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United States of America

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|currency = American Dollar ($)
|BW = US
|map= <map lat='39.44525647027036' lng='-98.6623687744132' zoom='3' view='0' />
|hitch = <rating country='us' />
}}
:'''''For specific information on each state please check the links at the bottom of this page.'''''
[[File:Kasper-hitch-nh.jpg|thumb|250px|[[User:guaka|guaka]]<small><sup>[http://guaka.org/ site], [[User talk:guaka|wikitalk]]</sup></small> hitching in New England, taken by [[User:Amylin|amylin]], September 2007]]
== Culture ==
Many Americans have a limited worldview. (I can say this because I am one.) We think there are two places in the world: America and other places. Don't waste your time explaining that "American" is an incorrect demonym. And get used to our senseless system of measurement. In fact, enjoy it. It's a part of our culture.
Relatively quite Despite a few large number of immigrants all across the country, most Americans are still curious about people from different parts of the world, fascinated by foreign accents, and eager to introduce visitors to American culture. Despite an undercurrent of xenophobia and racism in rural parts of the country, Americans tend to have a pragmatic view towards foreigners: Americans might profoundly dislike your country of origin, but they will rarely hold that against you as an individual. Relative to other Western countries, people in the rural United States are profoundly religious. People who pick you up might inquire about your religion. If you're not religious, try to deal with it in a positive way and accept the difference. Despite a level of religious intolerance much higher than in Europe, Americans tend to have a pragmatic approach to people of unfamiliar religious backgrounds: Americans tend not to judge you badly even if they might be suspicious of your religion.
More often you will be picked up by really cool people, and often dropped off exactly at the point of your destination, as hitchhiker [[User:Guaka|Guaka]]'s experience shows, for example.
=== Cars ===
:''Driving in the United States is similar to driving in Canada, but very different from driving in Europe. It is not uncommon for Americans to drive more than an hour each way to work, and 77 percent of Americans drive alone to their jobs, while an additional 11 percent carpool... Most states allow people to drive unaccompanied once they have reached the age of 16, and all states require that one obtain a driver's license before they may operate a motor vehicle.'' -[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_in_the_United_States Wikipedia: Driving in the United States]
There are more than 250 million cars registered vehicles in the USA, the most of any country. You Everyone has a car, and gas is so cheap that people drive everywhere. As a result there are a lot of roads and highways. Sometimes you may need to drastically change your technique to accomodate to accommodate unfamiliar infastructureinfrastructure. Sometimes it can be hard to find a place with slow traffic! Although traffic is heavy, hitchhiking is also hard because nobody trusts somebody with no car. (Why don't you have a car? There must be something wrong with you.) It would help to look like a foreigner, but don't go so far as to wave a foreign flag around. Hitchhiking is not as common as in Europe and Latin America, so expect to have to explain yourself, possibly to the police. (See the section on police below).
== Transportation system ==
=== Interstates ===
[[File:2006-interstate-map.png|right|A map of the interstate system in 2006. ]]
An 'interstate', also known as an '''expressway''', '''freeway''', or (confusingly) '''highway''', is a large, multilane road that covers vast distances, and passes through major cities. If you aren't planning on going to the countryside, you probably won't need to stray far from the interstate system.
Interstates are designated on maps by "I-..." and have road signs [http://hitchwiki.org/en/File:InterstateSign.svg#file like this]. Even-numbered routes run from west to east and are numbered from south to north. For example, [[I-10]] runs across the south from [[L.A.]] to [[Jacksonville, FL]], and I-90 across the North from [[Seattle]] to [[Boston]]. Likewise, odd-numbered expressways start with [[I-5]] along the west coast (Seattle to L.A.) and I-95 along the east coast ([[Maine]] to [[Miami]]).
The main interstates have two or three numbers, as in I-8 or I-76. Offshoots or ring roads will have a preceeding digit, for example, I-295, which runs along I-95.
=== License plates ===
Every state issues its own specific car plates, and most states have several different styles. In some states, the license plate will also show the county of residence. This can be helpful if you spot a car that might be going in the same direction as you. It might also be helpful to write down the license plate number in case of foul play.
== Methods for catching rides ==
You may also wish to try asking for rides at smaller local gas stations, but you are unlikely to make as much progress doing this.
 
