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What has happened to hitchhiking? When I was younger I hitchhiked all over the place. I vowed at the time that if I ever became moble myself, I would always stop and give them a lift. Now with thousands of miles of karmic debt, they have all gone. When I ask, people say " Its too dangerous nowadays " but that`s bs. When I was young you took your chances but now you can photograph the vehicles number plate/driver and send it to your mum before you get in. Plus your phone has gps.
What has happened is the climate of fear. We are all too scared of each other. Movies show serial killers and the news makes us afraid of the outside world. So a great way to get around has been lost to stupidity.

273kelvin 8 Apr 19

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Its quite common in France and considered a bit of a social fais pau not to pick up a hitcher. When I was younger I'd regularly hitch to Hull (from East Lancs) and get a walk on Ferry to all weekend and hitch back to nurse training school for monday. (I hope mi old Dad never reads that.. or my kids for that matter πŸ˜‰ ) I pick up hitchers if I have room.

Not sure about the France thing? My girlfriend and I were stuck in a one horse town (and I think that they ate the horse) called Valliane for 8 hours one summer.

@273kelvin And i was sittign under a tree for two days in the early 1970 outside Ardennes. The drivers could smell I was German and paid me back for the sins of our fathers.


When I was young I hitchhiked a lot, too. Never had a bad experience as a hitchhiker. When I got back ffrom my Army assignment in Berlin, I hitchhiked from New York City to Jacksonville, Florida ( and pocketed my travel pay) Yes, times have changed. The interstate system had a lot to do with the decline of hitchhiking.


Some money-humper probably started spreading false information about the dangers because he thought hitchhiker's were lazy bla bla handouts bla bla socialism dribble drool fart.



I’ve never hitched myselfβ€”I’m 57, so it was getting less common when I was a teenager. I do pick people up, though. I just moved from a literal mountain top, 8 miles from Asheville, 5 from the closest bus stop. If I was heading to town and saw someone, I’d take them.

That sound like just being neighbourly!


Maybe youngsters these days lack that sense of adventure we had.

I hitched all over the country (and spent many a happy Friday night stuck at Knutsford bloody servises) and would always pick up hikers when driving.

With the exception of platers, I never see hikers these days.



way back in the 80's hitched hiked all over the uk trying to "find myself"...for a whole year...loved every minute and had many adventures with male and female drivers...though not what you think except for the female drivers...was an eye opener and with guitar in hand sang many songs and made many friends and made lots of money now and again busking...but would be scared now..way scared...


Statically, violent crime is actually down. However, reporting of violent crimes is way up. It isn't so much that it is mroe dangerous to hitch hike today, as it is people just think it is.

Yes, we do live in a fear based society, which is one of the reasons why religon in the U.S. is so strong. People are afraid.

As far as hitchiking goes, first society says that it is too dangerous to hitch hike. Then if you do hitch hike, they say if somethign bad happens to you it is your own fault, rather than the fault of ht eperson who caused you harm (blaming the victim). Kind of like how a firl woudl get blamed for beign raped becuse of wh tshe wore, instead of blaming the rapist for their actions. In th eend the victim feels shame for havign been victimized.

Religion also uses guilt fear and shame, as ways of distractign peopel from the real root cause fo problems and unhappiness. Victims are confronted with statements like, "Oh, the priest raped you, and what was it that you did to tempt the priest whom we all know is such a good man of god".


I agree, it is safer today with smartphones. It’s more common outside of the US. I’m up for it. I like meeting random people and those willing to help others are the ones you are lucky to share an experience with.


Having done my share of hitchhiking, when I was much younger, I freely admit it was an incredibly stupid thing to have done. I was lucky nothing bad ever happened to me in the process.
It's an unnecessary risk. It has nothing to do with a "climate of fear". It has everything to do with common sense.
There have always been predators just waiting for an opportunity.
Hitchhiking only increases the chances of becoming a statistic, especially for females.
It is most definitely not "a great way to get around".


I agree with you, 273kelvin. I was one of those people hitchhiking all over Europe in the earty 70s. Had some hairy experiences with guys who payment"( ass, grass or gas) but I talked my way out of that.. Most peole were glad to have the company. Here in America, people are scared to stick their thumbs out. I stop and pick them up if we are going the same way. I do not meet many dedicated wanderers anymore, the ones with big backpacks and tents.


To many killers and predators driving around. Not really to many tales of crazed hitch hikers ( though I did pick up an over tweeked meth head once). In California, we started installing solar powered call boxes every few miles on the highways because of women meeting tragic ends after having their car break down.


If you can afford an iPhone and data plan, you can buy a car.

iPhones aren't the only phones that have cameras. I had a cheap Trakphone that had one and it cost me less than $20.00.

@AncientNight I bought a $275 car in Portland OR that took me to Mexico, back to Washington state, across to NYC and Boston, and finally died in NC.

@CallMeDave I've had cars like that. A '61 VW bug that cost me $150.00 comes fondly to my mind. It lasted me 8 months. It paid for itself by lasting as long as it did. Of course, back then, I didn't usually have insurance and I drove like a raving maniac. There was no such things as cell phones or the internet back then, just to give you an idea when that was. (1972)

@AncientNight My Datsun F10 drove in '97. No cell phone or Internet for me yet.
I babied that thing pretty well. In exchange for loyal service. It'd been totalled twice before I got it, and a bear ripped off one of the remaining door in Yosemite while I had it.

Have you seen how much insurance is for a new driver these days? Sure you can get a car for Β£200 but times that by 10 to be legal and with cameras everywhere you need to be.


I agree. I hitchhiked across the country many years ago, and had a great time! I also used to hitchhike around here. You never see anybody doing it anymore.


I live out on old route 66 which is now 285 on the map I see hitchhikers all the time.

And stop?

Route 66 is a very cool road to live by. The grapes of wrath has the best hitchhiking story.


No it is too dangerous today. I would stop and pick up hitches along my way and I hitched myself But then there were no where near the number of guns as we have today. In addition we have absurd gun laws as well as right wing nut jobs. No, I am sorry for those I now pass by, but not today

EMC2 Level 8 Apr 19, 2018

We don`t have gun problem in the UK but still no hitchers


I don't know but I think its because of mobile phones and social media. people can find out when someone else is going their way and you can phone up for a lift.


I agree. I hitchhiked a lot when I was in my teens and twenties and came to no harm. I think it is a climate of fear on both sides - young people are afraid of older people and vice versa.


I used to hitchhike a bit, way back in high school. I was probably about 21 the last time I picked one up. Now I'm afraid of getting tortured to death so some sadistic monster can get his jollies, so nah, sorry.


I try and pick people up, but I've found that so many of them smell really bad I don't want them in my truck.


I hitched a lot back in the 60's and well into the 70's. When I got out of the Marines, I hitched from Beaufort, SC to Long Island where my family was from. The trip only took me about 24 hours, total. I had driven it before, and it took me 16 hours of driving straight through with only stops for gas, food and headcalls. I wouldn't do it today, because the laws have become stricter on hitching and the cops love nothing more than picking on poor hitch-hikers.


Shows like "Criminal Minds"! Actually, the prcentage of perverts, murdereres, etc. tremains about the same, but the population has exploded sothere are of course more of them around.

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