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Help: Recent Additions & Changes

  1. Do I print out clues or is there an app to save them to an electronic device?
  2. Is there a BlackBerry app for Atlas Quest?
  3. Who is the webmaster here?
  4. What kind of prizes should I leave for first finders?
  5. Is it possible to change the theme displayed on Atlas Quest?
  6. How do I search the help pages?
  7. What browsers are supported by Atlas Quest?
  8. What's up with the chick logo?
  9. What do all the options for printing multiple clues mean?
  10. What happened to print-friendly clues?
  11. How do I switch between metric and imperial measurement units?
  12. What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?
  13. What are Treasure Hikers?
  14. How can I get a list of the LbNA events?
  15. How do I formally request a new letterbox hide? Do I fill a form out and wait for reviewer to approve like geocaching?
  16. How do hitchhikers work?
  17. How do I find postals that are open for signups?!
  18. What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?
  19. What should I use for the actual boxes?
  20. How do I view my uploaded photos?
  21. How can I rearrange my finds from the same day in my online logbook so they match the order in my physical logbook?
  22. What can I use as a trip name?
  23. How do you adopt a letterbox once you have the owner's permission?
  24. How do I search by location?
  25. Jefferson County, Colorado
  26. Can I record finds for boxes that are not listed on AQ?
  27. Can I get board messages sent directly to my email?
  28. What do I put into the letterbox?
  29. How do I carve small letters?
  30. How is the Box of the Week selected?
  31. What are member group restrictions?
  32. How do I resurrect an old account when I no longer have the previous email address?
  33. Where can I find help with a clue in code?
  34. How do I make the degrees symbol on Atlas Quest entries?
  35. Where do I see my finds?
  36. City of Eugene
  37. How do I mark one of my letterboxes as "missing"?
  38. How do I figure out postal rates when sending an LTC?
  39. How do I transfer an image to the carving material?
  40. What is a 'tagged' letterbox?
  41. Is there an iPhone app for AQ?
  42. How do I list a mystery letterbox?
  43. Do different pictures on the home page mean something, for example the hats?
  44. What's the difference between the planters, owner, contacts and carvers of a letterbox?
  45. Are there any other letterboxes planted on cruise ships and how would we find out about them?
  46. What do the icons on a personal traveler represent?
  47. What is a password hint?
  48. What do the icons stand for in an event listing?
  49. Washington on-the-Brazos State Park
  50. How do I fix the density maps on my profile?

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

Last Updated: December 30, 2017 09:17:47 AM
It's up to you. Many people print out clues while others prefer to go paperless and use their smartphones or tablets.

Android apps
iPhone apps

Is there a BlackBerry app for Atlas Quest?

Last Updated: December 30, 2017 09:16:46 AM
Sorry, but no, there are current no native BlackBerry apps for Atlas Quest at this time. If you are interested in developing one or know someone who is, please have them contact Green Tortuga to access that AQ API.

It's been reported that BlackBerry devices running 10.2.1 and later can install and run the Box Radar app for Android.

Who is the webmaster here?

Last Updated: December 30, 2017 08:23:40 AM
The Green Tortuga, a.k.a. Ryan Carpenter. While he might be the mastermind behind the operation, however, there are a lot of supporting actors and actresses who've helped contribute ideas, comments, and tested various features. For technical help, Wes—a former mastermind behind—has been invaluable. For ideas and suggestions, Amanda from Seattle has been a driving force of inspiration. But ultimately, it's the Tortuga that makes the final call on features and changes.

What kind of prizes should I leave for first finders?

Last Updated: December 29, 2017 12:36:19 PM
Although you are not required to leave a prize, many letterboxers enjoy being the first finder and having a token of this accomplishment. From a thread on the boards letterboxers have suggested the following: leave a hitchhiker for the taking, a patch commemorating their find, a first finder sticker, first finder certificates, lino cutters or other boxing supplies, an blank log book, first finder magnets, key chain, Shrinky Dink awards, first finder custom buttons, or even gift certificates. Just be creative. Some suggest that the first finder prize either be related to the box, the planter, or the location. Others say that just finding the box is award enough.

Do not put explosives, ammo, knives, drugs, and alcohol in a Letterbox. Respect the local laws. All ages of people hide and seek letterboxes, so use some thought before placing a first finder.

Food items are ALWAYS a BAD IDEA. Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases boxes have been chewed through and destroyed because of food items. Please do not put food or fragrant items in a Letterbox.

You may also be interested in this discussion on the Atlas Quest boards regarding first finders.

Is it possible to change the theme displayed on Atlas Quest?

Last Updated: December 29, 2017 12:34:57 PM
The theme is often set to reflect an upcoming holiday or date of significance. The theme may change several times a month. If you would prefer to pick your own theme, you can change that from your Theme Preferences page. If you have manually changed the theme and you want to revert back to the automatically-changes-randomly default, you must return to your theme preferences and unselect it.

Members can also create their own themes to use and share with others. Ryan wrote a tutorial for creating websites that includes tips on how to create your own themes.

How do I search the help pages?

Last Updated: December 29, 2017 12:25:42 PM
From the main Help page, you can use the search box on the right side of the page. Type in the terms you want to search for. By default, it will search for those terms only in the questions in the help. If you check the indicated box, it will also include answers that match your search terms. Also, words that are three letters or less are generally ignored by the search engine as being too common. Think of search terms that are four letters or longer. Only the first 100 matching results are listed.

Without any qualifiers, the search will assume you want to find entries that have any of your keywords in them. So if you search for National Park Service, it will return entries that have the words national, park, or service. An entry only needs to have any one of those three words to match. If you want to search for entries that have all three words, you should include the phrase in quotes (e.g. "National Park Service") which returns all posts with that entire phrase.

