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This is an incomplete overview of hitchhiking in media. Please add books you read, and more.


Hitchhiking in literature:

  • 'A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow': An American Hitchhiking Odyssey by Tim Brookes 2001. A hitching journey cross the USA. In English.
  • Carsick by John Waters. 2014. A memoir of cross-country hitchhiking journey from Baltimore to San Francisco. In English.
  • Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Europe by Ken Welsh: outdated but contains great information for Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the "Communist countries." Was the inspiration for the title of Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In English.
  • No Such Thing as a Free Ride? A Collection of Hitchers' Tales. Compiled by Simon and Tom Sykes (Great Britain: Cassell Illustrated, 2005). A 192 pg. compilation of hitch-hiking lore and experience, contributed by more than a hundred, from both sides of the experience, mainly British. A great sampling. In English.
  • Derelict Days... Sixty years on the Roadside Path to Enlightenment by Irv Thomas. (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004). Personal tales from across a 60-year span of American (and some European) hitch-hiking, in a 226-page text. Mostly written at the time of each adventure, these highlight the consciousness-raising aspect of the experience. Included is a newspaper account of the earliest American hitch-hiker on record (1916). In English.
  • The Hitchhiking Grandmother by Grace Small, as told to Ruth Barton Davis (Forest Grove, OR: Pilgrim Way Press, 1990). Quite remarkable life story of a 46-year old woman who took up hitch-hiking in 1941, indulging her adventurous spirit thusly for some 25 years, both in the US and Europe. The 200-page book is cheaply obtainable on In English.
  • Off the map - A punk rock vision quest told in the tradition of the anarchist travel story, Off the Map is narrated by two young women as they discard their maps, fears, and anything resembling a plan, and set off on the winds of the world. This story is told with genuine hope, and a voice that never loses its connection with the mysteries of life. OTM.
  • Norton's Ghost (2010) - A novel rooted heavily in homelessness and hitchhiking. His world thrown into doubt with the death of his father, Kyle Dearmond takes to hitchhiking, where he finds meaning, friends, and a new direction despite the chaos of the wandering road. Website. The book is also available under a Creative Commons by-nc-nd License. Download
  • Round Ireland with a fridge, a book by the British journalist Tony Hawks telling the story of his hitchhiking trip around Ireland (with a fridge)
  • On The Road, Kerouac's classic written in 1951, about his road trips in the US, has been an inspiration to many hitchhikers ever since.
  • Travels With A Road Dog: Hitchhiking Along the Roads of the Americas is a memoir describing the experiences of a young woman who gave away her belongings in the 1990's to hitchhike around the United States, Mexico, the Bahamas and Venezuela. Along the way she picks up a dog for a hitchhiking companion. This memoir describes her journey of road life that lasted almost five years.
  • The Tao of Hitch-hiking by Marty Segal. With the hitch-hiker's road as the laboratory, The Proof and Technique of Human Energy Transfer, The Quantum Theory of Fleeting Encounters, Non-electronic Information Highways, The Suppressed Significance of Godel's Theorem, Perfect Recall and Creativity, and dozens of Peoples' Wisdoms fuse into a Science Of Living. In English.
  • One People One Planet by Andre Brugiroux (Oneworld, 1994) is an account of an 18 year journey of discovery on the road that took the author through 135 countries and over 250,000 miles.
  • Riding with Strangers by Elijah Wald. The tale of a crosscontinental hitchhiking trip mixed with philosophical reflections about hitchhiking and memories of past trips.
  • Bill Bryson - A Walk in the Woods
  • Robert Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenanc
  • Jacob Holdt - American Pictures
  • Colin Flaherty - Redwood to Deadwood
  • Jon Krakauer - Into the Wild
  • Katia Noyes - Crashing America
  • Cheryl Strayed - Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Tom Robbins - Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
  • Richard Grant - Ghost Riders

List of books at


  • In Russian there are a lot of books about hitchhiking, Praktika Volnyh Puteshestvyi by Anton Krotov being the most famous and according to many essential reading material for hitchhiking in Russia - if you read Russian that is.



