Life’s Missing Handbook (1 Viewer)

Cruz

Pilgrim
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This was originally posted by the user BoxcarBobby on HipForums.com. This was intended to be copyleft and shared so since I haven't seen it on here I thought I'd post it for you all to see. I really enjoyed reading this and I hope you do too.





HOMELESS?

Life’s Missing Handbook

With Love From:

GENERATION X




Homeless?

If you have no address, income, property or prospects, then you probably identify with this term.
You should not.
The truth is, you belong to this Earth.
As long as you are upon it, you are at home.
A more accurate description of your current situation would be "houseless", but in truth you are simply living outdoors.

Society teaches us that our legitimate existence begins with a numbered residential box, which is framed in wood, covered in sheetrock and stuffed with fiberglass.
It has water, electricity and internet piped directly into it and it is close to where you park the car which you have to drive.
In some social circles you won't even be taken seriously unless you hold one of the major credit cards and everything is fully insured.

Your actual human needs are much simpler.
This handbook aims to help you to learn about fact and fiction, so that you may get on with your life from where you currently are.
Humans have lived without stationary houses for a very long time.
You have returned to your primal state.
Like your ancient tribal ancestors, you can survive this with the right equipment and a little basic knowledge of the natural world.
Let's begin to examine your real needs.

You may not currently have any of these items.
From this point on, your main goal in life should be getting this list.
No really. Put this handbook away and go get these items right now:

THE BASIC SIX
- Backpack
- Tent
- Footprint
- Sleeping Bag
- Mattress
- Water Bottle

Don't be shy about saving up and spending money on your "Basic Six".
Buy quality the first time, as you're really going to be depending on this gear.
Spend the most money on your boots and your bedroll, because you're on your feet all day, and you're in your bag all night.
If you were just looking for a scheduled list of local social charities, you won't find it here.

It is commonly believed that a human's first need is water.
For the houseless, your first real need is rest.
The subconscious needs to work out all the input it receives during the active hours.
The longer you go without deep and fulfilling sleep, the more your mental state will degrade.
The key to enjoying healthy sleep is in protecting your warmth.

The forces you must protect yourself against are water, wind and the earth itself.

Pay attention. It all works like this:
The rain falls upon the earth, and it moves through the earth to the low places where it collects into streams.
The streams flow into rivers which eventually run to the sea.
The sun warms the surface of the Earth.
In turn, the surface warms the air.
Warm air rises, cool air sinks.
We perceive the movement of air as the wind.
As the sun warms the surface of the sea and the wind creates waves, the water evaporates and rises back into the air.
Carried aloft, the water condenses into clouds.
Clouds which look like cotton are made of water; clouds which are wispy like feathers are made of ice.
The wind eventually carries these clouds over the land, and the rain begins to fall again.

In old times, the art of living outdoors was called "woodcraft".
Now that technology has advanced and rescued us from the rigors of this lifestyle, the art has become more commonly referred to as "backpacking".

As you become a more experienced backpacker, you may not even notice that you are "homeless" until the domestic humans remind you.

-SHELTER-

A proper shelter consists of a two-person tent with a full-size rain fly, properly pitched on top of a plastic "footprint". This outfit can weigh just 4 to 8 pounds and will shelter you against two major threats: water and wind.
Two-person is the minimum for a single person, offering room for both you and the things you carry.

If possible, pitch your tent before the sun goes down.
Remove large sticks, rocks and pinecones before you discover them stabbing you in the back.

Many tents come from the factory without being properly water-treated.
If possible, acquire a can of spray water repellant and a roll-on stick of seam sealer.
Pitch the tent someplace where it will be safe and dry for 24 hours.
Roll the seam sealer stick over all the stitching, and give the floor and rainfly a good coat of repellant.

Ventilation is important, so it's best to pitch your rain fly tightly.
Try to choose a tent with vents in the roof, and keep the very top of your windows open.
You want the full force of the wind to break against the walls of the tent, but if the movement of air is stopped completely, you will wake up wet and miserable.
The water in your breath will condense and soak everything.