Additional qualifiers can help you narrow down your search further:
+ A leading plus sign requires that the word be in the search results.
- A leading minus sign requires that the word not be in the search results.
( ) Parenthesis are used to group words into sub-groups
* An asterisk added to the end of a word will match all words that start with the same word it has been added to
" A phrase in double quotes will only match entries that have the entire phrase in it

apple banana find entries that contain at least one of these words
+apple +juice find entries that contain both of these words
+apple -macintosh find entries that contain the word "apple" but not "macintosh"
+(apple banana) -macintosh find entries that contain "apple" or "banana", but not "macintosh"
letterbox* find entires that contain "letterbox", "letterboxer", "letterboxers", "letterboxing", etc.
"some words" find entires that contain "some words of wisdom", but not "some noise words"

What browsers are supported by Atlas Quest?

Last Updated: December 29, 2017 12:24:18 PM
Firefox is the recommended browser. It's a solid browser that works on almost all types of systems including PCs and Macs with an extensive source of extensions to customize your needs. It's also the main browser the webmaster, Ryan, develops the site with so is the most unlikely to experience problems.

But any modern browser installed or updated since about March of 2017 will work well. This includes Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Microsoft Edge. Note that Internet Explorer is no longer supported—Microsoft is pushing people to their Edge browser so that's the one we will support.

To log into Atlas Quest, you must have cookies on your browser enabled. Most of the website should work fine if JavaScript is disabled, but there are a couple of features that rely heavily on JavaScript so it is recommended that you leave it enabled.

What's up with the chick logo?

Last Updated: December 29, 2017 12:18:33 PM
You mean Marjorie? Back in the early days while developing Atlas Quest, Amanda started taking amusing pictures of the chicks in common letterboxing situations. Just for kicks, mind you, but when Ryan saw them, he realized that a couple of the pictures could fit with the tutorials on the site. They were so popular, Amanda and Ryan looked for other places to put the chick—now named Marjorie since she's yellow like margarine. It became a theme of sorts. After deciding on the name Atlas Quest for the website, Amanda and Ryan thought it would be funny to have the chick holding the world on its back—just like the Greek legend of Atlas. Next thing you know, Marjorie had a full-time job on Atlas Quest as a mascot.


What do all the options for printing multiple clues mean?

Last Updated: December 27, 2017 08:25:41 AM
Include table of contents?
If you're printing clues for a lot of letterboxes, it might help to also print a table of contents showing you the order the boxes. If you're just printing a few clues, you might consider that a waste of paper and ink and choose to skip it. The choice is yours!

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

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

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

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

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

A note about older browsers

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

What happened to print-friendly clues?

Last Updated: December 27, 2017 08:24:36 AM
There used to be a button explicitly for "print-friendly clues." The print-friendly page used black text on a white background, removed decorative images, and removed any information not required to find a letterbox such as the planter's name or the last found date of a box.

Breaking this down into two issues: People liked the black text on a white background and removal of decorative images. People did not like the removed information such as the planter's name or last found date of the box. So it was recommended that you just print the clue page. It was always print friendly, regardless of the horrible colors you might see on the screen. The only difference between printing the clue page and printing the print-friendly was the lack of additional information not needed to find a letterbox. But since pretty much everyone wanted that extra information, it made the print-friendly page completely useless. Nobody actually wanted to print it! So it was removed.

When that happened, a lot of people spoke up to complain that they used the page to read otherwise difficult-to-read clues. They didn't want to print the page, but they still wanted to see it since it got rid of all those ugly or difficult-to-read color combinations that people used in their clues. It turns out that the print-friendly page was more often used as a screen-friendly page, and the screen-friendly page was more often used as a print-friendly page!

Rather than create a "screen friendly" link, however, a new Miscellaneous Preference was added so you could ignore color choices by planters completely. Use that option, and the clue page will look much like the old print-friendly page did. Regardless of whether or not that option is selected, the printed view should still look good with black text on a white background.

How do I switch between metric and imperial measurement units?

Last Updated: December 27, 2017 08:21:47 AM
You can switch between metric and imperial (standard) measurement units in your Letterbox & Search Preferences.

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

Last Updated: December 20, 2017 07:28:07 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.
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!
Coffee Cup This icon is a premium member perk that indicates you've done an exchange with the person.

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):

What are Treasure Hikers?

Last Updated: December 4, 2017 06:40:47 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:
  • Each hike must be a minimum of one (1) mile in length round trip.
  • Maintenance should not count -- you will be doing maintenance anyway ;-))
  • Boxes and plants should only be counted once for the purposes of "hiking while letterboxing". So if you hike out to a box you have already found with a friend or for maintenance, enjoy the walk, but don't count the points. Or take a new box with you to plant.
  • The true Treasure Hiker Spirit is about hiking while letterboxing, and reporting is on the honor system, so let's all try to play fair and have fun. If you "cheat", you are only denying yourself boxes you haven't found, miles you haven't hiked, and beautiful places you haven't seen!

Other Footnotes:
  • Refer to your state's hiking motivator to find out when the start date for the program is.
  • Keep track of your hikes and boxes found, maybe like this or just add the Treasure Hiker Widget. When you earn enough points for a new pathtag, email your list to the state motivator and you will receive your tag!! List should include date, mileage, boxes found.
  • All hikes must be done IN the state you are requesting a tag from -- but ANY letterboxer is eligible- you don't have to be a resident of that state to participate. Trail miles earned in each participating state count toward that state's particular pathtag.
  • Refer to your state's hiking motivator for the cost of the tag (most are around $3 - $3.50). The cost is to recoup the upfront costs and shipping-- like state patches, no profit is made off of these.

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
MassachusettsMATreasureHiking (aka ladybugsmom)AQ Mail to MATreasureHiking4/25/2009 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
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.

How can I get a list of the LbNA events?

Last Updated: November 29, 2017 08:40:49 AM
There are no events listed on LbNA. The only major listing for letterboxing events is here on Atlas Quest. You can access events from the Event Calendar link in the Toolbox menubar option.