=== Getting out of big cities ===
You may find yourself in very sprawled out cities like LA or Phoenix, then try your luck on Craigslist! I (http://hitchwiki.org/en/User:Nora) crossed the US and found a few rides on Craiglist, messaging people who offer rides and asking if they would take me for free. Probably works best as a foreigner and a girl, but is worth a try. And maybe you can 'pay' in stories or music!
== Police/Laws ==
=== Police ===
Many police in this country have arrest quotas, not to mention many police (not all!) are assholes. That being said, you may encounter an officer of the law who is a rather enthusiastic about giving you a hard time. Keep in mind that even foreigners have rights, such as the right to refuse being searched. For good information about dealing with the police, check out [https://www.flexyourrights.org]. /
Being in a state which permits hitchhiking does not guarantee that the police will not harass you. Most police don't know the laws and will tell you it is illegal to hitchhike in that state. [[User:Thewindandrain|Thewindandrain]] argues with cops on a regular basis and refuses to stop hitchhiking where it is legal. He has been innocently arrested for this twice, but has remained confident and never been taken to jail even after being cuffed and in the car and continuing to stand up for his rights. They are usually bluffing right to the very end. If you know the law in that state, don't be afraid to tell the police they are wrong!
Tourists who intend to cross into the USA by hitchhiking should note that the US immigration department will log that you have been hitchhiking, should they discover that you are. This log will be visible to any guard who subsequently checks your immigration status. If you decide to leave and enter the USA again, it may make your entry back into the USA more difficult if it is not a hitchhiker friendly state.
== Food Personal Experiences ==
If you are friendly, people who pick you up will offer to buy you food quite a lot. Additionally, a lot of people will throw you some bucks to eat and even give you shelter if its late at night. From change up to $100. An anonymous hitchhiker has been given $100 dollars twice, and they have been given $60 dollars several times as has [[UserFile:ZenitUnitedstateshitchhiking.jpg|Zenit]]... If you are looking for monetary gifts, the key is the right type thumb|400px|''Relative Ease of Hitchhiking Each State of America (based on a survey of answer when they ask, concernedly, what you do to eat - "Naw, we're pretty much all righthitchhikers with 114, we got *some* money000 miles cumulative experience." (emphasizing the "some" slightly)- if they've asked this question and you answer this way you'll basically always get a friendly handout - for which you should thank them profusely, of course. :)[[File:ChaelUSwalking.jpg|thumb|350px|[[User:Chael777|Chael]]<smallbr>Green: Easy <supbr>[httpYellow://www.velabas.com/ site]Average </supbr></small> crossing a bridge in Oregon, August 2009Red: Difficult]]
For vegetarians and especially for vegans traveling between cities''Haven't hitched extensively there, but where I have, times can be hardthe experiences have been unique. I've hitched Oregon to Mexico along the famous highway 101. [[User:Zenit|Zenit]] I also hitched from Oregon to Chicago on i90 in the dead of winter. Lots of clothes for that one has sustained himself mostly on chips , and granola bars for weeks a warm place to retreat to at a time every stop. The most remarkable thing about hitching in the Mid West, however if States is that you get picked up by REALLY interesting people. Not all the time. But our beloved weirdos are looking more common in right places the US than anywhere else I've hitched. Regardless of what you can always find vegan food like cheese and bean burritosthink about the States, biscuitit's easily one of the most interesting places to hitchhike, cheese pizza etcespecially if you LIKE adventure. You can even ask restaurants to remove the meat part from the meal, '' - [[User:Chael777|Chael]]
Once you open your mind to it, there are actually many opportunities for dumpster diving in urban areas. Port cities are especially good. Note, however that dumpster diving is in a similar sort of gray area as hitchhiking, with local legality depending on the particular state's laws, and the prevalent attitudes of local law enforcement officers.
Grocery stores ''Have hitchhiked moderately in US, about 9,000 miles(including ferries and gas stationtrain hopping). Its a diverse country so generalizing a state or even a county(with fast foodas I have been picked up in the most conservative counties)would not be right. I have been picked up by really awesome people(some of them are prime targets now my friends), Friendly cops(who offered me water and money) to discriminatory cops(who just wanted to get rid of me), people who turned out to be gay(asked sexual favors), bored people looking for food a good conversation([[:trash:Trader Joe's|Trader Joe's]] or Starbucks what you have to do is just listen and and ask question to acknowledge that you are especially likely to have an unlocked dumpsterlistening), people who saw me as a curious and has lots of organics)tired foreigner etc. Grocery stores cannot sell packaged foods past their expiration date, It was a great experience and so throw them away still wrapped in dumpsters behind helped me learn a lot about the storeculture here. One thing I learned is that if you are having fun then you get picked up easily as compared to when you are not. My personal favorite states are [[Alaska]] and [[Missouri]].'' - [[User:Keep_trying|Tarun]]
