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Re: Missing boxes
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #967924 by Amanda from Seattle
Nov 4, 2018 3:46pm
Thread
I once had a box that was hidden in a log along a trail [....]

I once hid a box under a log at least 20 feet off of the trail. It was in a place where no one would go if they weren't looking for my box.

I received a report or two that boxers couldn't find my box. I went and looked for my box, and the log was missing. This wasn't a little log, it was a fallen tree at least 18" in diameter. It has just gone missing, and my box too.

I carved another stamp to replace it; same theme but different image. Since it was in a series I let people know that the new stamp was different and they should go look for it. Because of the way that AQ works with series, I renamed the old one, moved it to the end of the list of boxes and named the new one with the previous name (adding the year of replacement behind it).
Re: It's been 20 years
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #969470 by System
Dec 17, 2018 4:15am
Thread
First of all, welcome back.

I've been at this for almost 10 years and can answer some of your questions, at least partially:

Why are there 2 web sites?

Why does one have boxes that the other doesn't?

I believe that some people only know about letterboxing.org and some only know about atlasquest.com. They then list their boxes on the site they know. Others prefer one site over the other. Lastly, some people list on both sites.

Many of the boxes indicate they have not been found in years. Are people just not logging them on the sites?

Yes and no. I have been doing some box maintenance and there are several finders in the logbooks that have not been recorded on Atlas Quest. Some people prefer to keep their finds to themselves. But there are also boxes which haven't been found in years. Those are such fun successes to find a letterbox that hasn't been found or recorded in a long while.

If a box shows no activity for a few years, do I even attempt to find it?

Yes! Yes! I have found letterboxes that haven't been found in close to 10 years. It's an amazing experience unearthing a forgotten treasure.

Go for it and find those boxes near you and then venture out and discover what else awaits. The best of luck in rejoining the hobby.
Re: It's been 20 years
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #969472 by Angel Winks
Dec 17, 2018 6:21am
Thread
Even though I’ve only been at this for a couple of years I agree with AW.

There are many boxes that might not be there but for us it’s fun to search anyway. I think the loneliest box we’ve found so far hadnt been found in 9 years!
Re: It's been 20 years
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #969470 by System
Dec 17, 2018 6:29am
Thread
Welcome, welcome!

Why does one have boxes that the other doesn't? There are about 10 listed in my area (Marlinton WV) on one site and only 1 on the other.

I don’t have all of my boxes listed on LbNA, because I have restricted them on AQ, meaning that the boxer has to have a certain number of finds and plants (or log in as an AQ member) before they can access the clues. It is considered poor form to list a box on LBNA but have it linked to your AQ Restricted clue, because the seeker might get a “cannot access” message.

There might be more boxes on the AQ site in your area, but you can’t see them yet due to restrictions.
Re: It's been 20 years
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #969475 by System
Dec 17, 2018 10:39am
Thread
I think the answer to almost all of your questions is it's a matter of personal preference. That and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But you can go to neat new places trying.
Re: It's been 20 years
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #969470 by System
Dec 17, 2018 10:57am
Thread
I haven't read through all the responses to this yet but off hand what I would like to share is this. Atlas Quest has some nice settings you can adjust. I recommend checking the show abandoned boxes box on your setting otherwise you may not see all the boxes available because if the planter hasn't logged in for quite some time the system will not display this clue without that box being checked.

Another feature I appreciate is the strike out option, a strike out means it has been searched for by three different people and not found so it is presumably missing. In my experience they often are so I recommend leaving that box unchecked so you don't accidentally go after one.

On the topic not found in years I can say this. I like to wake boxes up that haven't been found in 5 or 6 years. It is my experience that they are usually alive and well but you have to factor in vegetation growth and tree and log decomposition that can make clues difficult to decipher. An example is one box I looked for that talked about the cute 6 foot Christmas tree growing on top of a large tree stump was when I found it was over 14 feet tall lol. This type of challenge excites me though.

Sometimes I think these boxes are not looked for because people don't realize that the system has different classification for box status to keep your boxing experience less frustrating if you are new to the game and helps to ensure your success. So in the preset settings things like abandoned boxes are not automatically shown so you. You need to manually check that box that says I enjoy a good challenge so please show abandoned boxes.