Actually, LbNA listed gatherings on the original chat list at Yahoo in the early years of letterboxing. The original chat list for Letterboxing North America is still active and now there is a link to it in the menu: Home > Yahoo! Letterbox-USA.

How do I formally request a new letterbox hide? Do I fill a form out and wait for reviewer to approve like geocaching?

Last Updated: October 16, 2017 03:55:35 AM
Nobody has answered this question yet! Be the first!

How do hitchhikers work?

Last Updated: October 9, 2017 02:17:26 AM
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
  • When planting a hitchhiker, make the stamp, container, and logbook small so it will fit well in a letterbox.
  • When moving a hitchhiker to another letterbox, don't cram it in the letterbox. Wait until you find a container big enough for it to fit.
  • When logging in to a small hitchhiker logbook, try to minimize the number of pages used. Consider stamping in only a portion of the stamps and try to squeeze images on as few pages as possible.
  • If you know you won't have an opportunity to replant the hitchhiker in another location, don't take it. Leave it for the next finder to move it along. The goal is to move the hitchhiker along, not to have it sit in someone's bag at home.

[Source: Silent Doug's articles on hitchhikers that had been at]

Added 10/2017: Some people who plant hitchhikers intend for them to be a pleasant surprise for the finder. Hence, it is considered bad form to disclose where you have dropped off a hitchhiker -- unless it's your own, which you can announce to the world if you so choose. It's also considered bad form to leave someone else's hitchhiker in a hitchhiker hostel (HHH) unless the owner stipulates that doing so is acceptable; there's no surprise to finding a hitchhiker in a hitchhiker hostel.

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 separate 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.

How do I find postals that are open for signups?!

Last Updated: October 5, 2017 09:56:36 AM
Besides watching the Postals message board closely for new announcements, the Advanced Search] page for trackers will get you everywhere. A tracker is Atlas Quest's way of keeping track of postals (among other options) sent among a group of people. Narrow down your search so only open and limited postal trackers that are still available show up. Currently available postal trackers

The results page will display the status of the tracker. Those marked as open are available for anyone to sign themselves up, and those listed as limited means that spots are open, but you must contact the owner of the tracker to be included. Closed trackers are still active but no longer accepting new participants, and retired trackers are already over.

What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?

Last Updated: August 30, 2017 06:20:57 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 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. Premium Member Perk!
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. Premium Member Perk!
Premium members might see this icon, which means you've done an exchange with the owner of this letterbox. Premium Member Perk!
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! Premium Member Perk!
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.
Premium members can search for boxes that do not have the compass attribute. Premium Member Perk!
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.
Premium members can search for boxes that do not have the fee-area icon. Premium Member Perk!
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. Premium Member Perk!
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. Premium Member Perk!
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. Premium Member Perk!
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. Premium Member Perk!
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. Premium Member Perk!

Premium Member Perk! = Search options that are only available to premium members.

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.
A backpack is 8 to 15 miles round-trip of hiking, and will typically take most people anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to complete.
A 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.


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 wish to help, by all means, please do!

What should I use for the actual boxes?

Last Updated: August 23, 2017 07:39:38 AM
There's no one right answer to this sort of question. Most people use some sort of Rubbermaid or Lock-n-Lock container, something sturdy and waterproof. If a letterbox is planted indoors, it may not need something that sturdy. If it's planted underwater, it might need something more sturdy. Your best bet is just to find several boxes and see the kinds of containers other people are using and check out how well they're holding up.

How do I view my uploaded photos?

Last Updated: August 12, 2017 04:05:48 AM
  1. Put your mouse cursor over the "My Page" link in the top navigation bar.
  2. Click on "My Logbook"
  3. In the "Letterbox Action" drop menu (click on the down arrow), click on "Photos Uploaded"

How can I rearrange my finds from the same day in my online logbook so they match the order in my physical logbook?

Last Updated: August 11, 2017 09:49:45 AM
You can't rearrange your finds, but Atlas Quest does track the order in which you record your finds so as long as you record your finds in the same order that you found them, they'll sort in the correct order (as long as you're sorting by date, of course).

If you record finding multiple boxes of a series at the same time, your finds will be sorted in the order that the boxes show up in the series.

If you record finding multiple series at the same time (such as multiple boxes at an event from the "Record Finds" from the event page), the finds may be displayed in any order because AQ cannot determine in what order you found the boxes.

If you've already recorded your finds in the incorrect order, you'll have to delete them and re-add the finds in the correct order to change the order.

What can I use as a trip name?

Last Updated: August 4, 2017 11:17:57 AM
A trip name can use pretty much any letter, number or symbol. The Trip Planner page will shorten your name to 25 characters if necessary to make it fit. Using common abbreviations such as Hwy instead of Highway or Fwy instead of Fwy can help keep the name short—in fact, AQ will automatically abbreviate the words for highway and freeway to Hwy and Fwy respectively. Interstates names are automatically filled out in full—I-5 will automatically be renamed into Interstate 5. This does conflict with the usual rule that short is good, but for technical reasons regarding database indexes, the word Interstate works better than the letter I.

Additionally, it's recommended that you be specific which road you might be talking about. Nearly every state has a Highway 17, for instance, so to make your route clear, include the state (if it's a state road) or county (if it's a county road). A name such as CA Hwy 17 works much better than Highway 17.

Also, don't use the words TO, FROM or ALONG as the name of a trip. These are reserved words that have very specific meanings for Atlas Quest and your trip planner searches will not work as expected if you include one of these words in the name of the trip.

How do you adopt a letterbox once you have the owner's permission?

Last Updated: July 22, 2017 08:21:07 AM
The owner of the letterbox is able to transfer the ownership to you by using the Edit Box option and changing the name of the owner. Only a registered owner or planter can change the owner of the box. The adopter does not need to do anything (and can't do anything) to transfer ownership.

