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Help: Recent Additions & Changes

  1. Are we expected to help pay for postage for the host to mail out the cards?
  2. What is a reserved box?
  3. How do I find a list of my reserved boxes?
  4. What are the different types of letterboxes?
  5. What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?
  6. How can I put in the date I found a letterbox instead of the current date?
  7. What are virtuals?
  8. How is the Box of the Week selected?
  9. Can I use my web capable cell phone to browse AQ ?
  10. What's the Billboard widget do?
  11. What do the envelopes represent in your mailbox?
  12. What do the attributes on a blog represent?
  13. What do the directional arrows mean?
  14. What do the icons stand for in an event listing?
  15. What do the attribute icons for custom themes mean?
  16. What do the attribute icons for LTC trackers mean?
  17. What do the attribute icons stand for in a postal tracker?
  18. What do the attribute icons stand for in a traditional tracker?
  19. What type of tracker should I create?
  20. What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?
  21. What do the attributes on an event stamp represent?
  22. What do the icons on a hitchhiker/cootie/flea represent?
  23. What do the icons on an LTC represent?
  24. What do the attributes on an 'other' type of box represent?
  25. What do the icons on a personal traveler represent?
  26. What do the icons on a postal represent?
  27. What do the arrows represent?
  28. What is a strikeout?
  29. What is a 'watched' letterbox?
  30. What do the icons for stamp types represent?
  31. Is there a clue guide available for downtown Charlotte, NC?
  32. How do I package a set of LTCs for a tracker?
  33. how do I upload more than one picture to new letterbox clue?
  34. What are some LTC ideas and techniques?
  35. What's the difference between public, protected, and private groups?
  36. Is there a way to join a particular state group instead of the United States group?
  37. How do I rename tags?
  38. How does communication between members of a group take place?
  39. How do I find a letterbox in my town?
  40. What is a restricted letterbox?
  41. How do I add a friend?
  42. How do I install a widget?
  43. Any tips for attending a gathering?
  44. How do I add a tracker?
  45. How do I start or create a tracker?
  46. What is an LTC?
  47. Do I sign my trail name on the book with my stamp and the date I found the box?
  48. How do I add finds for unlisted boxes?
  49. What are Treasure Hikers?
  50. How do I list a bonus box?

Are we expected to help pay for postage for the host to mail out the cards?

Last Updated: February 23, 2015 01:37:52 PM

When sending in cards for an LTC swap, you must include enough postage to get your cards returned to you. The host is not expected to pay any of the return postage.

Help Home > Trackers > LTC Trackers

What is a reserved box?

Last Updated: February 1, 2015 08:43:31 PM

Some people like to pre-list their boxes. Some people want a box ID number they can list in their logbooks. Some people want to try listing a box to see how it works. And some people want to tweak their clues until things are just right before making their box live. And that's what a 'reserved' box allows you to do—list a 'box' before it becomes live for the rest of the world to see. It'll be assigned a box ID number just like any other letterbox, but it won't show up in searches or in your logbook. (You will see an option to view "reserved" boxes in your logbook, but only you can see your own reserved boxes. Nobody else will be able to.)

The reserved box can be listed just like any other box type from the Add Letterbox page—just select the reserved type.

When the box is ready to publish for the world to see, open the box details page for your reserved box and click the button to "Activate Box." This converts the box from a 'reserved' type into any other letterbox type. Be careful, however. This conversion is permanent! You will not be able to undo the conversion, nor will you be able to change the box type to something else once it has been set.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Reserved

How do I find a list of my reserved boxes?

Last Updated: February 1, 2015 08:41:07 PM

Reserved boxes will not show up in letterbox searches, but they will show up in your logbook. Make sure the action is set to Plants and the type is set to Reserved. The reserved type will only be available while viewing your own logbook—other people's reserved boxes cannot be viewed.

From there, the listing is like any other box listing. You can edit the listing, delete the listing, or convert into an actual listing that other people can then view by activating it.

Reserved logbook page

Help Home > Letterboxes > Reserved

What are the different types of letterboxes?