It is also my experience that some boxes shown as not found on Atlas Quest have been found but not logged with the most recent find sometimes by dozens of boxers. Whether this is because there are multiple sites where some planters use both but not all finders do, or because the finders don't enjoy logging finds I don't know. I have a friend who only collects the images she finds and doesn't event stamp in or date the book at all.

I no longer show my plants on letter boxing north america because it use to be and very well may still be if you didn't log into there site for a long time they would adopt your boxes out to other people.

Hope this helps. check those custom settings you might be surprised how many great boxes you may never have known were in your area.
Re: It's been 20 years
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #969470 by System
Dec 17, 2018 11:41am
Thread
Correction, the auto settings show everything. You have to go to my page, settings, box settings to check hide strike out. it been a few years since I was on this site.
New member and new box listed
Board: New Members' Board
Jan 17, 2019 6:39am
Thread
Hello! I just joined AtlasQuest to list a box in honor of my father, my main hiking buddy for my whole life. He passed away in 2017, and this letterbox is full of love and pictures of him hiking with his favorite people.

If anyone is in Connecticut and would like a beautiful hike it would mean a lot to me to know if it is been found and how the hike was!

Sorry if this isn't clear, I'm very new to this website and still learning the ropes, but the box has been listed. It is called "Cows on the Regicide"
Re: New member and new box listed
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #970387 by cowgirl555
Jan 17, 2019 12:28pm
Thread
Hi Cowgirl, what a beautiful thought. I wish I lived in Connecticut so I could find this. However, I think you will reach more people and get lots of feedback from people in Connecticut if you copy and paste your message to the Connecticut Board. You can find the state boards under the following link which lists all the boards. Just click the link and then scroll down until you see United States: Connecticut.

https://www.atlasquest.com/boards/boards.php
Re: New member and new box listed
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #970393 by DS
Jan 17, 2019 4:16pm
Thread
Hi DS!
Thank you for the advice, I will do this now! I appreciate the response!
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972475 by System
Mar 8, 2019 9:42am
Thread
Yes, letterboxes have a stamp you stamp into your logbook. You also have your signature stamp, you stamp it into the letterboxes log book if it has one. Then you log the find on atlasquest and/or lbna.

A compass will be necessary for some but not all of the clues, the compass icon should appear on clues where you need a compass. A very limited number of boxes use GPS coordinates as the primary clue, but some do included coordinates so read the clue before deciding which tools to bring.
Happy Searching.
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972475 by System
Mar 8, 2019 9:44am
Thread
Welcome to letterboxing!

There is a Help section and an About section on this web site. I encourage you to check out both of them, as they are full of helpful information.

To answer your specific question, with letterboxing, all that you really need to hunt is an ink pad, a light book, a pen, and your own, signature stamp.

With letterboxing, you do not need to take or leave anything other than a stamped image.

When you find a letterbox, you would take the rubber stamp out of the box and stamp it into your own logbook. We playfully say that it is kind of like collecting passport stamps from all of the places that you have been when letterboxing. 😉 Then you stamp your own signature stamp in the logbook that is in the letterbox. You can see by the signature stamps who else has found that letterbox, and others after you will be able to see that you have found it. It is neat sometimes to see when people from different parts of the country have found a box.

Be sure to put the stamp and the logbook back, carefully sealing the plastic bags and the containers to help protect from weather. As with geocaching, please be very stealth.

Happy trails!
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972475 by System
Mar 8, 2019 9:47am
Thread
Hello and welcome :D May you have many wonderful finds ahead of you.

1) You stamp the box image into your logbook and log it when you get home. Unlike geocaching, everything in the box stays in the box (save for hitchhikers).

2) With letterboxing, you will rarely need an app or gps, though there is an app for certain phones (can't remember if droid or apple) that you can use when in an unfamiliar area to find local boxes (though they do not show restricted boxes). You will likely need a compass, luckily there is one on most phones. And take most compass readings with a grain of salt. As you box more, you will get a good feel for where the best hiding places are.

Also, it's only my opinion, but a lot of people here share it. It's better to find at least 15-20 boxes from at least two or more planters before you start planting. It gives you a better sense of what is a good location and what kind of clues work best for that area.

Most of all, I hope you have fun. If you have an event in your area, make an effort to go. Best of luck.
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972475 by System
Mar 8, 2019 9:53am
Thread
Hi Leal536.
Yes, you stamp your personal stamp into the box's log book. This shows you were there. Many times the box's log will have room to record a few comments too.