A tent will isolate you from the rest of the creatures who also live outdoors.
Snakes, ants, spiders, slugs, ticks, mosquitoes, scorpions... they can all wait outside.

You may prefer to keep your tent clean by leaving your boots outside.
When camping in areas with security issues, like cities, this is not advisable.
If you do leave boots outside, be sure to shake them out to remove any spiders, snakes or scorpions before shoving your foot in there.

The earth itself is full of transient water. It is this seeping ground water which makes the footprint so important.
Most tents on the market are not actually designed to be used without one.
To make your own, simply pitch your tent on a big piece of heavy plastic.
Trace the floor of the tent on the plastic, then measure 3 inches to the inside, all the way around, so that the footprint is smaller than the floor.
Cut it out and you're in business.
If it isn't too small, then it becomes possible for rainwater to run down the side of the tent and onto the footprint rather than seeping into the ground.
You will wake up with a very unpleasant puddle inside your tent which won't go away.

If you are sitting inside and you see a little river of water running down the outside of the tent wall, don't poke it.
The water will transfer right through the wall, and it will continue to run inside of the tent.

If your tent is wet, try to stall as long as possible to let the tent dry before packing it up.
A wet tent is a lot heavier, and mildew can destroy everything you own.

Avoid larger tents.
They are heavier and take-up more of your pack space.
Larger tents are also more difficult to hide, as are brightly colored tents.
Best is a free-standing tent, which doesn't need to be staked out.
These tents can be pitched upon any surface, and sweeping them out is as simple as picking it up and giving it a good shake.

When looking for a place to pitch your tent, stick to the places that people avoid.
The cities are full of them.
Best is a place which is completely out of the public's view.
Domestic humans are not your friend.
They have been pumped full of fear and paranoia for generations.
If the public can view your camp, you will be harassed.

Seek a place which is level, but not so low as to suggest that water may collect there.
Choose a spot with lots of brush and trees around.
These will be great drinkers of the ground water which threatens you.
If possible, pitch your tent just to the west of tall trees so that your camp remains shaded in the morning hours.
A tent fully exposed to the sun quickly becomes a sweat lodge.

Which way is west?
The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.
The moon follows the same path.
Polaris is the brightest star between Cassiopeia and Ursa Major, the edge of the Big Dipper points to it.
This is astronomical north.

Beware of camping beside innocent-looking creeks, as a thunderstorm during the night could transform a trickling brook into whitewater.

There is an old woodcraft tradition which you should still observe today, should you ever encounter another person's camp.
As soon as you realize that you approach another camp, stop where you are and call out,
"Hello, the camp!"
If your hail is not returned, turn around and go away.

Avoid building campfires.
While they may be a pleasant source of warmth, it is often tempting to stare into the flames.
Doing this destroys your night vision.
The light and smoke will also advertise the position of your camp.
If you insist on campfires, be sure that you prepare your fire pit to make it safe by removing exposed roots and lining the bottom and sides of the pit with rocks.
Do not use stones from a river or creek bed.
Even when dry, these rocks store a great deal of water inside.
Once your fire is hot, this water turns to steam and causes the rocks to burst.
Do not leave your camp until you are absolutely sure that the fire is completely out.
The best policy is simply to avoid making fires at all.
For warmth, depend on your bedroll instead.
That's our next topic:

-BEDROLL-

A tent with a footprint will shield you against the elements of wind and water.
But you will need additional protection against the earth.

Sleeping bags come in a variety of designs, the best of which is the mummy bag.
Because of the tapered design, mummy bags are lighter and pack-down into a smaller space.
Sleeping bags are often advertised with various temperature ratings.
These comfort ratings can be quite deceiving and are rarely backed by any kind of guarantee.
The comfort rating usually only applies to typical altitudes and climate conditions and only when used in combination with a properly pitched tent, footprint and mattress.
In fact, no sleeping bag is designed to be used without a mattress.

