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Help: Recent Additions & Changes

  1. Should I get permission before hiding a letterbox?
  2. What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?
  3. Pennsylvania State Parks
  4. How do you limit searches to "drive-by"?
  5. Is it possible to search for letterboxes along the Interstate highways?
  6. What printer/toner combinations work with which transfer methods?
  7. Is there an Android app for Atlas Quest?
  8. Is there an iPhone app for AQ?
  9. What are preferences for the Stamp Exchange?
  10. How do I switch between metric and imperial measurement units?
  11. Is it possible to change the theme displayed on Atlas Quest?
  12. How do I change my trailname?
  13. National Park Service (NPS)
  14. How do I send pictures through AQ mail?
  15. How do I add AQ anniversary widget to My Page?
  16. What are the different types of letterboxes?
  17. How do I delete a find in my logbook?
  18. What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?
  19. If you print the QR code on your clues when you go to log your find where do you scan the code?
  20. How do I package a set of LTCs for a tracker?
  21. How do I list a LTC on AtlasQuest?
  22. What information goes on the back of an LTC?
  23. What is an LTC?
  24. When starting a tracker, who can I contact for advice?
  25. How do I host an LTC tracker?
  26. How do I trade an LTC?
  27. Are there LTC specific events?
  28. How else might I use my LTCs?
  29. How does embossing work?
  30. What are some LTC ideas and techniques?
  31. What is the best way to cut an LTC sheet from a 12x12 sheet of paper?
  32. How should I cut LTC cards from 8.5" x 11" cardstock?
  33. Where do you buy plastic sleeves for an LTC?
  34. Is there a way to organize or sort my tracker signups?
  35. What are whitelists?
  36. Are there any guidelines for hosting an LTC swap?
  37. How do I figure out postal rates when sending an LTC?
  38. How does the Basic Search work?
  39. How is the Box of the Week selected?
  40. Erna Nixon Park
  41. Are there boxes planted on cruise ships and how would we search for them?
  42. How do I list a bonus box?
  43. How do I delete a comment I submitted on a find?
  44. What if, after a certain amount of boxes have been found, that one must now plant?
  45. Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
  46. How do I add a bonus box name to be logged but not give the clue to the public?
  47. How do I join a 'limited' status tracker?
  48. How do I find postals that are open for signups?!
  49. Gwinnett County Parks
  50. How do I send AQ mail to a mailing list?

Should I get permission before hiding a letterbox?

Last Updated: February 25, 2020 01:36:57 PM
If you want to be politically correct, yes. But if you ask, there's a real possibility they'll say no. The beauty in not asking is that they can't tell you no. And heaven forbid, if others have already placed letterboxes in the area and you let the owners of wherever the place may be know about letterboxing, they might not only tell you no, but they might even pull all the existing boxes! In any case, to be politically correct, you should ask permission. I know for a fact that most people do not, and what you do is ultimately up to you. Many places don't mind letterboxes, as long as they're placed where others can't harm the environment, which is a good thing to keep in mind while placing any letterbox.

Do not, however, ever plant letterboxes where they are known not to be allowed. If the land managers require permits or other hoops to jump through, follow their rules or find somewhere else to plant. We don't want to give letterboxing a bad name. And while asking for permission is not common, it's not okay to deliberately plant illegally either.

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

Last Updated: January 23, 2020 09:10:56 AM
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):

Pennsylvania State Parks

Last Updated: December 27, 2019 01:26:37 PM
Pennsylvania does have a permit process for state parks and forests.

Geocaching in Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests
Guidelines for Placing Geocaches (and letterboxes)

It is the geocaching form, but it has a checkbox for letterboxes as well. Simply attach your clues and also a map marking where you plan to place your boxes and turn it into the park manager. It should take about a week or two for them to approve or deny the permit. If approved you will be given a sticker to place on the box to mark it has been permitted. The permit is good for three years.

How do you limit searches to "drive-by"?

Last Updated: December 3, 2019 08:32:54 AM
Use the Advanced Search page for all available search options including the ability to limit searches to drive-by boxes.

Is it possible to search for letterboxes along the Interstate highways?

Last Updated: November 20, 2019 10:35:57 PM
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.

What printer/toner combinations work with which transfer methods?