Book Reviews

Carsick by John Waters 2014

Part 1, the best possible. Part 2, the worst possible. Part 3, the truth. It was a good read. I'm not extremely familiar with his work as a director, though have heard stories, and he does reference a lot of pop culture material. So it's a little hitch hiking novelty experience, a little namedropping, and a little fantasy. Beautifully short chapters dividing every ride. A book to be savored, read sparingly and daily. Enjoy! -Reese

Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Europe by Ken Welsh 1977

I think that the book really does some injustice to some countries. Not a source I would want to discuss when traveling to certain areas of Europe. But all the praises to first part of the book instructing all of us how to hitchhike. -Bojan


News articles

Some links to hitchhiking in the news media. See Google News for some current news items.


Video Games

Year Game Genre Publisher Original platform(s) Metacritic Score
2021 Road 96 Adventure, Action DigixArt PC, Switch 79%
2021 Hitchhiker Mystery, Adventure Versus Evil PC, Switch, Playstation, Xbox

Scientific articles and research

Author Year Title Published in/at Language Online available
Julian A. Compagni Portis 2015 Thumbs Down: America and the Decline of Hitchhiking Wesleyan University EN yes
Mewes, M 2016 Riding With Strangers, An Ethnographic Inquiry into Contemporary Practices of European Hitchhikers University of Hamburg EN yes
Jahns, W 2016 Und so weiter und so fort – Eine Ausstellung über das Trampen und die Sehnsucht nach Leben Hochschule Mannheim DE yes
Chesters, G, Smith, D 2001 The Neglected Art of Hitch-hiking: Risk, Trust and Sustainability Sociological Research Online 6/3 EN yes
Clifford, MM, Cleary, P 1971 The Odds in Hitchhiking University of Iowa/University of Wisconsin EN yes
Connecticut Legislative Committee 1975 Report of the “Committee To Study The Solicitation Of Rides On Motor Vehicles” Connecticut EN no
Crassweller, P et al. 1972 An Experimental Investigation of Hitchhiking The Journal of Psychology 82, pp. 43-47 EN yes
Dallmeyer, KD et al. 1975 Hitchhiking: a viable addition to a multimodal transportation system? Center for Urban Transportation Studies, University of Colorado at Denver EN no
Delannoy, R 2011 Liften en liftgevers. Een exploratief onderzoek naar vertrouwen tussen onbekenden Universiteit Gent NL yes
DiMaggio, P 1971 Sociability and the Hitchhiker; unpublished honours thesis Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania EN no
Fiedler, J et al. 1989 Anhalterwesen und Anhaltergefahren: unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des “Kurztrampens” BKA-Forschungsreihe Sonderband, Bundeskriminalamt Wiesbaden DE yes
Franzoi, S 1985 Personality Characteristics of the Cross Country Hitchhiker Adolescence 20, pp. 655-668 EN yes
Garner, A 2008 Risk and reward: the (lost?) art of hitchhiking University of Melbourne EN no
Garner, A 2008 Time & The Hitcher University of Melbourne EN no
Graham, Janet 1966 Rule of Thumb for the Open Road Sport's Illustrated 6 June 1966 EN yes
Guéguen, N 2007 Bust Size and Hitchhiking: A Field Study Perceptual and Motor Skills, 105, 1294-1298. (doi: 10.2466/pms.105.4.1294-1298) EN yes
Guéguen, N 2010 Color and Women Hitchhikers’ Attractiveness: Gentlemen Drivers Prefer Red Col Res Appl, 37, 76 – 78, 2012; DOI 10.1002/col.20651 EN yes
Grundstad, R 1982 Anti-hitchhiking Laws Legislative Research, Legislative Administration Committee, Salem, Oregon EN no
James, BH 1966 Helping and Hitchhiking Northwestern University EN no