The mattress can be anything from a simple foam pad to a self-inflating air mattress.
Using a mattress will significantly improve the quality of your sleep, as it shields you from our final threat: the ground itself.
Without this vital insulating barrier, the earth will suck the warmth right out of your body and you will wake up chilled.

You may be tempted to leave your Basic Six pitched in a sort of permanent camp, leaving it unattended during the day while you enjoy traveling light.
Don't.
If you do this, it is only a matter of time before you come back to discover that your camp has been raided.
It will not be pleasant.
If you really want to keep something, keep it with you at all times.
That is why you will need a backpack.

-PACK-

The best is an external-frame backpack.

Try to choose one which also has a hip belt and a chest strap.
Using these belts will help to distribute the weight across your torso and hips, to save your shoulders a bit.

Newer internal-frame packs are designed to give a better center of gravity, for rock climbers and snowboarders.
This design hugs the back and therefore causes the wearer to sweat more.
More sweat means carrying more water and needing to bathe and do laundry more often.
Carrying more water and clean shirts makes the pack even heavier, and therefore you sweat even more...
an external-frame pack will allow air to flow between the pack and your back, eliminating the hot spot.

A properly packed rucksack is essentially a bag full of bags.
Try to pack soft or flat things against the back so you aren't being stabbed by your own gear when you wear the pack.
Try to pack heavier things near the top.

To store gear, you will need four different bags
One should be for your personal hygiene kit.
A nice zippered tote bag is good, something you can bring into the shower with you and have everything.
This is where you should stow your hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties, floss, nail clippers, deodorant, tampons, essential oils, razors, contact lens cleaners, multivitamins... anything to do with the body.

The other three bags should be large and waterproof with drawstring closures.
One will be for clean clothes, one will be for dirty clothes and the last will be your food bag.

Do not underestimate the value of an elastic rain fly which fits over your backpack, especially in wet climates.
Keeping your pack and its contents dry and safe from mildew is important.

You might also need to get web nylon straps, for fastening gear to your pack frame.
Clothes and food should claim the main pack chamber.
The hygiene kit, water, tools and personal articles should claim the outer pockets.
It may be necessary to strap the tent, mattress or sleeping bag to the frame.
Cinch the straps up tight, so nothing can slip out even if the pack is tossed around.
It is best to have a single object to keep track of.

-CLOTHES-

In terms of weight and space, clothing adds up fast.
I recommend limiting yourself to the following:

- 1 waterproof, windproof shell parka
- 1 fleece pullover
- 3 pairs of pants, 2 heavy
- 6 shirts, 2 heavy
- 10 pairs of socks, 4 heavy
- 1 belt
- 1 hat, best is one with a brim and which is crushable
- 6 pairs of underwear, optional for men

Avoid fashion clothing of any genre.
Fashionable clothes are rarely designed for the rigors of outdoor life.
Think in terms of layers, which can be added or shed as temperatures change.
Bright colors like tie-dyes and straight lines like stripes violate the principles of camouflage, leaving you exposed and visible.
When packing clothes, always roll.
Fold pants in half and shirts into thirds then roll it all the way up and pack it.
Rolled clothes use less space and come out with less wrinkles.

Take advantage of outdoors technology; investigate fabrics like Polartec and Gore Tex.

-FOOD AND DRINK-

You will need at least one impact and crush resistant bottle to carry potable water.
Use this for drinking, brushing your teeth and washing your hands and face.

If you cook you will not only need a portable camp stove but also fuel, a cooking pot with a lid, utensils, camp soap, a small sponge with one abrasive side for dirty dishes, and twice as much water.
In this case you will need two water bottles.
Use the second bottle for cooking and doing dishes.
A variety of camp stoves are available for backpackers, many are quite small and lightweight.
Butane stoves work fine in warm weather and low altitudes.
Stoves using kerosene or white gas are more stable in the cold or at high altitude.
Get a small squeeze-bottle for camp soap, preferably one which will fit inside your cooking pot.
Cut your sponge so that it also fits inside.
Don't buy plastic eating utensils, as you will need to cook as well as eat with them, right out of your cooking pot.
Carry metal utensils.
Never use a stove inside of a tent.

