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Picking up climber/hiker hitchhikers

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

I love the stories of picking up skiers. Really? Picking up privileged white people with 1200$ strapped on their backs? You are heroes.  True fucking heroes.

James Cho · · Bellevue, WA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 6

Been on both sides of this, as the hiker and the driver. If you're on the 395 this time of year, lots of PCTers, which is a very specific type of hitch hiker. I've given them rides, but probably wouldn't pick up just any vagabond I saw elsewhere. Did pick up a nice native girl in Bishop once at the park who asked for a ride for to place about a mile away.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25

There is a crazy paranoia about hitchhiking in the US.  It is safe.  Probably no different to walking at night time and climbing a rock face. Yes occasionally shit stuff happens, but if you live your life in fear then that would be terrible.  And why are you out climbing cliffs?

Hitching is so much more common and accepted in many other countries.  I can be in the middle of a developing nation and a farmer with a thirty year old car would happily pick me up and feed me.  What I can earn in a couple of weeks is probably more than he earns in a year.  The sad part is that while normal people hitch in other parts of the world the fear-mongering has meant that fewer 'normal' people hitch and more homeless and abnormal people hitch.

The majority of hitchers I've picked up have been homeless.  But I haven't had any negative experiences.  (Well apart from the occasional tourist who clearly can afford to split gas money but is reluctant to do so.)   I've driven 150miles with you, split the gas if you can!

SMarsh · · NY, NY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0

I'm one to first say, "Trust your instincts."  You have no other data than that, and it's a time-sensitive, risky decision.

I'm not generally inclined to give rides to someone with what I would call an unclear profile.  Backpack and poles = hiker/climber.  Backpack, poles, and a suitcase = Unclear. Backpack and skis = skier, if in winter/spring.  And so on.  I might pick up one person, but not three.  Just my choices.

I have been given rides in the past in emergencies, so I respect that some people do have emergencies.  And I respond, based on the circumstances.

There is plenty of traffic on 395 in California, so I expect someone can give the hitchhiker a ride.  Or not.  Too much desert, too few opportunities for assistance once I've picked them up.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

1st  - if anyone does not feel safe picking up hitchhikers, they should not be judged for their actions.

One of my favorite podcasts, Freakonomics, discussed hitchhiking -

JAMES: If you have a certain number of violent people running around hitchhiking, [for] the few other people you have running around hitchhiking, the more dangerous it becomes to pick up a hitchhiker. It drove itself out of existence. Basically nobody hitchhikes anymore. … And the real danger was not hitchhiking; it was the fact that you had a certain number of random crazy people who will hurt you. As long as you have the same number of random crazy people you have the same number of violent crimes, and eliminating hitchhiking doesn’t, in my opinion, do anything to change that. So, it was a social change that protects the individual. I mean, I don’t pick up, I wouldn’t pick up hitchhikers either. I’m not nuts. I do that to protect myself. But protecting myself has no value to society. 
Where Have All the Hitchhikers Gone? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast​​​
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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