- 1 Introduction
- 2 The longest distances passed on land during the 24 hours period
- 3 Lifetime hitchhiking
- 4 The longest rides with one car
- 5 Most rides taken in 24 hours
- 6 One year hitchhiking record
- 7 The longest journey
- 8 Longest waiting time
- 9 Visited Countries
- 10 The largest deviation done by a driver
- 11 Most picked up hitchhikers
- 12 Reaching the farthest point north
- 13 Reaching the farthest point south
- 14 The highest point on land
- 15 The highest temperature
- 16 The lowest temperature
- 17 The highest speed
- 18 Slowest hitchhiking between two points
- 19 The largest sum of money that was given to a hitchhiker by a driver
- 20 Guiness Book of Records Hitchhiking Entries
- 21 Further references to hitchhiking records
- 22 Suggestions for other possible records
Please pay attention to this fact – these are (mostly) not officially proven records, but claims of hitchhikers regarding their extremes. This list of records is for us – hitchhikers (we should be happy for our colleges, not to be envious!), for novices who do not know anything about hitching, but they are proud of their only travel abroad.
The longest distances passed on land during the 24 hours period
- 2777 km (1736 miles), according to Pavel Trcala, from Czech Republic. Time 28 November 1998 07:30 - 29 November 1998 06:30. The route: Miami to Chicago via Jacksonville (Florida), Savannah (Georgia), Columbia (South Carolina), Asheville (North Carolina), Knoxville (Tennessee), Lexington (Kentucky), Toledo (Ohio), South Bend (Indiana), and Harvey (Illinois). The route was done in five lifts.
- 2750 km, according to [Sapranavicius], member of Vilnius Hitch-hiking Club. Time: 21 August 1996 22:00 – 22 August 1996 22:00 ViaMichelin gives as expected travel time for Almeria - Potsdam: 24 hours and 51 minutes. The route: Almeria (E) – Murcia (E) – Barcelona (E) – Montpellier (F) – Lyon (F) – Frankfurt (D) – Potsdam (D). 4 lifts (Almeria – Montpellier; Montpellier – Lyon; Lion – Salzgitter; Salzgitter – Potsdam). The average speed (including waiting for the ride + a cup of beer in the restaurant): 115 km/h. The maximum speed: 170 km/h.
- 2318.4 km, according to Robert Prins, hitchhiker from the UK. It was done by 4 lifts in Greece, Yugoslavia, Austria and Germany during 20.47 hours. Start of the first lift at the border between Greece and Yougoslavia, end at the Siegburg (south of Köln) motorway service in Germany. The second lift till Remscheid motorway service, just North of Koln. The third – till Ostetal (before Hamburg) and the fourth – till Hamburg Stillhorn motorway service. Note: This record had been included in the 1991 edition of the GBOR. The actual entry on page 179. Full details of the four rides that led to this record can be found here.
- Alexey Vorov, president of the St. Petersburg Autostop League. He has covered about 1,973,650 km (updated: 14th September 2015) by hitchhiking. Hitching experience – from 1977 on. He is still hitchhiking, so it is not the final number.
- Benoit Grieu, French hitchhiker. Started his trip in 1979 and since then all the time on the road. During this trip he has covered about 1,500,000 km. For some years, he hitchhiked more than 100,000 km/year. His current whereabouts are sadly unknown.
- Stephan Schlei. He claims 941,500 km.
The longest rides with one car
- L.J. Gordon from Western Australia. He started from Whitepark Bay Youth Hostel in Northern Ireland, where four Americans in a Combi Van gave him a lift through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Andorra and into Spain. They covered an astonishing 7107 km before parting company. (HGE) Note: This record was copied from Ken Welsh' "Hitchhikers Guide to Europe". L.J. may have recorded the distance as miles in a car with a KM odometer, as the distance seems far too great to be in kilometres.
- Alexey Anofriev from Vladivostok (Russia) hitchhiked from Vladivostok (23 May, 2001) to Shimanovsk (the end of the road) and got a lift to Samara there. From Shimanovsk to Shilka on the railroad platform together with the car and from Shilka to Samara by car (Toyota Celica). Totally it was about 6800 km long lift from 28 May until 4 June! Afterwards, the drivers went to Krasnodar and Alexey hitchhiked on to St. Petersburg. He arrived to St. Petersburg on 7 June, 2001.