Last Updated: November 6, 2019 04:34:38 AM
Printer/CopierToner Cartridge/ManufacturerHeatAcetoneXyleneTransparency/Direct Transfer
HP Laserjet 4200 SeriesOfficeMax OM9881Great on PZ White and pink stuff, workable on PZ orange Mixed results on all tested blocks ?Can work with just rubbing, but better with heat
HP Laserjet 4 PlusHP 98A (92298A)??works great on the pink stuff?
HP Laserjet 5PHP 03A Toner Cartridge, HP C3903A?Produces very good image on Safety Kut and dollar store erasers (haven't tried other blocks)??
HP Laserjet 4300dtnHP 39Aworks on PZ Kut White and Orange, though heat setting should be lower with the orange???
Xerox Workcenter 5645Produces good images on pink stuff and PZ Kut white; faint but usable images on PZ Kut orange???
HP Laserjet 1022n?works fineyes??
Xerox XC356"old"Yes??Yes, when set on dark
ALPS Micro-Dry 1300 (no longer produced)ALPS dye sublimation ribbon cartridgesAbso-freakin-lutely amazing clarity on pink stuff; haven't tried anything else.n/an/an/a
Samsung ML-2010SamsungTransfer is always dark and crisp!???
HP Laserjet 2100HP?Works extremely well on white PZ Kut, and almost as well with orange PZ Kut??
HP Laserjet 2100M???worked very good on the pink stuff (clear, crisp transfer)?
HP Color Laserjet 4600dn *?Works very well on the pink stuff?worked okay on the pink stuff (transfer needs minor touchups before carving)?
HP Color LaserJet 1518 *HPworks on PZ Kut white and pink stuffworks on PZ Kut white??
HP Color LaserJet 2320 MFP *HPworks on PZ Kut white and pink stuffworks on PZ Kut white??
HP LaserJet Pro M28WHPIron-on??Good for SpeedyCarve pink slab
HP Color Laserjet Pro MFP M477fdnHP 410A Toner Cartridge Cyan, Yellow & Magenta, 3 Toner CartridgesWorks well on pink ? ? iron-on
Xerox Docucolor 250 (Kinkos)???Amazing on the orange, ok on pink?
Toshiba e-Studio 45Produces good images on pink stuff and PZ Kut white; faint but usable images on PZ Kut orange???
Canon MF5850 dnCanon cartridge 119 IITransfers very well onto the pink stuff?? iron on
Canon NP2020Transfers clear, dark image well on all materials???
Dell 1710nTransfers clearly on white and orange PZ Kut??
Brother HL-L2360DWBrother DR-630Clear, crisp iron/heat B/W transfers onto pink stuff and white PZ Kut; OZ dark, but not quite as crisp due to sheen???
Brother HL-2170WV4INK?Crisp transfer onto pink stuff; haven't tried others yet??

*Before printing on a color LaserJet, configure the printer driver to "Print in Grayscale" to ensure that the printer only prints with black toner. In the printer Properties, click on the "Color" tab to find the "Print in Grayscale" checkbox.

There has also been discussion about using solvent cocktails with both inkjet and toner based printers, with some success. The most common of these are various carburetor cleaners containing methanol, sometimes referred to as the "napalm" option. There has not been sufficient data submitted to suggest specific a specific combination to try or to avoid.

Is there an Android app for Atlas Quest?

Last Updated: October 23, 2019 08:30:07 AM
MichKathy and TrailMark created a Clue Tracker app for Android. It is similar to the iOS app; more information is available on the Clue Tracker website and on Google Play.

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

There used to be Box Radar for Android, but that app has been discontinued and is no longer available.

Is there an iPhone app for AQ?

Last Updated: October 22, 2019 01:25:37 PM
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 8 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.

What are preferences for the Stamp Exchange?

Last Updated: September 6, 2019 10:15:37 AM
Checking the Stamp Exchange every day for new listings can be exhausting, so you have the option of having Atlas Quest send you an AQ mail, once per day, with any new listings from the day before. You can opt to receive notifications of new stamp requests or stamp offers—or both. The notifications will usually go out around midnight, Pacific time, and include all new entries from the day.

How do I switch between metric and imperial measurement units?

Last Updated: September 6, 2019 10:15:23 AM
You can switch between metric and imperial (standard) measurement units in your Letterbox & Search Preferences.

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

Last Updated: September 6, 2019 10:15:05 AM
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 change my trailname?

Last Updated: September 6, 2019 10:12:38 AM
You can change your trail name from the Account Info page, which can always be found under the My Page menubar option. All plants, exchanges, and finds will automatically work with the new name, as if the old name never existed. Your old trail name will be unavailable for other members to use for one month to give people a chance to learn about your name change.

