Seeking Community Input on the 2nd Edition of the Anarchist's Guide To Travel (1 Viewer) Seeking Help Active Project 

Matt Derrick

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Hey folks, so it's been just under three years since The Anarchist's Guide to Travel was published, and even before it was published I knew I would be doing a second edition because I did rush a few small things to get it printed in time for the 2017 Dirty Scouts Jamboree. With the pandemic going on and being stuck in Austin, Texas saving up money for my next project (a van conversion), I find myself with the extra time needed to improve upon the current information and expand upon the book in several ways.

If you're not familiar with it, please check out this page I created for the project with more information.

Revision goals

I have four main goals in revising the current book:
  1. I'm updating a lot of the mentioned resources, as some of them are no longer relevant, helpful or exist at all (i.e. certain websites that are no longer around).
  2. Adding/updating photos that appear in the book. This especially pertains to the train hopping section, as I would like update the photos in that section with ones that are more detailed or better show what the text is describing.
  3. Adding travel stories to each chapter. The current edition only has one travel story in it at the beginning, explaining how I got into this crazy world and how it led to StP, etc. My current idea is to add one story per chapter, each story related to the subject of that chapter. (Cancelled for reasons discussed below).
  4. Expanding on the concepts of 'travel philosophy', i.e. WHY people should travel. How travel expands your horizons, improves your ability to empathize with others, etc.
Estimated completion date

My goal is to have the 2nd edition finished by the end of 2021 (so, in about two and a half months). Anyone interested can also see the changes I have planned on this Trello project board:

https://trello.com/b/L0VIhyL8/agt-2nd-edition

Free version of the 1st edition

It has always been my goal to release a PDF/epub version of the 1st edition of this book for free. Once the 2nd edition is live and ready to purchase, I will be posting the PDF/epub version of the 1st edition to the StP library for anyone to download and share, for free. This way folks that can't afford the book have an option to have this information compiled in one place (in addition to the information in the forums which is always free), and if you want the version with the latest information, etc, you can support me by purchasing the 2nd edition.

Differences - 1st vs 2nd editions

To be clear, the differences between the two should be about 30%; meaning 70% of what you'll find in the 2nd edition will be found in the 1st, and 30% will be new or updated content not found in the first edition. I'm guessing the 2nd edition should be around 30-40 pages of additional content (the 1st edition is 242 pages).

Your input is really important to me!

This time around I am asking for help from the StP community in improving this guide as I work on it. To facilitate that, I have put 100% of the book on Google Docs, where anyone can suggest edits or make comments that will be applied to the 2nd edition printing:


I'm always seeking input from anyone with useful information to share, especially if you've read my book before and have specific input you think would be beneficial. If you'd like to contribute, please reply to this thread! I'm always open to suggestions, so if you have an idea that you think would work for this book, again, please let me know, I'd be happy to talk to you about it!
 
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Matt Derrick

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I forgot to explain this part:

Adding travel stories to each chapter. The current edition only has one travel story in it at the beginning, explaining how I got into this crazy world and how it led to StP, etc. My current idea is to add one story per chapter, each story related to the subject of that chapter. (Cancelled for reasons discussed below).

I am working on a new book after the AGTv2 is published that will be an anthology of travelers stories collected from people in the community (in addition to a few of my own). This project doesn't have a title yet.

It would be kind of silly to put all my stories in the AGT when I have a project like this just on the horizon, so to keep things simple and not turn the AGT into a 500 page tome, I'm saving those stories for this new book. Work will begin on it in early 2022.
 
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RoadFlower33

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I forgot to explain this part:



I am working on a new book after the AGTv2 is published that will be an anthology of travelers stories collected from people in the community (in addition to a few of my own). This project doesn't have a title yet.

It would be kind of silly to put all my stories in the AGT when I have a project like this just on the horizon, so to keep things simple and not turn the AGT into a 500 page tome, I'm saving those stories for this new book. Work will begin on it in early 2022.


so idea, in place of actual stories in the begining of each section or topic, maybe place parts of stories partaining to the subject or particular picture. ie a snip of a story about a time you had to walk five miles unexpectedly and you had plenty of sox or you did not... idk just a thought, bc i do like the idea of putting into prespective the information thats been given. also i own the first book and will definatly read it again to freshin up and give you my opinion for sure. honestly its all prety streight forward,basic and monotonous to you myself and a lot of the other stp community, you coverd everything prety well imo and i could hardly say i could emprove it at all. but i do have a green horn rubber tramping with me now that has also read your book and im sure she has some questions and things that could be coverd idk. i am also mentoring a couple young lads about to get out of high school. i introduced them to stp with the instructions to make an account be active and read. they wanted to barrow the book as well so now ill put them on the mission of taking notes on what they would like to see in it as well. its good to be back! thanks for the invie for feedback, ill be buying the second copy for sure.
 