- Benoit Grieu, French hitchhiker who hitchhiked about 6000 km in one lift from Anchorage (Alaska) to San Diego (California).
Most rides taken in 24 hours
- The DTSG members Koen de Jong and Stefan Korn had 32 rides during a DTSG-Competition on 02.05.2014 in Germany (between 8am and 11:30pm). The last three rides they catched with another competitor that they met along the way.
One year hitchhiking record
- Benoit Grieu, French hitchhiker during 4 or 5 years (for example 1989, 1993, 1995, 1997) hitchhiked more than 100,000 km per year (in 1995 - 113,000 km).
- Alexey Vorov - 78,800 km in 1991.
- Vilmantas Trumpickas from Vilnius Hitch-hiking Club has covered 56,000 km during the year 2010.
The longest journey
- Benoit Grieu has been hitch-hiking since 1979 and still hitchhiked every day until he disappeared on his way to Nepal in 2011. During these years he covered about 1,500,000 km not staying more than 3 months in one place.
- Expedition “Autocolumbus” by PASL in 17 February 1992 – July 1993. The trip started 4 hitchhikers: Alexey Vorov, Mikhail Dutkevich, Kiril Baranov and Victor Grigor’ev, but only Alexey and Mikhail finished the complete journey. The route was around the world through 25 countries in Europe, Asia, South and North America. The length of the route ~83,000 km.
Longest waiting time
- Alexey Vorov. He waited for a lift 3 days in Chucotka, Far North, Russia to move 50km and then waited another 3 days for the second lift in the Komsomol'skij county till got a lift to Majskij (50 km). The minimum temperature on this travel was -55°C in Tyoplyj Kluch county (Chucotka).
- Benoit Grieu, French hitch-hiker, has hitchhiked in about 170 countries.
- Pavel Trcala, hitchhiker from Czech Republic. He has hitchhiked in 108 countries.
- Anton Krotov has hitchhiked in almost 100 countries, as probably have a few other people, although we do not know their names right now.
The largest deviation done by a driver
- Neringa Raulusonyte and Kristina Zukaite from the Vilnius Hitch-hiking Club. They got a ride from a 55 years old German driver with a Toyota Corolla, which was going just 50 km. However, later he offered them to prolong the lift according to their wishes. The driver gave them a ride using the route Berlin - Frankfurt/M - Koblenz - Luxembourg - Paris - Bruxelles - The Netherlands - Hamburg - Berlin - Torun - Kalvarija - Vilnius. From 2001-08-29 until 2001-09-04 the girls covered 4000 km in the same car. The total deviation from driver's route was - 3950 km (drivers way back is not included).
- 600 km (at least) to one side. It was for three hitch-hikers from the VGTU Tourist Club, Lithuania. The lift was given on the Lithuanian – Polish border. The driver should go to Czech Republic, but after he spoke to one of the hitchhikers, he took them until the German border (Szczecin). After the crossing the German border he went back to Poland and after to Czech Republic. Also he gave them 150 EEK (~11 USD). These hitchhikers were: Vladas Sapranavicius, Jovita Garnyte and Asta Ruzgyte.
Most picked up hitchhikers
- Dieter Wesch, the self-styled 'King of Hitchers', who was spending his Sundays patrolling the Autobahn between Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, giving lifts to hitchers stranded at petrol stations. Every hitcher should sign in his guest-book. There was given a number from the guest-book - 9528. It's probably not a final number.
- Jim Sanderson ('Angel'). He has about 5000 photos with the hitchhikers he gave a lift to (mostly in pairs), so he has taken around 7500 people. Mr. Sanderson lives in New Zealand. He has in the 9 years since 1988 filled 7 guest books, 27 address books and dozens of photo albums.
Reaching the farthest point north
- Island of Dunay, north of Tiksi, North Russia, 73°56'. It was done by Konstantin Savva from Moscow Hitchhiking School (Russia) and his girlfriend Polina Kuleshova in September 2002.
