas Quest

Any tips for attending a gathering?

Last Updated: October 11, 2014 02:11:44 PM

Gatherings are all about social interaction with folks of like mind, which means exchanges, activities and—of course—letterboxing. Here are tips to get you through a very busy, very chaotic, but very exciting day!

  1. Come early: Coming right when the event starts ensures a few things. First, you'll get to meet your hosts and check out the stamps before the mad rush of other attendees arrives. Anything that needs to be handed out at a gathering (like clues and other tidbits) might be limited, so showing up first ensures you'll get it. Also, by midday, the area will be swarmed with people and food and boxes and ink. By coming early, you'll be able to sit down and stamp into the event book and start exchanges without having to wait your turn.
  2. Stamp into the event book first: Every gathering has an event book to stamp in with your personal stamp and an event stamp to impress into your own logbook. Do both of these the moment you arrive because it may be a challenge as more and more people arrive.
  3. Wear a name tag: Most events provide you with name tags to stamp your signature stamp and write your trail name onto, but if not, bring something of your own to identify yourself with. Most folks will know you from your stamp, so be sure that's on your tag, too!
  4. Check around for traveling event stamps: Traveling events stamps move from event to event all over the country so that everyone has a chance to get the stamp and log in. Most larger events usually have several traveling events stamps floating around. You can usually find a table with these on it, so ask your host where it is, then head over and stamp in before everyone else starts to swarm the tables.
  5. Check around for hidden boxes: Yes, even at a gathering where it's obvious we're all boxing and people tend to be less secretive about their stuff, boxers will still hide things that you won't even know about until after the event! Check under tables, in the corners of the pavilion, in the bushes nearby, in the food containers, and in anyplace else that's not someone's private bag or stuff. You might be surprised at what you find!
  6. Exchange with other letterboxers: One of the other fun things about letterboxing is exchanging stamps with other people. These count as X in your PFX-count. There will be tons of folks whom you only know by their signature stamp or trail name on the message boards and websites. Just walk up and introduce yourself. Within minutes, you'll be sitting at a table with other people stamping into each others' logbooks and talking about the trail!
  7. Ask about personal travelers: Some folks carry around a personal traveler (or two or more), which is just a letterbox that follows that person. Not everyone has them, so the best thing to do is just ask! Another great idea is to check Atlas Quest and do a search of the personal traveler letterboxes and bring those with you to the event. Then instead of the semi-embarrassing, "Um, so what do I do to get your box?" question, you'll know what it is you need to know to get it. (And people seem to really like the fact that you took the time to research it!)
  8. Go letterboxing: One of the things that the Highlander and I always end up doing wrong is never leaving the pavilion to actually do some letterboxing. Remember, you're in an area that you haven't boxed before. Try to go for the local area boxes that you might never see again as well as the boxes that are out for the gathering. Also, gatherings make for a great time to buddy up and letterbox with someone and continue your talk. In fact, at really big events, you might find yourself waiting in line to get a box! So, don't wait until too late. Stay and chat a while, but go box, too!
  9. Take some pictures of people: Remember, you're meeting folks that you won't remember later, so bring a camera to be sure you'll know who they are later. Also, it helps the event coordinators if they can get pictures from others to post in the wrap up and photo albums online. Most of them are so busy, they never get to leave the pavilion, so it's a nice way to help them remember a great time, too!
  10. Be back in time for pictures, raffles, and other planned events: At some point in the event will be the group photo and some other fun stuff you may want to be involved in. Be sure not to miss at least the picture so you'll have that to look back on with your stamps and exchanges.
  11. Join someone for dinner: After the event is over, many locals love to join out-of-towners for dinner—plus they know where to eat and you don't! Check and see if anyone is up for a meal and more time to hang out and talk. In fact, this is something you can check before you even come to the event—just ask the people you do know if they want to get together and invite others to join you. It's often less chaotic and gets you more quality time to chat than the hustle and bustle surrounding an event.
  12. Box again the following day: Usually, an event starts on a Saturday, so plan out your Sunday for boxing, too. If you arrive in town the day before, you can box then as well, but if you're from the area, let the out of town folks have a chance at being the first finders on boxes.
  13. Share your photos from the event: Once you get home, share your photos through the Photos section of Yahoo Groups or the Photo Album here on Atlas Quest. Other letterboxers—both attendees of the event and those who can only wish they were there!—will be interested to see your photos.

Other Things to Remember at a Gathering
Just as with letterboxing as a whole, certain conventions and rules have developed when it comes to letterboxing events. Here are the most common you'll want to keep in mind:

Finally, gatherings are lots of fun, but can be overwhelming. Stay hydrated, take a buddy and a water bottle with you, eat right, and don't be surprised if you end up stamping into your own logbook a few times in the shuffle! Have fun and we'll see you at a gathering soon!

Help Home > Events & Gatherings

How do I add a tracker?

Last Updated: October 11, 2014 02:10:16 PM

You can add a tracker for traditionals, postals, LTCs and others by hovering your mouse over the My Page heading, clicking My Trackers, and clicking the Create Tracker link.

Help Home > Trackers

How do I start or create a tracker?

Last Updated: October 11, 2014 02:09:52 PM

The short answer: Use the Add Trackers link, which you can find on the My Trackers page, which is found under the My Page menubar option.

