During my recent hike I hitchhiked one time in order to avoid having to hike a section of trail twice. When I go hiking I often hitchhike into a town since that is usually the only way to get into town other than walking. I would guess not too many other personal finance bloggers hitchhike. It is frugal transportation since it doesn’t cost anything. People don’t usually ask or expect anything for giving you a ride. I did give one guy a little money on my own accord since it appeared that he was living in his car and probably needed the money. Most people don’t hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers since they are afraid of being raped and/or killed. That is a possibility, but I think it is unlikely. Serial is an interesting story of a killer driver picking up a killer hitchhiker that illustrates what many believe are the dangers of hitchhiking.
I’ve found that there are three types of people who will stop to pick me up. The first is older people. I think they give me a ride just because they are bored and lonely and want someone to talk to for a while. They often have pretty interesting stories and a little conversation in exchange for a ride is a pretty good trade. The second type is other hikers or relatives of hikers. People who hike understand that sometimes the only easy way to get to a town is to hitchhike and can recognize a hiker hitchhiker when they see one. I do give rides to hiker hitchhikers as a form of paying it forward for the rides I have received. The third type is poor people. I’m not sure why but the poorer a person is the more likely they are to give me a ride. These rides can be interesting since the drivers are sometimes under the influence, but I haven’t had a problem so far.
Even though hitchhiking is frugal transportation it is only something I do when I’m hiking. And I only pick up hitchhikers if they are at a trail head and I think they are hikers. I like to think that makes the process of hitchhiking safer, but I don’t really know. I think it would be interesting to hitchhike all the way across the country, but I probably won’t ever do that. Have you ever hitchhiked? Would you consider it?