Last Updated: February 1, 2015 09:59:52 AM

Traditional Letterboxes: Traditional boxes are the real, honest-to-goodness boxes with a rubber stamp and a logbook usually planted outdoors and requires following clues in order to find. It's the heart of letterboxing, and the main reason we exist as a group. There are, however, various subtype of traditional boxes:
Normal A 'normal' box is the standard, run-of-the-mill letterbox. The clues have a specific starting place, and are listed online and readily accessible.
Mystery A mystery box, for Atlas Quest purposes, has a vague starting location with no starting city listed. The box could be anywhere in the state, country, or the world, and you're expected to figure out where it is.
Bonus Box A bonus box's clue is hidden in another letterbox. You won't necessarily know which box the clue will be in, or even what area the clue might be found. Typically, clues for a bonus box are supposed to be a nice, unexpected surprise. Remember, it's supposed to be a surprise! If you tell people what box to look in for the clue, it's not really a bonus box anymore. It's just a normal box.
Word of Mouth A word-of-mouth box (or WOM for short) is a box whose clue is not available online. They're distributed from one person to another, but despite the term, the clue does not have to actually be vocal. It might be mailed as a postcard or provided by e-mail.

Non-Traditional Letterboxes: Over the years, various spinoffs from the original hobby of letterboxing have occurred. These aren't "real" boxes by the traditional sense of the word and don't count as such. None of them are required, and in fact almost nobody actively participates in all of these various spinoffs.
Hitchhiker The original spinoff, hitchhikers have a rubber stamp and a logbook and travel from box to box, hitching rides between boxes from the letterboxers who find it. It is okay to leave a hitchhiker behind if you do not feel like carrying the hitchhiker to a different letterbox.
Postal A postal is a rubber stamp and the logbook that's mailed from one letterboxer to another, usually through the USPS.
Virtual A virtual hunt should require a hunt through the Internet to find various answers to fill out a passkey. Originally, finding the solution would bring you a virtual image of a stamp. More recently, photos stolen off the web have taken their place. (Which is not a good thing.)
Personal Traveler A stamp that a letterboxer carries that can be 'found'--usually by answering questions or doing something for that person. The clues will state what the requirements are to get the traveler.
Cootie A cootie is a rubber stamp (and sometimes a logbook) that is stealthily planted on other people or their belongings without them knowing it.
LTC Short for Letterboxer Trading Cards, an LTC are like baseball cards that can be swapped and traded. They are handmade by letterboxers and should include some sort of stamp in the image. A standard LTC has a fixed 2.5" x 3.5" dimensions, but a growing number of non-standard sizes and shapes are now being included in this category including inchies, quisps, postcards and bookmarks.
Event Box A box whose sole purpose is to be present at an event or gathering for other people to stamp into. Typically, they're readily available on tabletops, in ice chests, and otherwise hanging around waiting for your observant eye to stumble onto them and usually don't require clues to find. Some event boxes might have clues. For example, if they're locked in a container and the clue is needed for the combination. (Not to be confused with a traditional box since the box itself isn't hidden and out of sight--it's just inaccessible until the combination is figured out.)
Other For anything else that doesn't quite fit into any other category, it can be labeled as an 'other' box. Usually it involves a rubber stamp, but in a context that none of the other terms conveys.

Reserved Letterboxes: This is a special category of boxes that do not yet exist. Some people have an uncontrollable urge to list boxes before they've been planted. They'll carve a stamp with the intention of planting, but want to list the "plant" before it's even been planted in order to "keep track" of boxes that they still need to plant. We discourage 'post-dating' boxes since often times, it doesn't end up happening and the listings end up cluttering up the search results with boxes that can't be found. Post-dating boxes is not allowed, but now you can 'reserve' a place for it on Atlas Quest.

This has the added benefit of giving your box an ID number, if you want to include that information with your letterbox. Especially now that you can look up boxes based on their ID number, and muggles can contact you based on your box's ID number. We don't want you to post-date a box simply to get an ID number assigned to your box, but post-dating reserved boxes is completely acceptable since reserved boxes are not made public.

Once your box has been planted, you can change a 'reserved box' into any of the other existing box types. The ID number will not change and notifications will still go out as if your box was listed for the first time. You might need to edit the listing for traits specific to the box type it's been changed to. The reserved type is a generic type, but if you convert it into a traditional box, you'll need to add a location and traditional attributes to your listing.

One common misconception—you can't "save" a name for a letterbox. Atlas Quest does not prohibit lots of boxes from having the same name. Reserved listings will only give your box an ID number that does not change and allows you to list boxes that have yet to be planted. That is all that it does for you.

Help Home > Letterboxes

What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?

Last Updated: January 14, 2015 10:16:45 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!
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.
Clued boxes are those that have some sort of clue included with it. WOM boxes, hitchhikers, event boxes, etc. often do not have clues.


