How To: Find and Use a Dead Letter Box

What is it? A dead letter box (or DLB), aka “dead drop”, is used to exchange items (“drops”) with a covert contact without having to meet them, contact them or use an intermediary.

How do I start? Find somewhere in a public space where you can leave a package without risk of it being discovered or accidentally disturbed.

Such as? The possibilities are endless, but a few ideas include: a knot in a tree trunk, out of reach of children; a gap between a wall and an advertising hoarding; behind a radiator in a public building like a library. The DLB should be in surveillance “dead space” and not covered by CCTV. That way, even if you or your contact are followed, you can use it undetected. 

Anything else I need to remember? Don’t forget your cover: the reason you and your contact will have to be near the DLB. And remember the weather: use waterproof packaging for the drop. 

How will my contact know there is something to collect? Leave a fill signal: A chalk mark on a nearby lamppost is a classic.

And then? When your contact has retrieved the package, they should leave a “cleared signal.”

Such as? Let your imagination run free. 


Don’t forget your cover: the reason you and your contact will have to be near the Dead Letter Box.