How do I search by location?

Last Updated: July 20, 2017 04:45:42 PM
The location-based search can take various forms:

  • Leave the option blank: (All Locations search) If you don't include any location information, all locations will be returned.
  • City, State/Country: (Location-Based search) If you search from a specific point such as a city, park, address, or zip code, all locations within the specified distance will be included in the search results. If the distance is zero, all boxes within the specified park, city, or specified address will be included and no others. This little trick does not work for zip codes, however--it will include all boxes within the city that the zip code matches instead. For more details about what sorts of locations can be used and the proper format for entering them, check out How does a location based search work?
  • Latitude, Longitude: (Location-Based search) If you use a GPS and want to search based on latitude and longitude coordinates, not a problem! Go for it!
  • City, County, State, or Country: (Area search) If your search radius is smaller than the location being searched, AQ will generate an "area" search that includes all locations within that area. For instance, a "10 mile search for all boxes in California" doesn't really make a lot of sense-California is HUGE!-so AQ assumes you want to run a search for all boxes in California. On the other hand, a "100 mile search for all boxes in Rhode Island" has its own paradox since Rhode Island has a much smaller radius than 100 miles. Atlas Quest perceives this request as a search for all boxes in Rhode Island along with neighboring boxes in bordering states. So specifically, it's the radius of your search compared to the radius of the location being search that determines if the search is a location-based search or an area search. If you keep the default search radius at 15 miles, any location larger than 15 miles becomes an area search while any location smaller than 15 miles becomes a location-based search.
  • BETWEEN Location AND Location: (Rectangle search) If you run a search for all objects (box, event, virtual, or whatever) between Point A and Point B, AQ will run a "rectangle search. The two points mark opposite corners of a rectangle, and any objects within that rectangle will be returned. The distance, if specified, will be ignored.
  • FROM Location TO Location: (Linear search) If you run a search that specifies a location to another location, AQ will run a linear search between those two points, and the distances will include both the distance along that path from the first location and the distance off the linear path that the object (box, event, virtual, etc.) is listed. The colons are required to distinguish it from locations that might actually use the word as part of a location.
  • ALONG Route FROM Location TO Location: (Trip planner search) This will run a search from Point A to Point B following one of the pre-defined routes-mostly Interstates and popular long-distance paths.

If you use the trip planner but Atlas Quest cannot find the requested route, the search will be converted into a linear search and the ALONG part will be ignored.

Search Options

  • Use Exact Locations: This option is particularly useful for area searches when you want to run a search for mystery boxes within a specified area.
  • Use Original Locations: Premium members can override the location of events, letterboxes, and such, and when AQ runs a search, it will use these custom locations by default if they're available. By checking this option, you can force AQ to use the original locations specified by the owner and ignore your custom locations. Since custom locations are a premium member perk, only premium members will see this option.
  • Directional Search: A location-based search, by default, returns boxes from all directions, but you can narrow your search even more by specifying what direction to include results for: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, or NW. Only boxes within a 45° slice in that direction from your specified location will be included in the results. For all other types of searches (area, linear, rectangular, and trip), AQ marks an imaginary rectangle that fits completely around your search and using the center point of that imaginary rectangle, will only show matching boxes within the quadrant you specify. For example, if you ran a trip search for the length of I-5 and specified a "north" direction at the same time, it'll only include boxes in the northern half of I-5 in your search.

Advanced Search Option

The Use Exact Locations options seems relatively straight-forward, but it's actually trickier than you might expect. For instance, what if there's a mystery box whose location is listed as "somewhere in Northern California"? If you run a search for mystery boxes in California, even if you "use exact locations," you'll usually still want it to return boxes somewhere in "Northern California." People expect AQ to sort boxes into certain levels-address, city, county, state, and country. Any box that doesn't fit neatly into a category (such as "Northern California") can be problematic, and for searching purposes, AQ will "upgrade" Northern California into a "California" level, allowing it to show when you run an "exact" location for boxes in "California." Otherwise, you might miss such a letterbox completely.

Another example where "exact" can be a little fuzzy is park names and addresses. What if one person lists the location of their box as "Lincoln Park, 2323 Elm Gove Road" but you run an "exact" search for "Lincoln Park"? Most people would expect this to match even though, technically speaking, it's not really exact. Close enough, though!

So that Use Exact Locations option isn't accurate in the strictest sense of the word. It is possible, however, to force AQ to run an exact search in the very strictest sense of the word-set the radius of your search to 0. It's somewhat of a hack and for most people, you shouldn't ever want to use this option. But if you find yourself ever wanting to run a very strict exact location for your search, that's how you do it.

Jefferson County, Colorado

Last Updated: June 18, 2017 09:08:58 AM
Jefferson County in Colorado used to have a policy where you had to apply for a permit for 'boxes. They're one of the largest landholders along the Front Range (the part of the Rocky Mountains facing east and the largest area of population in the state)

Now, as long as 6 very basic guidelines are observed, it's letterboxing heaven. No permits, no muss, no fuss! You should also know that Jeffco (as it's known locally) have volunteers who regularly check on boxes and caches.

Here's the link with the specifics (geocaching and letterboxing):

Can I record finds for boxes that are not listed on AQ?

Last Updated: April 3, 2017 08:12:04 AM
Since the day Atlas Quest went online, the number one feature request was the ability to list a letterbox as a find even if it isn't listed by the owner on Atlas Quest. Seeing as it's not a feature essential to the use of Atlas Quest, however, the option accessible only to Premium Members. If you are a premium member and try to record a find for an unlisted letterbox, Atlas Quest will show you a list of other unlisted boxes that people have recorded finding and allow you to add one of them or, if the box you found is not in that list, allow you to add a new one. The find will then be listed in your logbook and, if it's a traditional letterbox, count towards your F-count like any traditional letterbox.