The long answer: You'll likely get a hundred different answers if you ask a hundred different people. Some people will suggest announcing it to the appropriate message board (either Postals or Letterboxer Trading Cards board, for instance)—especially if signups are slow. Others will give you advice about how many people you should allow in your tracker, or how to organize and keep track of everything. Once the tracker is listed, however, do what feels right to you. There is no one right way to run a tracker (although some might argue there are many incorrect ways to run one!) One good piece of advice, however, is to sign up for a couple of other trackers to get a better sense of how they work and what to expect before creating one of your own.

Help Home > Trackers

What type of tracker should I create?

Last Updated: October 11, 2014 01:49:38 PM

When creating a new tracker, you're given a number of options for possible tracker types. Picking the correct tracker type can sometimes be confusing, so here is a short guide that describes each of the different types.

Postal Trackers

SingletonA postal single is a postal letterbox that travels between each of the members on a tracker page. Create this type of tracker if you have a single postal that you want to track.
RingThis type of tracker is used to manage a postal ring where every member of the tracker makes a postal and all of the postals travel in a ring from one member of the tracker to the next.
OtherThis type of tracker manages a postal single or ring that doesn't follow the traditional rules for postals. It's not used very often, and chances are if you're listing a new tracker, you'll want to use one of the prior two types.

LTC Trackers

SingletonAn LTC singleton tracker keeps track of cards made by the tracker owner that are available for trade. For example, you might create a tracker to offer trades for a limited run cards. In practice this type of tracker is not used very often.
SwapThis type of tracker is used to manage an LTC Swap, where all participants create a set of cards, send them to the host, and then receive a complete set in return. Are you thinking of hosting an LTC swap?
OtherThe other type of LTC tracker is used when the other two categories don't fit; however, it's very rare that this happens.

Traditional Trackers

Note: traditional trackers are used to track traditional boxes. They should not be used for other uses, such as when requesting stamps for an event (even if they are going to be used for a traditional series), because this forces tracker participants to create listings for traditional boxes that do not exist.

Themed SeriesCreate this type of tracker if you want to organize a set of boxes that are related to each other but spread out geographically that letterboxers might search for in any order and on different outings. If the clues for all boxes start at the same location (like a parking area) and a letterboxer will typically get all of the boxes in a single outing, list the boxes as a traditional series instead.
GuideCreate this type of tracker if you want to write a guide for the boxes in a specific location (such as a large park). Make sure to have the permission from each box owner if you include their boxes in your guide and do not give away any exact box locations or clue spoilers.

Other Trackers

An other tracker is used to manage any sort of exchange with other letterboxers. For example, you can create an other tracker for keeping track of stamp donations for a series that you're going to plant or for managing and tracking donations for an event raffle.

Help Home > Trackers

What is an LTC?

Last Updated: September 24, 2014 12:49:57 PM

LTCs are Letterboxer Trading Cards.

They are a variant of ATCs or Artist Trading Cards. ATCs are small pieces of artwork created for the sole purpose of trading with other artists. So, LTCs are created with the intention of trading with other letterboxers. What makes the card an LTC is that the design contains an image that is hand-carved and hand-stamped. Other embellishments and stamps can be used, but the hand-carved stamp must be part of the art on the front of the card.

LTCs were suggested on AQ (Atlas Quest) by a letterboxer and became a reality when Mama Cache hosted the first swap. She wrote up the first guidelines and they are still in effect today. You can read about how they came to be and the guidelines on her Letterbox Trading Card page.

LTCs are usually made of card stock or similar heavyweight paper. They measure 2.5" by 3.5" (the size of a baseball card), and can use any medium or combination of media.
Construction paper is a poor choice because of the acid content which will shorten the life of your work. Seek out acid free options to come closer to archival quality (long lasting) art work. Scrapbooking papers and card stocks offer a wide variety of acid free choices. Watercolor papers and some art canvases are also good bases. Cards have been made from a wide variety of base materials such as fabric, fused beads, very thin wood, etc.

More information on techniques can be found in AQ's LTC Category. If you use facebook, lots of help, feedback, and techniques can be found in the Letterbox Trading Cards group.

LTC Examples

Help Home > Letterboxes > LTC

Do I sign my trail name on the book with my stamp and the date I found the box?

Last Updated: September 22, 2014 04:08:05 AM

At a minimum, most people provide at least a signature stamp, their trail name (if it's not included on your signature stamp) and the date the box was found in the letterbox's logbook. If you're traveling it's especially nice to include where you're from. Additional comments are certainly welcome—the weather, what you were doing in that part of the world, who you were with or whatever else suits your fancy.

Taking it a step further, some boxers like to write in the time in which they found the box.

Help Home > Etiquette, Conventions, and Rules

How do I add finds for unlisted boxes?

Last Updated: September 8, 2014 02:56:04 PM

Unless you are a premium member, you can't. Being able to list all finds, regardless of whether the letterboxes you've found are listed on Atlas Quest or not, is a premium member perk.

If you are a premium member, or happen to get in on a "free listing day," use the Record Find option from the Letterboxes menubar option. Type in the name of the box you want to add and set the type of letterbox you've found. If you already know the letterbox is not listed on Atlas Quest, do not worry about the author. Finds of unlisted boxes do not track the author of a box, so it won't do any good.

Atlas Quest will first return a list of letterboxes that match your search that are listed on Atlas Quest, but skip below that section for a list of matching letterboxes that people have found that are not listed on Atlas Quest.

If you are the first person to record finding an unlisted letterbox, you'll have to use the "create a new entry yourself" option next to the Unlisted Letterboxes section.

Fill in the rest of the blanks and save your find.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Recording Finds

What are Treasure Hikers?

