Newbies looking to Hitchhike cross-country! ? (1 Viewer)


Dec 17, 2018
Current Location
New York NY
Hello! I've been reading StP for a while now, but just posting for the first time today!
As of right now, my friend Sarah and I are aiming to mostly hitchhike across the country from NYC to Los Angeles, going along the Southernmost parts of the US in mid May. We're inexperienced as hitchhikers, which is why we're looking for any advice people have to give us.
A quick introduction, though-
We're two college students going to school in NYC for art. We're experienced dumpster divers and have spent a decent amount of time helping out with FNB, hanging out with various direct-action activist groups and that whole scene. Always looking for more people in NYC to hang with! I've also done a lot of Craiglist rideshare-ing. I'm from Los Angeles, Sarah is from Tennessee. We both draw a whole bunch, make prints and make our own sketchbooks.
For our going across the country bit, we wanted to take a music-related route- Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, maybe Austin, maybe Taos to visit the FnB Free Skool land, or really anything along the way. We have people we know in most of those major cities, so sleeping when we're in the big cities probably won't be too much of a problem, what we're mostly thinking about is how realistic it is to go across the WHOLE COUNTRY! We'll get some mace, just to be careful (We're two girls, albeit tough ones). We're pretty outdoorsy people, despite living in the big city, and have a decent understanding of nature smarts and are pretty resourceful. (Dumpster diving, edible plant foraging, climbing around n whatnot).
How bout it, do you think we can do it? Any advice is appreciated,thanks!
(Wasn't sure whether to put this in hitchhiking or introductions)
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Juan Derlust

the map isn't the territory
StP Supporter
Mar 6, 2017
Current Location
Buddy system & mace are a good initial combination; your goal is totally doable - with some patience, luck, and good sense. Keep us posted - a Thelma & Louise reboot is long overdue...
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Matt Derrick

Staff member
Aug 4, 2006
Current Location
Walla Walla, WA
i apologize for the shameless plug, but you might consider getting a copy of the anarchists guide to travel which has a section on hitchhiking. if you don't want to pay for that, i'd say check out the free version of christopher drifter's 'rules of thumb' which you can download on his website.

otherwise, is a good resource for finding places worth visiting, i'll try and post some others when i get a chance.

you should post your stories here in our travel stories section if you have time during your travels!


Oct 3, 2018
Current Location
Alaska-Argentina on a bike

Sign, good vibes and a smile.
DO NOT dress like an anarchist/punk. You want the help of normal/country people, try to look as normal as possible, be always extra kind, maybe a car turned you down, but the next one sees how you react to being turned down.
Gas stations/road houses are your best friends, not thumbing in an onramp. Only use thumb hitchhiking around stop signs or really remote places.
If you play an instrument, busking is your best friend to get something to eat.

Always keep in mind that you want to look like a cool person with a story to tell, a Traveller rather than a hobo.
Cops are to be avoided but sometimes they'll just want to clear you from town, so you might get a ride with them. (I got one in Australia)


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Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Staff member
Jul 28, 2011
Current Location
Rochester, NY
Hi there - and welcome and also very cool that you are looking at the subforums we have for all the info that is available - plus of course Matt's most awesome book. Another thing to keep in the back of your head and available for when it's crap weather or dead country for hitching are the many trucker ride share groups available on facebook - also available on STP's Ride Share - other rideshare resources. These rideshare groups are led by admins who post up every day where ya going (to their associated drivers) and can you take people/dogs etc.

And of course good luck and have fun in your journeys!


Dec 1, 2018
Current Location
Hey fellow travelers. I too just started really adventuring I made it from illinois to California in 8 days. Most wonderful. I want to keep going and hit every state. I also learned the harmonica along my way. So if you guys would like another person to tag along and contribute im willing to fill out an application of some sort. Message me and we will figure everything out. Hope to here from you. Be safe and be smart on your travels✌


Aug 19, 2017
Current Location
Anywhere and everywhere
Traveling through the south in the summer is going to be brutal, especially in the desert. If you're set on this route thoug, bring lots of water, a gallon jug each at least.
In terms of safety, having made is good but a better deterrent is wearing a visible knife. In my experience as a woman on the road, a visible weapon works best as creep-deterrent, and then of course having mace as a backup...
Bring an instrument if you play any. Quiker rides and better kickdowns, plus it passes the long long times of waiting

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