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Help: Recent Additions & Changes

  1. how do i manage tags?
  2. How do hitchhikers work?
  3. What is the difference between a "Planter" and an "Owner"?
  4. Some boxes are found after being marked retired. What does this mean?
  5. How do I search the message boards?
  6. What are P-club and F-club restrictions?
  7. How does the Basic Search work?
  8. How do I view the finds on a letterbox?
  9. What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?
  10. I am trying to upload my signature stamp photo and it shows preview but after hitting saved it says no file uploaded. The picture is in gif and under 10mb. Not sure if there's a problem with site or no. Please help. Thank you Lisa
  11. What are Treasure Hikers?
  12. How do I purchase a Blue Diamond Worthy Letterboxer patch?
  13. 1. Gwinnett County Parks
  14. How do I log my finds?
  15. Is there a way to search out letterboxes along the interstate highways?
  16. How can I view more than the 5 newest stamp requests?
  17. How do I put a link in a message?
  18. Does anyone have tips or tricks for doing peoples faces?
  19. How do you read clues to find these boxes?
  20. What is an F-Summary (Find Summary)?
  21. On favorite searches—how do I create an event search that covers all of America?
  22. What do you call a hitchhiker that is waaaaay too large to ever fit in any letterboxes you're likely to find?
  23. Which page of the box log book should I stamp?
  24. What is a 'tagged' letterbox?
  25. What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?
  26. Are we expected to help pay for postage for the host to mail out the cards?
  27. What is a reserved box?
  28. How do I find a list of my reserved boxes?
  29. What are the different types of letterboxes?
  30. How can I put in the date I found a letterbox instead of the current date?
  31. What are virtuals?
  32. How is the Box of the Week selected?
  33. Can I use my web capable cell phone to browse AQ ?
  34. What's the Billboard widget do?
  35. What do the envelopes represent in your mailbox?
  36. What do the attributes on a blog represent?
  37. What do the directional arrows mean?
  38. What do the icons stand for in an event listing?
  39. What do the attribute icons for custom themes mean?
  40. What do the attribute icons for LTC trackers mean?
  41. What do the attribute icons stand for in a postal tracker?
  42. What do the attribute icons stand for in a traditional tracker?
  43. What type of tracker should I create?
  44. What do the attributes on an event stamp represent?
  45. What do the icons on a hitchhiker/cootie/flea represent?
  46. What do the icons on an LTC represent?
  47. What do the attributes on an 'other' type of box represent?
  48. What do the icons on a personal traveler represent?
  49. What do the icons on a postal represent?
  50. What do the arrows represent?


how do i manage tags?

Last Updated: June 29, 2015 09:55:13 AM



Help Home > Atlas Quest


How do hitchhikers work?

Last Updated: June 14, 2015 02:09:56 PM

Hitchhikers are letterboxes that travel from box to box with no permanent home of their own. They're also known as parasites in some circles, though in the United States the term hitchhiker is the standard. A hitchhiker includes the same basic components as a letterbox: a rubber stamp and a logbook either in a very small container or bag. It is found inside a host letterbox.

Stamp your personal signature stamp and the stamp of the host letterbox in the hitchhiker's logbook. Stamp the hitchhiker in your logbook and the host letterbox's logbook. The finder typically takes the hitchhiker and plants it in another letterbox.

Hitchhiker Etiquette Tips
[Source: Silent Doug's articles on hitchhikers that had been at letterboxing.info.]

Added 12/2007: Hitchhikers have now started to travel in postals. As with all HHs, if you question if it is only to travel in one type of box, contact the owner prior to changing box types. Many postal HHs stay with the ring they start in (And sometimes do not have their own logbook), while others jump from postal box to postal box (These have seperate logbooks). They may also jump from postals into traditional letterboxes if the owner allows this. A good rule of thumb, "When in doubt, ask the box owner." mff

If you're considering launching a hitchhiker, you may want to consider making it a flea instead. A flea is much like a hitchhiker except there are more possible ways to move it, including just slipping it into some other letterboxer's pocket while he's not looking.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Hitchhikers/Cooties/Fleas


What is the difference between a "Planter" and an "Owner"?

Last Updated: June 13, 2015 08:53:27 PM

The planter is someone who participated in actually planting a letterbox while the owner is the person responsible for maintaining the letterbox. The planter is usually the owner, but if someone else adopts a box, the owner may be different.

On Atlas Quest, a box can have any number of planters, but all boxes have exactly one and only one owner. In the unusual case that a box has no owner (the person requested that their account be deleted, for instance, so the owner really has no account on AQ), it'll be assigned to the System account, a generic account that nobody monitors.

Planters cannot record a find on their boxes, but the owner can do so if they are not also a planter.

Help Home > Glossary Definitions


Some boxes are found after being marked retired. What does this mean?