Last Updated: August 29, 2014 04:20:04 PM

Yep. We're all treasure hikers in the general sense of the word... each little piece of art set free in the world is a treasure to plant and find.
But there is a larger game afoot to encourage more boxes on longer distance trails and paths, and that game is Treasure Hikers!
Mama Fox, of the Little Foxes, came up with the original idea and it wasn't long before other states wanted to kick up their hiking heels as well.

Treasure Hiking is a fun way to set hiking goals while letterboxing and earn cool pathtags or other accessories!


Here's the only rule: One point for each mile hiked while letterboxing, either finding or planting, on hikes of 1 mile or longer round trip.

If you have a question about whether something fits the Rule, use your own judgment, bearing in mind that we are operating on the honor system when you report your points. If you need clarification, read through the Suggestions and Footnotes below. The FAQ list is found below the table showing participating states and state coordinators. If you have questions about the program in one of the participating states, please contact the coordinator for that state.

Friendly Suggestions:
Other Footnotes:
If you are interested in starting a program for your state, contact one of the state representatives listed below:
Participating stateWho to contactHow to contactStarting DatePathtags Available
Alaska KnottyKnitterDirtMonkeyAQ Mail1/29/201425, 49
CaliforniaTurtlegirl 19AQ Mail4/1/2009
ColoradoThe3DTsAQ Mail1/1/2010
ConnecticutKit Kat 61 or The QuackersAQ Mail6/1/2009 25, 50, 75, 100
FloridaMonkey Wrangler AQ Mail5/1/2009
Georgia Buttercup, Hawkeye AQ Mail3/20/2009
IllinoisNitrocatAQ Mail4/24/2009
KentuckyEeny Meany Miney MoeAQ Mail3/1/2009
MaineAiphidAQ Mail5/1/2009 25, 50, 100
MassachusettsgraywolfeAQ Mail4/25/2009 50, 100, 150, 200
Michiganthe hicks from the sticksAQ Mail5/22/2009
New HampshireBubbaloo MagooAQ Mail5/21/2009
North CarolinaThe Little Foxes, The Wolf family, Knit WitAQ Mail3/1/200925, 50, 100
Ohio Mn8X AQ Mail3/1/2009
OregonMystic DreamerAQ Mail3/20/2009
Rhode IslandSouthpawAQ Mail6/30/2012 25, 50
South CarolinaGreycrazyAQ Mail3/1/2009 25
TennesseeScouttrekkieAQ Mail3/4/200925
TexasPI JoeAQ Mail1/1/2010 25, 50, 100
Virginiawee3AQ Mail6/1/2009
WashingtonCampFireLadyAQ Mail3/20/2009

There are other similar hiking incentive programs. Contact the organizer(s) listed for the program.
Program nameWho to contactHow to contactStarting Date
New York Letterbox Hiking ChallengeJackbear, Scout, or SahalieAQ e-mail4/2/09
NC Mountain ChallengeDixie or The Little FoxesAQ e-mailin planning stages

Frequently Asked Questions
Really the program is on the honor system, and we prefer that you have fun in the spirit of the game and count your points using your own conscience.
However, some questions get asked regularly so, for the sake of consistent answers (and the sanity of the moderators), this section was added.

What if the box is a one mile hike but I get lost and travel for 3 miles? How many points would that be? Only one. No extra points for being directionally challenged.
Can I go get 10 drivebys at .1 mile each and say that's one mile? No. None of these are qualifying boxes. A qualifying box must be a one mile hike (round trip).
Can I use a bike instead of hiking? No. The program is for hiking. There's nothing stopping you from making your own Treasure Biking program, though.
Do attempts count? No. They don't count as finds and they don't count toward points in this program either. However, if you take a box with you and plant it at one mile or more you could get a point for that.
What if I start a 6 mile hike but I don't finish it? I only do 3 miles one day, then next week I go back for the farthest boxes and do 6 miles? Do I count 9 miles total or only 6? You should count 9 miles total. You did 3 miles one day and 6 miles another day. Just because the boxes happened to be in a series does not change that you hiked 9 miles total on 2 separate days to qualifying boxes.
Can my dog get a pathtag? If your dog walked the distance with you, go ahead and order one for his collar too!
What if I walk a mile to get to a driveby box? Then can I count it? No. A qualifying box is one that is one mile in hike length for anyone to get to. You can't make it a qualifying box by just setting your own starting point.
If I am in a park where there are several separate letterboxes listed and I can find them all by stringing them together to make a hike greater than one mile, can I receive pathtag points? The Treasure Hikers program was originally envisioned as a way to encourage planting boxes on longer hikes in areas where the tendency seemed to be planting drivebys. While many of the coordinators still adhere to the idea that the box you are seeking should require a hike of one mile or more, we also recognize that there are some areas where finding a mile-long trail may be a challenge. Follow your conscience. If you live in such an area, consider planting an urban box that might incorporate a mile-long "sightseeing tour" of your city in the clues.
I heard New York was doing things a little different, what's the deal with that? The New York organizers were inspired by the original Treasure Hikers group, but being New Yorkers, wanted to put a little different spin on it. A Challenge Patch is available for different miles accomplished, 25,50, 75, and 100 instead of a pathtag. They also honor attempts and maintenance, and any other excuse you have to get out and letterbox. As with the Treasure Hikers, the New York Letterbox Hiking Challenge encourages participants to challenge themselves to go on longer hikes. For more information on the NY guidelines, go to:NY Letterbox Hiking Challenge Patch Guidelines
What about partial miles? If we hike 3.5 miles round trip can we round our points up to 4? Rounding up from the halfway point is technically taking credit for mileage that you didn't really hike. Most of the members are rounding down to the whole if the fraction is under a half and rounding down to the half if it is over the halfway point. The beauty of the tracking widget designed by Wassa is that you can input exact mileage without rounding at all. If you truly want credit for that partial mile, use the widget tracker. :-) In addition, as stated above, each individual hike must be at least one mile round trip to begin with. No hiking .7 miles one week and .3 the next and adding them together for one mile.

