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  1. #1
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    Default Hitchhiking alone

    I am planning on starting out alone to thru-hike next season. Hitchhiking, especially alone, makes me very nervous. I understand that sometimes towns can be far out from the trail and hitch-hiking in is necessary. I have never hitchhiked and was hoping I might get some advice.

    Some of my questions are:
    How often did you have to hitch-hike on the trail? Did you usually hitch-hike alone? Did you ever say no to a ride? Are there areas to avoid picking up a ride?

  2. #2
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    I'm not an AT hiker, but Jan Liteshoe mentioned this topic in her TrailCast interview. She said (something along the lines of) if you are planning on hitching into a town then you could ask around a shelter if anyone else is going to the same town and then hitch with them. She mentioned how women could feel safer that way, and men are more likely to get picked up as well if they have a woman with them. I thought it was a smart idea.

  3. #3
    Registered User Fahrenheit's Avatar
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    I've hitchhiked a number of times and it always makes me nervous. I've never done it alone and wouldn't reccomend it given some of the people who've stopped to pick me up. As a thru you'll likely be hiking with a group from day one. It shouldn't be too tough to find anyone (not just guys, its better to just not be alone even if you are with another girl) to hitch with.

  4. #4
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Another vote for not hitch-hiking alone. While it has been many, many years since I've hitchhiked, I've had some dreadful experiences. It isn't only women who get victimized while hitch-hiking. I advise everyone to hitch into town in pairs.

  5. #5
    Registered User general's Avatar
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    hitch hiking is a breeze. don't sweat it. if you don't like the ride don't take it.

    there were about 10 hikers (and one dog) trying to catch a ride out of franklin nc. a nissan sentra pulled over with three grown men and a dorm style refridgerator inside. they asked us if we needed a ride. while a few of us were trying to explain why there was no way in hell that it was going to work, the guy in the back was giving out beers from the refridgerator. they pulled off just as a dually pick up pulled over and we all piled in.
    don't like logging? try wiping with a pine cone.

  6. #6

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    If you're uncomfortable when an unsavory looking ride stops just say something like "I think I left something at the campsite" If they say they'll wait, just say the site is a mile or so back. Then just walkaway. Generally people who stop are usually hikers or have family that hikes and are good people. But always play safe
    E-Z---"from sea to shining sea''

  7. #7
    ...Or is it Hiker Trash? Almost There's Avatar
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    You will end up hiking with other, and if not, I would be leary of hitching by yourself. Personally, I would be very upset if my wife hitched alone. There is always somone else wanting to go into town. There is an exception and that is the wonderful trail angels/shuttles out there. People like Ken and Dell in Central Va. I would trust any single female with these gentlemen, but shuttles do cost money. I guess, just be careful and use your judgement, but like I said, there are always people to hitch with if you want to keep from doing it solo.
    Walking Dead Bear
    Formerly the Hiker Known as Almost There

  8. #8
    Registered User Singe03's Avatar
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    I noticed, a little late, that this thread is in the female forum...

    Dont worry about ever having to hitch alone, most male hikers realize VERY early on that hitching with the female hikers often makes getting rides alot easier.

    Otherwise, I do not recommend hitching alone, even for males, too many freaky people around.

  9. #9
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    my opinion is this, you have already hiked a number of miles over some of the most roughest terrain you could imagine, so what is a two to six mile roundtrip hike going to matter into a town and back on the side of a blacktop road......? this is much safer than hitch-hiking alone? doesn't matter whether your a man or a woman, hike into town and hike back to the trail and continue your journey....i know all too well what goes thru a hikers mind when they come upon a town, "I AM TIRED OF HIKING! I WANT THE COMFORT OF EITHER AN AIR CONDITIONED OR HEATED CAR AND A REAL BED!!!!!!!!!! BWAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! NOW!"

    you came out here to hike, so hike.........if you must hitch, be prepared for the worst case scenerio......perhaps a small can of bear spray in the hand or close by may deter a would be predator......or even better, strap a weapon close by out of eyesight that you can grab in a hurry and know how to use it and don't be afraid to do whatever it is that you got to do to get out of the current situation and then deal with the consequences later.....

    anyway those are my opinions........

  10. #10

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    Good advice!
    ad astra per aspera

  11. #11
    GA->ME '04 Dharma's Avatar
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    Most of us have never hitchhiked before thru hiking either. I have no stories of fear to give you, all my hitches were pretty good and I enjoyed talking to the folks who gave me rides. I actually looked forward to the hitches because it put something new and unknown in the day.

    My only 'problem' hitching was when people wouldn't pick me up in NY. Took forever to get a hitch.

    I don't know what you mean by being 'alone' thru hiking. If you're starting northbound in Mar or Apr, you won't be alone for a while. You'll have plenty of people to support you on your first few hitches and after that you'll be a pro.

    Advice? Know that if you're scared out of your wits you'll probably attract a ride that will scare you. Someone mentioned Jan Liteshoe, that's great advice if you're nervous about hitching. Travel with a group on days you need to hitch into town.

    idk how often I hitched on the trail. Can't remember. 10-20?
    I hitched alone when the peeps thinned out going north and maybe once alone in the south.
    I never said no to a ride.
    Don't hitch where drivers can't pull over easily AND other drivers can't see the pulled over vehicle (like right over a small hilll). That's just plain dangerous.

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