Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Registered User Onemorehill's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-15-2014
    Location
    Frisco, TX
    Age
    53
    Posts
    37

    Default What do women do about hitching rides?

    This is the only thing that really scares me as I plan my section hike for next year. I've never hitchhiked in my life, and getting into a car with a stranger seems like it could go bad really fast. What do you all do about getting rides into town to resupply? How do you stay safe?

  2. #2

    Default

    I would say that one thing would depend on when you are hiking. Are you sectioning during the "hiker" season? Like when some of the thru hikers are going to be around? If so, then you could likely catch a ride with some of them when they are picked up. If not, then you could arrange for a pick-up with a shuttle driver by knowing phone numbers of drivers in the area. Another idea is this: if you do find yourself alone and ready to hitch a ride, and someone pulls up and doesn't look reliable, tell that person that you are already expecting someone, and are waiting for them. (or that your hiking partner is behind you and you're waiting for him to catch up with you) Then wait for a female driver, or a driver you think you would be more comfortable with. One thing you should remember is to always, always trust your "gut" feeling. If it doesn't feel right to you, politely decline and wait for the next one. Most of the people who live/drive near the trail regularly pick up hikers if they can, and most are nice.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-08-2015
    Location
    Lynn, Massachusetts
    Posts
    371

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Onemorehill View Post
    This is the only thing that really scares me as I plan my section hike for next year. I've never hitchhiked in my life, and getting into a car with a stranger seems like it could go bad really fast. What do you all do about getting rides into town to resupply? How do you stay safe?
    If possible, wait for a family in those cars. Or someone who looks like a mother.

    Always check locks and inside door handles before you get in. This was easier before electronic locks, when a broken door handle could be a sign of trouble.

    As a woman, I too am wary of hitchhiking. But walking to a destination has its hazards too:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnap...cee_Lee_Dugard

    Are Uber drivers that lacking in trail towns?
    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing​ and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. --Rumi

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Onemorehill View Post
    This is the only thing that really scares me as I plan my section hike for next year. I've never hitchhiked in my life, and getting into a car with a stranger seems like it could go bad really fast. What do you all do about getting rides into town to resupply? How do you stay safe?
    The first time is hard but it gets easier and you meet some really awesome people. Use your judgment and don't get in the vehicle if it doesn't feel right. I keep pepper spray in my pocket and my pack as close as possible. (I'm sure someone will point out that pepper spray isn't legal in every state but I'm carrying it anyway.)

    Hook up with someone before you plan to hitch...guys usually have a harder time hitching so they often partner up with a lady.

    I try to give back by entertaining the driver with hiking stories and always offer to pay...or slip money somewhere they will later find it.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-08-2012
    Location
    Taghkanic, New York, United States
    Posts
    3,043
    Journal Entries
    11

    Default

    You would normally have a better chance hitching a ride then a male thru hiker. But all and all it is pretty darn easy and people are very good and even protective of AT thru hikers. Your worries should soon go away as you hike and hitch and are offered rides.

  6. #6

    Default

    Along the AT, most of the locals are very aware of the trail and the hikers. Getting a ride usually isn't very difficult. When I hiked the first time, I assumed that I would only go to towns directly on the trail, and that I would walk to any that were off trail (like in Maine). That didn't last. Many of them will say that they had a son or nephew or brother-in-law who hiked the trail. Only once did I get a ride that at first felt off, so I told him I was waiting for my hiking partner and didn't need a ride after all. Then it turned out the guy was a trail maintainer who had been putting up bluebird boxes. You meet some very interesting people hitchhiking.

  7. #7

    Default

    I just did a section and passed a few solo women who seemed to just hitch, and also seemed to think their ability to get picked up immediately was a bit of a trail superpower!
    For extra security you could stick to areas that are common for hitching rides and you would get picked up quickly on, and as mentioned, you could set something up with another hiker. The old guy with a crazy beard who never gets picked up will be glad to go into town with you!

    And if no other hikers are around, there's usually shuttles. Some thru-hikers I've met (very few it seems) don't hitch at all. $5-$10 or something each way a few times could give you peace of mind if you prefer it that way

  8. #8
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-17-2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,455
    Images
    6

    Default

    Others have already given some great advice. My post is simply to add a couple of things to what has been said...

    ALWAYS listen to your internal voice. If someone pulls over to offer a ride and it doesn't feel right, thank them for taking the time to pull over but you just realized you left something at your last snack break. That gives you an easy out to hike away from the car and back into the safety of the trees.

    The majority of the people who stop for hikers do know about the trail and will get you where you need to go.

    Carry a list of names and numbers (and email addresses if possible) of trail angels and shuttles for the section you will be hiking. This is a great back up plan, though do realize you might not always have reception at the place you want to be picked up.

    Try and keep your stuff with you if at all possible. Put trekking poles in pouches on the side of your pack and keep your pack on your lap. This keeps strangers from driving off with your stuff.

    Depending on where/when you are hiking, you have good odds of running into others who might be going the same direction. Hikers mostly look out for each other. Just explain that hitching makes you a little nervous by yourself and would they mind if you tagged along for the ride to town?

    There are lots of great people who do stop and simply want to help!

  9. #9

    Default

    As a male who lives in a trail town who occasionally picks up hitchhikers who look like thru or section hikers, may I make the following suggestions.

    When hitching get your stuff compact, if you have poles collapse them and attach them to your pack. Make sure everything is secure in the pack don't have a lot of loose stuff hanging stuff off the pack. This makes it easier to fit in the car and cuts down on stuff accidently falling off in the car or truck. I always check my car after someone get out and have found stuff that fell off after the hiker got out. With my small car its difficult to fit a passenger in the back seat with a pack on their lap. I try not to use the hatchback but with some folks its not a choice.

    Once the group size of potential hitchhikers gets more than three, logistically getting a ride gets more difficult, when I see a large group with their thumbs out I generally drive on by. Inevitably the group wants to all ride and jam in the car and that takes awhile on both ends of the trip.

    If you need to go some distance a piece of cardboard and a sharpy is a good thing. Write AT Hiker on top with a one word destination on bottom. When I pick someone up I can usually suggest the best route to get there if I am not going all the way.

    Its nice if you have clue where you want to go to in town, my town like many AT towns don't have a town center and is strip development. I know where most of the AT providers are and can be helpful getting someone to those locations but just a ride into town could strand you 5 or 6 miles away from where you probably wanted to go.

    I generally will drive out of my way to give polite thru hikers a ride, if they have an attitude its far more likely that I will drop them off where its convenient for me.

    Drunk and under the influence is a stupid way to hitch yet some thru or section hikers do it anyhow (having a state liquor store in town next to the post office may be the reason). I and most would think this is pretty darn obvious but I have encountered folks doing it over the years.

    I expect most of the hitchhikers in the whites are pretty well broken into hitching by the time they make it to town so I rarely think they have issues.

  10. #10
    Registered User Mamabear17's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-23-2016
    Location
    Dawsonville, GA
    Age
    45
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Even as a woman living near the trail picking up hikers is just something you do.
    If someone stops fast it's just that they are use to it
    and probably hike they're self.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-13-2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Age
    67
    Posts
    2,553

    Default

    As a male any suggestions about how to properly offer a ride to a single female?

  12. #12

    Default

    When you hail a taxi cab aren't you getting into a car with a stranger? I don't really see much difference.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-15-2015
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Age
    34
    Posts
    157

    Default

    There were two of us (both female). I was a little skittish about it, but we were able to hitch quickly in GA. Having another person made me feel better about it. I've heard hitching with a guy can make it more difficult to find a ride, but I've never tried it. Just trust your gut!

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •