Video Hobo Shoestring Shows Gear He Travels With.... (1 Viewer)


I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Oct 20, 2018
Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
I thought this was a very good video by Professional Hobo Shoestring, who's been traveling for over 20-years across North America. His latest video goes over his travel pack and what gear and brands he recommends:

Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!


stp user voted "the friendliest mod"
Staff member
Jan 26, 2008
richmond virginia, the east coasts portland.
it became hard for me to have any respect for shoestring after reading his own typed account of the time he turned police informant and fucked over somebody just to get a free ticket out of alaska from the cops. not to mention his casual racism is sorta a turn off for me.

edit: i believe this is the story, it wasnt always password protected.
Deported from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Barrow, Alaska, and the cops who used my bad situation to their advantage! -

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Aug 4, 2006
Austin, TX
it became hard for me to have any respect for shoestring after reading his own typed account of the time he turned police informant and fucked over somebody just to get a free ticket out of alaska from the cops. not to mention his casual racism is sorta a turn off for me.

edit: i believe this is the story, it wasnt always password protected.
Deported from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Barrow, Alaska, and the cops who used my bad situation to their advantage! -
@SlankyLanky's 'wayback machine' is a beautiful tool:

just in case, here's a copy/paste of Shoestring's story:

I had just been deported my second time from Newfoundland, Canada. I flew to Barrow with only the clothes on my back, a small backpack and no place to live.

After getting off the plane I walked into town to look for a warm place to shelter myself. I eventually found an ice-skating rink where there was a small indoor area where skaters left their shoes after getting into their skates. There were two small electric heaters inside. I pulled my sleeping-bag out of my small backpack, rolled it out on the hardwood floor and drifted off to sleep fast.

I had not been sleeping very long when a Barrow city police officer opened the door and stepped inside, letting the door slam hard behind him on purpose. It was like letting the door itself say, “Hey you bum”! “Wake up”! “Who are you”?! “What do you think you are doing here”?!

I dizzily looked at the cop through tired, sleepy eyes and said, “My name is Mark Nichols”. “I’m homeless”. He replied, “Homeless? What is a homeless person doing way up in Barrow? What happened, did your wife or girlfriend throw you out or something”? He then asked to see my ID-card. After I showed him my Louisiana Driver’s License, he knew that something odd was going on with me. I was taken to the city hall where I was given a hot cup of coffee. I sat down at a large table with two more cops that were in Barrow. I was drilled with questions as to why I was in Barrow, why I had been deported from Newfoundland, and what were my plans to get back south. I told them I hoped to get a job that paid good money in Barrow and that’s what I told Immigration in Canada. This is why Immigration flew me here. These cops told me that there were no jobs at all in Barrow and that things were actually worse here than they were in isolated villages around the North Slope of Alaska. They also told me I was stuck here for good as there were no roads leading out of Barrow anywhere. Unless I could fly out or go by boat. I had roughly $7.00. The price of things up here in Barrow were way higher than anywhere in the world, since everything had to be flown in or brought in by boat. The price of a 16 ounce jar of apple sauce was $11.99! The only thing that was under $7.00 was a gallon of gas. At this time gas was $3.44 a gallon and I didn’t think that I could nourish myself with gas! I thought I could buy $7.00 worth of gas, drink it and maybe end my problems!

The cops then asked me about working undercover! I asked them what I needed to do! They told me that there were illegal narcotics and marijuana being sold all around Barrow, and this small Arctic town was just about as far north on the earth you could go. The problem was big here and I would be safe helping them out by their using me as a narc! I thought it over thoroughly. I had to do something! My severe obsessive compulsive disorder had really gotten me in trouble this time. I was on my own! After making the decision to help out all I could, I then asked what it was that I would be doing.

I was taken to the police station and shown photographs of several persons in the area suspected of dealing drugs. I studied the photos really well so I could remember certain faces that I would be dealing with later. The cops then contacted a pastor at one of the churches in town, and telling him what I would be doing for the town of Barrow. The pastor agreed cheerfully to the idea of giving me room, board and free hot meals in one of his spare church maintenance buildings! Ah, this was great. I now had shelter and food! Now if I could perform the job that they gave me and keep myself out of any danger!

I had to make this work! No matter what people had always told me before about being a narc. This was the first part of September 1992. September is summertime in the northern hemisphere, but not here in the Arctic. Na-ah! To give you an idea of how far north Barrow is Seattle, Washington, is around 47 degrees north latitude, Los Angeles, California, is around 34 degrees north latitude, and Barrow is right about 72 degrees north latitude! I had to make this undercover job work out the best I could! I had actually stumbled on a job that lots of people would love to have, plus getting free room, board and food. Food of the physical sort then food of the spiritual sort. The pastor left me a bible and a few pamphlets to read in my free time.