MetalBryan

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Glad about the update. I imagine there are a lot of resources that have changed even over 4-5 years. As someone who has purchased the first edition (and after reading, deposited in the free library next to the middle school hahaha) my best contributions are things that might make me purchase the 2nd edition. The main thing would be updating these resources but also in a way that takes advantage of the printed page, making the book somehow more valuable as opposed to just an alternative to hopping on StP to search topics.

One thing for new folks that might be helpful is a couple of blank forms at the end of the book - a page layout for journaling. Printing a 2nd story in the book, taken from the Featured section of the site as an example, could be broken down into a layout for folks who want help learning how to write on the road. Perhaps the gear checklist could be reworked as an actual checklist. I personally like cartography - documenting travels or sites with maps could be another thing that could be done with a physical book. If folks tend to pass this book along to other travelers it would be nice if there was stuff in there that was personalized by the readers/owners.

Travel Philosophy #4 is a good one to keep updated too. For example, the rise in popularity of rubber tramping and WFH jobs - and more importantly the normalization of these things some of us had to work hard at or suffer through. Trends in housing might be an interesting thing to philosophize about in the squatting section. It'd be neat if there was an industrious person that had a lot of sci-fi style ideas for the "alternate forms of travel" section of StP and then you'd have a Jetsons thing to look back at and laugh. This is your book and it's well seasoned, so there's no reason to avoid being didactic in this part of the book. You won't write Matt's Top 5 Travel Rules, but I'd be more interested to see a concrete philosophy as opposed to updated suggestions.

Good luck :)
 

BobDole

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One thing I would like to see in the 2nd edition, is mention of the Free Little Library program. Possibly put it under the "Entertainment" category if there is one. I have been building my own library in my storage unit (10x15) and have 5,100 books (a quarter of those are self-printed). Management of them is fairly easy (though mice do pass through the unit, and leave some turds). I wrote "Locker into Library: Turning a Storage Unit into a Personal Library", and plan for the second edition to be out soon (about halfway through writing it). It (the unit) is my only real expense in life, and I am very happy with it. While I am aware that not many are willing to follow in my footsteps, I think mentioning the Free Little Library program (now with over 100,000 free libraries in the USA) would be a fantastic edition to the 2nd edition of AGT.

Like others, I suggest updating some sections, as some things have changed. I would also (like MetalBryan) like to see some more philosophy behind each of the methods of travel. I am big into bike living, and would like to see some tips on building a bike camper, or properly stocking pannier bags, and a breakdown of sizes and weights, as well as materials (materials being for the bike camper pull behind).

While Im at it, I wanted to mention that some people live more stationary nomadic lives. One of those being living in Storage Units. While this is illegal just about everywhere, I still see it. Train hopping is illegal, and yet we speak on it a fair bit, so why not add Storage Unit living as a category in the alternative section? It doesn't have to be long, just a quick mention with basic dos and don'ts.

Just my three cents on the matter. Good luck with the 2nd edition. I will make sure to purchase a copy as soon as it comes out!

Edit: I forgot to mention, I would love to see any mention of sub- $400 bicycles, specifically the cheap $100 ones you can get at Walmart. Not everyone has $400 to spend on a bike, especially if you need to get out of dodge after your $400+ bike has been stolen.

I know Im throwing a lot of my opinion out there, but one last thing (I think). I'd love to see a section on taking over a spot of vacant or deep into the woods land. Many of us dream of owning land, but depending on our state/region, it might be expensive. I dream of (assuming I am unable to afford land) being able to go deep into the middle of nowhere, and building an underground earthbag home, or even small cabin. I'd like to see discussion of that.
 
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Crazy Hobo Johnny

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For train routes, should mention the route from Chicago via Wisconsin to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.

There's no name for this route. If one wants to get to the High Line Route from Chicago, they would hop on a Canadian Pacific travel through Wisconsin to get to Minnesota or the other way around. Maybe it should be called in the future, the Wisconsin High Line Route, just my 2 cents! CHJ
 

ali

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One thing off the top of my head is that i think it might be worth putting a bit more emphasis on is the usefulness of a smartphone and making sure all your electronics (e.g. headlamp, radio scanner) are USB chargeable so you only need to carry one charger or battery pack around.

I also think it would be cool to write a bit more about what motivates people to travel. Right now the section in the introduction feels a bit like evangelism (travel "completely" changes you, everyone has to try it once etc), whereas i think there might be more nuanced reasons why people travel. And also different people have a different idea of what "travel" is, so for one person they might be happy going a thousand miles then settling down for a while working or getting to know the local scene, whereas someone else might get antsy and never want to stay in a single spot longer than a day or two - at most! Some people just like the feeling of going somewhere, so the journey is more important than the destination, whereas others want to seek out and experience specific places or events. There's no right way, of course. Perhaps it would be interesting to discuss the benefits and disadvantages to different philosophies of travel.
 