Help Home > Getting Started

How do I list a bonus box?

Last Updated: August 26, 2014 11:46:42 AM

Use the Add Letterbox page. One of the options for listing a traditional box is a bonus box. Keep in mind that a bonus box should be listed completely independently of the regular box that contains the clue for the bonus box.

Additionally, if you want to make sure your bonus box isn't visible to anyone who hasn't found the regular letterbox that holds the clue for your bonus box, be sure to click over the Restrictions page and add a dependency.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Adding/Editing Letterboxes

How do I rate a letterbox that I've already found?

Last Updated: August 19, 2014 08:42:55 PM

Blue diamonds are assigned to letterboxes based on votes by AQ members who've recorded finds on the letterbox. To view your votes, change them, or vote on letterboxes you've previously not voted on, use the Record Ratings page. You can also check out your voting statistics.

Help Home > Atlas Quest

How does the Basic Search work?

Last Updated: August 18, 2014 08:48:06 PM

If you search for the name of the box, two distinctly different algorithms are used. If your search term uses words that are only one letter or on the stopwords list, Atlas Quest will find all letterboxes that start with your search term. If your search term includes words with two letters or more that are not on the stopwords list, Atlas Quest will find all boxes that use those words anywhere in the box's name. The search will return all letterboxes that match any one of the terms you specify, however, they will be sorted with the best matches listed first—usually the boxes that match all of your search terms.

A word in one's search term is more-or-less any sequence of characters that are letters and numbers. Two exceptions are the underscore (_) and apostrophe (') which will count as part of the word. So a search for "self-help" would actually perform a search for the words "self" and "help" rather than the one word "self-help." Searches for "turtle's," however, will count as a single word. Additionally, a search for "turtles" and a search for "turtle's" are two completely different searches with no overlap. (This is how the database works, but for box names, tracker names, and other "titles," AQ internally strips the apostrophes when it's stored in the database so that the database will appear to find the match in those types of searches, but that's actually an AQ feature, not a database one, and you shouldn't always rely on it.)

If you want to search for only boxes that include all of the words then precede each of the words with a plus sign. So, to search for any boxes that include both "self" and "help" you would enter "+self +help". If you want to search for exactly "self help" that occur in that order then put "self help" in the search box, including the quotation marks.


There is a list of words, called stopwords, that are not indexed as being too common and generally useless as far as searches go. If one is used in a search, it will be ignored. The latest version of the stoplist Atlas Quest uses is: a's, ain't, all, am, an, and, any, aq, are, aren't, as, at, be, became, because, been, being, box, boxed, boxes, boxing, but, by, c's, came, can, can't, cannot, cant, co, com, could, couldn't, did, didn't, do, does, doesn't, doing, don't, each, edu, eg, either, else, et, etc, even, ever, every, ex, far, few, for, further, get, gets, getting, given, gives, go, goes, got, had, hadn't, has, hasn't, have, haven't, having, he, he's, her, here, here's, hers, herself, hi, him, himself, his, how, however, i'd, i'll, i'm, i've, ie, if, in, inc, into, is, isn't, it, it'd, it'll, it's, its, let, let's, letterbox, letterboxed, letterboxes, letterboxing, letterboxer, many, may, maybe, me, mean, might, much, must, my, myself, nd, no, non, none, nor, not, now, of, oh, ok, okay, old, on, only, onto, or, our, ours, park, per, rd, re, really, seem, seemed, seeming, seems, seen, she, should, shouldn't, since, so, sub, sup, t's, th, than, thank, thanks, thanx, that, that's, thats, the, their, theirs, them, then, there, there's, theres, these, they, they'd, they'll, they're, they've, this, those, though, thus, to, too, un, up, us, value, very, via, viz, vs, was, wasn't, way, we, we'd, we'll, we're, we've, were, weren't, whether, which, while, why, with, won't, would, wouldn't, yes, yet, you, you'd, you'll, you're, you've, your, yours, yourself, yourselves

Some examples might make this more clear:
Search Term Search For Will Match Results Will Not Match Results
h Will search for all boxes whose name begins with h. Will match boxes with names such as Hi!, High Top Letterbox, or Hit the Ball Will not match 'ello or I Just Wanted To Say Hi.
flowers Will search for all boxes that have the word flowers in it. Will find Flowers for Algernon, Pick Some Flowers, and The Flowers Wrath Will not match The Flower or Baking Flour.
War and Peace Will find all boxes that have the words war or peace in it. It will ignore the word and since that is a stopword. Will match War and Peace, Make Peace, Not War, and Peace Monument Will not match Buy an AQ Patch today.
Georgia on my Mind Will search for boxes with the words Georgia and Mind. The words on and my will be ignored since they are stopwords. Will find Georgia on my Mind, Georgia Peaches, Mind Your Manners, and Mind Over Matter. Box names that use both words will rank higher than names that use one word or the other. Will not find Maine on my Brain or The Oregon Files.
turtle's Will search for all boxes that have the word turtle's in it. Will find A Turtle's Shell. Will not match The turtles are a menace!
the least of your worries Will search for boxes the word worries in the name. The words least and your are stopwords and are therefore ignored. Will find My Worries and Don't Worry. Will not find Least of All or Your Birthday Present.

