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Atlas Quest

Letterboxing Glossary: T

tabletop box
Boxes, usually event stamps, left at an event or gathering for people to discover and stamp into. Many times, the stamps are left on the top of a picnic table for anyone to pick up, but it refers to any type of stamp that’s sitting around at a gathering available for the taking whether it’s on a table, on the ground, in an ice chest, or anywhere else they may be cleverly hidden or disguised.
talk list
Websites where groups of people can get together to talk about something they have in common. Several letterbox-themed talk lists exist on Yahoo Groups for a variety of regions and topics. The main letterboxing talk list, also affectionately known as the “The Big Board” is located at Or you can use the message boards right here on Atlas Quest!
thumbprint signature
Cooties often ask for thumbprint signature, where you stamp your thumb or finger and draw it into a picture instead of using a traditional signature stamp. New letterboxers often use a thumbprint signature temporarily until they acquire a real trail name and signature stamp. The thumbprint on the right was turned into the face of an alien species.
Thumbprint Signature

Nasty little blood-sucking buggers that spread Lyme Disease. If you find yourself with ticks and they’ve already attached, it’s important to remember not to squish the tick. Instead, use something like tweezers and nab the little bugger as close to your skin and below the body of the tick, then pull it away while twisting slightly at the same time. You want to make sure to get the whole tick out and not leave any of those mouth parts in. If you notice a reddish rash around the area later or develop flu-like symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

There is a theory that if you drink Guinness, the ticks won’t bite you. I am not convinced the theory holds any water, but I suppose it will not hurt to give it a try either. ;o)

There’s a lot more information about ticks, how to avoid them and how to remove them in the help pages, so check that out for more information.

topographic map
Maps of high precision that show the elevation of terrain with contour lines. Sometimes called a topo map for short.
A rocky outcropping found among the moors of Dartmoor, such as seen in this photo of Staple Tor.
A tor on Dartmoor
To help keep track of primarily postals and LTCs, Atlas Quest has the concept of a tracker. It shows a list of who all is signed up to receive the object or objects in question, and the current status of everyone involved with the tracker. The owner of the tracker can specify the rules that are associated with them such as which type of objects are supported, the maximum number of participants, and so forth.
traditional letterbox
Traditional boxes are the “real” letterboxes—actual containers hidden around the world and require the use of clues to find. The non-traditional boxes are more recent offshoots including postals, hitchhikers, LTCs, and so forth. Strictly speaking, these offshoots aren’t real letterboxes, so the word traditional has been used to identify the real letterboxes from their non-traditional offshoots.
trail name
The name a letterboxer is known by. Selecting a trail name is optional, and many famous letterboxers do quite well without them.
Short for personal traveler.
treasure hiker
To encourage more people to plant and find letterboxes on longer hikes, a treasure hiker program was started. One earns points for each mile hiked, and when a certain number of miles have been hiked in a certain area, you can acquire pathtags or other accessories to show your accomplishments. Learn more about treasure hiking and states that are participating in it in the help pages.
tree snot
After a rain or sometimes even a very thick fog, water condenses on a tree to make it very thick and wet. When it becomes wet enough, it will fall off the tree in large drops, much like rain. But it’s not rain. It’s tree snot..
true north
The direction of the earth’s actual North Pole. See magnetic north.
An elevated walkway constructed of two parallel logs or rock walls filled in with rock and mineral soil, common on trails through bogs and other muddy areas. One person described it as an “earthen dam,” which seems like a good description.
A 2 x2 inch LTC.