Last Updated: June 13, 2015 08:35:21 PM

It could mean any number of things. Maybe the status of the box was changed to retired after several people reported it missing but it turned out not to be missing at all. Maybe someone is recording finds years after they actually found the box but aren't listing accurate find dates. Maybe they recorded a find on the wrong box mistaking it for another box with the same or similar name.

The point is, there are a lot of reasons someone might record a find on a box that has been retired, but there's no way to tell which reason it is without contacting the owner and/or finder to ask.

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Help


How do I search the message boards?

Last Updated: June 13, 2015 06:12:52 AM

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, 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, 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, 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.

Examples

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 are P-club and F-club restrictions?

Last Updated: June 13, 2015 06:12:23 AM

You can restrict your letterboxes to only AQ members with a specified number of plants and/or 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


How does the Basic Search work?

Last Updated: June 13, 2015 06:11:09 AM

Stopwords are common words that usually aren't very useful for searching—words such as 'the' or 'and'. Those words will be stripped from your search, and the rest of the words that are left will be used as part of the search. 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.

Stopwords

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, 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, 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 view the finds on a letterbox?

Last Updated: June 12, 2015 03:28:33 AM

The list of who found a box and when for traditional boxes is now a premium member perk. Non-premium members can only see a summary of the most recent finds and attempts of a letterbox along with the last found date.

Help Home > Atlas Quest


What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?

Last Updated: June 1, 2015 09:02:16 AM

Stamp Types

AttributeDescription
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.

Subtypes

AttributeDescription
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

AttributeDescription
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.

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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.

Emoticons

AttributeDescription
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


I am trying to upload my signature stamp photo and it shows preview but after hitting saved it says no file uploaded. The picture is in gif and under 10mb. Not sure if there's a problem with site or no. Please help. Thank you Lisa

Last Updated: May 26, 2015 02:31:53 PM



Help Home > Photo Gallery


What are Treasure Hikers?

Last Updated: May 23, 2015 05:48:44 AM

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!

Guidelines

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, 250
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 purchase a Blue Diamond Worthy Letterboxer patch?

Last Updated: May 20, 2015 04:48:14 AM

There is no criteria or hoops to jump through to get this patch. Even if you HAVE a blue diamond, there is no guarantee you will have it tomorrow, so this patch says LetterboxER instead of Letterbox. You may not have a blue diamond at this time, but if you are a BD in your heart and manner, by treating others with kindness and respect and doing your best to be a positive contributor to the letterboxing hobby, you qualify. Use the patch to inspire you to explore cool places, write awesome clues, and carve beautiful stamps!

To order, go to LetterboxingPatches.com, a site run by Der Mad Stamper. They'll take good care of you! UPDATE: This link is currently not working and a new address is not confirmed.

Help Home > Atlas Quest


1. Gwinnett County Parks

Last Updated: May 8, 2015 09:22:48 AM

Gwinnett County regulations and application for letterbox or geocache (effective 04/2013) can be found at: http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/static/departments/parks_rec/pdf/PermitApplication.pdf

Caches are limited to conservation parks and must be labeled with their permit number.

Help Home > Land Manager Policies > Georgia


How do I log my finds?

Last Updated: May 2, 2015 05:40:10 AM

Use the Record Find link, found under the "Letterboxes" menubar option. Search for the name of the box and/or owner along with the type of the box and click on the result of the box that you found. Fill out the date of the find and such and save.

Help Home > Getting Started


Is there a way to search out letterboxes along the interstate highways?

Last Updated: May 1, 2015 11:40:35 AM

Use the trip search option on the Simple Searches page, or type in "ALONG I-5 FROM Sacramento, CA TO Portland, OR" (or whatever the case may be) as your search. If you type out the search manually, the keywords to use are "along" for the Interstate, "from" for which town to start the search, and "to" for which town to end the search.

Many interstate highways can be found by going to Toolbox, Trip planner and then there is a list of routes, including lots of interstate highways.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching


How can I view more than the 5 newest stamp requests?

Last Updated: May 1, 2015 11:34:20 AM

There is no limit on the number of stamp requests or offers on the Stamp Exchange. If you see only 5 requests, it's because there are only 5 active requests to display!

Help Home > Atlas Quest > Help


How do I put a link in a message?

Last Updated: April 7, 2015 04:16:15 AM

Most of the time, simply typing in a URL will automatically turn it into a link. For instance, http://www.atlasquest.com will display as a link automatically with no special formatting. You do, however, have to type the full link. Just typing www.atlasquest.com won't do it.

Additional formatting options can be found on the Markup Comparisons page, including how to turn any text into a link (like the "Markup Comparisons" link does). There are two formatting options available including wiki and HTML. By default, all new accounts are set to use wiki formatting since it's generally easier and faster to use, so unless you've changed your default preferences, you should probably use the wiki formatting options.

Help Home > Message Boards


Does anyone have tips or tricks for doing peoples faces?

Last Updated: March 14, 2015 02:27:46 PM



Help Home > Carving & Mounting Stamps


How do you read clues to find these boxes?