The author search requires an exact match to the trail name of the person who carved, authored, planted, or owns the letterbox, or leave it blank if you do not wish to search by author.

The box type is self explanatory, but for search results with the most detailed information, it helps to be specific about what type of letterbox you are looking for. The default "all" type strips out many useful details from the search results since it displays for the lowest common denominator.

Special Cases

If you type in a number and only a number, AQ will return the box with that box ID. Everything else will be ignored. So, for instance, if you search for a box with the "name" 181707, AQ will direct you immediately to The Skateboard Kid letterbox.

Additionally, if you know a box is listed on AQ but the clue is hosted on LbNA and so you only printed the LbNA id number, you can look up a box based on the LbNA id number by typing the name as "LbNA ID" (where ID is the ID number assigned by LbNA). For example, searching with the "name" as LbNA 4311 will automatically redirect you to Snoopy, which has an AQ ID of 127, but an LbNA ID of 4311.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching

How do I search the message boards?

Last Updated: August 18, 2014 07:58:45 PM

The simplest, quickest, and most common search you'll likely run on the message boards is to look for posts with a specific keyword or phrase within the message. You can run this type of search from most any message board page just by entering the keyword in the search box in the upper-right corner of the page. For more advanced search options such as searching for posts by specific members, on specific boards, during a specific timespan, and more, use the dedicated Search Messages page.

A few things to know about keywords searches. First, searches are case-insensitive, so capitalization will not matter. Second-and this is important-keywords with just one letter or number are not used. If you try to run a search for "I C U", for instance, it simply will not work because the AQ database does not track such small "words."

Some common words are automatically ignored such as and, then, don't, etc. These are called stopwords, and the full list of stopwords used are:

a's, able, about, above, according, accordingly, across, actually, after, afterwards, again, against, ain't, all, allow, allows, almost, alone, along, already, also, although, always, am, among, amongst, an, and, another, any, anybody, anyhow, anyone, anything, anyway, anyways, anywhere, apart, appear, appreciate, appropriate, aq, are, aren't, around, as, aside, ask, asking, associated, at, available, away, awfully, be, became, because, become, becomes, becoming, been, before, beforehand, behind, being, believe, below, beside, besides, best, better, between, beyond, both, box, boxed, boxes, boxing, brief, but, by, c'mon, c's, came, can, can't, cannot, cant, cause, causes, certain, certainly, changes, clearly, clue, co, com, come, comes, concerning, consequently, consider, considering, contain, containing, contains, corresponding, could, couldn't, course, currently, definitely, described, despite, did, didn't, different, do, does, doesn't, doing, don't, done, down, downwards, during, each, edu, eg, eight, either, else, elsewhere, enough, entirely, especially, et, etc, even, ever, every, everybody, everyone, everything, everywhere, ex, exactly, example, except, far, few, fifth, first, five, followed, following, follows, for, former, formerly, forth, four, from, further, furthermore, get, gets, getting, given, gives, go, goes, going, gone, got, gotten, greetings, had, hadn't, happens, hardly, has, hasn't, have, haven't, having, he, he's, hello, help, hence, her, here, here's, hereafter, hereby, herein, hereupon, hers, herself, hi, him, himself, his, hither, hopefully, how, howbeit, however, i'd, i'll, i'm, i've, ie, if, ignored, immediate, in, inasmuch, inc, indeed, indicate, indicated, indicates, inner, insofar, instead, into, inward, is, isn't, it, it'd, it'll, it's, its, itself, just, keep, keeps, kept, know, knows, known, last, lately, later, latter, latterly, least, less, lest, let, let's, letterbox, letterboxed, letterboxes, letterboxing, letterboxer, like, liked, likely, little, look, looking, looks, ltd, mainly, many, may, maybe, me, mean, meanwhile, merely, might, more, moreover, most, mostly, much, must, my, myself, name, namely, nd, near, nearly, necessary, need, needs, neither, never, nevertheless, new, next, nine, no, nobody, non, none, noone, nor, normally, not, nothing, novel, now, nowhere, obviously, of, off, often, oh, ok, okay, old, on, once, one, ones, only, onto, or, other, others, otherwise, ought, our, ours, ourselves, out, outside, over, overall, own, park, particular, particularly, per, perhaps, placed, please, plus, possible, presumably, probably, provides, que, quite, qv, rather, rd, re, really, reasonably, regarding, regardless, regards, relatively, respectively, right, rock, said, same, saw, say, saying, says, second, secondly, see, seeing, seem, seemed, seeming, seems, seen, self, selves, sensible, sent, serious, seriously, seven, several, shall, she, should, shouldn't, since, six, so, some, somebody, somehow, someone, something, sometime, sometimes, somewhat, somewhere, soon, sorry, specified, specify, specifying, still, sub, such, sup, sure, t's, take, taken, tell, tends, th, than, thank, thanks, thanx, that, that's, thats, the, their, theirs, them, themselves, then, thence, there, there's, thereafter, thereby, therefore, therein, theres, thereupon, these, they, they'd, they'll, they're, they've, think, third, this, thorough, thoroughly, those, though, three, through, throughout, thru, thus, to, together, too, took, toward, towards, tree, tried, tries, truly, try, trying, twice, two, un, under, unfortunately, unless, unlikely, until, unto, up, upon, us, use, used, useful, uses, using, usually, value, various, very, via, viz, vs, want, wants, was, wasn't, way, we, we'd, we'll, we're, we've, welcome, well, went, were, weren't, what, what's, whatever, when, whence, whenever, where, where's, whereafter, whereas, whereby, wherein, whereupon, wherever, whether, which, while, whither, who, who's, whoever, whole, whom, whose, why, will, willing, wish, with, within, without, won't, wonder, would, would, wouldn't, yes, yet, you, you'd, you'll, you're, you've, your, yours, yourself, yourselves, zero

Any word you attempt to search for in this list will be ignored.

