Seeking some beginner hitchhiking advice/tips. (1 Viewer)

Taylorwltrs

Newbie
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
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8
Age
25
Location
Girard, OH
Hia! So I made an introduction about a year ago and havent been on in while BUT I'm planning out my next move and was hoping for some advice on hitchhiking across the us. Currently, I'm in the middle of a work exchange out in Benson Az. I've had an AMAZING experience here, the farm and the farmer as well as the other interns I've met have been wonderful. (Hopefully I'll get a chance to post about it in the story telling section but for anyone looking, I'd highly recommend Southwinds farm in Benson) main reason for writing in the introduction section is because I'd love to get some tips and how-to's on hitchhiking. I live in ohio, and will be heading back beginning of November. Original plan was to get a plane BUT I dont have a time cap for the first time in a while so I figured now would be a good time to take the scenic route back and go back home with one last great experience. I've not hitchhiked before though and I'm very sceptical about it especially with me being a female (not trying to say anything negative about that just genuinely a bit more nervous about gallivanting in new places solo) I have a decent chunck of time to plan it out and would love to hear anyone's opinions or advice as well as potential rides/couches that may be available around early November. So far I can make my way out to the slabs (which is back tracking but I've never been so why not) then from there hopefully within a week or a few make it back to good ol' Youngstown. Any advice is welcome 😁💫
 
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A zed

Newbie
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
7
Location
The shoulder of the highway
Hia! So I made an introduction about a year ago and havent been on in while BUT I'm planning out my next move and was hoping for some advice on hitchhiking across the us. Currently, I'm in the middle of a work exchange out in Benson Az. I've had an AMAZING experience here, the farm and the farmer as well as the other interns I've met have been wonderful. (Hopefully I'll get a chance to post about it in the story telling section but for anyone looking, I'd highly recommend Southwinds farm in Benson) main reason for writing in the introduction section is because I'd love to get some tips and how-to's on hitchhiking. I live in ohio, and will be heading back beginning of November. Original plan was to get a plane BUT I dont have a time cap for the first time in a while so I figured now would be a good time to take the scenic route back and go back home with one last great experience. I've not hitchhiked before though and I'm very sceptical about it especially with me being a female (not trying to say anything negative about that just genuinely a bit more nervous about gallivanting in new places solo) I have a decent chunck of time to plan it out and would love to hear anyone's opinions or advice as well as potential rides/couches that may be available around early November. So far I can make my way out to the slabs (which is back tracking but I've never been so why not) then from there hopefully within a week or a few make it back to good ol' Youngstown. Any advice is welcome 😁💫
Just hitched outta Ohio through Michigan to Iowa with my friend. Definitely felt safer with the both of us but everyone who picked us up was nice. A decent amount of "normie" people picked us up, like people 9n there way to a 9-5 but there were a few weirder rides but I thought they were cool. I don't have much advice except use your best judgement when getting in a car and don't get discouraged. There were bouts where we'd get a ride one after another and times itd take a few hours but just make sure your good on food and water and try and look for places to sleep like parks or wooded areas while your waiting for a ride just in case your stuck there overnight.
 

Taylorwltrs

Newbie
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
8
Age
25
Location
Girard, OH
Just hitched outta Ohio through Michigan to Iowa with my friend. Definitely felt safer with the both of us but everyone who picked us up was nice. A decent amount of "normie" people picked us up, like people 9n there way to a 9-5 but there were a few weirder rides but I thought they were cool. I don't have much advice except use your best judgement when getting in a car and don't get discouraged. There were bouts where we'd get a ride one after another and times itd take a few hours but just make sure your good on food and water and try and look for places to sleep like parks or wooded areas while your waiting for a ride just in case your stuck there overnight.
Awesome thank you much. Yeah that make since to make sure there are places nearby to crash if needed. I wanted to try traveling back solo but I talk to my bf and he said he'd try to take time off work so we could do it together so that makes me feel a lot better especially for my first time. Thanks for the advice! What part of Iowa are you in? That where my travels started when I joined a volunteer program called Americorps NCCC. Its federally funded so it was a pretty controlled travel experience but for being a gov program it was actually pretty fucking awesome and all the people were very open minded and friendly.
 