Last Updated: March 13, 2015 05:58:59 AM

When you pull up a box listing, click the "Clue" button to read the clues.

Help Home > Getting Started


What is an F-Summary (Find Summary)?

Last Updated: March 11, 2015 03:39:36 AM

Clue pages now include a summary of the finds (and attempted finds) of each letterbox which is called an F-summary for short. For instance, you might see a box with an F-summary of FFFFFFFFxxxFFxx. These are the last 15 finds and attempts made on the letterbox. Each F represents a find while each x represents a failed find (i.e. an attempt). In this example, there were 8 finds, then 3 attempts, then 2 finds, then 2 more attempts. Perhaps the box went missing, then it was replaced, then it went missing again. Or maybe those 3 successive attempts were people who just couldn't find the box because it had been replaced in the wrong location and the 4th person who looked for it realized it was behind the wrong tree. Or maybe the 3 attempts were a single group of people looking for a box and failed to find it so they all marked it as an attempt.

The point is, there are a lot of ways to interpret this data, but sometimes it's useful just to see what sort of patterns they make. A lot of attempts interspersed with finds might suggest the box is particularly tricky to find. A long series of finds followed by a long series of attempts probably means the box is missing.

If someone has chosen to hide the finds or attempts on one of their letterboxes, no F-summary will be displayed.

Help Home > Letterboxes > Traditionals > Finding


On favorite searches—how do I create an event search that covers all of America?

Last Updated: March 8, 2015 06:28:51 AM

Run an event search where the location is the United States. You'll probably want to only include upcoming events so check that box as well as any other criteria you'd like to use to narrow down the search results.

Then run the search to see the results.

Once you're looking at a list of results, you can click the Save Search link in the upper-right corner of the page to save it as a favorite.

Follow the prompts and save your new favorite search!

Help Home > Events & Gatherings


What do you call a hitchhiker that is waaaaay too large to ever fit in any letterboxes you're likely to find?

Last Updated: March 7, 2015 01:48:02 PM

Shrekhiker.

It may be too large because of the size of the stamp or because of the logbook.

Help Home > Glossary Definitions


Which page of the box log book should I stamp?

Last Updated: March 5, 2015 11:18:40 AM

If the planter provides directions, follow them. If not, the recommended procedure is as follows: Stamp box log books on the front of each page only, going from the front of the book to the back. As the finds approach the back of the book, finders should notify the owner that it's getting close to the end, preferably reporting exactly how many pages remain. Then if the owner decides to replace the log book when each page has entries on the front, she/he may do so. If log book front pages are full, then turn the book over and fill it back-to-front. Again, notify the owner when the log book is nearly full.

Help Home > Etiquette, Conventions, and Rules


What is a 'tagged' letterbox?

Last Updated: March 4, 2015 08:50:49 PM

A tagged letterbox is one that you want to identify with a certain characteristic later. When you run a letterbox search or view a letterbox, a small, colored icon shows up next to the box name of all boxes you've thus identified, a nice reminder for whatever it is you wanted to be reminded of. For example, you might tag a list of boxes that you think look particularly interesting so in later letterbox searches, you won't accidentally overlook them. Or another tag could mark mystery boxes that you've solved.

Using the Advanced Search page, found under the Letterboxes menubar option, you can even perform searches that will return only letterboxes you've tagged (or haven't tagged) with a specific color/shape.

Premium members have up to eight different tags (each with a different color) that they can use. Without a premium membership, you'll only be able to make use of four of them. You can tag an individual box from the box details page, tag multiple boxes from a search directly from the search results page, to set the tags while recording a find on a letterbox.

You can set the text for each tag option wherever you can add or remove tags from a box such as on the box details page by clicking the pencil next to the submit button. That's the edit button for text.

As for why you may want to tag letterboxes, that's up to you. Many people use it for different reasons, but here are some common ones:

Related Questions

How do I tag and untag letterboxes?
How do I remove all tags of a certain color from all of my boxes?

Help Home > Letterboxes > Searching


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

Last Updated: March 2, 2015 11:13:21 PM

IconMeaning
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.
Add Note Read Note View and/or edit any notes you've taken about this member. If the notepad is blank, you haven't added any notes for this member yet. If the notepad has writing on it, then there are notes to read.
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


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


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

Subtypes

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

Subtypes

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.

Attributes

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.

Carpooling

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


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What do the attribute icons for custom themes mean?

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

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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.

Subtypes

SubtypeDescription
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

Subtypes

AttributeDescription
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.

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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

Subtypes

AttributeDescription
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.

Subtypes

AttributeDescription
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

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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 attributes on an event stamp represent?

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

Stamp Types

AttributeDescription
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.

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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

Subtypes

AttributeDescription
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!

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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

AttributeDescription
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

AttributeDescription
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.

Subtypes

AttributeDescription
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.).

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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

AttributeDescription
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

AttributeDescription
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.

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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

AttributeDescription
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.

Attributes

AttributeDescription
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