Search Operators

By default, Atlas Quest will return all searches that include one or more of the keywords you specify. You can, however, change that behavior through the use of operators. Supported operators include:
Operator Result
+ A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in every post returned.
- A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any post returned.
( ) Parentheses are used to group words into subexpressions
* An asterisk is the truncation operator. Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word, not prepended.
" A phrase that is enclosed in double quotes matches only posts that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed.
@distance Tests tests whether two or more words all start within a specified distance from each other, measured in words. Specify the search words within a double-quoted string immediately before the @distance operator.
<> These two operators are used to change a word's contribution to the relevance value that is assigned to a row. The > operator increases the contribution and the < operator decreases it.


Search Results
apple banana find posts that contain at least one of these words
+apple +juice find posts that contain both words
+apple -macintosh find posts that contain the word “apple” but not “macintosh”
+(apple banana) -macintosh find posts that contain “apple” or “banana”, but not “machintosh”
apple* find posts that contain “apple”, “apples”, “applesauce”, “applet”, etc.
"some words" find posts that contain “some words of wisdom”, but not “some noise words”
"word1 word2 word3" @8 finds posts that contain the words “word1”, “word2” and “word3”—BUT only if all three words are located within 8 words of each other.
+apple +(>turnover <strudel) Find rows that contain the words “apple” and “turnover”, or “apple” and “strudel” (in any order), but rank “apple turnover” higher than “apple strudel”.

Help Home > Message Boards

What the P-club and F-club restrictions?

Last Updated: August 16, 2014 11:58:19 AM

You can restrict your letterboxes to only AQ members with a specified number of plants and finds. Keep in mind, these restrictions are based on official AQ counts so members who do not record their plants or finds on this site may not be able to access your clues. You are only allowed to restrict boxes up to your own P and F-counts, so if you have a P-count of 12 and an F-count of 132 on Atlas Quest, you will not be able to restrict your boxes beyond 12 plants and 132 finds respectively. If you are truly a spectacular planter and finder of letterboxes, AQ will also not allow you to exceed a P-count restriction of 250 or an F-count restriction beyond 9999.

If you have no plants or finds, you cannot restrict boxes by one's P or F-counts.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Adding/Editing Letterboxes

Why is the auto-login not working for my account?

Last Updated: August 10, 2014 01:04:57 AM

First, check for the obvious:

  1. Is another member of your family or a visiting friend logging you out then logging into their own account?
  2. Are your browser preferences set to automatically delete all cookies upon closing the browser?
  3. Do you have cookies turned on?
  4. Some anti-virus software may delete cookies from your browser to prevent "tracking" or to hide websites that you have visited. What is else is your anti-virus software doing besides checking for viruses?

If one of those is not the problem, then a "cookie" in your browser has probably become corrupted. This most often seems to happen when someone imports data from one browser into another, such as from Internet Explorer into Firefox, but regardless of the reason, you'll need to delete the cookie.

If you're using Internet Explorer

  1. Click the Tools option.
  2. Click the Internet Options option.
  3. On the General tab, under Browsing history, click Delete.

Note: This will delete all of your cookies in Internet Explorer and you may have to log into other websites again as well as Atlas Quest.

If you're using Firefox

  1. Click the Tools option.
  2. Click the Options... option.
  3. On the Privacy tab, click the Show cookies... button.
  4. Click on the cookie for site with the name cAutoLogin6.
  5. Click on the Remove cookie button.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Registering & Logging In

Where do we get stamp carving tools?

Last Updated: August 6, 2014 09:03:53 AM

Most hobby and craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Ben Franklin craft stores will carry stamp carving tools.

Another place to look are in your local rubber stamping stores.

And finally, you can order tools online from Stampeaz, MisterArt, or whatever business you prefer.

Help Home > Getting Started

How do I change my trail name?

Last Updated: July 31, 2014 11:28:18 PM

You can change your trail name from the Account Info page, which can always be found under the My Page menubar option. All plants, exchanges, and finds will automatically work with the new name, as if the old name never existed. Your old trail name will be unavailable for other members to use for one month to give people a chance to learn about your name change.

Please note: You must be logged into your current account in order to change your trailname on the Account Info page. If you are not logged in, you will be asked to log in. Log into your current account to change your trail name rather than register a new account.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Account Info & Preferences

New York State Parks

Last Updated: July 28, 2014 06:55:15 AM

New York State Parks requires a person or persons to submit an application for a permit when leaving any item in the park. If approved the holder/owner of the permit must comply with the permit standards. Any letterbox or geocache found without a current permit is promptly removed. This is to ensure the safety of our park patrons and the park itself.

From: Latisha Coy, E-mail:
Permit Application:

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > New York

What are the posting limits for the AQ message boards?