This is a happy letterbox—there are no reported issues with the box and no known repairs are needed.
This is a sad letterbox—it needs some help. Maybe there's a torn ziploc bag or maybe there's been a catastrophic box failure and the logbook is unusable or stamp severely damaged. If you help, by all means, please do!

Help Home > Letterboxes > Traditionals

How can I put in the date I found a letterbox instead of the current date?

Last Updated: January 12, 2015 08:27:39 PM

Select Letterboxes from the toolbar. Select Record Find. Type in the name of the letterbox and then select search. In the bottom, left-hand corner is the current date. Select the down symbol for the year and then select the correct year. Do the same for month and day. When all is copasetic, save.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Recording Finds

What are virtuals?

Last Updated: January 12, 2015 11:33:06 AM

Virtuals started as a way to search for letterboxes online. It would pose a question, series of questions, problem, or many other types of conundrum for you to solve. By solving the virtual's clues, you create a password or passkey that is then used to 'unlock' your reward—a virtual image (sometimes a scanned hand-carved stamp, sometimes a hand-drawn image, and sometimes a digital image), which you can then save as your record of finding the virtual.

The earliest known virtual as the online version of the Kimball Library Letterbook, created by The Orient Express in 1998. Not only is this the earliest known virtual, but also the original letterbook (creating a letterbox using an old book as the container). The Kimball Library Letterbook was a physical letterbox planted in a library in Randolph, Vermont, that also had a virtual quest version for those who were not able to get to Vermont to find the actual letterbook.

Virtuals have been discontinued on Atlas Quest, but you'll still find some on personal websites that are out there (example: Lone R's Virtual Letterboxes). See also, virtual letterbox sources listed under Miscellaneous in the Atlas Quest Link Directory. In addition, there's a Virtuals Group where you can discuss them and learn how to create your own.

Help Home > Glossary Definitions

How is the Box of the Week selected?

Last Updated: January 12, 2015 12:37:12 AM

The Box of the Week is chosen based on the votes provided when members record a find on boxes, much like how blue diamond boxes are chosen. In a sense, it's the very best of the blue diamonds.

The process is automated and far from perfect. Atlas Quest will pick the highest ranked box each Sunday morning, just after midnight, that has never been selected as a Box of the Week before. This does mean that letterboxes that have never been found or have no votes cannot be picked as the Box of the Week—but hopefully as people find them that will change! Additionally, only letterboxes known to be active and readily available to everyone (i.e. not restricted) will be chosen as Box of the Week. We want to encourage you to check out the finest examples of letterboxes anywhere, and those that are missing, retired, or even suspected of being missing will not be included.

Anyone who opts out of the blue diamond process for their letterboxes will not be eligible for the Box of the Week, under the assumption that they also feel the Box of the Week is morally wrong. However, once a box is a Box of the Week, it is permanent. Opting out at a later date will not remove the listing from the Box of the Week list. Nor will it be removed if the box later goes missing or is retired. Opting in will not make your boxes eligible retroactively, but it will make all of your boxes available in future weeks. Replacing a missing box will once again make that box eligible.

If one of your boxes is selected as Box of the Week, Atlas Quest will send you an AQ mail informing you of the selection. You'll also be ineligible to get another Box of the Week for a year to make sure others get a shot at it as well. No hogging them all for yourself! =)

Help Home > Atlas Quest > My Page

Can I use my web capable cell phone to browse AQ ?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:56:00 AM

In this day and age most basic cell phones are capable of surfing the web, although some carriers may charge extra fees to do so. These cell phones are capable of using Atlas Quest. This comes in handy when you are out on the trail and want to look at clues, search for boxes, or just needing to catch up on recent posts on the message boards.

Ryan has programmed Atlas Quest to be a very fast loading site. In fact, for the first several years, he created, managed, and updated the site over a dial-up connection! There are very few pictures and multimedia stuff to bog down a cell phone's simple Internet browser. This means that things should load fairly quickly. With that being said, Ryan does not guarantee that any feature will in fact work over a cell phone, as the site was never created for, and/or tested using one.

Some problems you may encounter while using a cell phone
For devices with e-mail capabilities, you can also run location-based searches through e-mail.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > PDAs and Cellphones

What's the Billboard widget do?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:53:19 AM

The Billboard widget is something of a cross between the message boards (where what you type will stick around essentially forever) and a chat room (where the messages are as fleeting as the duration you're in the chat room). By default, you'll only see the last ten messages posted to the billboard, and only if they had been posted within the past 24 hours. You can change these defaults by clicking the 'Edit Preferences' link, the small pencil in the title bar (). The maximums allowed show 99 messages posted within the past 99 hours. The messages posted to the billboard are temporary in nature, and there is no mechanism provided to review or archive old messages.