For non-premium members, the answer is simple: You can't. You still have the option, however, of contacting the owner of the letterbox and ask to have his or her boxes listed. Often, the owner is more than happy to oblige. You can even offer to list the letterbox on the person's behalf—Atlas Quest does supported adopted letterboxes, and you can ensure the creator of the box still gets the appropriate credit. Do not list a letterbox without the author's permission. If someone is caught adding letterboxes that they do not have permission to add, the letterboxes will be deleted and the offending account suspended.

There is one exception to this rule: A few times each year, this premium member feature is opened for non-premium members to take advantage of. These days are variously called Free Listing Day or Hat Day since a theme featuring many of the premium member hats shows up on designated dates. What dates? It's random—it could happen on any day, and with absolutely no warning. Many non-premium members are valuable members of this community, and Free Listing Day is designed for them. Members who regularly check Atlas Quest and are active message board participants will likely be able to take advantage of Free Listing Day while those who log in infrequently will likely miss it.

If having an accurate found count is important to you, however, becoming a Premium Member is your best option. For just pennies a day—less than a pint of Ben & Jerry's best each month—you'll be able to record finds of unlisted letterboxes.

Can I get board messages sent directly to my email?

Last Updated: March 10, 2017 05:48:22 AM
Unfortunately, at this time, the answer is no.

What do I put into the letterbox?

Last Updated: February 27, 2017 11:00:02 AM
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Use the stamp in the logbook in your own logbook, and sign the logbook in the letterbox. If a ZipLock bag is torn or has a hole in it or something, it's okay to replace the bag, but putting items into the box is a geocaching gimmick, not a letterboxing one.

If this question is asking what does a person who is making a letterbox put into a letterbox then the answer is go out and find some letterboxes and observe what is found: usually that will be a stamp, maybe a cloth cover for the stamp so that it doesn't get ink all over, and a logbook. Most letterboxers carry their own ink and pen so those are rarely included.

How do I carve small letters?

Last Updated: November 19, 2016 09:07:33 AM
Remember to carve the mirror image so that when stamped they come out correctly. Use lots of magnification, go slowly and breathe.

How is the Box of the Week selected?

Last Updated: November 17, 2016 10:31:23 PM
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. Even a box restricted to "Everybody" logged into AtlasQuest is considered a restriction.

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! =)

What are member group restrictions?

Last Updated: November 17, 2016 08:58:00 PM
You can restrict boxes to people who share a common member group as you. By default, all boxes will go into the "None" group, that—not surprisingly—is not a group at all. It means that everyone can see the listing (assuming no other restrictions would prevent them from seeing it). If you want to limit your box to all AQ members, use the Everybody group. Every member signed up on Atlas Quest is in this group, so by restricting your listing to this group, the only people who won't see the listing are those who are not logged into an account. If you are a member of any protected or private groups, you'll be given the option to restrict your box to only other members of that group. Since anyone can sign up for a public group, those groups will not be available as options. (The Everybody group is actually a "system" group, in case you're wondering why that group has special treatment.)

How do I resurrect an old account when I no longer have the previous email address?

Last Updated: October 11, 2016 07:35:11 AM

Where can I find help with a clue in code?

Last Updated: October 6, 2016 06:58:22 AM

How do I make the degrees symbol on Atlas Quest entries?

Last Updated: October 3, 2016 06:54:44 AM
On a PC press down the Alt key while entering on the number pad 248.
Or type & then deg;

Apple computer users hold Option + hit 0 (zero).

Where do I see my finds?

Last Updated: September 17, 2016 06:37:11 AM
Hover over My Page on the toolbar at the top of the AQ Home page. Then pull down and click on My Logbook. Click on the Action Space that says "Plants" and select "Finds".

Or click on My Page on the toolbar at the top of the AQ Home Page. Then pull down to My Profile. Click on the logbook icon to the right of your trailname. Switch "Plants" to "Finds."

City of Eugene

Last Updated: September 10, 2016 11:12:09 AM
POS Geocaching and Letterboxing Policy
June 10, 2013

The City of Eugene’s system of parks and natural areas is intended to provide visitors with safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities. The Parks and Open Space division (POS) actively manages these areas for multiple objectives including recreational use, aesthetic beauty, and protection and restoration of natural resources. The policy outlined herein establishes procedures to facilitate and manage geocaching and letterboxing activities on City of Eugene POS property. This policy applies to both geocaching and letterboxing.

The purpose of this policy is to protect park resources and the safety of all visitors and City staff, while providing reasonable opportunities for geocaching on Eugene public park land.

General Guidelines

  • Geocaches may be located only in POS-managed properties that are listed in Appendix A:
  • If a specific park or natural area is not listed in Appendix A, placing a geocache at that site is prohibited. See Eugene’s Parks and Open Space Map for park locations.
  • A park or natural area may be excluded from the list of approved geocaching sites for one or more of the following reasons: (1) Lack of developed areas and/or lack of maintained trails. (2) Lack of safe and legal parking in proximity to the park or natural area. (3) The presence of sensitive cultural and/or natural resources.
  • A City permit is not required to place a geocache, but all caches must be registered on Any unregistered geocaches will be considered abandoned property and may be removed without notification.
  • Caches shall comply with all guidelines established by
  • All caches on POS-managed lands shall be at least 528 ft. apart from another cache located in the same park or natural area with a maximum of 12 caches per park.
  • Each individual may place only one cache per park or natural area.

