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A Letterboxing Community

What is a letterbox's status?

Letterboxes often go missing, are retired, and otherwise inaccessible. We do not delete such boxes from Atlas Quest since they can still show up in online logbooks here or perhaps the box is expected to be replaced. In any case, keeping the status up to date allows the owner to indicate the current accessibility of the letterbox.
Status What it means
active An active box means that, as far as the owner of the letterbox knows, the box is alive and well ready for visitors
unavailable A box marked as unavailable means the owner of the letterbox knows the box is gone-regardless of the reason (maintenance, floods, seasonal, etc.)--but is expected to be replaced within one year.
retired A retired box not only is no longer there, but the owner of the box never intends to replace it (or doesn't intend to replace it for over a year).
unknown An unknown status means just that-the owner of the letterbox has been unable to confirm the status of the box. It's probably been reported missing by someone, but nobody has been able to confirm if the box truly is missing or if the letterboxer just missed the box.

Some people ask if they can be more specific about why a letterbox is missing. Is it gone temporarily due to maintenance? Was it confiscated by the authorities? This desire is understandable, but to the person who wants to find your letterbox, it's irrelevant. They need to know if the box is still there or not. From a finder's point of view, that is all they need to know.

If you wish to include additional information about why a letterbox is missing or when you intend to replace it, include such information in the clues for the box.