This widget is a premium member perk, so you must be a premium member to add it to My Page. The messages are public that essentially anyone may read, so you are expected to conduct yourself just like you would in a chat room or on the message boards. Moderators can delete messages that they feel are inappropriate.

One use where this widget may be useful is to ask questions that you don't want to last for eternity on the message boards, such as, "How do I record a find on an unlisted box?" You might get an answer just as fast as by posting on the message boards, but the conversation essentially deletes itself after a period of time keep the message boards less cluttered with constantly repeated questions. Or you could just root for your favorite sports team, or wish everyone a happy holiday.

The widget does not auto-refresh, but it will update whenever you post a message, open My Page, or click the "Refresh" link in the title bar. The refresh link is the green, circular arrow in the title bar of the widget. ()

It is possible to ignore a specific member who posts to the widget. Use the Ignore Member option on that person's profile. The same settings used for ignoring a member in the chat room will also be used to ignore them on the billboard widget.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > My Page

What do the envelopes represent in your mailbox?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:49:36 AM

In your Mailbox's folders (Inbox, Sent, Archives, Trash) you will see little envelopes to the left of the messages. These envelopes represent different things and can quickly tell you about the status of a message. In your sent folder, these envelopes indicate the status of the message in the recipient's inbox.
New Mail A new, unread message
Old Mail An old, read message
Reply A message you have replied to
Forward A message you have forwarded

NOTE: If a Person has their preferences set to forward their mail directly to their personal email account, the message you sent them will immediately be marked as read!

Help Home > Atlas Quest > AQ Mail

What do the attributes on a blog represent?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:48:01 AM


The blog is a personal blog about all things letterboxing—finding them, planting them, solving or writing clues, attending events, carving stamps, and whatever other letterboxing-related activities the owner wants to talk about.
A personal blog that's usually about stuff that's not related to letterboxing.
A blog that is by someone who, most likely, isn't a letterboxer and has nothing to do with Atlas Quest, but that some people might be interested in following such as the blog for Cake Wrecks in which you can't reasonably expect the actual owner of the blog to list themselves on Atlas Quest.
Usually this identifies someone who chose not to identify a subtype for their blog listing, but it also covers anything that might not be covered with the available options.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Blogs

What do the directional arrows mean?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:46:01 AM

When viewing a traditional letterbox or an event, Atlas Quest will point to the direction of the letterbox or event from where your home location is listed. Atlas Quest will attempt to use your private home location which can be set in your preferences. If no location is listed or it's vague such as somewhere in a state, then AQ will try to use your public location—set in your profile—as your home. If that fails, no directional arrows will be provided.
None The letterbox or event is exactly where you are!
Unknown The letterbox or event doesn't have a specific enough location to know what direction it is located from your home.
North The letterbox or event is north of your home location.
Northeast The letterbox or event is northeast of your home location.
East The letterbox or event is east of your home location.
Southeast The letterbox or event is southeast of your home location.
South The letterbox or event is south of your home location.
Southwest The letterbox or event is southwest of your home location.
West The letterbox or event is west of your home location.
Northwest The letterbox or event is northwest of your home location.

Help Home > Events & Gatherings

What do the icons stand for in an event listing?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:43:35 AM


The event will be held outdoors such as at a park, perhaps with a pavilion or other facilities available.
The event will be held indoors at a restaurant or similar location where food or drinks may be available for purchase.
A multi-day event where letterboxers are encouraged to spend the night together at a campground.
Tag sale, birthdays, weddings, and other non-letterboxing events that letterboxers are welcome to attend.
The event will be held at a pub or other adult-only type of event.
An online event, such as in a chat room or other online location.
An unspecified subtype, or anything that does not fit the categories listed above.


The event is a potluck--bring some food, drinks, or eating utensils and prepare to eat!
The venue allows letterboxing opportunities.
Pets are allowed at the event.
There is an entrance fee, parking fee, or some sort of expense associated with this event.
The date and time of the event is a mystery and must be figured out from clues.
The location of the event is a mystery and must be figured out from clues.
A raffle will be held at the event and there's a good chance that the organizers of the event will need raffle prizes if you have anything available.


This attendee is available to drive a carpool to the event.
This attendee wants or needs a ride to the event.