Please note: You must be logged into your current account in order to change your trailname on the Account Info page. If you are not logged in, you will be asked to log in. Log into your current account to change your trail name rather than register a new account.

National Park Service (NPS)

Last Updated: August 31, 2019 11:05:53 PM
Up until October 2007, the answer was generally no. But the NPS has apparently softened their stance. See their guidelines on "GPS activities":

Yes, letterboxing is addressed in the policy.

The NPS controls not only national parks, but also national monuments, national battlefields, national seashores and national cemeteries, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Paramount Ranch, and quite a bit of other land. You can locate land managed by the NPS here.

Yes, they do occasionally check LbNA and Atlas Quest for rogue letterboxers. If you want your letterboxes to live long and happy lives, do not plant in any land under the jurisdiction without approval.

Some people assume that national forests are part of the National Park Service. This is not the case. They are two completely independent bureaucracies, and there are no known policies against letterboxing in national forests. For more information on distinguishing between the different agencies see How can I find out what agency manages the park and if they permit letterboxing?

How do I send pictures through AQ mail?

Last Updated: August 13, 2019 06:23:15 PM
You can't. You can link to images, however, including images that have been added to the AQ Photo Gallery.

How do I add AQ anniversary widget to My Page?

Last Updated: August 13, 2019 06:06:20 PM
The AQ anniversaries are part of the This Day in History widget. To install:

  • Click the Add Widgets button in the upper right corner of My Page.
  • Scroll down to This Day In History and click the Add Widget button below it
  • This should take you to your My Page, where you should find that the widget has been installed

What are the different types of letterboxes?

Last Updated: August 5, 2019 09:20:57 AM
Traditional: A 'traditional' box is the standard, run-of-the-mill letterbox with a rubber stamp, a logbook and requires clues in order to find it.
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. The category has been extended to also include cooties and fleas (which can travel from person-to-person).
Postal: A postal is a rubber stamp and the logbook that's mailed from one letterboxer to another, usually through the USPS.
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.
LTC: Short for Letterboxer Trading Cards, an LTC is like a baseball card 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: Use this for boxes that have not yet been planted but are scheduled to be planted at some point in the future. Your box will be assigned a unique ID number and once the box has been planted, you can convert it into one of the other types of boxes. Only you will be able to see your reserved boxes.

How do I delete a find in my logbook?

Last Updated: June 30, 2019 07:07:19 AM
Go to your logbook and change to the page with your find by adjusting the Actions and Box Type drop down menus as needed.

Then click the delete icon () and confirm your deletion.

If you want to delete someone else's find on one of your boxes, there is no way to do that except to ask the finder to remove their find.

What do the icons stand for in a traditional letterbox?

Last Updated: June 4, 2019 02:17:30 PM

Stamp Types

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


The creator does not specify the location of the nearest city for this letterbox. They may have specified the state or country of its location, but you're expected to discover the actual starting point for the hunt yourself. From a technical standpoint, a location is considered a mystery box if the location has no name, address, and city. If the location spans less than one mile, it is not a mystery. And if a location is "somewhere within a city," the owner of the box can specify if it's a mystery location or not. And finally, just because you solve a mystery and add a custom location, the letterbox is still considered a mystery box-adding a specific custom location will not remove this icon.
This picture represents a bonus box, where the clue for the box will be found (usually) in a pre-existing nearby letterbox. 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!

If you print the QR code on your clues when you go to log your find where do you scan the code?

Last Updated: May 21, 2019 09:45:58 AM
Nobody has answered this question yet! Be the first!

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

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 03:04:49 PM
Most hosts at this time prefer a taped, reusable flat mailer, because it keeps postage more consistent, and is easier to sort and send.

Here is a link to Chedva's bubble mailer tutorial. You can tape a flat mailer just like a bubble mailer:

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

-Write your trail name on the outside of the mailer.
-Dogear tape for quick removal
-Include return postage.

How do I list a LTC on AtlasQuest?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 08:22:19 AM
LTCs are listed on Atlas Quest just as letterboxes are: Add Letterbox.