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I see that your going to put out that 2nd edition of your book. In the book it says Ash Tuesday. It's Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras day) and Ash Wednesday (The day after Mardi Gras), and the Monday before Mardi Gras is Lundi Gras. It's better to go out on Lundi Gras, stay up all night till Mardi Gras day. Because at midnight on Mardi Gras they start running people off the streets. On Burbon St. the police run people off with a line of horses. On Lundi Gras, you can do an all nighter. Hell, if you got the energy, you can start on the Friday before Mardi Gras. That's what I use to do for years. The idea is, you go out on Fat Tuesday and commit all your sin's, then on Ash Wednesday you go to church and repent and a priest put's a cross made of ashes on your fohead. I know right. Only in New Orleans.
 

coyote mogollon

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Hitching esp for women: Never just jump into a vehicle, even after 3 friggin days outsida Bumfuckville w no ride. When someone does stop, Scan the car to suss potential issues. (I once climbed into a rig before spotting the AR15 in the back. I was lucky brotha was very cool outsida being a gun freak.) Before climbing in, open up with a smile and brief polite chat about where drivers headed. This bc you don't wanna be let off in a shitty place, and to suss out drivers overall vibe. KNOW THIS: you can hitch ANYWHERE a vehicle can be found. It'd in fact be cool shout out for crazy hitch stories n include them as examples for what topics discussed
 

ali

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Not sure where to put this, but there is one tip in the book about packing smaller bags inside your backpack, and i think that could go a little further. Something i have found very useful is making sure that every smaller bag is made of a different material, that is... one canvas bag, one vinyl/leather bag, one nylon bag, one ziplock, one with a drawstring, one with a zipper etc. This makes it much easier to pull the right thing out when it's dark because you can identify the minibags by touch.

Another little tip that i've noticed, especially down here in the bayous/swamp, is that different sleep setups are useful for different environments. Like, a hammock would be useful here because there are relatively a lot of trees and sometimes the ground is wet and boggy. But it's not useful at all in the prairies because there are no trees. And i think a tent might be more comfortable than a bivy in the prairies because it provides a bit of wind shelter. Or... water filter is super-useful in mountainous areas with lots of fast-flowing creeks and rivers, but not so much in the prairies or farmland. Or, if you're able to get into an RV campsite (paid or stealth) it might be useful to have an adapter to convert that 50A plug into a normal plug. The point being that there is no right set of gear for all occasions, so it's worth considering the pros and cons of each option and if it suits your likely destinations.

Oh, and on websites, i've found Campendium more useful than Freecampsites.net for me, because it also includes some cheap places like city lakes where you can camp for a few bucks, and it has less of those "parking spot at Walmart" entries, which is less useful as a cyclist.

One more edit: Roadside America is another useful resource along the lines of Atlas Obscura. It feels a bit more grassroots-y to me.
 
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frigusoris

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Funny, I just re read my copy and was browsing through again last night haha. I'll definitely be picking up version 2, I was debating grabbing a backup version 1.

As far as suggestions, I'm Canadian so a few more international mentions would be cool. I realize this isint really possible without collaboration though.

An expanded gear section would be of interest to me, but again that highly depends where one is located.

Less reliance on internet links that are impossible to type out. Maybe point to an easy to type page here for any link? That way they are easily updated any time.

Haven't been around here lately, but I'm starting to plan a bit of a bike trip next spring/summer and I know this place is a fantastic resource for a thrifty traveller.
Best of luck with your new edition!



As a side note, to purchase the book from etsy would have cost me nearly 4 time what I paid from Amazon...

Much as I hate them, free shipping on a book for 13 dollars is better than 30 bucks shipping on the same book for 10 dollars. Hope the second edition will be available for an affordable international rate.
 

Matt Derrick

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An expanded gear section would be of interest to me, but again that highly depends where one is located.
I'm down to do that, was there a specific type or category of gear you think should be covered?

Less reliance on internet links that are impossible to type out. Maybe point to an easy to type page here for any link? That way they are easily updated any time.
That is an excellent idea. I think I'll create a directory of links online (with an easy to remember url) and in the book and put them as foot notes in the text instead of full links.

As a side note, to purchase the book from etsy would have cost me nearly 4 time what I paid from Amazon...
Oh, I'm aware... unfortunately I don't have any control over that. I'm constantly struggling with Etsy and their available shipping options. The reason Amazon shipping is so cheap is because they have special arrangements with shippers that Etsy doesn't have. So I'm kind of at the mercy of the options Etsy gives me. I wish they had better international shipping options :(

Thank you for the input, I will apply your suggestions to the 2nd edition!
 

Matt Derrick

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Oh, and on websites, i've found Campendium more useful than Freecampsites.net for me, because it also includes some cheap places like city lakes where you can camp for a few bucks, and it has less of those "parking spot at Walmart" entries, which is less useful as a cyclist.

One more edit: Roadside America is another useful resource along the lines of Atlas Obscura. It feels a bit more grassroots-y to me.
Thank you for the suggestion, I will add this to my list of items to research which you can see on the trello board i have for tracking the project.
 

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