Last Updated: July 14, 2014 09:39:00 AM

Sometimes, people start using the message boards more as chat rooms, so we restrict the number of posts people can make over a period of time. The limits, as of July 14, 2014, are set to a maximum of 50 posts per 24 hours and a maximum of 15 posts per hour. For the vast majority of people, you'll never hit these limits.

If you do hit the limits, no big deal. Just wait a bit before trying to post again. You don't even have to wait a full 24 hours (or 1 hour for hourly restrictions) to post again—you just have to wait until your oldest post drops off from the last 24 hours (or 1 hour for hourly restrictions).

Another option to help reduce the chances of hitting these limits is to reply to several posts in the same thread within a single post. A bunch of one-sentence posts can often annoy people and combining several short replies into a single reply just seems to "flow" better for people.

Help Home > Message Boards

Is there a way to remove my e-mail address?

Last Updated: July 6, 2014 07:41:11 AM

There is no requirement that you register an e-mail address with Atlas Quest. It's recommended in case you forget your password since having a new one emailed to you is the only way you can reset a forgotten password and the site will restrict certain features without a valid e-mail address.

Atlas Quest does not send you any unsolicited e-mails. You can change your E-mail Preferences to insure no digests or AQ mail is sent to your e-mail address. The only two other times Atlas Quest will try to send you an e-mail is if you forget your password and need to acquire a new one through the Lost Password Center or if you have an unverified e-mail address need an e-mail sent to yourself to Verify Your E-mail Address.

On rare occasions, if someone is trying to contact you about a problem with one of your boxes and you do not appear to check your AQ mail on a regular basis, an administrator may try to forward the message about the problem to your registered e-mail address.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > AQ Mail

Why does my AQ mail always show up as old?

Last Updated: July 6, 2014 07:38:42 AM

You probably set your E-mail Preferences to have AQ mail forwarded directly to your e-mail address. When you have AQ mail forwarded directly to your e-mail address, Atlas Quest assumes that is where you will read the message and therefore marks all mail on Atlas Quest as old. If you "archive" AQ mail, it'll forward AQ mail to your email address and not mark messages as old.

If you have not received AQ mail in the inbox for your e-mail address, check your spam folder. Sometimes legitimate mail can end up there. Setting up a filter so all e-mail from or will go into your inbox can fix that problem. Some well-meaning but overzealous spam blockers might intercept and delete the e-mails from Atlas Quest completely.

If you need to update your e-mail address, you can do so from the Account Info page, found under the My Page menubar option.

When all else fails, turn off mail forwarding in your preferences. Atlas Quest will no longer try to forward mail to you, but at least it will no longer mark new AQ mail as being old until after you read it online.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > AQ Mail

How can I receive AQ mail via my email address?

Last Updated: July 6, 2014 07:37:21 AM

Set up your Notification & Email Preferences. Under the section titled E-mail Preferences, there's an option for how to track your AQ mail.

You can have Atlas Quest:

For any of the email options to work, you must register an email address and verify that it exists. You can set your email address on the Account Info page and when you do, we'll send you an email to verify that the address really works and belongs to you.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > AQ Mail

How do I record a find or an attempted find?

Last Updated: July 5, 2014 06:46:53 PM

Use the Record Find link under the Letterboxes menubar option and fill out the form provided. Yes, we know, it says "Record Find", but that's a small space for a link and most people just use it to record finds, but you can also record attempts from it as well.

If you are not a premium member, you will only be able to record the finds and attempts of boxes that are listed on Atlas Quest. If the box is not listed on Atlas Quest, you must be a premium member in order to record the find or attempted find.

Another way to record a find, if the box is listed on Atlas Quest, is to pull up the box details page and click the Record Find button among the panel of buttons along the right side of the page and fill out the following form.

One thing to note: The Record Finds page has a column for "found" boxes and another one for "missing" boxes. Anything you list as missing will show up as an attempt. The reason this column is labeled missing is because an attempt is only an attempt if you looked for the letterbox and believe it to be missing. When people see one or more attempts listed on a box, they might suspect that letterbox is missing, so it's not doing anyone any favors to hike halfway out to the box, but then it starts raining so you turn around. You did not attempt the letterbox—you merely went for a short hike. Just because you looked at an encrypted clue but could not decrypt it does not mean you attempted the letterbox.

Unfortunately, this happened quite often, and even after such people were warned that an attempt means you looked for the letterbox and could not find it because they believe it to be missing, they would reply that that's not their meaning for the word attempt. So the language on that record find page was hardened to say 'missing' to reinforce the fact that the person who is filling out that forms believes the letterbox is missing. At the same time, anyone who sees such a listing should keep in mind that the person listing the "missing" status can never be entirely certain that the letterbox really is missing—perhaps they misinterpreted the clue, or another letterboxer found the box and is stamping into somewhere nearby at the time you looked for it. So elsewhere, the gentler word attempt is used to describe your missing report.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Recording Finds

What do all the options for printing multiple clues mean?

Last Updated: July 5, 2014 09:17:03 AM

Include table of contents?
If you're printing clues for a lot of letterboxes, it might help to also print a table of contents showing you the order the boxes. If you're just printing a few clues, you might consider that a waste of paper and ink and choose to skip it. The choice is yours!

One clue per page?
Some people prefer to cram as many clues as possible into a single page to save paper while others prefer to print each clue on a separate page so they can change the order easily. If you select this option, we'll try to print no more than one clue per page. Otherwise, we'll try to fit as many clues as possible on each page.

