I first hitchhiked in 2010, then hitchhiked for most of my free time from 2011-2014, then did less hitchhiking after that. These days I prefer to travel by freight trains, bicycles, and motorized bicycle, and I recommend you do the same.
My biggest contributions to hitchwiki included creating pages for some US states, researching and compiling the laws pertaining to hitchhiking for all 50 states and some federally regulated areas, and sharing some experiences and opinions from hitchhiking on each state page.
Hitchhiking is a great way to travel for free if you are prepared and aware of the risks. Only you can decide what risks are acceptable. Hitchhikers are notoriously vulnerable to violent crime. Refuse to be a victim. Take a picture of your rides' license plates and your rides' faces and send them to someone. Trust your instincts. Carry pepper spray and any other defense tools you are comfortable with that are legal. Wear a seat belt. In the US, there is one accident fatality for every million miles a vehicle is driven. That ratio is probably higher for you since people who pick up hitchhikers may take more risks.
Map of every road I hitchhiked from 2010 to September 2014 here (Blue is hitchhiked, Red is train hopped)
accumulated hitched miles 2011-2014 110,200 miles
- 2011: 12,000 miles
- 2012: 31,900 miles
- 2013: 23,400 miles
- 2014: 42,900 miles
- 2015-2017: probably 50,000 miles. I stopped keeping track after 2014.
Longest ride: 3,250 miles--Glacier View Alaska to Bakersfield, California
Second longest ride: 2,900 miles--Flagstaff, Arizona to New York City including various scenic detours.
States of America hitched in: 50
Provinces/Territories of Canada hitched in: 8
States of Mexico hitched in: 19
Most rides caught in a row with no one passing me: 4
Times picked up by people who claimed to be serial killers: 3
Favorite hitchhiked ride: Pilot picked me up and let me steer his plane in Ohio
Fun fact: One out of every 450 Americans has driven by me while I hitchhiked. Calculated by estimation of (total miles hitchhiked in United States) divided by (average distance of a ride) = (total # of rides), then (total # of rides) multiplied by (average vehicles passing per hour) multiplied by (average wait time in hours before getting a ride) = total number of people who drove by me, then (population of United States) divided by (total # of people who drove by me).
http://www.youtube.com/user/thewindanrain -- My Youtube channel