You stamp the box's stamp into your logbook.

You can also record the find on AQ or LbNA if that's where you found the clue.

I only use gps in my car. You shouldn't need it on the trail.
You only need a compass if the clue tells you that it's needed. There are many times when I just look for the sun and figure out the general NSEW heading.
Most compass heading aren't so specific that being off by a few degrees will matter very much.

There are a very few boxes out there that use "back-bearing" and a few that use triangulation.

Welcome to the obsession and have fun.
Happy trails, GG
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972483 by System
Mar 8, 2019 10:04am
Thread
Side note, most folks log once they get home. My boxes often unlock other close by boxes, so logging as soon as you find it prevents return trips... I do note that on the clue, sometimes.
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972480 by System
Mar 8, 2019 10:20am
Thread
Leal536, I agree that it is helpful if someone who has experience answers specific questions. That is why I answered yours. I simply encouraged you to look around for more information. I am glad that you already found those areas, and feel free to ask more questions as you think of them. There are a lot of very kind folks here.
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972485 by RDHG
Mar 8, 2019 12:10pm
Thread
Don't worry too much about carving your own signature stamp. We used a stamp we had gotten from a box of Frosted Flakes at first. Sometimes we've not had our stamp so used our thumbprints. A couple of the most prolific finders draw a little picture.

Still, we find one of the best parts of letterboxing is looking at logbooks full of wonderfully carved signature stamps from all over the world. So be collecting ideas when you look at logbooks.
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972489 by Wronghat
Mar 8, 2019 1:45pm
Thread
My first stamp was a store bought stamp. To this day, when I go out with newer boxes and visit boxes that I found years ago, I get nostalgic when I see the image of my first stamp in a logbook. I might still use it if I had not lost it as an historic home.
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972475 by System
Mar 8, 2019 1:54pm
Thread
Welcome to the hobby! If you get into LTC's (Letterbox Trading Cards) let me know! I will share some of mine with you!!
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972475 by System
Mar 8, 2019 6:31pm
Thread
I'm going to give you much of the same information as others have given, but there is some new information.

I am new to Letterboxing, but I have done some Geocaching. I am more into finding rather than planting at this time.

I came to letterboxing through geocaching. I saw letterbox hybrids and wanted to know what non-hybrid letterboxes were, so I searched for it. I found letterboxing.org and later this web site.

The main differences are that a geocache ***MUST*** have a log; and a letterbox ***MUST*** have a stamp.

The first stamp that I carved was for a geocaching hybrid letterbox. I would list it here, but it ***requires*** a GPS to find it because I don't want to describe directions using sage brush. This stamp and my first personal stamp were carved on erasers with an X-acto knife. I still have the same stamp design because I haven't come up with a better design.

The rest of my geocaching letterbox hybrid stamps are also listed here. I've hidden letterboxes that are listed here or letterboxing.org. I like making boxes for both audiences. However, my puzzles are always posted here and GC.com because I want a larger audience for those puzzles.

the boxes have a stamp that I stamp MY log book, right?

Yes. After that you stamp your personal stamp in the logbook of the letterbox. Then you package everything back up so that it will stay dry. Make sure that any bags do ***NOT*** get stuck in the seal of the box.

the difference between letterboxing and geocaching is that I don't need an app nor gps? But, I still need a compass?

Some (almost none) letterboxes give the location as GPS coordinates, but with most you start at the location given in the description and follow directions. Some require a compass, but should have the compass icon on them (at least on this web site). Most of the time they tell you the direction to proceed, but some tell you the compass direction from the box to a landmark.

However, adding the compass icon is not required so you should read the description before you head out. Some boxes require other items, like one that I have hidden that requires a boat. Many boxes even suggest colors of ink. So, always read the description before heading out.
Re: New to Letterboxing
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972489 by Wronghat
Mar 8, 2019 6:35pm
Thread
Don't worry too much about carving your own signature stamp. [...] A couple of the most prolific finders draw a little picture.

My first letterbox find was in 2003, when I wanted to know what a non-hybrid letterbox was. I drew a little picture in the logbook and wrote some message. However, I'm certainly not one of the most prolific letterboxers, so anyone can do this.

