Talk:Hitchhiking Zine

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moved from User Talk:Guaka

I was hoping no one would think it was presumptuous to post a picture of myself, but it was the only one I had of a Liftplaats. I also didn't think about the file name, that's just the name my camera gave it. I'll keep that in mind next time. I do have more pictures. I'll look through and see if I can find anything useful.

It's great! It's very illustrative and I hope other people will start adding pictures as well. I'm looking forward to it!

On another note, I'd like to know what you think about a project I want to work on and maybe get some help. While I was traveling around Europe and Morocco for the last two months, practicing my own style of "budget travel" and talking with other travelers, I had an idea. I only paid for one place to stay for the entire time I was in Europe, and slept in parks and other improv places nearly the entire time. Food was similar, I generally didn't pay for much of it. While doing all this I realized that guide books like Lonely Planet (especially LP!) didn't really have any place in a rucksack like mine, the only useful information it really provided was maps and sometimes a bus route or something. But anyway, me and some other travelers I met thought that it would be really cool if someone made a DIY travel 'zine guide instead of the typical guidebook.

I thought long and hard about the magnitude of such a project, and started taking notes on the sort of information I thought useful that didn't create bloat and take away all the adventure from travel. Needless to say, I didn't get near enough information for a zine because I was too busy traveling to write about traveling. I decided the only practical way to do it would be online open content, like a Wiki. I thought about starting my own, and I still consider it, but it would take ages to build a wealth of knowledge like what already exists here. So, my question is would you be interested in working with me to edit down a "cream of the crop" of this wiki for printing in zine format? I'm thinking 50 sheets, center folded. Standard photocopy zine format. I would want to do it for non-profit of course. Hitchhikers don't have money for guides! If you're interested, I have a little experience with zine pressing and we could mail them out for like $2 a peice or something to help fund this site further and the pressing of the zines. Just let me know. --Zac Stewart 23:49, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, I guess you might have heard of CouchSurfing? :)
I've actually started the CouchSurfing Wiki in August. One of the things happening on the CS Wiki is the CouchSurfing Guide. I think your ideas fit perfectly well to it. Just check out some pages. I started adding dumpster dive info, and many articles have links to the Hitchhiking Wiki. You are very welcome to participate. It's not yet Creative Commons now, but I think it will be. I just didn't want to take that decision on my own. I just suggest people to use a template on their User profile stating that their contributions are available under both CC and GFDL.
Also, Amylin will be arriving at the New Zealand CouchSurfing Collective soon, she had her own zine for a while! And she's hitchhiking a lot these days! :) GuakaTalkCS 00:44, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Let's start Hitchhiking Zine (rename if you wish) :) GuakaTalkCS 00:46, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Awesome. You have the same mindset I have on this. Me and my friend Derek were talking about this throughout our trip about how if we wrote Europe on a Shoestring we'd review the best dumpsters and places to get food for free, and best parks and stuff instead of restaraunts and hostels. This could really go places. I don't know of many works of this nature since Ken Welsh's Hitchhiker's Guide to Europe. I had done some scratch work and though Travel or Die kept in the zine tradition (spinoff of Skate or Die) but I'm not really concerned about titles and stuff. Content and organization is more important at this point of course. I do have some good design/production ideas, but again, that's not important at this point. --Zac Stewart 08:15, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi. Good idea. More info on how to get around for free is definately needed. There is also this website on Europe with the same idea. Though not a wiki, it uses random editors and has some good info. Worth to take a look [1] Robino


Alright, I've given some thought to what information needs to be included and how it needs to be arranged. I think this zine needs to be a little more comprehensive than the Hitchhiking Wiki. Not because the Wiki is lacking, but because it's a slightly broader project. Instead of having just information about getting to and from places, I thought it would be helpful to include specifics in each town about eating, sleeping and a LITTLE bit about seeing and doing things. Not like an LP guide, giving addresses and coordinates on a map for each museum, but just mentioning what there is to see and do amidst a breif description of the town. Listing all the attractions with directions to get to them and map coordinates is a complete waste because never have I seen a city that didn't make it impossible to miss every attraction. All mentioning them would do is give you some idea of what sort of city it is to help you decide if you want to go or not. All rambling aside, here's how I thought the templet would look. Please modify it if you have an improvement.


Brief introduction: history, attractions, etc...

Information Internet access, tourist office (if helpful, ie free maps, etc...), public toilets.

Eat Good dumpsters, stores that give away/throw out leftover food at closing time, soup kitchens...

Sleep Well-reviewed parks, alleys, places where you wont be bothered by either drunks or police, homeless missions, your house!

Get Out Information for all directions, how to get to the motorway/highway, public transportation (if needed), places to stand, sign suggestions, maybe wait times.


I'm not sure where we should start compiling information. We could start another free wiki, or we could just try to format the pages in this one to include that information. After we figure that out, I think we should just get as much information as possible, and then vote on what gets included in the pressing via nominations. I'd like to include as much as possible, but we're going to have to keep it under 50 pages probably. It gets too difficult to bind once you have too many. In the future (or even now, if everyone thought it was a good idea) if it goes well, we could publish several zines, one for each continent or something.