Another great place to dive is food distribution centers. As they supply restaurants, their food comes in bulk and they throw out their food sometimes days before the expiration date. Google Maps can help you turn up locations. ''Check Trashwiki for detailed information on [[:trash:United States of America|dumpster diving in the United States]].''
''' Drink: '''It I hitchhiked over 200,000 miles in 50 states of the US, 19 states of Mexico, and 8 provinces of Canada I would say in general that it is often possible easy to retrieve used cups from hitchhike in all those countries but some of the trash at fast food restaurants with "free refill" policies most difficult places are in America. Each state varies greatly in geography and refill themease of hitchhiking. OtherwiseIn the south, American water for example it is easier to hop freight trains since the hitching is just so difficult. My favorite states for travelers are [[Colorado]], [[California]], [[New Mexico]], [[Oregon]], and [[Arkansas]]. I have hitched alone, and with numbers of other people. Hitchhiking with two people or large equipment like a bicycle or kayak seems to give shortest waits. I would rank hitchhiking as free a slightly more risky activity than cycle touring on windy highways with no shoulder. These days I prefer to ride freight trains and motorized bicycles, and healthy as any other country of I recommend you do the worldsame.'' - [[User:Thewindandrain|Thewindandrain]]
== Hitchhiking Books ==
Rather than a genre ''I hitchhiked from Panama to the US, intending to go through the whole of its own, the US by hitchhiking books probably fit better with my little brother. I cannot recommend to hitchhike in a genre of alternative travel bookspairs. It takes _days_ to find rides. We looked like regular guys, with Jack Kerouac’s On The Roaddid 20k+ miles in more than 10 countries. If you do it, Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods and Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenancedo it alone.'' - Summer '14
To that list of fun and funny and moving and important books, we should add Colin Flaherty’s Redwood to Deadwood, a 53-year old dude hitchhikes across America. Again.
Redwood ''I crossed the US from Boston to Deadwood describes Flaherty’s San Francisco the southern way. The north east is tough, prepare for some waits and looks as if you were not worth anyone's attention. Luckily it gets better soon! Texas was the best state for me, lots of rides even from women, and basically no waites. Also California is pretty good to hitchhike, though more tourists. To all girls - it's definitely safe enough in my opinion, though I was asked for sex a few times by people not understanding hitchhiking much. And in general - for me waites for longer than in Europe (when alone I have to hardly wait longer than 10 minutes ever), but still the longest wait during the whole trip across Americawere ~2 hours at a bad spot. '' - [[user:Nora|Nora]]
"''Before I tucked my thumb in for the final time, I'd run with wild horses. Visit a pot farm. Hunt big game. Poach big game. Get by a police helicopter. Get info family feuds. Ride in cop cars. Reconnect with old friends. Make new ones. Get tired and exhilarated. Lost and found. Kicked out and invited in''."== Links ==
"I know how to cook muskrat, squiirrel and rockchuckAnalyses of hitchhiking in the USA by [[User:Korn|Korn]] on warmroads. And oh yea, I almost got killedde [https://warmroads.de/en/hitchhiking-in-19-the-usa/ - Hitchhiking in the USA.]
Book reviewer Janet Jay said the book is [“the best hitchhiking I have ever read or even heard about.  My friend heard about it when she was sitting next to a guy on an airplane who was reading it. He was laughing out loud. So she asked about it. He said that was how he heard about it too. So books hitchhike as well as people.”]
== Personal Experiences Nomadwiki & Trashwiki ==
[[File:Unitedstateshitchhiking.jpg|thumb|400px|''Relative Ease of Hitchhiking Each State of America (based on a survey of hitchhikers with 114,000 miles cumulative experience.)''.<br> Green: Easy <br> Yellow: Average <br> Red: Difficult]]{{nomadwiki}}
''Haven't hitched extensively there, but where I have, the experiences have been unique. I've hitched Oregon to Mexico along the famous highway 101. I also hitched from Oregon to Chicago on i90 in the dead of winter. Lots of clothes for that one, and a warm place to retreat to at every stop. The most remarkable thing about hitching in the States is that you get picked up by REALLY interesting people. Not all the time. But our beloved weirdos are more common in the US than anywhere else I've hitched. Regardless of what you think about the States, it's easily one of the most interesting places to hitchhike, especially if you LIKE adventure.'' - [[User:Chael777|Chael]]
 