If you wish to avoid the heavier pack, eat prepared foods when in proximity to civilization.
Eat dried or packaged foods between cities.
Carrying a bottle of high-potency multi-vitamin/multi-mineral tablets is a very wise idea.
Only take them right after you are finished eating.
Your digestive system needs to be activated by solid food in order for the vitamins to be absorbed into your body.

Avoid carrying foods with high water content.
Water is one of the heaviest things you could carry.
Only pack foods which are lightweight and crushable.

If you camp in the wild, don't keep your food bag inside your tent.
Pull it tightly closed and hang it from the branch of a tree.
If you don't, it's possible that animals will make a hole in the tent trying to get at your food.
If you're a woman in the wild and it's your time of the month, get out of there.
Predators will smell your blood from miles away and come to investigate.
If you really want to avoid meeting animals in the wild, try making noise.
Most wild animals are quite polite and would rather not meet you either.
Making noise keeps them updated on your position.

If possible, avoid marching off with a full pack right after eating or drinking large amounts.
This could give you a wicked gut-ache.
Try to wait about an hour or so for your stomach to settle before moving out.

-WASTE-

A natural result of eating and drinking is pissing, pooping and garbage.
Human waste products are a hazard to you and your environment, so it is important to treat your waste properly.

Do not piss on pavement, where it will stand and reek.
Piss into the earth, where it can sink into the ground and be neutralized.
Do not continue to piss in the same place, spread it out.
If you use the same spot over and over the waste will concentrate and begin to reek.

Poop is especially hazardous.
There is a chain of events you need to become aware of, called the 4 "F"s:
Flies to the Feces to the Food to the Folks.
The flies crawl around on your poop.
They also crawl around on food, leaving tiny little poopy footprints all over it.
Folks then eat the food.
Do you think it's funny, how much of your own crap certain members of society have had to eat?
Now think about how much of other people's crap you've already eaten yourself.
Bury your crap, and break the chain.
Use your heel to kick a small trench into the topsoil.
Do your business, covering the crap with the paper that you use.
When you're finished, kick the dirt over the top until it is completely covered, then step on it to make sure it's planted.
Remember the spot.

It is a good idea to pack a couple of zip-lock freezer bags, one for important documents and one for toilet paper.
Consider getting a small plastic hand shovel for digging "cat holes".
Whenever possible, try to locate a public facility for your bathroom business.

The earth is becoming completely covered with garbage.
If you take responsibility for your own trash, you make the world a better place.
Play a little game with yourself, pretend that there's a detective out there somewhere.
He's tracking you and wants to know everything about your habits.
To confound your imaginary detective, always leave your camp better than you found it.
If you packed it in, pack it back out.
When you get groceries at the supermarket, keep the shopping bag to collect the food packaging in.
Carry this garbage to the next trash can or dumpster and then be free of it.
If you find old garbage at your next camp, bring it out with you as well.

If you smoke tobacco, hand-rolling is cheaper and the butts you leave will disappear in the next rain.
If you smoke "tailor-made" filter cigarettes, "field dress" your butts.
That means pinch and roll the last bit of tobacco out, and pocket the filter tip until you reach the next trash can.

Only you can make the world a better place.

-TOOLS-

Some tools are always handy.
A can opener, a small knife, phillips and standard screwdrivers, scissors, pliers, wire cutters... all can be used for a variety of tasks and most are common features of Swiss Army knives and multiplier tools.
A P-38 can opener is an excellent example of how compact a backpacker's tools should be.
Needle-nose pliers are often able to open water faucets which have had the handles removed.
A map is another important tool.
Don't take off on a road trip without an atlas.

If you plan to remain active inside your tent after the sun goes down, you will need a light source.
While candles are cheap, beware of open flame inside of a tent.
You must be extremely careful as most tents are made of flammable nylon materials.
Candle lanterns are safe, but you must buy certain candles which fit them.
Best is a small flashlight, but be sure to keep replacement batteries handy.
Consider using a red lens filter on your flashlight, as it won't ruin your night vision.
Remember that using a light after dark will reveal your position.