Geocache Placement

  • Geocaches are only allowed within 30” of the following: the tread of a maintained path or trail, other hardscape features such as patios or parking lots, or mowed lawn areas. Leaving the trail, hardscape or mowed lawn area to place or retrieve a geocache is not permitted. Unofficial footpaths or wildlife trails that are not signed or identified on park maps are not considered maintained trails. Islands not reachable via a developed path are not acceptable geocache locations.
  • Geocaches are also prohibited within 25 feet of any children’s play area.
  • Geocachers must “leave no trace”. This means not damaging the ground or vegetation while placing or locating a cache and, when placing a geocache, considering potential damage that may result from other geocachers searching for or accessing the cache location.
  • POS retains the right to remove, or have removed, any cache that is considered to be in an inappropriate location, causes undo damage to natural, physical, or cultural resources, or for other reasons consistent with the mission and management principals of POS.
  • Caches may only be placed in safe locations that do not pose undue risk to park visitors. Geocachers must review the topography of the location where the cache is to be placed and minimize the potential safety risks to the visitors trying to find the cache.
  • Geocaches and geocachers shall comply with all City of Eugene Park and Open Space rules, which can be found at Unless otherwise noted, all parks and natural areas are closed between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.

Prohibited Activities

  • Geocaches may not be attached to any constructed or fabricated park amenity in such a manner as to damage the object or impede proper use. The physical placement or attachment of caches to any buildings or sheds is prohibited. Altering signs, fences, posts, trails, trail markers or buildings is prohibited. Attaching a small magnetic geocache to the back side of an interpretive sign is acceptable.
  • Geocaches shall not be placed in areas showing recent utilization by wildlife such as birdhouses, nests, or animal dens.
  • Offensive, illegal, perishable, or dangerous items are not allowed in any cache. All items placed in caches shall comply with the policies of
  • Night caching, earth caching, and Munzee placement on POS property are prohibited. Cache owners shall include wording stating the acceptable caching hours (within stated park hours) on their cache pages.

Cache Containers and Contents

  • All caches placed after June 1, 2013 shall be in see-through, waterproof (or sealable) containers that are no greater than 9”L x 6”W x 3”H. All caches shall be permanently labeled on the container’s exterior with the word “geocache” and the registered geocache “GC” code from in minimum 3/16” font.
  • Use of ammo cans and pipe-shaped containers is prohibited.
  • Caches which promote commercial, political, religious or other social agendas are not allowed.
  • Caches may contain only a logbook in which to record visits; a description of geocaching; and non-perishable, family-friendly items.
  • Caches that have not been maintained will be considered abandoned and will be removed and discarded.
  • POS is not responsible for any damage to, or loss of, geocaches or equipment. POS will dispose of any removed cache if unable to contact the owner of the cache to remove or pick up the items within five days.

Eugene Parks and Open Space Contact Information

For questions about geocaching on City of Eugene Parks and Open Space property, please call: 541-6824800.

Parks where Geocaching is allowed

See Eugene’s Parks and Open Space Map for park locations.

Acorn Park
Alton Baker Park
Amazon Creek (Fern Ridge Bike Path Corridor)
Amazon Creek Levees Greenhill to Fern Ridge
Amazon Headwaters
Amazon Park
Amazon Parkway (Hilyard- Martin)
Arrowhead Park
Ascot Park
Awbrey Park
Bailey Hill Natural Area
Berkeley Park
Bethel Community Park
Blanton Ridge Natural Area
Bloomberg Natural Area
Bond Lane Park
Bramblewood Park
Brewer Park
Candlelight Park
Charnel Mulligan Park
Chase Commons Park
Country Lane Park
Creekside Park
Crescent Park
Crest Heights Natural Area
Delta Ponds Natural Area
Edgewood Natural Area
Fairmount Park
Ferndale Park
Filbert Meadows Park
Frank Kinney Park
Friendly Park
Garfield Park
Gilbert Park
Gilham Park
Gillespie Butte Natural Area
Gimpl Ridge Natural Area
Glen Oak Natural Area
Golden Gardens Park
Grasshopper Meadow Park
Gudukut Wetland Area
Hawkins Heights Natural Area
Hendricks Park
Hilyard Community Center
Irwin Park
Jefferson Park
Kincaid Park
Lafferty Park
Lark Park
Laurel Hill Valley Park
Laurelwood Natural Area (golf course area off limits)
Lincoln School Park
Lone Oak Park
Mangan Park
Marche Chase Park
Martin Luther King Jr. Park
Maurie Jacobs Park
Melvin Miller Natural Area
Milton Park
Monroe Park
Mt. Baldy Natural Area
Murray Hill Natural Area
North Beltline Floodway
Oakmont Park
Owen Rose Garden Park
Petersen Park
Prefontaine Memorial Site
Rasor Park
Ribbon Trail Natural Area
Richardson Bridge
Roosevelt Waterway Corridor (Maple-Beltline)
Rosetta Place Park
Ruby Park
Santa Clara Community Park Site
Scobert Gardens Park
Shadow Wood Park
Shasta Ballfields
Sheldon Community Center
Sheldon Pool
Sheldon Sports Park
Skinner Butte Natural Area
Skyview Park
Sladden Park
Sorrel Way Natural Area
Spencer Butte Park Natural Area
State Street Park
Striker Field Park
Tandy Turn Park
Terra Linda Park
Trainsong Park
Tugman Park
University Park
Videra Park
Walnut Grove Park
Washburne Park
Washington Park
Washington/Jefferson Park
Wayne Morse Family Farm Park
Wendover Park
West University Park
Westmoreland Park
Wild Iris Ridge Natural Area
Willakenzie Park
Willamette East Bank Park
Willamette West Bank Park
Willis Park

How do I mark one of my letterboxes as "missing"?

Last Updated: August 25, 2016 07:22:19 AM
Scroll down on the page of the letterbox in question to the colored section which lists Carver and Status. Click on the arrow on the Status box and switch from Active to Unavailable, if you plan to replant, or Retired, if you do not plan to replant.

How do I figure out postal rates when sending an LTC?

Last Updated: August 18, 2016 04:14:46 PM
The postal system used to do rates by weight, however, now they are also based on size, flexibility, and thickness. Unfortunately, everyone working at your post office may not have received the best training on how to go about figuring this out, and they may not want to take the time to do so in a larger post office where there is a long line waiting behind you.