''Have hitchhiked moderately in US, about 9,000 miles(including ferries and train hopping). Its a diverse country so generalizing a state or even a county(as I have been picked up in the most conservative counties) would not be right. I have been picked up by really awesome people(some of them are now my friends), Friendly cops(who offered me water and money) to discriminatory cops(who just wanted to get rid of me), people who turned out to be gay(asked sexual favors), bored people looking for a good conversation(what you have to do is just listen and and ask question to acknowledge that you are listening), people who saw me as a curious and tired foreigner etc. It was a great experience and helped me learn a lot about the culture here. One thing I learned is that if you are having fun then you get picked up easily as compared to when you are not. My personal favorite states are [[Alaska]] and [[Missouri]].'' - [[User:Keep_trying|Tarun]]
 
''I have hitchhiked over 100,000 miles in the United States, been through every state, and while I have nothing to compare it to other than Canada, I would say in general that it is easy and fun to hitchhike here. Each state varies greatly in geography and ease of hitchhiking. In the south, for example it is easier to hop freight trains since the hitching is so difficult. My personal favorite states are [[Colorado]], [[California]], [[Texas]] and [[Arkansas]]. I have hitched alone, and with any number of other people. Hitchhiking with two people seems to be the ideal scenario with the shortest waits. '' [[User:Thewindandrain|Thewindandrain]] ([[User talk:Thewindandrain|talk]]) 04:42, 28 October 2012 (CET)
 
''I hitchhiked from Panama to the US, intending to go through the whole of the US by hitchhiking with my little brother. I cannot recommend to hitchhike in pairs. It takes _days_ to find rides. We looked like regular guys, did 20k+ miles in more than 10 countries. If you do it, do it alone.'' Summer '14
 
== Links ==
* [http://thebplot.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/6249/ Review of the book "Readwood to Deadwood"]
* [http://www.RedwoodtoDeadwoodbook.com "Readwood to Deadwood" book]
{{IsIn|North America}}
[[trash:United States of America]][[nomad:United States]]
[[Category:United States| ]]
[[es:Estados Unidos]]
[[fr:États-Unis d'Amérique]]
 
 
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