Help Home > Events & Gatherings

What do the attribute icons for custom themes mean?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:36:21 AM


This is a theme that generally only changes the colors and images, and is the kind that often changes from day-to-day on Atlas Quest. Examples include Christmas, Independence Day, Easter, etc.
A 'structural' theme changes where elements on the page are found or how they work. For instance, changing to the vertical menubar from the usual horizontal one found at the top of the page. This isn't used very often, but it's an option!
Most of these themes were created when a new feature was developed for Atlas Quest and one or more persons didn't like the change. By using the CSS "display:none", the features magically "disappear." Or, technically, they're just hidden from view. You can get rid of the emotion buttons on the message boards, you can get rid of the bottom menu bar, get rid of the AQ logo showing up everywhere, etc. By enabling this attribute, you're warning that functionality on Atlas Quest will be removed.
It's useful to format pages a little differently when they're being printed. Get rid of those unnecessary menubars and images. AQ applies a lot of these print-friendly features automatically, but you can re-enable them or hide information you aren't interested in, or change the font size or any other number of tweaks to make your printed pages more useful to you. This attribute lets people know that they may not see any visible changes if they use the theme, but it could affect pages printed from Atlas Quest.


A holiday-themed event. Examples include Christmas, Valentine's Day, Veteran's Day, Columbus Day, etc. (But you don't have to limit yourself strictly to U.S. holidays.)
These are themes that celebrate a specific event in the past such as the anniversary of the first moon landing or the Golden Spike ceremony marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. These themes tend to be historic, but they don't have to be.
These themes commemorate regularly occurring events. Usually the events are annual such as the summer solstice or Talk Like a Pirate Day, but it can also include events that happen less often (e.g. the Olympics or the total solar eclipse) or more often (e.g. time changes or Friday the 13th themes).
This theme is based on a movie, TV show, music, stage, or other artistic endeavors.
Themes honoring a specific person.
Themes about a specific place or location.
Usability themes are designed to make someone's experience on Atlas Quest better or easier rather than cosmetic. All of the other subtypes are largely cosmetic in nature, but this category will hide features, move them around, or do whatever is necessary to make a better experience for others.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Preferences

What do the attribute icons for LTC trackers mean?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:32:16 AM


A singleton is a single LTC card that the tracker owner has available for distribution. Only the tracker's owner can add cards to the tracker.
An LTC swap is an efficient way to trade many cards with many people. Each participant in the tracker provides enough cards for everyone else in the tracker. The cards are usually sent to the tracker owner, who redistributes the cards and mails them back, making sure each person receives one of everyone else's card. Everyone in the tracker is expected to add their own LTC to the tracker.
No subtype is the wild, wild west of LTC trackers. It's not a singleton nor a swap, which are the most common organizations, but what it is is anyone's guess. There may be strange and unusual rules involved, so read the description of the tracker closely to see if it's someone you want to get involved with. Anyone can add their own boxes to such a tracker.


A swap with no restrictions regarding what sort of theme can be done, and most likely, will have a wide variety of unexpected topics!
The opposite of a potpouri—these swaps have rules that require you to create cards based on a specific theme. (e.g. favorite books, Harry Potter, Christmas, etc.)
You can reuse old LTCs you've created in the past.
These swaps are intended to put the trade into Letterboxer Trading Cards. If you have duplicate cards or want to trade cards you've collected from other people with other people, these are the swaps to look for!

Help Home > Trackers > LTC Trackers

What do the attribute icons stand for in a postal tracker?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:29:36 AM


A postal single is a single postal box that will be mailed to a group of people, one at a time. Only the owner of the tracker may add boxes—everyone else is just along for the ride.
A postal ring is a concept where each person who joins the ring contributes a postal to be mailed in a circular fashion. Person A mails a postal to Person B who mails to Person C, and eventually returns to them from Person Z. All members of a postal ring can add boxes, but they can only add postals that have them as the listed owner. The ring leader may add postals from anyone.
No subtype is the wild, wild west of postal trackers. It's not a single nor a ring, which are the most common organizations, but what it is is anyone's guess. Any participant can add postals they own, and the tracker's owner can add any postal they need to, much like a postal ring, but the organization of who mails what to whom may not follow conventional rules of rings.


The postals in these trackers have a movie attached! Stamp into the box, then watch the movie!
The postals in these trackers have music attached. Stamp into the box while listing to the CD included with it!
Surely you know where this is going, right? There's a book to read with these postals. These trackers will probably move a lot slower than most if participants actually choose to read the included book.
These trackers include an altered book with the postal.
The postal in these trackers can be anything under the sun—whatever floats your boat, and who knows what others might do.
These trackers have a theme that everyone is expected to follow.
It's okay to reuse an old postal for these singles or rings.