So, a postmaster gave some advice to pass along. Go to the web addresses were you can find the information on the standards of mail, and what it would then cost, and take a print-out to your post office. If they quote anything different than what you know to be right, show them the print-out. Or just tell them you know this package is a "First Class Mail Large Envelope" and should cost 80 cents or whatever the case may be.

First-Class Mail includes:
First-Class Mail Cards -- rectangular cardstock mailpiece not contained in an envelope.
First-Class Mail Letters -- small rectangular mailpiece no thicker than ¼ inch weighing 3.5 ounces or less.
First-Class Mail Large Envelopes -- flat rectangular mailpiece no thicker than ¾ inch.
First-Class Mail Packages -- a box, thick envelope, or tube weighing up to 13 ounces.
Presorted First-Class Mail -- for high volume business mail
Priority Mail® - Cost effective delivery in an average of 2-3 days.


First Class Mail
Postage Calculator
Physical Standards for Letters, Flats, and Parcels
United States Postal Service

How do I transfer an image to the carving material?

Last Updated: August 8, 2016 10:56:23 AM
There are many different kinds of transfer methods, and everyone has their own personal preference. It is a good idea for a new carver to try a few different methods to see which ones work best for them.

Pencil and Paper Methods

  • Graphite Pencil Transfer (a.k.a. The Tracing Method): Place tracing paper on top of an image. Then, using a pencil, trace the image you want to carve. Once completed, turn the image upside down and place on top of the carving medium. Rub the image onto the material to complete the transfer. For more information, see the graphite pencil transfer tutorial.
  • Vellum Transfer Method: This is very similar to the tracing paper method, but the paper is thicker, the pencil transfers well, and the paper won't tear as easily. Vellum is sold in the scrapbooking section of craft stores. There are several different vellum paper patterns but just chose a plain semi-transparent sheet. Place the vellum over the image and trace with a pencil. Place the pencil side of the image onto the rubber and burnish (rub). A dry embossing stylus (a paper crafting tool) works well but so does the cap of a Sharpie or any other slightly rounded hard object.
  • Carbon Transfer Paper Method: Can be found at many craft or office supply stores. Use as you would in a receipt book/check book. Place the paper carbon powdered side down on the stamp material, lay your drawing over the carbon paper, and trace the image with moderate pressure.

Laser Printer / Copier Methods

  • Heat Transfer: This technique involves using an iron to transfer the image. Nosox has produced a video tutorial to get you started.
  • Acetone Transfer: Using an image printed on a toner copier or printer, secure the image face down onto your carving medium. Dampen a cotton ball, paper towel, or cloth or paper towel with acetone and rub the back of the paper, pressing hard to make a better impression. This will release toner onto the carving medium. Remove the paper while the acetone is still wet to keep the toner from re-adhering to the paper.
  • Xylene Transfer: This method is very similar to transferring using acetone. For help, see the tutorial by Mark B.
  • Wintergreen Oil Transfer:

Ink Jet Printer Methods

  • Clear Cellophane/Transparency Method: Using an inkjet printer, print onto a plastic sheet, then press the plastic against the rubber to transfer the ink to the material. If using inkjet transparencies, be sure to use the "wrong" smooth side rather than the bumpy side. Before you print, alter the image so what you're printing is gray rather than black. If it tries to print black, it'll put too much ink onto the plastic sheet and it'll form globs. By trying to print gray, it still applies black ink but less of it, which is what you need. You may need to change a setting on your printer setup to print using "black ink only", otherwise it may try to create gray by mixing colored inks. After printing, set the plastic sheet aside for a few minutes to dry. Then stamp it with your blank stamp material; the image will transfer. If it doesn't work right, clean everything up and try again until you get it right. Once you have the image on the rubber, it will smear if you touch it before it dries.
  • Quick Paper Transfer Method: Print to regular paper using your inkjet printer. When printing is complete immediately place image onto carving material. You may need to rub the back of the image with a blunt object as in the pencil and paper methods.

See also

What printer/toner combinations work with which transfer methods?
Transferring an Image to a Carving Block Tutorial

What is a 'tagged' letterbox?

Last Updated: July 30, 2016 12:21:11 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:
  • Tag letterboxes you plan to find soon
  • Tag letterboxes that look particularly noteworthy
  • Tag letterboxes you've already attempted
  • Tag letterboxes from a specific event that you plan to attend
  • Tag letterboxes along the route you plan to follow on your next vacation
  • Tag letterboxes based on what part of your city they are located in
  • Tag mystery letterboxes you have solved but have yet to look for

Related Questions

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

Is there an iPhone app for AQ?

Last Updated: July 23, 2016 04:14:12 AM
Clue Tracker is a letterboxing app that is compatible with both Atlas Quest and LbNA. Clue Tracker was created by MichKathy and TrailMark (Pearl Crescent).

- Find nearby boxes based on the current location of your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
- Find boxes by location, name, or box ID.
- View detailed letterbox information including last found date and series details.
- Show letterboxes on a map and get directions to a box.
- Built-in compass display (device support required).
- Record finds.
- Save clues and other letterbox information for offline use.
- Organize saved letterboxes into your own lists and reorder boxes to create custom itineraries.
- Share a list of saved letterboxes with another Clue Tracker user (or transfer the list to another iOS device).
- Sort/filter search results and lists of saved letterboxes.
- Set or modify the location of a saved box.
- Add Word-Of-Mouth (WOM) letterboxes.
- Add your own photos to saved letterboxes and WOM boxes.
- Add personal notes.

- Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1.1 or later.
- Available on App Store.

There is a Clue Tracker AQ Forum where you can ask questions or make suggestions.

BoxFinder is another iPhone app for letterboxing, but was officially discontinued in July 2016.

How do I list a mystery letterbox?