If you plan to work, you will need to keep track of time.
A travel alarm clock is essential and a wristwatch could be useful as well.
These days a mobile phone can perform both functions, but remember to pack a charger and to check the battery level frequently.

Other useful tools include a small notepad, a pen, and a permanent marker for sign-building.
Whether you smoke or not, it's a good idea to keep a disposable lighter with you as well, and Bic is the best.

Advances in science have even brought entertainment to the backpacker.
Entire music and even film libraries can be stored and enjoyed on very compact and lightweight devices.
Just remember, if you're making light and sound then you are advertising your presence.
If you use headphones, you cannot hear what is going on around you.
These devices must also be charged, so you must locate places which will tolerate you tapping their power.
iPods, MP3 Players, mobile phones, laptops and all such electronics will need constant feeding.
For the collector, the Flash drive is a Wonder.

If you're close to civilization, access to the Internet has become quite common.
Connection can be cheaply rented in many places of business and for free at Public Libraries everywhere.
If you're using a compact computer with wireless capability, it becomes possible to scout for unsecured channels to piggyback.
If you do this, only use it to surf.
No online gaming, no downloading, no sending or receiving packets at all.
If you do, you will leave visible tracks and they will lock you out forever.



-PERSONAL ARTICLES-

In regard to personal articles:
Make a pile of all the things which you cannot live without.
Then pack half.
You should carry absolutely nothing which you don't use regularly.
Find a place to store the rest, or let go of it. For real.

-MONEY-

There are a lot of legitimate ways to scrounge cash on the streets of the cities.
You assume a great responsibility when using these methods, as they must be kept credible by not abusing them.

- Day labor
- Carnivals and circuses
- Panhandling
- Flying a sign
- Scavenging
- Busking
- Crafts
If you make your livelihood from tips, consider leaving tips yourself.
If you encounter someone who is panhandling, flying a sign or busking, do not hang out around them.
They are at work, and as long as you appear to be with them they will make less money and attract more attention from the authorities.

If you have valid ID and the right to work, employment is the best source of money.
Agencies exist everywhere which provide temporary work on a daily basis.
Some of these places might allow you to store your backpack during the business day while you are dispatched to a job.
It is best to make other private arrangements if possible, as the office could close while you are still at the job site.
Expect undesirable work at the lowest pay scale.
Jobs lasting several days could be hijacked for the mutual benefit of yourself and the employer.
By eliminating the agency in the middle, the employer pays less while you enjoy a pleasant raise.
Don't tell the agency or you won't be able to pirate them again.

An excellent source of travelling employment is with the carnivals and circuses.
Carnivals are almost always looking for "jocks" to run the rides and "jointers" to run the games.
You will be expected to cut your hair and maintain a conservative appearance when working as a "carnie" and you will need your Basic Six, as self-accommodation seems to be the rule.
You don't have to be a graduate of Barnum & Bailey's Clown College to work for the circus.
Look for work around the cook shack or the animal pens, unless you're actually a trapeze artist.

Panhandling requires little skill or talent, it can be done by anyone and it still works.
If panhandling or "spanging" is your only option, try to be creative with it.
Make eye contact.
Let them see your hands and face.
Try inventing a catch phrase, which will force the pigeon (oops) to stop and think about you.
An old favorite used to be "could you spare three cents?"
3 cents was a curious enough amount to "catch" the pigeon.
Above all, be polite.
Behave as a guest in the other's path: Sir and Ma`am, please and thank you.
Being rude to people cuts the throat of all who follow after you.
Be responsible about this, seriously.

Flying a sign means advertising yourself for employment with a cardboard sign at a major traffic intersection.
An old favorite used to be "WORK WANTED - PLEASE HELP".
You must be responsible about this, by keeping the gig legitimate.
If you are given a reasonable work offer, you must accept it.
Don't put "will work for food" on your sign if you won't.
Be honest with your sign, because others will follow after you.
Try to stand to the right of the stopped traffic, so the drivers can reach you to hand out tips.
Keep a large pocket free to stow the cash in, and make sure to thank them.
Just like panhandling, make eye contact and let them see your face and hands.
If you have a working mobile phone, you can advertise yourself on local bulletin boards for day work.