  1. Select the LTC option then click "Add Box"
  2. Complete the "Basic" information: Some crafters include all or part of the tracker name in the title separated by a colon (tracker: title). Synopsis is a great place to give credit to the original artist of the image, if applicable.
  3. Complete the Attributes form
  4. Complete the Series Info: The carver is the individual who made the LTC. Give credit to the stamp carver on the Basic page or in the clue. No matter how many stamps are included on a single LTC, regardless of its size, it is only ONE LTC. Do NOT list each stamp separately.
  5. Complete the Clue: this is a good place to include info about how the card was made, why it was made, credit to other artists and more.
  6. Restrictions allow you to limit access to viewing/logging the card listing on AtlasQuest to individuals or groups.
  7. Review the information then click save. AtlasQuest provides a "Box" number for the listing. Record this number on the back of each LTC. Each LTC receives a unique number for tracking.
  8. Editing is still possible by clicking the "Edit box"

What information goes on the back of an LTC?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 08:00:54 AM
For Good practice, include on the LTC (usually on the back):
  • Trail name or signature stamp
  • AQ box #

Other useful information to consider including:
  • Title of card
  • Tracker
  • Number of cards; such as 1 of 20 or 1/20
  • Date (tracker date or card completion date)
  • Info on techniques
  • Credit to any original artwork borrowed
  • Carver's name if the carved stamp was different than the LTC artist
  • Any other useful or interesting info

Additional info might also be included in the clue for the listing on Atlas Quest.

What is an LTC?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 07:57:45 AM
LTCs or Letterboxer Trading Cards are a variation of ATCs or Artist Trading Cards--small pieces of artwork (2 ½ ” x 3 ½”) created for the purpose of trading with other artists. The distinguishing feature of an LTC is that it must include one or more hand-carved and hand-stamped images, and usually as part of the design, not just the signature stamp on the back to identify the artist.

LTCs usually begin with a base made of archival (acid-free) card stock or similar heavyweight material, measuring 2 ½ " by 3 ½ ". Any art/craft medium or combination of media is encouraged to showcase the stamped image as long as the materials are secured to the card, toxic-free and legal to mail since swaps are hosted via the USPS. The back of each card is stamped with the letterboxer’s trail stamp, date created and its AQ box #.

LTCs are created for swapping with other letterboxers but is not limited to that as LTCs have also been used in ATC swaps. LTCs are a fun way to do more with a hand-carved stamp before that stamp is planted as a traditional.

History: LTCs were suggested on the Atlas Quest discussion boards as early as 2007. The name—letterbox trading card-- was first suggested by Shadohart, and the first LTC swap was hosted by Mama Cache in March, 2008.

To receive a LTC welcome packet which includes a set of example LTCs to start your collection, contact Linden Leaf.

The most current LTC activity is happening now at:
LTC Trades and Trackers
Letterbox Trading Cards.
LTC Fanatics.

Blogs about LTCS and stamp carving:

When starting a tracker, who can I contact for advice?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 07:53:19 AM
Some experienced previous tracker leaders to contact include:
Linden Leaf
aMAZEing adventure frog

How do I host an LTC tracker?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 07:47:56 AM
Learn more about trackers and about hosting trackers at:

How do I trade an LTC?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 07:45:23 AM


  • List your card on Atlas Quest. Requests will start to come in through AQ mail.
  • For faster trading, announce available card(s) on Atlas Quest's LTC: Trades and Trackers Board
  • Consider requesting trades. Do a search for active LTCs. When you find one that interests you, contact the owner and request a trade.
  • After a trade has been agreed upon, exchange addresses and simply address an envelope to the LTCer in question and send them your card. Most people put the LTCs in a blank note card or piece of card stock to protect it in the mail

Active Lists Automated

When you start creating art for group swaps you may find yourself making a few extra... what to do with the extras? Trade them as individuals! And the easiest way to get a list out of the cards you have available for trade is to give'em a link... a link that automatically keeps track of your active LTCs.

  • From the letterbox dropdown menu, click Advanced Search
  • Under search type on the right is a box that starts out saying "Location Search". Click the arrow and under bold "Other Searches", click Stamp Collections
  • Then click the arrow again to click on LTC
  • "Sort by" select "name"
  • In "sub type" click the "not specified"
  • Leave "attributes" blank
  • Under "box status" click "active"
  • Leave all the other fields blank except "letterbox author". Put your name here.
  • Click the "search" button at the bottom of the page to run the search.
  • Once the new page opens up, click the "save search" button at the bottom of the page. It will ask for a title... I included my trailname in my search title so that whoever I send it to will have it there for easy reference... if it's in a thousand places, it's a thousand times easier to find! ;)
  • Then when you want to let someone know your active cards for a trade outside of a swap ring, in the letterbox dropdown menu, click on "My Searches" near the bottom, find it in the list and click on "search". Once you get to your active LTCs page, verify that it all looks right, highlight the page address in your navigation bar (top of the screen), copy it and paste it into the post or e-mail to whomever you want to trade with.