Help Home > Trackers > Postal Trackers

What do the attribute icons stand for in a traditional tracker?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:26:38 AM


There are two kinds of series of boxes—those that are physically placed near each other and most people would get in a single outing. Then there are these—a series of boxes related to each other but spread out across large distances that letterboxers might search for in any order and on different outings.
These are a series of boxes planted in close proximity to each other but typically planted by lots of different people. It might make sense to get all of the boxes in one outing because they're all in the same park. These trackers are created to help people sort through the confusion.

Help Home > Trackers > Traditional Trackers

What type of tracker should I create?

Last Updated: January 7, 2015 10:25:15 AM

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

Last Updated: January 3, 2015 10:24:41 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.
View Note View and/or edit any notes you've taken about this member.
Planted 1 letterbox Planted 20-39 letterboxes Planted 300-399 letterboxes Trophies represent the number of planted letterboxes. Bronze trophies display your exact number of plants from 1 to 9. Silver trophies represent between 10 and 99 planted boxes (the number on the trophy is rounded down to the nearest 10), while gold trophies represent between 100 and 999 plants (the number on the trophy is rounded down to the nearest 100).
Found 1 letterbox Found 20-29 letterboxes Found 300-399 letterboxes Found 4,000-4,999 letterboxes Found 50,000-59,999 letterboxes Ribbons represent the number of found letterboxes. The ribbon gets an extra "point" at the bottom for every zero that follows the first digit. The ribbons are color-coded to the first digit roughly in a rainbow pattern from 1 to 9: 1 = red, 2 = orange, 3 = yellow, 4 = green, 5 = cyan, 6 = blue, 7 = magenta, 8 = purple and 9 = silver/grey.
1 message posted 20-29 messages posted 300-399 messages posted 4,000-4,999 messages posted 50,000-59,999 messages posted 600,000-699,999 message posted Stars represent the number of messages the member has posted to the Atlas Quest message boards. The number of stars or the size of the star increases as the count number increases. Each small star is worth one digit, and each big star is worth three digits. For example, two small stars = 10-99. One large star and one small star = 3 + 1 = 1,000-9,999. The biggest stars are color-coded to the first digit in roughly a rainbow pattern: 1 = red, 2 = orange, 3 = yellow, 4 = green, 5 = cyan, 6 = blue, 7 = magenta, 8 = purple and 9 = silver/grey. (If there are small and large stars, the color on the small star means nothing.)
New member since November 11, 2011 The stroller 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 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: > 1 month Last Login: > 3 month Last Login: > 1 year The green, yellow and red battery indicators represent the last time the member logged into Atlas Quest. Green and still mostly full means they haven't logged in for at least 1 month. Yellow and half empty means that they haven't logged in for at least 1 quarter (3 months). Red and empty means that they haven't logged in for at least 1 full 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!

P-Count Icon Sequence

Bronze trophies (1-9 plants):
Silver trophies (10-99 plants):
Gold trophies (100-999 plants):
Winner's podium (1,000+ plants):

F-Count Icon Sequence

0-point ribbons (1-9 finds):
1-point ribbons (10-99 finds):
2-point ribbons (100-999 finds):
3-point ribbons (1,000-9,999 finds):
4-point ribbons (10,000-99,999 finds):

Message-Count Icon Sequence

1 small star (1-9 posts):
2 small stars (10-99 posts):
3 small stars (100-999 posts):
1 large star, 1 small star (1,000-9,999 posts):
1 large star, 2 small stars (10,000-99,999 posts):
1 large star, 3 small stars (100,000-999,999 posts):

Help Home > Atlas Quest

What do the attributes on an event stamp represent?

Last Updated: January 3, 2015 12:09:01 AM

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.


A traveling event stamp goes from event to event, making multiple appearances.
A table top box is often located on the tables where letterboxers gather at an event, sometimes in disguise and sometimes in plain view, but it also includes any stamp that is located there only for the duration of the event anywhere near the point of the gathering. While most are located on tables, they may also be found in ice chests, on the ground, and sometimes very clever locations.
Hidden In Plain Sight (HIPS) are boxes that are laying around at an event, but aren't obviously a box. Clues aren't needed in order to find these—just be alert and observant of your surroundings. Maybe it's hidden in a salt shaker. Or maybe it's disguised as a soda can. Or maybe....