Last Updated: July 9, 2016 08:02:25 PM
Any traditional letterbox that doesn't include a city is automatically listed as a mystery box. If it has a city listed, then it will not be a mystery box.

Do different pictures on the home page mean something, for example the hats?

Last Updated: July 6, 2016 04:26:53 PM
Atlas Quest regularly changes the theme that's displayed. For instance, during the Christmas season, we'll display a Christmas theme. Some themes may not be obvious, such as Picasso's birthday. Most themes will include a small, almost hidden link just below the login/logout button in the upper-right corner of the page labeled About Theme. Click on this link to learn more about the theme. Some themes that are more-or-less self-explanatory will not include such a link.

The small images, called icons, next to trail names, box names, and so forth do have specific meanings. If you hover your mouse cursor over the image, a tooltip will pop up with a brief hint about what the icon represents. In most cases, you can click directly on the icon to open a help page with more details about the icon's meaning. For instance, if you click on a hat by someone's trail name, a tooltip labeled "Premium Member" pops up. If you click on the icon, a page of Member Attributes pops up with a more thorough explanation of all of the icons that you might find by a member, including the hats.

What's the difference between the planters, owner, contacts and carvers of a letterbox?

Last Updated: June 18, 2016 10:26:29 PM
Find reports will go to everyone associated with the letterbox except the carvers, including the person who listed the letterbox if they are not already listed as the planter, owner or contact.

Only the planters receive credit for a plant. Some people like to count any letterbox they've carved the stamp for as a plant, but Atlas Quest does not for two reasons: (1) A hand-carved stamp is optional and it seems odd to get credit for planting a letterbox for a feature that's optional, and (2) if you later find the letterbox with your stamp, you can still record it as an official find. If you were getting credit for the box as a plant, you would not also be able to claim credit for it as a find.

Likewise, as much as we appreciate those who've adopted and maintain a letterbox, those are adopted letterboxes and do not count towards your P-count. However, they may count towards your F-count if you went out and found the box yourself.

The owner of a letterbox may change, sometimes quite often, and ownership can be revoked or transferred by the listed planter or owner. The carver of a letterbox cannot transfer ownership of the box to someone else—unless, of course, they are also a planter or owner.

Finally, there is a 'secret' piece of information included with every letterbox listing—the person who originally listed the box in the first place. Their name won't show up anywhere on the listing; it was originally designed to find people who list letterboxes without permission. However, if they have received permission to list the boxes, it also assumes you have permission to edit the boxes as necessary, and therefore the original lister of the box can also edit the boxes. Anyone designated as the owner or planter can edit clues, but not someone listed as a carver or contact.

If the carver, planter, or owner do not have accounts on Atlas Quest, leave the appropriate option blank and give credit where credit is due directly in the clues.

Table summary (powers and privileges):
Status Notified of a Find Credit for the Plant Edit the clue Transfer Ownership Expected Use
Owner Yes No Yes Yes The person who maintains the box
Planter Yes Yes Yes Yes The person(s) who physically planted the letterbox
Lister Yes No Yes No The person who listed the box on Atlas Quest
Carver Yes/No No No No The person who carved the stamp. By default, when a carver is added to a box, he or she is also added as a contact automatically, so most carvers will get notifications of finds, but this does give them the ability to opt out.
Contact Yes No No No People who should be notified whenever a find or attempt is recorded

Are there any other letterboxes planted on cruise ships and how would we find out about them?

Last Updated: June 9, 2016 10:22:01 AM
If you want to find letterboxes planted on or near cruise ships, you should search the database using the keyword "cruiseship" to filter the listings. Keywords are not required, but the search will produce a number of results.

What do the icons on a personal traveler represent?

Last Updated: June 9, 2016 09:35:28 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.
The impersonal traveler is much like the personal traveler in which it travels from place to place with a letterboxer, but it's often left unattended for other letterboxers to acquire such as at a campsite or on their vehicle.

What is a password hint?

Last Updated: May 21, 2016 04:46:21 AM
In case you forget your password, we will e-mail you your password hint along with a new, temporary password that can be used instead. Providing a hint is optional but highly recommended in case you lose or forget your password. You could even include the password itself as the hint. This is not recommended, however, since the password hint is not encrypted and therefore considerably less secure than the password itself.

What do the icons stand for in an event listing?

Last Updated: April 27, 2016 08:22:52 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.
Events held at libraries, museums, schools and other places of learning.
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.

Washington on-the-Brazos State Park

Last Updated: April 26, 2016 07:38:08 AM
Anyone wishing to place a letterbox in a Washington on-the-Brazos State Park should check-in with park staff first.

How do I fix the density maps on my profile?

Last Updated: April 22, 2016 08:59:02 AM
Premium members have density maps of their plants and finds automatically generated on their profile. States are filled in based on the location of your plants and finds on listed letterboxes where the location is known. Although simple and easy, this is not an infallible system. Mystery boxes may not be counted if AQ doesn't know what state it is in, and sometimes boxes—especially from events—are later relocated to other states making it look like you have finds in states that you've never even been to.

However! As premium members, you have the power to fix this by adding a custom location to such boxes. Be sure to include, at a minimum, the state where you actually found the box.

For instance, take the hypothetical situation where your find map is showing that you've found a box in Illinois—a state that you've never been to.

  • First, run an Advanced Search to search for all boxes in Illinois that you've found. Make sure none of the other settings that hide strikeouts, retired boxes, un-clued boxes and such are checked.
  • For any matches that are found, click the "edit" link next to the custom location box, and add the custom location. You only have to include a state for the maps to be accurate, but you can also add the city, park or address for additional precision.

Also, remember, you can add custom locations to your own boxes as well. For instance, if your only plant in Nevada was a mystery box listed as "somewhere in the United States", AQ won't show a plant in Nevada. But you can add a custom location to your mystery box to tell AQ that the box is really in Nevada and the density map of your plants will then show a plant in Nevada.