A zed

Newbie
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
7
Location
The shoulder of the highway
Awesome thank you much. Yeah that make since to make sure there are places nearby to crash if needed. I wanted to try traveling back solo but I talk to my bf and he said he'd try to take time off work so we could do it together so that makes me feel a lot better especially for my first time. Thanks for the advice! What part of Iowa are you in? That where my travels started when I joined a volunteer program called Americorps NCCC. Its federally funded so it was a pretty controlled travel experience but for being a gov program it was actually pretty fucking awesome and all the people were very open minded and friendly.
Were currently in the cedar rapids area resting for a bit at a friends till we all set out again together. That's good you can convince your bf to come, especially starting out it'll be good to have a partner till you feel more confident.
 

Eng JR Lupo RV323

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Make a sign, put your thumb out, stay on the lawful side of the "pedestrians not allowed beyond this point" sign on the on-ramps, try to appear clean, do your best to actually be somewhat cleanish. Smelling bad would be more offensive than looking bad once you're in the car but looking bad will stifle your ride ops.

It's all just common sense stuff right? You don't want to be standing at an on-ramp in the middle of nowhere, you want to be at one where a lot of cars enter the highway. Ideally at a very popular gas/food/lodging exit. The ones that have truck stops are definitely poppin. It isn't the trucks that make those great, it's that a lot of people use those to fill up on gas/food/beverages etc while in route on a long distance trip.

Be smiling, not frowning. Don't wear shades. Smoking cigarettes tends to reduce your chances of someone pulling over to pick you up by some margin. You're more noticed when standing, sitting makes you a smaller target.. easier to not be seen. Try to avoid hitching in groups of 3 or more. A 3 person party means one person is sitting directly behind the driver in a standard 2 seats up front 3 in the back vehicle and that makes a lot of people feel unsafe.

I've personally found that pristine clean white cardboard with very well written bold black lettering stating where you're heading works tremendously better than a dingy brown piece of cardboard. If you're capable of keeping a piece of white cardboard pristine and perfect in appearance.. it might give the driver the notion you yourself are clean. This is just my opinion and I feel it's worked a lot better for me. It isn't hard finding white cardboard, it's usually where the brown stuff is.. just gotta look for it.

Also if you're wearing a visible fixed blade knife on your belt as I do(or any type of weapon that's noticeable really) try to wear it on your right side and slightly more towards your back than your side. If your waist were a clock and your dong sits at noon and your butthole is 6 O'clock the knife sheath should lay at about 4 O'clock if that makes sense.

When you stand facing the cars coming at you, try to slightly have your hips twisted to the right so that the view of the knife is completely blocked by your body. As the car gets near you, you slowly turn to the right continually because sometimes they slow down after passing you and you need to be watching for that but also keeping your weapon blocked from view if they're looking in their mirror. Once they pull over, grab your bag and just carry it with your right arm and let it hang in front of your knife until you're in their vehicle.

The idea is to hide the knife entirely from the moment they first see you until you're in the car. This is also to have it in it's ideal place while you're riding in their car. They can't see it, they can't reach for it. It's in the best place it can be, usually dangling from your belt down the side of the passenger seat between the door and seat, easy access. Also, don't stab them.. just in case you thought that's where this was going. Most drivers prefer to go about their day unstabbed, it's just considerate. But you know.. if they try to harm you the rules change right? That's why you have it.

Try to appear jovial. I see hitchhikers sometimes that look like they're contemplating ending their life right then and there on the spot. I believe some people think this makes people feel bad for you and they're more likely to pull over to pick you up but that's a really bad method. It isn't going to yield even half the rides you'll get if you appear jovial.

Another tip that isn't so much common but rather one of my own theories/practices is colors and the emotions they evoke in people. There's definitely something to this. It's the reason why McDonald's chose yellow and red and so many other megacorporations select the colors they do. I try to display blue to elicit calming and comfort and most importantly trust. I have a thin lightweight 3-panel unfolding sign that measures roughly 30" wide X 12" tall. I bring this with me along with a small stack of light blue paper and a couple new black markers and some double sided tape.

I write the name of the city or the direction I'm heading across the three blank light blue pieces of paper and tape them to the folding boards. It stands on it's own and I place it in front of my pack on the ground so I don't have to hold it. Blue for the psychological trust thing and light blue because the marker contrasts off it better than medium/dark shades of blue. View attachment 53009
I rock that and a big silly hand I draw onto a brown piece of cardboard as seen below, my nephew Cody and I heading south out of Redding Ca. View attachment 53008

The big silly hand is to draw more attention like a billboard would and it also makes a lot of people laugh for some reason. If you can make people laugh, they're a lot more likely to want you in their car. So use cardboard props, get creative. I've drawn little adorable puppies and stood them up like cardboard cutouts and put them near my pack. Everybody loves puppies, you'd be surprised at the things you can put on display that get people to pick you up.

