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Hitch Hiking?

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Anyone here ever done it? Anyone ever picked up some hitchhikers?

On my camping trip I took last week I saw quite a few people trying to hitch hike from the side of the road. They're just standing there with their thumb up. I've never picked up any hitch hikers and I don't plan to start any time soon. It seems like a bit of an unnecessary risk, I know a lot of people have been robbed blind by people that were hitch hiking.

I've never hitch hiked myself either.

What about you guys?
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I've probably hitchhiked 15-20 times during my hiking trips to get from the trail to town and vice versa. It's not something I was comfortable doing at first, but you get used to it and it becomes not such a big deal.

All of my hitches were in Colorado or California, and were mostly in areas where the locals are very familiar with the trails I was on. In California I had a sign that I used that said "Hiker to Town" and "Hiker to Trail" on it, and a lot of people who picked me up said they stopped for me because of my sign. I got to meet some interesting people, and if someone had pulled over who looked really shady I would not have hesitated to decline the ride.

I've never picked up a hitchhiker before, and I would only do it if they were hikers and looked friendly.
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
I've never felt the need to hitch anywhere. I'm a pretty big guy so I know that I'd be comfortable with the practice should the need to hitch-hike ever arise.

I've heard stories of people who have been able to hitch all the way across the country and only survived on petty theft and begging. I would love to see what kind of people you'd meet on a trip like that.
 

Elanor

Registered Member
I think it is something I wouldn't be comfortable doing, both picking up hitch hikers and hitch hiking. I would be too worried about the type of person I could end up with. I am sure most are very decent people. I am just not sure it would be worth the risk for me.
 

Bliss

Sally Twit
I think it is one of the most dangerous risks a person can take, from both sides. I've seen way too many hitch hiker movies/moments in TV shows to have been put off for life.
You can't know anything about a person just from their appearance.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I think it is one of the most dangerous risks a person can take, from both sides.
It really depends. I would never hitchhike around urban areas or along major highways. Most, if not all of the hitching I've done has been on country/mountain roads with very little traffic, and the traffic that does pass are usually locals who have known about the trails I was hiking and just wanted to help out. I don't see that as dangerous at all. I have heard some sketchy stories from other long distance hikers though. It is generally agreed upon that it's much safer to hitch with other people if you can, especially if you're female.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I did it once and only because my male cousin was with me and it was going to be a long hike back to town. My car broke down, both front tie rods came off while I was driving across a fairly large bridge. I noticed it driving funny so I decided to put my foot on the brake, big mistake, the front end plowed. I got off the brakes but kept my foot off the accelerator until we got off the bridge. Pulled over to a nice gravel spot on the side of the road and hit the brakes and plowed to a stop.

We started hiking the ten miles back to town in the summer heat when a man stopped. The whole time I was in the car with him I was freaking out. I kept thinking what if he is a mass murder. I was so glad when he let us out. I'll never do it again.
 

danwiz

Registered Member
I'm 66 years old and in my opinion it used to be safe! I used to do it a lot and at one point while I was a university student I even hitched cross country from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Seattle, Washington and then back to Ann Arbor in about 7 days. I was fortunate in that I got picked up by a long-haul trucker in Wisconsin who took me all the way to Montana.

In my years of hitchhiking I never had a bad experience unless you want to consider the people who talk too much.

After I graduated from university and started working, got my own rig and was driving, I would regularly pick up hitchhikers. Never had a problem with that either. But, this was all back in the 1960's and 1970's - a long time ago now. I am not sure that I would want to either hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers nowadays. It's not an issue now as I am not driving here in Japan, and have pretty much not been driving since 1994.
 

Vidic15

No Custom Title Exists
V.I.P.
Australia is a bad country to hitch hike especially after what Ivan Milat did couple of years ago, it's still a grey area. I would never hitch hike or pick up a hitchhiker.

A lot of people do it through Europe and it's not safe either, especially for the tourists.
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
Australia is a bad country to hitch hike...
South Africa either. I would never ever do that unless I had a death wish. But I get what Maj is saying and if I lived in a saver country and there were hikers around, I would maybe pick up a hitch hiker if I wasn't alone in the car. But that's still a big maybe. People can look friendly and harmless but be monsters, so I doubt I would ever do either.
 
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