Rob's Pages
Hitchers' Home

This is not a page that relates in any way to the book "Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" or any other subject-heading that is a take-off on that title. This page is about hitch-hiking as a means of travel and adventure on earth with humans in cars that use gasoline (or maybe electricity or natrural gas).

Use Mission Statement
If no other such site exists, I would like to devote this space to information, tips, suggestions, and, especially, research-data on hitch-hiking. I have the sense that the danger (both on the drivers' and hitch-hikers' side) of hitch-hiking is over-estimated. Does anyone have information confirming either its dangerousness or its benignity? If so,
Contact me by email and we'll talk.

Why I Hitch-hike

I was first introduced to hitch-hiking by a friend who regularly uses it as his transportation to and from work. Work is about a 15 minute drive from his house, and he has to allow himself about 45 minutes to get there at a given time in the morning. Each morning that he hitch-hikes, one car clogs the road and chokes the air where two would if he drove himself. Each day he hitch-hikes, two people drive to work keeping each other company rather than plugging along all alone.

My own first experiences of hitch-hiking were on an 8-week trip he and I took around the States and into Toronto. For a total of about $500, the two of us saw more of America than most would see with the same time in a car. We went north from my home in Santa Rosa (56 miles north of SanFran) to Seattle, then through the Northern states (Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Wisconsin), into Toronto, Canada, down through New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee, into Alabama, and back across through Arkansas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally back home.

Places are very different when seen at 3mph than when seen at 70mph. Driving through places that I first came to know through the intimate perspective of hitch-hiking is one of the more gratifying experiences I have had. The difference between a boxed-in car's view and an open pedestrian's then comes sharply to consciousness.

Networking and Info for Hitch-Hikers and Others on the Road

Planning a Long Trip

Planning a long hitch-hiking trip takes some planning. You should work out some places here and there where a shower and a soft bed can be had. This can be extra money in the bank account for a motel room, or connections with friends or relatives. You can also check out my list of hospitality offers to see if any kind strangers can help. You should decide whether you are going to fork over the money for hostels and motels each night, or just camp out under bridges and in fields. You should spend some time organizing the equipment that each of these approaches requires. Here's a Starter-list of things you might wanna bring.

To help you in planning a trip, I'm compiling stories and descriptive general advice about hitching, as well as writing and information compiled for hitch-hiking in a specific locations. MITs Weather-server will help you anticipate weather, wherever you end up.
What to Bring

When considering what you'll need over the course of a long hitch-hiking trip, you need to know what season you'll be traveling in, what weather to expect, how much money you're willing to spend on lodging, whether you're willing to carry a tent and camping equipment, whether you can arrange accomodations with friends and relatives along the way, and many other things.
Whatever the answers are to the questions above, here is a starting list of the things you'll be glad you brought:

  • North Africa and the Middle East

    • Tunisia
      On freeways...
      typical wait: 15 minutes
      typical ride (km): 25
      typical cost/100km on public transportation: $5
  • Australia/Newzealand/Pacific Islands

    From Ian Sweeney, who can be reached here by email: Whilst in Tasmania earlier this year, (im now based in adelaide south australia) i read in the Mercury newspaper that over the last twenty years there have been fourty murders or disapperances of backpackers in Australia, so this is not just hitch hikers. compare this to the road toll, to which i have lost a great friend to recently, there is little doubt that there is more chance you will be killed in a car accident whilst hitching or a bus rollover whilst coaching it, than being murdered by the driver of the lift.

  • Japan
    ASS (Auto- Stoppers' Society) online

    Other Sites for Hitchers and Related Resources

    Some tips to Hitching
    Web spin-off of hitching guide-book
    -- a very good structural model for any ambitious web-site on hitching. Unfortunately, expects you to buy the book to get the content. Includes a good links page.
    Hitch-Hiking/Auto-Stop (French)
    -- more good info on how to behave so as to get rides and to maximize safety; some links also.
    Cyber Adventures
    -- unusual information on travel, links to other sites, and a collection of travel/adventure stories; plus a weekly site of the week, which yours truly made it onto!
    Travel Lite / Let's Go HITCH!
    -- some sort of hitching resource
    Ride-share Linking Service -- a motorist and hitch-hiker no-charge linking service. Very professionally run! It seems to be used almost exclusively by Europeans, so getting responses for N. America might be patchy. I will have tried it before the end of Spring '96 and give my report then.
    -- a fairly thorough guide to hitching abroad, with references to further resources
    -- travel in Europe. Not much good.
    Ride Share Groups and Organizations
    National Speed-trap Registry -- a registry of highway-patrol speed-traps in every state accross the US.


    Below are travelers' requests for assistance along the road, and -- would it be too much to hope? -- standing offers of hospitality to hitch-hikers.
    Please note that while I think it is usually worth the risk, neither I nor this site make any claim to ensuring the safety of accepting help from strangers. While I personally trust the people listed, no formal precautions have been taken to assure their good faith. Use this resource at your own risk.
    Use this link alphabet to select a state where requests have been made: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Hospitality is offered to hitchers...

    Click a letter for the U.S. state you where you need hospitality:

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    If you'd like to post offers or requests for travelers' lodging or assistance, contact Rob Monk by email.


    For and Against ... Statements and Propaganda

    Promotional site for some kind of 'educational' video against kids' hitching

    While making Road Kill, I imagined I would find a wide cross-section of people hitchhiking the summer highways, from down-and-outers, to thrill-seeking college students, to european students.
    But the reality was quite different as you noticed in my site. Almost everyone I met was at that moment of crisis or desperation. I found about 25 hitchhikers in total over a 6 week stretch. All in the South and West I found nobody all the way from Montana east to NY and south to Georgia.
    I think you hit on something about middle and upper class hitchhikers being more likely to be on-line. And perhaps many of your comments come from people who hitched years ago, when I think the demographics were quite different.


    Travel and Hitch-hiking Stories

    Awesome site with video documentary and continuously updated interviews on-the-road with hitch-hikers

    "Even Angels Have to Hitchhike" -----poem
    A bad experience ------ A bad trip and some good advice
    The Hitchhiker ----- A screenplay; I don't know if it's for the existing movie, or another
    The Democratic Hitchhiker ------- An anti-republican joke
    "Travel with Nam" ----- European adventures

    DeDeo's Hitching Experiences -- Europe

    Dell's Hitching Experiences -- US

    Wechner's New Zealand Adventures

    Howell's The 24 Hour Hitch: Adventures in Europe

    Matt's Rocky Mt. Adventures

    Send your travel stories to me .
    Back to Contents

    Things I Wanna Know and Post:

    For each state or area
    • What are the laws regarding hitch-hiking?
    • Which cities do not allow hitch-hiking?
    • Is hitch-hiking easy or difficult in the state?
    • Have any publicized crimes been committed lately by "drifters" in the area?
    • What are bus fares and bus service like in the area, city, or state?

    For every square inch of America (Alaska, Canada, US, Mexico, Central America)

    • Maps showing
    • size, shape, and location of highway on-ramps
    • major truck-stops
    • frequented rest-stops
    • anything else hitch-hikers (or those giving them rides) might want to know
    --- To Top ---

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