Once you've signed up for a swap, the host will provide guidelines, like the number of cards you need to make, orientation requirements, special instructions and the due date. Make your cards, list them on AQ, add them to the tracker and mail them by the "send by" date, or make sure that you send with enough time for them to be received by the swap host by the "receive by" date. Bubble mailers will protect your cards and you can use them almost indefinitely when you prepare them according to the following instructions.

Mail the cards to the host and you're done. Preparing a mailer. While you are waiting, join another swap, make more cards for trading, or go boxing!

When the swapped set arrives, be sure to comment on the cards when logging your "finds."

Are there LTC specific events?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 07:34:28 AM

More information is typically available through the discussion boards ...

LTC Trades and Trackers
LTC: Tips, Questions, and Stuff

and Facebook groups:
Letterbox Trading Cards.
LTC Fanatics.

How else might I use my LTCs?

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 07:31:45 AM
LTCers have used their cards to support the LB community as well as other communities:

Pet loss support through the Rainbow Bridge (still active):
Celebrate a New Baby, example:
Prayer cards example:

Often event hosts will organize an LTC/traditional tracker to encourage carvings for an event. The carvers then receive a set of the stamped LTCs, example:

There are always holiday LTC trackers for swapping holiday themed cards including postcards. Christmas Tracker example:

Supporting scouting events and self-improvement examples:
Christian Trackers:

All of this within the LTC community of AQ. All of this creates a stronger LB community, and LTCers are proud & productive members of this LB community. Let's keep growing together!

How does embossing work?

Last Updated: March 25, 2019 04:09:53 PM
There are two types of embossing:
  1. Heat embossing; which gives your image a raised, glossy look
  2. Dry embossing; which uses a stencil to give your paper a raised look

Embossing powder is actually ground up plastic that you are melting onto the paper. Clear ink can be used with colored embossing powder, or colored ink with clear embossing powder. Each version has a slightly different look.

The best ink to use is PIGMENT ink. This ink stays 'wet' longer, and the embossing powder will stick to the stamped image. VersaMark makes a clear pigment ink pad and also a pen. Avoid using DYE-or solvent- BASED ink or markers; they simply dry too fast for the powder to stick to the card surface.

After stamping the image, pour the embossing powder on and then tap off all excess powder. You should be able to tap the paper fairly hard without losing the powder sticking to the image. Brush off any stray particles of powder with a small paintbrush or q-tip. Another option is to buy a bag of chalk (sold near embossing supplies) to rub on the paper BEFORE you stamp. This will reduce the static and oils from fingers on the card that attracts the embossing powder.

Next, heat this powder with a craft heat gun. Hair dryers do not get hot enough to melt the powder and blow the powder off the card. And do not use your stove or other appliances.

There are a couple of tricks to using the heat tool. Hold the tool about an inch or so away, and move it back and forth or in circles, just a little. If you wave it around too much, you're not getting the heat to the powder effectively. As you see the powder melt and get shiny, move to another section of the stamped image. It is possible to burn your paper, or the powder, so watch what's going on. When you see the shine, move on. If your embossed image turns out flat rather than raised, it means you had the heat on it too long. Once the powder has melted, it's done, and any further heat doesn't accomplish anything.

You may find it helpful to have something (wooden skewer, a chopstick, tweezers, etc) to hold the paper down so it doesn't blow away while you're embossing and you don't burn your fingers. Also, keep the heat tool away from your jar of embossing powder or you'll wind up with a solid mass of melted embossing powder.

TIP: I stamp and put embossing powder on 10 LTCs and then lay them on a non-stick cookie cooling rack. Then I use the heat tool to emboss them. No more burned fingers! -Rocklun

Certain kinds of embossing powders do not raise up as much. The glittery ones are a good example of that. Also Tim Holtz has some new distress powders that do not raise up or change colors. It's really cool, but if you're just starting out, start with just regular embossing powders at first.