To start with, I think it would be best to just have a Europe zine, simply because we have the most information on Europe. I don't want the zine to get a Eurocentric review, but it would be difficult for us to publish one on South America or Africa based on the information we have right now. Starting with Europe would let us get our feet wet without too much painstaking effort for a first attempt.

Let me know what you all think.

Zac Stewart 18:53, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I recommend for the first Zine starting with a popular travel region, like Western or Eastern Europe... something smaller than a whole continent but bigger than a country. This would make it easier to concentrate on all the most important things to share about cities, travel routes, etc, for a hitchhiking/backpacker without bogging them down with extra info in regions they will not be traveling. My idea for a free PDF version is great for hitchhikers, because it allows the zine to be 'disposable'. After the hitchhiker moves through a region, he or she can throw away the old version (or better yet, give it to another traveller) then get to a library or internet cafe to print out a copy of the one for the current travel region.

So... could we create a sub-wiki within Hitchwiki? Where Hitchwiki entries could be nominated to be included within the hitchhiking zine wiki, then voted on for final inclusion in the paper zine? A last note-- to modify a religious axiom... I like the idea of teaching a hitchhiker to fish rather than handing them the frigging fish. By this I mean- why tell people where the best place to dumpster is, or give away a great, hidden sleeping spot? Places to catch rides or where to get internet access is great, but otherwise teach in the zine HOW to find hidden resources and places but not WHERE. Overuse causes certain resources to dry up fast, especially in this information age where businesses or civil services keep tabs on what is being said about them and eliminate or police the resource to prohibit use. Just an idea... we are do-it-yourselfers... anyone who needs the road and all its wonders handed to them in detailed form probably should not be on the road to begin with. ;) Salman 01:49, 2 December 2006 (CET)

I like your thinking! I would like to do Western Europe. We have the most data on it, and it's probably the most popular backpacker area. I recently got a copy of Ken Welsh's old Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe and I don't really want to model after it, but I do like a lot of how it's done and I can't of want to use it as an example. Not a bloat of information, but not boring. As for a sub-Wiki, I can open one on a free wiki site or something. We might not even need to do that. I think we should just work on the wiki here and nominate pages, and after we're decided just design the zine straight from what we have here. Zactalk 07:00, 2 December 2006 (CET)
Definitely keep it on this Wiki. We can create a Zine: namespace or something. Guaka 23:28, 2 December 2006 (CET)

That would be really cool. Go ahead and do that and on pages that seam to have enough information, we can add the namespace link to it's corresponding Zine: page. The zine page would just be the "cream of the crop" in a set template form. Zactalk 05:20, 3 December 2006 (CET)
Or maybe we should use Article Name/Zine? That's probably easier. We can use categories to keep things structured. Guaka 09:09, 3 December 2006 (CET)

Taking a few steps... seriously...

Okay, I've been careful not to try and "steer" this project alone by giving time for everyone to discuss the direction, but I don't think anyone has expressed any objections to only inlcuding Western Europe since we have an abundance of information on that area, I'd also like to include Southern Europe on that same principal. Anyhow, I'd like to say that's decided, however if you want to argue against it I'll be glad to take your viewpoint into consideration. Now, I'm going to start collecting information from these pages and adding in information from other sources that we don't include on this wiki as well. If anyone feels an affinity for a particular country, city, region, etc and you want to write a piece, please do. I don't want this zine to be all facts, I'd like some personal perspectives and a reasonable amount of the pronound "I" included. I'll explain my idea further later this week. For now I'm going to start putting together a few pages so I can develope a template. Peace. Zactalk 05:03, 13 December 2006 (CET)

Very cool! This is definitely a do-ocracy, don't wait too long for people to say go ahead. :) Some remarks though
  • I think it's best not to have 2 versions of the same thing. So London/Zine should maybe just contain everything that is extra, and not the hitchhiking stuff? Or maybe we can include Sleep and Eat and there should be only one London article :)
  • I think "I" is very confusing with so many different writers. It will also make people less tempted to edit. It seems a better idea to continue what we've started on this wiki: just talk about yourself in 3rd person. Guaka thinks that is the way to go for article space, and also for the zine. Guaka 05:53, 13 December 2006 (CET)
Alright. I think I went ahead maybe an hour too fast. I already created about three Zine/ pages, I didn't really work that much so it's not a big waste. The only difference with what's on the wiki and what's going into the zine is that the zine is going to have a little more than we have on here at the moment, and of course the Wiki links wont be any good in print, so on the Zine/ pages I did almost everything as it would apear in print. But what you said makes sense and I don't want to create double of everything. I'm more or less looking for a way to organize my thoughts in a way that I can visualize what I'm doing, while still making it open to the public. Maybe I should just work on it in my publishing software, and every week release a copy to the "Zine Team" (whoever's signed up to help) with notes on the changes I've made so that they don't have to read over the entire thing. Zactalk 06:46, 13 December 2006 (CET)