Help Home > Letterboxes > Event Stamps

What do the icons on a hitchhiker/cootie/flea represent?

Last Updated: January 3, 2015 12:07:04 AM


The original box without a permanent home, hopping from box to box, hitching rides from passing letterboxers.
Why go out and find a box when you can plant one on other people? That's what a cootie is for--hiding on other letterboxers, or at least among their possessions.
Can't decide between a hitchhiker or a cootie? A flea combines the best of both worlds! Hide it in a box or on letterboxer, and you can't go wrong!


The original cootie required the use of a thumbprint signature where you stamp a thumb (or finger) rather than your signature stamp, and draw a face (or something) onto it to turn it into a picture.

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.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Hitchhikers/Cooties/Fleas

What do the icons on an LTC represent?

Last Updated: January 3, 2015 12:05:08 AM

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 card is an undersized card (inchies, twinchies, quisps, etc.).
The card is a standard sized LTC.
The card is an oversized card (bookmarks, postcards, etc.).


The stamp used for the LTC has been previously used in some other box, and not necessarily another LTC.
The cards are unusually thick, perhaps because of beads or buttons glued to it or because the cards folds open, and otherwise may not lie flat.

Help Home > Letterboxes > LTC

What do the attributes on an 'other' type of box represent?

Last Updated: January 3, 2015 12:02:37 AM

Stamp Types

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

Help Home > Letterboxes > Others

What do the icons on a personal traveler represent?

Last Updated: January 3, 2015 12:01:39 AM

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.


A trail-only personal traveler means you must find the owner while on the trail in order to nab the stamp.
A limited time traveler means you better get the stamp soon, because it won't be around much longer!
The brain icon represents a mental challenge which may require research or solving a tricky puzzle.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Personal Travelers

What do the icons on a postal represent?

Last Updated: January 3, 2015 12:00:03 AM

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.


If a postal weighs one pound or more, it gets this icon so people realize it might cost a bit more to snail mail.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Postals

What do the arrows represent?

Last Updated: January 2, 2015 11:57:54 PM

When running a location-based search, Atlas Quest display the distance to each letterbox from the point of your search, along with an arrow indicating the direction the box is from that location.
Arrow Description
None The letterbox is exactly where you ran your search!
Unknown The location of the letterbox isn't specific enough to know what direction it is from the location you searched.
North The letterbox is north of the location of your search.
Northeast The letterbox is northeast of the location of your search.
East The letterbox is east of the location of your search.
Southeast The letterbox is southeast of the location of your search.
South The letterbox is south of the location of your search.
Southwest The letterbox is southwest of the location of your search.
West The letterbox is west of the location of your search.
Northwest The letterbox is northwest of the location of your search.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching

What is a strikeout?

Last Updated: January 2, 2015 11:55:15 PM

When multiple people try to find a box and believe it is missing, they'll record an attempt on the box. Each attempt counts as a 'strike' against the letterbox, and after three consecutive strikes, the box has 'struckout.' By default, most searches on Atlas Quest will not include strikeouts in the search results since most people prefer to avoid boxes with long strings of attempts on them. Search results will show an icon with a baseball next to boxes that have a strikeout.

If you see a box with a strikeout, the only thing that tells you is that, the last three people who looked for the box and recorded the attempt failed to find it. It does not mean the box is missing—just that it has not been found recently.

Strikeout Strikeout Strikeout

Related Questions

If one box in a series has struckout, will it strike out the whole series in a search? No, strikeouts apply to the individual boxes within a series—not the entire series.

How do I know which of my boxes have strikeouts? If you check your logbook plants or logbook attempts, you'll see the strikeout icon on boxes that have struck out. You can only see strikeouts on your own plants and attempts in your own logbook. You will not see the icons in other people's logbooks nor on any other pages of your logbook.

I found a box with three or more attempts on it, but it doesn't have a strikeout. Why? Multiple attempts on the same day only count as one attempt. We don't want one group of people who are looking for a box to be able to strike it out—we want confirmation from at least three different groups of searchers that the box cannot be found.

How can I check if a box has been struckout? Strikeouts will show wherever the series information for a box shows up. You'll find it in the clues and on the box details page next to the status and last found dates.

I checked up on my box and it's still there. How do I take the strikes off my box? From the box details page, click the "Update Status" button near the right side of the page. Mark the box as alive and well, save your changes, and AQ will remove the strikes.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching

What is a 'watched' letterbox?