Johnson, RW, Johnson, JH 1978 A Cross-Validation Of The SN Scale On The Psychological Screening Inventory With Female Hitchhikers University of Wisconsin/University of Utah EN yes
Kath, C 2014 Das Trampen - eine soziale Praxis zwischen Individualtourismus und Lebensstil Augsburg University DE yes
Keck-Szabel, M. 2011 A cheap imitation, or tourist innovation? Polish tourism during state socialism through eastern and western eyes University of California EN yes
Mahood, L. 2014 Hitchin’ a Ride in the 1970s: Canadian Youth Culture and the Romance with Mobility Histoire sociale / Social History, University of Ottowa EN yes
Morgan, CJ et al. 1975 Hitchhiking: Social signals at a distance Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, University of Washington, Seattle EN yes
Mukerji, Chandra 1978 Bullshitting: Road Lore among Hitchhikers University of California EN yes
Müller, A 2013 Trampen als soziale Praxis. Zwischen Individualtourismus und Konsumkritik Universität Wien DE yes
O'Regan, M 2012 Alternative Mobility Cultures and the Resurgence of Hitchhiking In: Fullagar, S et al., 2012; "Slow tourism: experiences and mobilities", pp. 128-142 EN yes
O'Regan, M 2013 Independent Travel: Creative Tactics in the Margins e-Review of Tourism Research (eRTR), Vol. 10, No. 5/6 EN yes
Packer, J. 2008 Hitching the highway to hell: Media Hysterics and the Politics of Youth Mobility. In: Packer, J, 2008: Mobility without mayem. Duke University Press EN yes
Pomazal, RJ, Clore, GL 1973 Helping on the Highway: The Effects of Dependency and Sex Journal of Applied Social Psychology 3, pp.150-164 EN yes
Pudinski, W 1974 California Crimes and Accidents Associated with Hitch-hiking California Highway Patrol, Operational Analysis Section EN yes
Purkis, J 2012 The Hitchhiker as Theorist: Rethinking Sociology and Anthropology from an Anarchist Perspective In: Kinna, R, 2012; "The continuum companion to anarchism", New York EN yes
Rinvolucri, M 1974 Hitch-hiking, or here on hitchwiki self published, London EN yes
Schlebecker, JT 1958 An Informal History of Hitchhiking The Historian 20, pp.305-327 EN yes
Schmauks, D 2003 Nonverbal Interaction between Hitchhikers and Drivers / Nonverbale Interaktion zwischen Trampern und Autofahrern Semiotica 147, 1/4, pp.209-218 / psychosozial 94, pp.119-127 EN / DE yes
Snyder, M et al. 1974 Staring and Compliance: A Field Experiment on Hitchhiking Journal of Applied Social Psychology, University of Minnesota EN yes
Tobin, N, Sexton, S 1972 Attitudes toward and the effects of physical variables on hitchhiking; unpublished masters thesis California State University, San Jose EN no
Trescher, U, König, H 1987 Trampen: bekannt – unbekannt – verkannt. Eine umweltplanerische Untersuchung. Projektarbeit am Institut für Landesplanung und Raumforschung, Hannover DE no
Viard, S 1999 Auto-stop. Approche géographique Université de Paris, Nanterre FR yes
Wechner, B 2001 A Dearth of Research: Does anyone really know anything about hitch-hiking? self published online EN yes
Wechner, B 2003 Experiments in Hitch-hiking: What works best? self published online EN yes
Vivienne Plumb 2012 Hitchhiking: the travelling female body University of Wollongong EN yes
Timo Riekko 2008 Maantieltä verkkoon: liftaus ja sen uudet muodot 2000-luvulla University of Jyväskylä FI no

If you're interested in more articles, we have also a private collection. To get access, contact Mikael ([email protected]).

We also have a mailing list for people interested in scientific research on hitchhiking.

See also