My first job would be easy as pie I thought! Ha! The police had shown me the photo and profile of a local they thought was selling weed in very large quantities. After I met this person by stumbling upon him accidentally and starting a conversation, I was in! I told him I was new in Barrow and was working for “NARL” there at Point Barrow. NARL stood for, Navy Army Research Laboratory, which researched whales in the Bearing Sea off the coast of Point Barrow. I told him I was sent from Juneau to do research and was looking for a large amount of weed. Did he know where I could find some? He agreed to sell me a large amount. I was interested in purchasing eight ounces to be exact! Marijuana was selling for $95.00 for a quarter of an ounce at that time, so you can see the amount we’re talking about here.

I was given $3,040.00 in cash by the police who had photocopied each and every $20.00 bill that I was given. After the transaction was made the money could be used for evidence. The amount of money was well over the $500.00 felony mark, which is the amount the cops wanted in order to bust the local on a felony charge. Once he was arrested the police could bargain with him to give up his supplier for lesser time in jail. That’s what the police were interested in. This guy was small fish. They wanted the “Big Fish” supplier!

I was to meet with this guy at the church maintenance building where the transaction was to take place. Audio and video equipment was set up in the room, so the police could have additional evidence for their case. I was never so nervous my entire life! The meeting was to take place at 8PM that evening.

Church I had been involved with in Barrow, Alaska. (The maintenance room I stayed in was not too far behind the main church here).

There was a knock at my door at roughly 7:50 PM. I opened the door. He walked in, and shook my hand, then sat down on the end of my small bed. I asked if he had what I wanted. He said yes. I asked to see the quality of the weed. He agreed and opened up this school book-bag that had four large baggies of weed inside!

I was straining not to sweat! I was so, so nervous! My heart pounded so hard that I started to get scared since the nearest heart surgeon was probably in Seattle. If I had a heart attack it would take forever to get there, and I would likely die way before arriving! Oh no, I thought! I can’t do this! What have I gotten myself into? Was this worth busting a poor Alaskan Native for? After all, he probably fed his starving family by selling weed! He is an Alaska Indian for God’s sake! He can’t help that he has to sell weed on the side for extra income! Oh no, can I do this? Should I do this? Is there any way that I could call this off by giving him a signal that only he would identify and know he is being set up? Oh no! I can’t do this! I told the cops already that I could! What would they think of me then if I wimped out? I would screw up the whole thing if I were to give up and not go through with this! Then everyone in the whole state of Alaska would know that I was a narc! What should I do, oh Lord? What should I do?

I did it! I sure did do it! I had to do it! I could not wimp out on the cops! After all, I was getting rid of illegal drugs that probably made their way into the veins of small children! I had stopped illegal drugs from entering the schools and playgrounds! I helped out big time by being a man and getting illegal drugs off the streets! I did it! I did it! I did it! The police broke the door open like a herd of rhinos busting their way through the tall weeds that grow up from the Serengeti Plains in Africa! All Hell broke loose! I rolled off my bed and hit the floor! Hand-cuffs clattered and jingled as they opened up and placed around this guy’s wrists! The shouting! The loud shouting! It was way more than I could handle. I stood up and ran out the door onto the tundra! I fell to my knees and wept. I was shaking so violently from the adrenalin that pumped through my veins! I had done it, though, and was so proud!

After the guy had been taken into custody, the cops drove me back to the police station to let me settle down there until I could manage again on my own. I eventually walked back to my place of shelter and sat waiting for the phone to ring. The cops said that they would call me within two to three hours with information about who had been turned in as the supplier.

Late that night I got a visit from the pastor who had been my savior as well as God. He and his congregation had taken up a love offering in my name! Also the man arrested did turn in his supplier, guaranteeing me a flight back to Anchorage. The church congregation had raised $943.00 for me! The police department of Barrow, Alaska, had also given me a state supplement reward payment of $1,500 as well! Wow indeed! I think the second trip that I had taken up to Newfoundland had been well worth the deportation, indeed! After getting off my plane in Anchorage, Alaska, I walked up to the American Airlines counter and asked how much for a one-way to Seattle? Alaska Airline said $289.00. I said, “Book me on a one-way flight please”!

I flew from Alaska to Seattle, then took a taxicab downtown, got on a city bus and rode to the town of Everett about 20 miles north of Seattle. Later that evening I hopped a Burlington Northern Railroad freight train to Spokane and points eastward, eventually winding up in Chicago three days later! Talk about your planes, trains and automobiles!
so yeah... super proud to be a narc for the cops for some poor asshole selling weed. i agree with @SlankyLanky fuck that guy.
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