Hey guys. You might have noticed my annoying templates on a few pages about the zine. I'm finally starting to pull pages and put them all into a big file. I'm doing all this with open source software so that everything stays in the spirit. I'm using OpenOffice just to compile and edit all the information and then I'm probably going to use either Scribus or Inkscape to publish it. Such great programs come with Linux... One thing I need though is a source of free maps. Google maps are nice but I don't think you can print and republish them. I've looked into the Wikimedia Commons and they have some alright stuff, but if anyone knows of a good open atlas, let me know. Oh, yeah. I'm going to upload like a weekly update of what I have so that everyone can see and comment on it's progress. Anyone know where I could do this?Zactalk 18:07, 29 April 2007 (CEST)

For free maps, you should check out However the coverage is very bad yet.
I can give you webspace for uploading. Do you need some special software for the commenting stuff? Maybe you can just upload in to hitchwiki. --MrTweek 20:41, 29 April 2007 (CEST)
Thanks for that link. That could be useful. I don't really think I'll need webspace. I can either upload them to [2] or even just add them to the wiki. I'll try both ways and put the link on the article. Zactalk 04:51, 30 April 2007 (CEST)

Another update... Not much is noticeable from the page, I know, but I have been working pretty hard on getting this done. I've made a commitment to get at least two cities done a day, but I hope to get a lot more than that done. I took a little break from the editing and worked on some publishing ideas, which you can read about on the page, but I'm back to work editing now. I hope to have that part done soon so I can do the fun stuff. That is, laying out the pages in Scribus and adding maps and whatnot. I would have this done already, but unfortunately I'm in a factory 8 hours every night working the graveyard shift to pay off the disaster that was my last trip and try to get enough money to see Ecuador this Fall.

If we decide to print this as a paperback or something, I'd be willing to front the costs I think. I'm trying to get a DIY publishing project started. I want to carry zine's and stuff like that so this project would be a good way to get that started. I don't care about making a profit, I just want to complete a project that has meaning for me. We could also try getting Microcosm and other publishers to carry it. I have webspace we can use for the free PDF version and e-commerce tools if we wanted to sell a book version. I'd give proceeds to the Hitchwiki for hosting costs if there were any. If anyone is opposed to that, let me know, I'm always nervous about money matters that involve groups and I don't want to deviate from our principles.

Also, I want the zine to be Open, obviously, but would we have to inlcude the GFDL in the zine? That will take up a good bit of space. Is it possible to release it under CC? Zactalk 15:28, 11 June 2007 (CEST)

I think it would be enough, to include a link to an online-version of the GFDL and also a link to hitchwiki. As far as I know it is not possible to release it under CC (Guaka probably knows better).
Do you think you actually can make profit from it? I guess there is rather a risk of losing money than gaining some. However, I would suggest using it for any hitchhiking-related project (Maybe found an ngo or something for that). The costs of hitchwiki are very low and at the moment I wouldn't know how to make it better with more money. Otherwise, use it for your Ecuador-trip ;) --MrTweek 16:38, 11 June 2007 (CEST)

Okay. I didn't really know what the hosting situation of the hitchwiki was. If there was a profit, I wouldn't use it for my own trip though. I'd feel bad if I did that. I would either use it for funding a hitchhiking related project like you said, or just put the money back into my publishing project and then maybe have a little bit more to work with if we decide to do more editions. But all that is supposing there actually is any profit, so I'm probably getting ahead of myself. I really don't care if it makes any money or not. I'm more interested in seeing the zine succeed and get used by lots of people than make money. If the zine went well, then it would create more possibilities for my publishing group in the future. I have a few more zine ideas, and if this one worked, then maybe people would be interested in more. Zactalk 19:27, 11 June 2007 (CEST)

Do you have a roadmap when you want to be finished? Because I'm going to hitchhike through Ireland in ~3 weeks, so I will probably contribute some content in August (Ireland has very few). So it probably would make sense to compile this at last. --MrTweek 08:42, 19 June 2007 (CEST)

That would be very helpful, because we have nothing on Ireland. I was sort of hoping to have it done by the end of the summer, because I'm going to Ecuador in September, but we'll just see what happens. Maybe I'll just get it mostly done by then, mill it over in my head while I'm in Ecuador to make sure it's right and then publish it. However, fret not if it's done before then. I hope to see several editions of this come out. Zactalk 15:26, 19 June 2007 (CEST)

I think it may be best to swap Greece with the Czech Republic for sake of contiguity and also because we have a lot more data on Czech than we do on Greece (practically none). I'm going to go ahead and implement that change, discuss if you disagree... Zactalk 10:32, 7 July 2007 (CEST)

Project dead?

I see this page was last changed in July 2007. Is this nice project dead? Would be sad. So if you really want to get this project back to life, i would offer myself to help you with book layouting and also can add information for Trier, Germany which you will find in most comemrcial travel guides because of the unesco world heritage stuff here. --Quarim 14:29, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

So sad to see this project is dead :( If someone wants revive this project, I'll gladly help! you can just talk with me on this site or u can dm at @thelasterden on insta --Salca