I guess that's about all I have to add.. hopefully some of this helps. Good luck!

Wrote this when someone else asked for tips previously. Perhaps some of it will help.
 

Matt Derrick

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since this has less to do with introducing yourself than it does hitchhiking i've moved this thread to the hitchhiking forum.
 

Taylorwltrs

Newbie
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
8
Age
25
Location
Girard, OH
since this has less to do with introducing yourself than it does hitchhiking i've moved this thread to the hitchhiking forum.
That makes since, thanks! Still trying to figure this site out a bit. I've never been good with social medias but this one seems useful to have👍
 

Bushpig

Wanderer
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
176
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I'm gonna be honest. Being female will get you rides. You won't have trouble getting rides. Not necessarily because people want sex, but because our society depicts females as weaker and needing a man's assistance. You'll have plenty of white knights looking to help a damsel in distress.

But there ARE people who are looking for sex. Be careful and use your judgement when accepting rides. Don't be afraid to turn down a ride. There will always be another driver willing to pick you up.

Keep your gear with you if at all possible. At least the things you can't afford to lose. I usually tell people to not take anything you would really mind losing. That's a possibility and if you need to bail on a ride, they may not wanna let you grab your shit from the back when you do.

If your boyfriend is willing and able to go with you, that's a great option. I've hitched solo and with a best friend and my time crossing the country with my friend was great. I've never felt unsafe alone, but it can get boring and some people have a hard time handling that.

Don't overpack! People tend to take too mangy clothes especially. I like 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, 2 or 3 undies, and a few extra pairs of socks. Synthetic fabrics are lighter and dry faster. Keep that in mind!

Any questions, ask. A helpful community here. Not everyone thumbs it (lotta rail people), but very few assholes. You'll get the help you need.
 

Eng JR Lupo RV323

Jerk bouncer with an attitude
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On the topic of turning down rides- I've been in that position and it's very uncomfortable. You're standing on an on-ramp and it's obvious you're looking for a ride but then someone pulls up and skeeves you out for one reason or another.

How do you address this? If you're worried they're dangerous in some kind of way, couldn't this uncomfortable conversation potentially trigger them? What do you say? "Uhh, think imma just wait for the next ride, I just remembered I have a doctor's appointment I need to go to" Obviously that's nonsense, they're gonna know most lines you feed em are bullshit. You're hitchhiking, you clearly need a ride just not from them.

Do you tell them the truth? "Ehh, you kinda give me the creeps sir. I don't feel safe getting into your vehicle, I think you're gonna try weird shit." That's kinda of offensive, especially considering we don't really even know the person's intent. The last thing I want is for this person to spaz out on me. I mean better there on the on-ramp before I've gotten into their vehicle but still something I'd rather avoid all together.

So here's my line, feel free to use it. I think it effectively turns down the ride and the reason doesn't offend the driver because it's actually reasonable. The very first moment you get a chance to speak to them, don't waste it with hellos or small talk. You need to get the opener on them before they ask the question- Where ya headed? Never let em get that question off first.

That's actually your opener. "how far are ya going?" They'll tell you. If this is a ride you want to refuse and you know it right away, you immediately reply back with "ahh, I'm trying to get one straight-through ride all the way to "insert name of place at least 100 miles beyond the destination they revealed they're heading to. This tells them you trust them, you see no reason to not get in their vehicle, you just need a straight-through ride is all.

If they're insistent, they'll clap back with some shit like "well, I'd get you a lot closer than here" but you can just say you don't know all the best spots to hitch from along the way and some places prove challenging to get out of so you'd rather try to land the one shot ride all the way to your destination. You can also circle back to this at any moment during the initial conversation before getting in the car if something creeps you out after you've passed your chance to reject them. Just pause and go "aww man you know what, I'm actually thinking I might be best off trying to get a straight through ride all the way there, it just occurred to me I don't know this highway well and don't wanna get Munsoned out in the middle of nowhere." Or however you wanna word it, it's the same spiel just worked in after the small talk because you've noticed something in that time that's concerned you.
 

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