If you have trouble with the glittery embossing powder, double check that it really is glitter embossing powder and not just glitter. Plain ol' glitter won't work in an embossing situation because there is nothing melting with it to keep it stuck to the image. You can emboss plain ol' glitter, if you use Heat & Stick embossing powder. In that case, you just emboss your image with the powder, heat it up and then pour the glitter on and tap to remove the excess.

Couple of tips when using the Heat & Stick embossing powder:
  • After embossing the image, RESIST the urge to touch it to see if it is sticky. It is, and it won't be after you've put your fingers all over it.
  • After applying the glitter, and tapping off the excess, you can give the image another quick shot with your heat tool. This will embed the glitter a little more and assures that the application is permanent.
  • Just accept the fact that when you work with glitter, it will be everywhere, including places you are sure were not exposed to the initial glitter application.

Here's a neat trick for getting a multiple-colored embossed image, without investing in a bunch of pigment ink pads: Glycerin. (If you buy special "embossing inkpads", you'll find the ink is glycerin-based, so that's the secret of it all.) This works best on images with large flat surfaces, not as well with line drawings. Dampen your finger and apply a very thin coat of glycerin to the surface of the stamp. VERY thin. Next, color your image with markers. You can do single color or multiple colors. Any nice juicy markers, such as your regular Marvys will do. You have to be careful that puddles of glycerin don't form in tight corners, or the image won't look very crisp. Anyway, after inking it all up, huff as usual, stamp, sprinkle on clear embossing powder, and heat it up. It gives you the versatility of pigment inks without buying them in multiple colors. Of course you can also buy the Marvy Matchable embossing markers, which are really nice too, but pretty expensive. A bottle of glycerin at the drug store is cheap and lasts a long time.

And here's another embossing trick that may or may not work for you. Some inkjet inks will emboss IF you work fast and use the "best" print quality. I have found that HP black ink works best - colored ink does not seem to work at all. Again, work fast or you'll get spotty embossing. Works best with small line graphics or lettering.

Ink from EraserMate pens also is embossable.

For dry embossing, you use brass stencils, a light table (or other backlight source) and a burnishing tool. Put the stencil on the light table. Taping the stencil to the light table helps keep it in place. Place the paper on top of the stencil. Then use the tool to "rub" the paper down into the grooves of the stencil. When you are finished, you have a raised image. The stencils can be found in hobby and scrapbooking stores.

A couple of tips when dry embossing:
  • If you rub your paper, lightly, with wax paper, the burnisher tool moves more easily over the paper.
  • Make sure you reverse the stencil and papers correctly, or you will end up with a backwards image.
  • If you are using a stencil image with an open space, you only need to rub the burnishing tool around the edges of the opening. No need to burnish the area in the middle.
  • You may want to experiment with using the depressed side of the paper, or a combination of the depressed and raised imprints for a different effect.
  • Other backlight sources would be to put a lamp under a glass table, or tape your paper/stencil to a window on a sunny day.

What are some LTC ideas and techniques?

Last Updated: March 25, 2019 03:52:26 PM
Consider simple but powerful techniques:
*emboss the image
*distress the card edge
*add color with pencils, markers, watercolor, etc.
*embellish the card with cutouts, do-dads, ribbon, brads, string, etc.
*layer with a matte or frame
*spritz it with a dye mist
*add shimmer with a Wink of Stella
*sponge a lil color on the surface
and more!

Active groups discussing this topic right now:

LTC: Tips, Questions, and Stuff

Facebook groups:
Letterbox Trading Cards.
LTC Fanatics.

Also search the web for groups, pages and individuals on sites such as YouTube, Pinterest and Etsy with the keywords: mixed media, art journaling, ATC, etc.

Amazon Purchases:
Artist Trading Card Workshop
1,000 Artist Trading Cards: Innovative and Inspired Mixed Media ATCs

Blogs with techniques:
Some LTC trackers offer links to resources:

What is the best way to cut an LTC sheet from a 12x12 sheet of paper?

Last Updated: March 23, 2019 02:52:30 PM
You can get 16 LTCs from a 12x12 sheet of paper. You start by cutting the 12x12 into four 5x7s, then cut those into quarters. You'll be left with a small square scrap of paper in the middle of the original sheet. Link to a video showing how.

Template for cutting LTCs from a 12" x 12" cardstock:

How should I cut LTC cards from 8.5" x 11" cardstock?

Last Updated: March 23, 2019 02:51:56 PM
Cut 10 LTCs from 8.5" x 11" cardstock: this template.