Scavenging means looking through the garbage for things which can be eaten, used, recycled or sold as second-hand.
Hunting for food is called "dumpster-diving" and it can surprise you if you go behind the right grocery stores.
The amount of edible food society throws out on a daily basis is shocking.
For second-hand items you should target upper-class residential areas and campuses, especially when the students are going home for the holidays.
Recyclable materials and saleable scrap materials can be found everywhere.
It takes a lot to make any spendable cash this way.
If you flood the local market with a particular scrap metal, don't be surprised if the price starts to drop.

Busking is the public performance of fine art for tips. Again, you must be responsible about this, to maintain the credibility of the gig.
If you have no actual talent, do not busk.
Methods vary greatly and include music, juggling, clowning, fire eating, pantomime, painting and sketching, magic shows, acrobatics and oracles.
The better you are, the more you will make.
Try not to pitch like a panhandler, let the art draw the tips.

Using crafts as a road-trade will require both tools and materials.
Jewelry, leather work, tie-dyes, blown glass, hair wraps, even decorative beer-can ashtrays are easy to manufacture and sell to the public.
Be careful when offering crafts on the street.
If your items have a set price, then you are conducting business.
Business can only be legally conducted by licensed, tax-paying merchants.
To avoid being shut-down by the police, offer your wares for donations only.

It should be said that while the gents get to enjoy the luxury of not squatting and wiping, they don't make the money that the ladies do.
While the sympathy-dog is an overworked angle, it still seems to be an asset.
A girl with a sympathy-dog is a straight money maker.

Dogs are the very model of loyalty.
While a dog will function well as an alarm and defense mechanism, it will also limit the number of establishments which you may enter, as well as your ability to travel.
Your pack will become heavier to accommodate your canine companion.
Dogs destroy tents.
Puppies destroy everything.
Dogs are also quite dirty and act as magnets for fleas and ticks.
Please consider that being houseless with a pet is very unfortunate for both of you.
A man is best off alone.
A woman is best off with a single human partner.
Some things just never change.



-TRAVEL-

A houseless person upon the open road and moving across the countryside will gain a certain honor that won't be offered in the cities.
There are two main modes of free travel: hitch-hiking and hoboing.

To hobo means to ride secretly upon freight trains.
The risks are in the dangers of the railroad itself and the laws against "riding the blind".
A whole culture surrounds this mode of travel, and its ways are not quickly learned.
Seek help from older, more experienced hoboes.
Catching a train starts at a freight yard.
Once you arrive at a yard, immediately seek old hobo camps and the riders who may be waiting there.
It is very easy to catch the wrong train, so make sure to find out which tracks go where and what time to expect activity on that line.
Many railroad engineers and yard workers are quite fond of hobo culture and may be very helpful.
But beware of the "bulls".
These are railroad police who will harass and possibly capture you.
The policies of the insurance companies are the reason the bulls patrol, and they do so with infrared, 4-wheelers and guns.
Don't mess around with the bulls, stay out of sight when you are around a train yard.
The trains are quite dirty, so be prepared to have filthy clothes when you jump off.
Obviously, don't jump on or off unless the train is nearly stopped and don't try to catch one if you are drunk.
People have lost arms and legs, even lives.
When picking a car to jump, watch for "grainers" or open "boxcars".
Ride the back-side of a grainer to avoid the intense wind.
Boxcars are a great ride, but make sure that the big loading-door in the side cannot roll shut.
If it does, you're in trouble.
Wedge the door open with a rail spike, if possible.