Allow split clues?
Sometimes a clue will spill off the end of a printed page and continue onto the next page. That's called a 'split clue' for our purposes, and requires that pages stay in the printed order so you can follow the clue from one page to the next and can be a hassle to deal with. If you don't allow split clues, we'll start the clue on a new page if it won't completely fit on the current page. (If the clue is so large that it can't fit on a page entirely by itself, it will still start on a new page, but split anyhow onto subsequent pages.) If you've selected the previous option to print only one clue per page, this option won't have any effect since one clue per page already prevents split clues.

Show QR codes to record finds?
If you use a smartphone to record your finds and attempts (but prefer paper clues for searches), you can choose to print QR codes that will take you directly to the record find/attempt page for the given box or series. If you don't use a smartphone or prefer to record your finds on a desktop when you get home, you'd have no reason to print such QR codes.

Use single-column layout?
Studies have shown that it's more difficult for people to read long lines of text than shorter lines of text. Thus, the reason that newspaper columns are that—columns. Some people don't like columns in their printed clues, however, and here you can choose if you want your clues to show up as multiple columns or just a single column. If you view/print clues to a small device like a smartphone, you won't see columns regardless of this selection—there's just not enough room for columns. But on a large desktop or most printed materials, you'll see two columns. Two columns can also save space on printed pages if the information on it is particularly narrow—it'll ensure that both sides of your page are printed on rather than just a single column with a lot of white space on the right half of the page.

If you're trying to print with two columns but aren't seeing them, check your Usability Preferences. Large and huge text print options may not split into two columns if there's not enough room on the page for it. Normal-sized text and smaller should comfortably fit into two columns.

Hide box details?
Some people feel that a lot of the stuff provided with clues is fluff because it's not needed to actually find the boxes. The owner of the box, the carvers, the plant date, the find summaries, etc. All fluff! Most people like seeing this fluff, however, and if you do, make sure not to check this option which will hide the fluff.

A note about older browsers

Some of these options won't work at all with older browsers. If you're using the most recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari or IE, no problem! Most people have relatively current versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari and all features will work fine. Internet Explorer often cannot be updated on older operating systems, however, so if you're on an older computer with Internet Explorer, many of these options simply won't work. The table of contents, QR codes, and hide box details options should work with all browsers on all computers since they don't rely on new CSS constructs to work correctly.

Help Home > Letterboxes

Do I print out clues or is there an app to save them to an electronic device?

Last Updated: July 2, 2014 09:50:55 AM

It's up to you. Many people print out clues while others prefer to go paperless and use their smartphones or tablets.

Android apps
iPhone apps

Help Home > Letterboxes > Traditionals > Finding

Missouri State Parks

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:22:12 AM

Missouri State Parks do allow letterboxing as long as you get permission first. An official permit can be found at:
MO State Park Permit Application (PDF file)
Missouri State Parks Website       
Missouri State Parks Policy: (PDF file)

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

Army Corps of Engineers

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:22:03 AM

Individual sites may have their own permits. Allowed, provided the box/cache does not conflict with project missions or security. Containers should be clearly identified as such when placed on public lands. Transparent containers are required, due to homeland security issues. Caches should not contain alcohol, illicit, or other inappropriate materials. Information needed from the proposed geocache owner will include the location, his/her name, and his/her address and phone number. The intent of collecting this information is to keep track of the location and number of caches on the project and to contact the owner if the cache needs to be removed.

This policy on geocaching is an indication of how letterboxing can be approached.

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Webster Groves

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:20:46 AM

Allowed as per a letterboxer who spoke with park staff (2007).

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

St. Louis City

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:20:29 AM

Allowed with no permit (2007). St. Louis City Parks allows letterboxes and geocaches. Parks website.

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

St. Louis County

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:20:12 AM

Allowed with no permit (2007). St. Louis County Parks allows letterboxes and geocaches. Parks website.

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

St. Louis Arch

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:19:47 AM

Gateway Arch and ALL NATIONAL PARKS (10/1/2009) - MIGHT be allowed; up to Superintendent of the park. See policy.

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

St. Peters City Parks

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:19:26 AM

St. Peters allows with prior permission of the parks board (2007). However, their current website says nothing about it. St. Peters Parks website

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

St. Charles County

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:19:05 AM

St. Charles City Parks: allowed with permit. The cache containers must be clear and display the words "Official Geocache" or “Official Letterbox” clearly on the outside of the container and they will assign a number that should also go on the label. (2009)
MO UR4Me helped them develop the permit, which they have never placed on their website, so it has been posted on Gateway Letterboxers: PERMIT.
They have not been able to keep up with the permits received; the Chief Ranger unofficially told MO UR4Me to put her boxes out and send in the permits, so she recommends doing the same. Then if you ever actually receive a permit number, you/someone can add it to the box.

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

St. Charles City

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:18:29 AM

St. Charles City Parks: allowed with permit. The cache containers must be clear and display the words "Official Geocache" or “Official Letterbox” clearly on the outside of the container. (2009)

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

St. Ann

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:18:09 AM

Allowed as per a letterboxer who spoke with park staff (2007).

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri


Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:17:49 AM

Allowed as per a letterboxer who spoke with park staff (2007). Parks website.

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

Lake St. Louis

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:17:31 AM

Allowed as per MOUR4Me who spoke with park staff (2010). However, beware of vandalism in their busy parks. Recommend using AQ find count restriction feature.

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri

Jefferson City

Last Updated: June 24, 2014 11:17:06 AM

Jefferson City Letterboxing/Geocaching Policy

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Missouri