Do you have a paper cutter? The rotary kind they sell for scrapbooking? This one has a swing out arm which is GREAT for measuring accurately. If not get one with your Michael's (or AC Moore or Hobby Lobby, etc) 50% off coupon! It'll save you a LOT of time.

Where do you buy plastic sleeves for an LTC?

Last Updated: March 23, 2019 02:16:20 PM
Most hobby stores, comic book shops, art supply stores & some mega stores such as Walmart sell 100 count sleeves $1- $2.
They also sell the 9-pocket pages for displaying your LTCs.

Is there a way to organize or sort my tracker signups?

Last Updated: March 5, 2019 07:51:54 AM
Hover your mouse over the "My Page" menu item and select "Trackers". By the "Joined" list, you'll have options to show a list of trackers that you have signed up for by type or all trackers. Pick whatever suits your purposes.

These are links to a normal tracker search and at this point, you can edit the search to sort the trackers in a number of ways.

As for organizing your signups, you can edit an individual tracker's tags to suit your own purposes. There's no right or wrong way to use tags—they are there for you to use however you want.

What are whitelists?

Last Updated: February 18, 2019 08:00:15 PM
A whitelist is a list of everyone you allow to see your letterbox—assuming, of course, they meet all other restrictions. A whitelist is a good way to limit your boxes to close friends or family.

Whitelists are specified as mailing lists. The primary purpose of mailing lists is to contact groups of people you know, but they also do double duty as whitelists and exceptions if you choose to use them in that manner. A letterbox with a whitelist restriction will require members to be logged in in order to see them because Atlas Quest needs to check if they are on the whitelist.

To apply a whitelist to your boxes, you must be the owner of the letterbox, then follow these steps:

  1. Create a mailing list if you haven't already. You'll probably want to give it a name such as "My whitelist" or "My friends," then add everyone who should be a part of that group.
  2. While listing a letterbox, change to the Restrictions page. If you have any mailing lists (which you should now, if you did step #1), they'll all be listed as options for whitelists. Select the appropriate whitelist for your restrictions.
  3. Save the box. You're done!

To add or remove someone from a whitelist, edit the mailing list that is being used for that purpose. You do not have to edit or change the box listing in any way to apply such changes.

Are there any guidelines for hosting an LTC swap?

Last Updated: February 18, 2019 02:46:02 PM
These guidelines are designed to help people who want to host a LTC swap. These are not rules; rather, they are meant to be a commonsense approach to hosting.

Before You Host Your First Swap
Join and complete several swaps before you host your own. That will give you an opportunity to see how swaps work (and don’t work!).

Hosting Your First Swap
Once you’ve seen how swaps work, feel free to host one! Here are some helpful tips:

  • Before you create a tracker for the swap, look through the list of existing trackers to see if there’s currently another tracker out there with a similar theme. If there is, you may not get many signups for yours, which can be disappointing.

  • Size matters. The larger the swap, the more time-consuming it is, so it’s a good idea to limit the size of your first swap to perhaps 10 or 12 participants. This will give you a feel for how much work is involved.

  • Consider how many swaps you can comfortably host. Most folks prefer not to host more than one or two in any given month.

  • Consider the timing of your due dates. For example, if you know you have a big project deadline at work or will be busy coaching your kid’s soccer team, you may not want to have any swaps due during that busy time.

  • Swaps with due dates far in the future (6 months or more) frequently have a lot of drops, because people forget about them. For that reason, many hosts prefer a deadline of 3 to 4 months in the future.

  • Complete your first swap before you host another one. Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable host, you’ll find that more people are willing to join your swaps.

Completing the Swap
Once your swap is in progress, there are things you can do to make sure it completes successfully:

  • Communication is the key to being a successful host! If participants ask you questions, respond promptly. Also, a brief reminder that the swap is due in a few weeks is appreciated by the procrastinators among us.

  • Mail back the completed envelopes within two weeks of the deadline. Being prompt is probably the best way to develop a reputation as a good host.

  • While you’re waiting for that last set of cards to arrive, prepare the rest of the envelopes by removing old tape and stamps, if you didn’t do this when each envelope arrived. When you peel off your address label, look carefully: you may find a quisp tucked underneath! :^)

  • If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed due to personal situations (illness, work, family problems, etc.), be honest with the other folks in the swap, and know that there’s no shame in asking for help! You could cancel the swap and mail back the envelopes, or you could ask someone to take over the swap. In this community, someone is always willing to help.