While hopping trains provides the introvertive with a tour of the land, hitch-hiking provides a tour of the people and is better suited to the extrovert.
Hitch-hiking is best done by making a cardboard sign which advertises your destination.
This is much more effective than the classic thumb gesture.
Keeping the number of passengers and amount of baggage to a minimum will help get rides faster.
Hitch-hikers need to be more conscious of their appearance and scent.
You must be responsible about this, and leave a positive impression for the next hitcher.
Remain polite at all times, as you are a guest in someone else's vehicle.
In conversation with the driver, try to avoid the topics of religion and politics.
Practice honesty and modesty, and your driver may elect to go out of his or her way to help you on your journey.
A good place to catch rides is on the freeway entrance ramp, as it has all the ingredients for a successful hitch-hike: the driver must approach slowly and have a wide shoulder to pull off the road.
Be sure to stand in front of the sign which prohibits pedestrians from freeway access to avoid being harassed by police.
Make your sign large enough to be read by drivers passing at speed, and fold the sign once lengthwise to strengthen it against the wind.
Just like panhandling, make eye contact and keep your hands and face visible.
If you solicit yourself for rides at a roadside truck stop, be discreet about it.
The insurance companies make problems for the truckers too, and some truck stops hire security to harass hitch-hikers.
If a trucker gives you a ride it will most likely be for a good distance.
Repay your driver's kindness by staying hidden in the "sleeper" when pulling into weigh stations and ports of entry.
Hitching rides in the city is too difficult.
Use the local transit system to get to the edge of a city before trying to hitch-hike.
Hitch-hiking can be a lesson in patience.
When you get frustrated, try to remind yourself that nobody is stopping because your ride is still on its way.
The hitch-hikers gospel is "don't hurry, don't worry and don't forget to smell the flowers".
A man hitch-hiking alone stands a decent chance of getting a ride; a guy-and-girl team will travel at warp speed.
A woman should not hitch-hike alone.
Get plenty of rest to avoid being lulled to sleep by the sound and motion of the vehicle.
Don't let anyone drive you very far away from the highway, and watch for people who want to drive off with your gear.
Anyone who gives you a ride wants something from you, so be prepared and willing to deliver.
Mostly they are driving some distance and need someone to talk to.
Keep it interesting and flowing.
Sometimes they are just curious and want The Story.
They may ask you to help drive.
Sometimes it's an old road dog looking for fellowship.
It's almost always something innocent that the drivers want, but it's always something.
If your driver wants something improper, refuse them and ask them politely but firmly to pull over and let you out.
If it becomes a problem, roll your window down, snatch the keys out of the ignition and throw them out the window.

-SELF DEFENSE-

If you are attacked, try to stay calm.
Relax.
Breathe.
Try to draw the encounter into a place which is in public view.
If you are outnumbered, try to put your back against something to prevent them from circling around behind you.
Watch the eyes for clues.
Target the eyes, ears and groin.
Do not reach for a weapon unless you have no other choice.
Keep breathing by making lots of noise.
Do not die for something which can be replaced.
Amen.




-CLOSURE-

So your social life has died, and you have become handicapped with the label "homeless".
Or just perhaps you have discovered a rare advantage and your real life is about to begin!
You see, there are no stars.
Some of them are actually suns, more or less like our own.
Some were once suns which went supernova and changed.
Some are actually distant galaxies.
The ones which change position during the week are actually planets.
The ones which visibly cross the sky are satellites.
There actually isn't any sky either.
Only an upper layer of gases which becomes illuminated by the glare of our sun, obstructing our galactic view.
Our galaxy is on a collision course with Andromeda.
One day our own sun will go supernova and this entire planet will be completely vaporized.
Anything you can build in this world is only temporary.
The things which society values the most are quite insignificant in the larger scheme of things.
The world is a rare dust ball which spins and never stops, and we are the unusual little food-consumers which dwell upon its surface.
What a precious gift, to witness the wonder, even if it is only for the blink of an eye.
Your most valuable possession is your time.
It is a gift from the Gods, to you alone.
Society has even given it a monetary value.
But now your time has been returned to you.
You have been freed from the never-ending cycle of birth to school to work to death.
You are free to roam the land, discover yourself and witness the rare wonder of our galaxy.
You are free.

RUN!
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

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