When I wanted to letterbox seriously I carved my own signature stamp. That first letterbox find was the first one that I visited and stamped with my new stamp.
Postal Questions
Board: New Members' Board
Mar 14, 2019 8:54pm
Thread
I have never participated in a postal before and I'm trying to understand how they work. I read the faqs but still have some questions. Does each person that is part of the group carve a stamp and have a logbook to send out- like a light weight traditional box but it fits in an envelope? How does mailing work- does some send a list of who the next person is to send it to? I have seen comments to trim the back of the stamp to save weight, how thin is normal? What kind of logbook do you send with a postal to keep it under 1 ounce? If the answers are already posted somewhere else, please point me in the right direction. Thanks!
Re: Postal Questions
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972709 by Sunflower Smiles
Mar 14, 2019 9:26pm
Thread
Does each person that is part of the group carve a stamp and have a logbook to send out- like a light weight traditional box but it fits in an envelope? How does mailing work- does some send a list of who the next person is to send it to?

It depends on the postal tracker. Some are postal rings, where everyone carves a stamp and sends it to the next person on the list, until each stamp gets back to who carved it. Others are singles; one person (usually the host) carves a stamp and sends it to the first person on the list, who sends it to the next person, etc., until it gets back to the host.

I have seen comments to trim the back of the stamp to save weight, how thin is normal? What kind of logbook do you send with a postal to keep it under 1 ounce?

Again, this depends on the type of postal. With the cost of postage going up most recent postals have been ones that will travel in a regular envelope. Most people will carve their stamp then use a gouge to carve material off of the back. I have used Gray-Z, a carving material that is 1/8" thick. This is thin enough (¼" or less) to go through the mail in a regular letter, as long as it is small enough to be automatically sorted in their machines.

The log book can be made out of a sheet of cardstock, or cut and stapled cardstock with the spine (hinge) on the left. I have done both. You do want to put your stamp in a small plastic bag then tape the bag inside your logbook (so that it doesn't shift).

If you're going to get into postal letterboxing you'll want to buy a postal scale so that you can make sure you stay under an ounce.
Re: Postal Questions
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972709 by Sunflower Smiles
Mar 15, 2019 7:58am
Thread
Adding on to Oberon_Kenobi’s comments, those “under an ounce” postals are called micro-postals.

I have a digital kitchen scale that I use. 5 quarters weigh 1 ounce, if you ever want to check the accuracy of a scale.

If you don’t have a scale, your post office might have a self-serve scale that you can use.
====
I personally prefer the full size postal. With those, you can be more creative with your entire presentation. (You don’t have to worry about “it must be less than 1/4” thick, it must be uniform thickness, it must be < 1 ounce”.)

Those postals are mailed first class package rate, which include a tracking number. Since I have a paypal acct, I can print a mailing label at home, get a discount on postage costs, and by-pass the post office :)
Re: Postal Questions
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972710 by Oberon_Kenobi
Mar 15, 2019 7:20pm
Thread
Thank you! All of this information is so helpful. I appreciate it!!
Re: Postal Questions
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972723 by JampersandJ
Mar 15, 2019 7:21pm
Thread
Thank you! Are there any problems mailing to PO Boxes?
Re: Postal Questions
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972747 by Sunflower Smiles
Mar 15, 2019 11:23pm
Thread
None whatsoever, in my own experience.

In fact, I know of a few people who have PO Boxes because their home delivery isn’t as good, reliable, or secure.
Re: Postal Questions
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #972749 by JampersandJ
Mar 16, 2019 7:43am
Thread
In fact, I know of a few people who have PO Boxes because their home delivery isn’t as good, reliable, or secure.

Our home delivery is reasonable secure but we also have a PO Box for stuff we really care about (credit cards, etc). We used to have our Atlas Quest stuff delivered there and never had s problem.
Re: SPOR
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #977438 by Kamera Kid
Jul 18, 2019 6:20pm
Thread
suspicious pile of rocks :)
Re: SPOR
Board: New Members' Board
Reply to: #977438 by Kamera Kid
Jul 18, 2019 6:37pm
Thread
Check out the home page for Atlasquest - there's a wealth of information that's useful and essential to get your letterboxing experience off on the right foot. You can also find a glossary for most any term you come across:
https://www.atlasquest.com/about/glossary/