Last Updated: January 2, 2015 11:49:46 PM

Premium Members have the option of putting a watch on specific letterboxes. When a letterbox is on your watch list, Atlas Quest will notify you through AQ mail whenever the status or clues for the letterbox have been updated. So if a letterbox has been pulled for maintenance and the status changed to 'unavailable' or when the owner replaces the box and changes the status to 'active,' you'll get a notification to let you know about the update.

As for updated clues, the watch only works properly when the clue is hosted on Atlas Quest. We'll try to give you clue updates for remotely-hosted clues, but we can only tell that something on the page has changed. Maybe the last found date was changed, but it'll still count as a clue change because Atlas Quest doesn't know any better!

A box you have a watch on will have a small icon of an eye by it, like this one. (Except smaller!)

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching

What do the icons for stamp types represent?

Last Updated: January 2, 2015 11:43:38 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.

Help Home > Letterboxes

Is there a clue guide available for downtown Charlotte, NC?

Last Updated: December 31, 2014 10:31:56 PM

Yes. After answering this question repeatedly, it just seemed to make sense to put one together. Every box listed in this guide as well as the tips to each box has been done only with permission of each planter. By listing it in Wiki, anyone can update it to keep the information more up to date (or add or remove their boxes as they see fit). You can also check the revision date of this question listing to see when the guide was last updated.

If you'd like a visual map of the guide you can see a google map here or contact The Wolf Family with a private e-mail address to have a better version sent to you.


This is downtown Charlotte -- the nation's second largest banking center-expect it to be busy during the week. That being said, you won't have problems with parking in these 'boxing areas. You should be able to find free parking at or near each area. If you go during rush hour in the morning or late afternoon expect the traffic to crawl. If you go on the weekends all parking is free on the streets and it is oftentimes practically vacant unless there is an event (at Panther's Stadium or the Bobcat's Arena).


Elmwood/Pinewood United
Elmwood/Pinewood History
The Confederate
GAQLBE09: Registered Nurse
What's that behind you?
Truly, Truly, Truly Outrageous
They Moved to North Carolina Because...
RAY'S SPLASH PLANET (215 N. Sycamore)

GAQLBE09: Go Green
Park in the lot here and you can walk to the locations within a couple blocks
ALL of these boxes were created by the Middle School age children of Trinity Episcopal School

Trinity in the Park
Three Poles
You can see the school from here. You just made a loop back to the school. Now start back at the school and follow these boxes out to Alexander Street Park://

Stone Plus Crack
Pond Life


Street parking is free on weekends. See clue for other parking recommendations. You can also just take the Lynx line here (see the clue for more information).

Center City Walking Tour

Check the links in the clue for the times that ImaginOn is open. You will need to go inside the building for the clues to the box.

At the end of the Center City Walking Tour Series you can easily pick up several more boxes as part of the "tour". If you do this the one way total mileage is just over 2 miles. If you walk back to 7th Street it will be a total of 3 miles.
From Disco Chicken, continue down Tryon to Stonewall. You will be in the location for

Lynx Light Rail Line Series: Charlotte Observer

Then back to Disco Chicken and cross Tryon and you will be at The Green where you can pick up:

Moon and Stars

Cross through The Green and cross the street and go into the Convention Center.
Keep going straight through following the signs to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
When it puts you back out on the street, go pass Buffalo Wild Wings to the front of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and you and do these boxes:

Lynx Light Rail Line Series: Moonshine Runners

You end up on Stonewall at the end of these clues.
Head up Stonewall pass the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the Stonewall Station for the Lynx (you'll see the overstreet tracks ahead). You can ride this back to the 7th Street Station.
Or you can under the overstreet station and take a right on College St. And then head about 8 blocks down College St until you get to 7th St. Look right and you'll see where you started on 7th.
This one has easy access free parking//

Hope is the Thing with Flowers

The clue guide has all the boxes in the area listed regardless of their current status (they are only deleted from the guide if they are retired). Please check the status of the listed boxes to see if they are currently available

Help Home > Getting Started

How do I package a set of LTCs for a tracker?

Last Updated: December 21, 2014 01:19:25 PM

Most hosts at this time prefer a taped, reusable bubble mailer, because it keeps postage more consistent, and is easier to sort and send.

Here is a link to Chedva's bubble mailer tutorial:

Small trackers may use self-addressed stamped envelopes because for just a few cards, it is less postage, but this is less common, so please read each tracker and if you aren't sure, ask the host.

Help Home > Letterboxes > LTC

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

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 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

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 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