- Urung-Haia, North Russia, 73°. It was done by Konstantin Savva from Moscow Hitchhiking School (Russia) on May 2002.
- Tiksi, North Russia, 71° 36'. It was done by Andrey Sapunov and Alexandr Dmitrievskyi' from Ukrainian hitchhiking club "Mainroad" (Ukraine) on autumn 2002.
Have you hitchhiked in Svalbard? Let us know!
Reaching the farthest point south
- Scott Base, Antarctica, 77° 51'. Hitchhiker from USA Benjaman Bachelder hitched 5 km from McMurdo Station to Scott Base in December 2005. The same month he even held a seminar on hitchhiking in Antarctica and got a ride in a snowmobile.
- Ukrainian research base "Academic Vernadsky" in Antarctica, 65° 15' - reached by Argentinian hitchhikers Juan Villarino and Laura Lazzarino in 16 November 2010. They got a free ride to this base from cruiser "Ushuaia", belonging to cruise company "Antarrply Expeditions" 20 km South from Ushuaia, Argentine, 54° 48'.
- Arndt Writzel from Germany cut a record of the farthest point in the South. He reached Ushuaia town in southern Argentina in 2001 02 03.
The highest point on land
- Mountain Everest base camp in Nepal - 5,400 meters. It was done by Czech hitchhiker Pavel Trcala. He got the ride from Everest Base camp two days after climbing Everest on his return to Kathmandu on 1 June 2005. Later the same place was also conquered by several other hitchhikers: Nuutti Palonen (Finland), Radha Krishnan (India) and Tai Häring (Germany). They also hitchhiked to Mt Everest base camp from Shigatse in August 2005 and then hitchhiked to Nepal from Mt Everest.
- Gyatso-La mountain pass in Tibet, on the way from Lhasa to Nepalese border - 5,220 meters. It was done by two Polish hitchhikers Kinga and Chopin on 11 May 2003.
- The mountain pass in the Andes, South Peru – 5,100 meters. It was done bye Alexey Vorov and Mikhail Dutkevich (PASL) in May 1993.
The highest temperature
- +55°C experienced Alexey Vorov, Andrey Kuritsin, Ol’ga Bandurko, Andrey Leipi and Nadezhda Makarova in summer 1981 near Ashchabad, Turkmenistan.
- +52°C. Bertrand hitchhiked from Abu Dhabi airport to the city center. 19th August 2015.
- +50°C. It were for hitchhikers from Vilnius Hitch-hiking Club expedition to Iran and Pakistan Vladas Sapranavicius and Inga Garnyte in ancient city Bam (S. Iran) in middle of July, 1999.
The lowest temperature
- –63°C. It was for hitchhiker Elena Saturova, member of PASL in January 1992 between Ust’-Nera and Sasuman in East Yakutya, Russia.
The highest speed
- 310 km/h, according to Andrius Papickas and Viktorija Aksionova from Lithuania. It has happened on April 14, 2004 in Germany, between Fulda and Dresden, when travellers were returning home from Spain. The car was "BMW 550" ("Alpina").
- 300 km/h, according to Linas Migonis from Lithuania. On June 1, 2007, on the route Berlin - Leipzig he had a lift with 4 seated "Maserati". The drive has attended a driving lessons of Formula-1 racer.
- 292 km/h, according to Veit Kuehne from Dresden, Germany. He got a ride with a young driver (car "Audi") on a highway between Dresden and Chemnitz in July 2008.
- At least 280 and more than likely exceeding 290 km per hour, according to Prino on 27 May 2015 from Raststätte Fränkische Schweiz/Pegnitz Ost (departure @ 06:05) to Raststätte Fläming Ost (arrival @ 07:49). The odometer'ed distance was 304.0 km (both Google Maps and Bing Maps give the distance as 308 km) and the ride included a refuelling stop of 11 minutes (06:58 - 07:09). The driver used a Cougar system and didn't pay any attention to speed restrictions, other than slightly slowing down in roadworks. The car was an Audi RS6 Quattro.
