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Letterbox Details Help

Here you'll add more detailed information about your letterbox. Everything is optional, though if you leave the location information out, Atlas Quest will list your box as a mystery box. If you're hiding a series, these details are applicable to the series as a whole, not the individual boxes of the series.


Certain characteristics are indicative of all letterboxes, and these attributes help the creator of the letterbox 'market' their boxes towards those people who are most likely to appreciate them. While a mother of four pushing a stroller might want to get a letterbox that requires a strenuous 20-mile hike over rugged terrain, it might not be practical! Rather than bombard people with every letterbox in a region, creators can specify who might be interested in their boxes, and those looking for boxes can request only boxes matching their needs be displayed.

Graphical Attributes

The table below provides detailed information about what each graphical attribute stands for:

Drive-by 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 eyesite 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.
Urban An urban letterbox, as defined here, is located in an area where one is unlikely to experience "The Great Outdoors". 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.
Indoors This letterbox is located indoors—perfect for those cold, wet days when you really do not want to go outside.
Snowflake A snow-friendly box means that the box, in theory, can be found even with the added challenge of being surrounded by a layer of snow. Take this icon with a huge grain of salt, however. One person may consider a five-mile cross-country ski trip as 'snow friendly,' while another person may not. In theory, almost all boxes can be found in the snow if you're willing to put in enough time and effort, so consider this icon a 'recommendation' rather than an option set in stone. As in, "I'd recommend that people look for this box when there's snow on the ground."
Pets A pet friendly letterbox is located in an area that allows pets to roam, usually with a leash requirement.
Clock 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.
Bike This letterbox is easily accessible by people on bicycles. The path or area does not necessarily need to be paved, but it will generally be flat and easy to navigate on a regular bike, well away and safe from vehiclure traffic.
Wheelchair The trail or path to the letterbox should be accessible by wheelchairs the entire way. However, the letterbox itself may not be reachable from a wheelchair, and those using them may need assistance from others to actually acquire the box.
Puzzle 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.
Special Gear Special gear required includes anything that most letterboxers would not normally carry under normal circumstances such as a ladder, scuba diving equipment, or rock climbing gear. Compasses do not count as 'special' gear!
Hand Carved The creator promises you'll find a genuine, 100% hand-carved stamp in the letterbox and not a store-bought or custom-made stamp.
Custom Made The letterbox contains a unique, custom-made stamp.
Store Bought 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.
Bonus This picture represents a bonus box, where the clue for the box will be found (usually) in a pre-existing nearby letterbox.
WOM 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.
Repairs Needed The owner or author of the letterbox has indicated that the box requires maintenance, but for whatever reason, they aren't able to do it themselves and are asking for your help, should you choose to look for the letterbox.
Compass 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.
Fee 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.
Planter's Choice 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.
Blue Diamond 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.

Trail Length

This is the total length, in miles, required to walk in order for a letterbox to nab all boxes within the series, as specified by the directions in the clue. It should include both the distance to get the letterbox and the distance required to get back to the trailhead. You can estimate the distance, as long as the distance is somewhat accurate (say, within 10% of the actual distance), but if you do estimate this distance, inform letterboxers in the clue that the distance is approximate.

Elevation Gain

This is the total elevation gain, in feet, required get the letterbox. This is not the net elevation gain, but the total elevation gain of the uphill parts—both to get the letterbox and to return to the trailhead. You can estimate the elevation gain, as long as the elevation gain is somewhat accurate (say, within 10% of the actual elevation gain), but if you do estimate this number, inform letterboxers in your clue that the number is approximate.