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

Last Updated: February 18, 2019 02:40:13 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 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 does the Basic Search work?

Last Updated: February 16, 2019 09:31:52 PM
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.

And finally, sometimes you may want to search for the exact name of a letterbox—especially when the name of a box is a single word that would otherwise match a lot of other boxes. You can do this—sort of—by starting your search with the ^ symbol which tells AQ that it must match the beginning of the name. For instance, a search for "honor" would match a box named Badge of Honor but a search for "^honor" would not since Badge of Honor doesn't begin with the word "honor". And on the other side of the coin, a search for "honor" would not match Honorary Mayor since the word "honor" does not show up in it all, but it would match a search for "^honor" since the name of the box does start with "honor". Even in this type of search, the words THE, A, and AN are still ignored, however, so a search for "^honor" would still match a box called An honor.


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
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.
^honor Will search for boxes that begin with the word honor—after ignoring words like THE, A, and AN. Will find An Honor and Honorable Man. Will not find Badge of Honor or On my Honor.

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.

How is the Box of the Week selected?

Last Updated: February 8, 2019 11:43:32 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. Replacing a missing box will once again make that box eligible. Even a box restricted to "Everybody" logged into Atlas Quest is considered a restriction.

Once a box is a Box of the Week, it is permanent—even if the box later goes missing or is retired.

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! =)

Erna Nixon Park

Last Updated: December 7, 2018 08:08:52 PM
Erna Nixon Park in Melbourne, Florida, is off limits to letterboxing. They weren't happy when they discovered a box on their premises in the past.

Update: They were unhappy because the box placed there had clues directing the finders to climb over a locked gate and heading down a clearly marked "Staff Only" trail.
Cheryl Caldwell is the new park supervisor and she would love to have a letterbox placed here!

Are there boxes planted on cruise ships and how would we search for them?

Last Updated: November 17, 2018 08:03:02 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.

How do I list a bonus box?

Last Updated: November 5, 2018 11:47:34 AM
Use the Add Letterbox page and add your bonus box as a traditional box. The only thing that makes a bonus box special is that people have to find another box first before they can find your bonus box—usually because the clue is located in other box.

So to turn your traditional box into a bonus box, click over to the Restrictions page of your listing and add a dependency. Let AQ know which box your bonus box is dependent on, and then it'll automatically add the bonus box icon to your listing.

When AQ knows about this dependency, it'll also hide your bonus box from search results unless the person doing the search has found the dependent box already.

Some people will list bonus boxes but not add a dependency, which is fine—no harm done. But their bonus box will be exposed to the public at large and will not include the special icon since AQ doesn't know about it.

How do I delete a comment I submitted on a find?

Last Updated: October 11, 2018 07:47:53 AM
Go to the box where the comment was listed and click the "delete" icon (Delete) next to your comment.

What if, after a certain amount of boxes have been found, that one must now plant?

Last Updated: October 5, 2018 11:03:13 AM
The consensus was that letterboxing is a form of play and that such expectations cramp the joy of unfettered frolicking. Better to find boxes planted by those who love planting than boxes planted by those fulfilling an obligation.

Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

Last Updated: August 9, 2018 06:11:21 AM
The folks running this preserve don't allow letterboxing.

How do I add a bonus box name to be logged but not give the clue to the public?

Last Updated: August 1, 2018 12:26:57 PM
When you list a letterbox, you have the option to mark the clue's location as being hosted on Atlas Quest,, some other remote website or.... "none." Select "none."

Or use the dependency feature on the restrictions page when setting up the letterbox on Atlas Quest. When the dependency feature is used the clue will only appear for those who have registered finding the parent box.

How do I join a 'limited' status tracker?

Last Updated: July 27, 2018 08:36:44 AM
You must contact the owner of the tracker and ask to join.

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

Last Updated: July 27, 2018 08:36:18 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.

Gwinnett County Parks

Last Updated: July 27, 2018 08:34:43 AM
Gwinnett County regulations and application for letterbox or geocache (effective 04/2013) can be found at:

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

How do I send AQ mail to a mailing list?

Last Updated: May 10, 2018 05:59:46 PM
To send AQ mail to everyone in your mailing list, type the @ symbol followed by the name of the list. For example, if you created a mailing list for "My Friends" and need to send a message to all of them, write AQ mail like you normally would, except send it to "@My Friends" (without the quotes).