Slowest hitchhiking between two points
- William Innes' from Scotland, UK. He got a ride on a milk float on 'collection' day and it took 4.5 hours to travel 2 miles from North London to the start of the M1. (HGE) Note: It would take a reasonably fit person about 30 minites to cover this distance on foot...
- Ruth Cleece from UK. She got a half-mile ride taking 45 minutes on a steam-roller. (HGE)
The largest sum of money that was given to a hitchhiker by a driver
- 500 DM, according to Sahin Sisic, from Holland.
Guiness Book of Records Hitchhiking Entries
Until the early 1990'ies the UK edition of the Guinness Book of Records (GBOR) used to list a number of hitch-hike world records. They were
- The greatest distance hitched during a hitchhiking career
- The fastest time to get from Land's End to John o'Groats (and the round trip)
- The greatest distance hitched in a 24-hour period
The fastest time to get from Land's End to John o'Groats (and back)
- Land's End to John o'Groats
- Martin Clark and Graham Beynon. Last hitchhikers recorded in the Guinness Book of Records for the Land's End to John O'Groats trip. (17 hours 8 minutes, 1987)
- Alan Carter. Last hitchhiker recorded in the Guinness Book of Records for the Land's End to John O'Groats to Land's End round-trip. (39 hours 28 minutes)
- Earlier entries, according to Bernd Wechner
- 1959-63 39 hrs - Anthony Shepherd
- 1965-69 29 hrs 30 min - Ian Crawford
- 1973-74 29 hrs - Bernard Atkins (1966) and J.F. Hornsey (1971) independently
- 1975-77 23 hrs 50 min - Pam Vere and Georgina Astley (1974)
- 1978 23 hrs 24 min - Miranda Brooks and Margaret Allinson (1977)
- 1980 21 hrs 55 min - John Repton and Rosemary Grounds (1978)
- 1981-88 17 hrs 50 min - Andrew Markham (1979)
- Round trip
- 1967-68 100 hrs 30 min - John Stubbs
- 1973-75 77 hrs 20 min - Christine Elvery and Gwendolen Sherwin (1969)
- 1976 57 hrs 8 min - Peter W. Ford (1974)
- 1976 56 hrs - John Frederik Hornsey (1974)
- 1977-78 54 hrs 40 min - Peter W. Ford (1976)
- 1980-83 45 hrs 34 min - Guy Hobbs (1978)
- 1984-85 42 hrs 15 min - Charlotte Allard and Fay Gillanders (1982)
- 1986-91 41 hrs 42 min - Anthony D. Sproson (1984)
The greatest distance hitched in a 24-hour period
This record was only included in the 1991 edition of the GBOR. It was held by Prino. The actual entry on page 179 read:
"The greatest distance in 24 hours is 2318.4 km 1440.7 miles, from Southern Yugoslavia to Hamburg, West Germany on 5 July 1989 by Robert Prins of De Bilt, Netherlands. He achieved this with just four lifts."
Full details of the four rides that led to this record can be found here.
The US edition
Furthermore, the US edition also seemed to have contained a record for the fastest time to hitchhike through the 48 contiguous states (i.e. all excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and in 1979 it has published a record for a trip from Key West in Florida to Fairbanks in Alaska. Details of that trip can be found in Key West to Alaska: not without a hitch - the particular page talks about a distance of about 5,200 mile. Based on the data in said article, this might have been the route...
"A young man named Ilmar Island of Pompano Beach, Florida, Hitchhiked from Key West, Florida, to Fairbanks, Alaska, a distance of about 5200 miles, setting out on June 2, 1979, and arriving at his destination on June 7, just 5 days 20 hours and 52 minutes later."
Further references to hitchhiking records
Additional articles on hitchhiking records were written in the late 1990's by Bernd Wechner for Suite101:
- World Records: Musings on what makes a record breaking hitch.
- More Records: Record breaking hitches in summary
- Me Hitch-hiker, You Hitch-hikee: Turning the tables
Suggestions for other possible records
If you want to do something that (probably) hasn't been done before, you can try your thumb at any of these. Don't expect to end up in the Guinness Book of Records for it, they no longer seem to have a section with hitchhiking records.