Monday, April 22, 2013

Review of "The Hitchhiking Crash Course"

Hitchhiking is one of those things when you think about it you realize 2 things.

1.  It is one word, not "hitch hiking" and
2.  "Hey, why don't more people do this?  It's cheap, it's a built in adventure, and it's a challenge."

Naturally the appeal of hitchhiking would tempt the tastes of men more than women, but if you're unemployed, young, and got nothing else to do (i.e.-most kids under 30) why the hell not?  It's getting somebody to jog your brain out of its predisposed state to never consider hitch hiking and Matt Forney's book does just that.

"The Hitch Hiking Crash Course" is a purposely short book that addresses the do's and don't's of hitch hiking.  The book borrows from the author's experience in 2012 hitch hiking from New York to Washington State (where he consequently went through the Captain's home town and did not inform him of his presence).  A lot of the book is common sense, but that is only after you read it.  You would probably not consider at least 60% of the "do's and don't's" Matt brings up in his book.

Of particular note/interest.

Psychological preparation - Hitch hiking across the country is no small feat.  Plus Mr. Forney took 6 months to get across the country.  He slept at way sides, truck stops and out in the open.  This was not a timid task, hitching 20 miles, that if necessary you could walk in a day.  Matt gained invaluable experience, especially mental preparation.  The biggest hurdle is one of "just do it," while there are other aspects such as fatigue, a mental mind set while trying to hitch rides and the physical (and consequentially) mental punishment you will put your mind though. 

Etiquette - Not that he's conveying the "Carnie Code," but he does clearly show how having the appropriate etiquette will increase your chances of getting rides and making your adventure not only easier, but much more enjoyable.  How to interact with everybody you are going to run into (cops, gas station managers, truck drivers, etc) has an effect, if for any other reason you are at the mercy of other people when hitch hiking.

Logistics - Anybody who hitch hikes for 3,500 miles picks up a thing or two beyond common sense.  Details like when to hitch hike, where to position yourself on the road, attire, what to pack, and route planning.  Save yourself of having to learn by mistake and just take his advice.

All in all it's a solid book, a very short read (60 pages PDF), but most important, the precise and mandatory guide anybody considering hitch hiking needs. 


heresolong said...

I stopped picking up hitchhikers when I got married because I wasn't willing to subject my wife to the risks. It is something you have to think about.

Even though I am single again, I don't pick up most hitchhikers these days because they are generally dirty looking. I don't want to be stuck in my car for the next hour or more with someone who smells of urine and BO.

I also know that the biggest annoyance I had when picking up hitchhikers was when they would then try to hit me up for money as well. Dude, I just did you a huge favor and gave you free transportation. Get a damn job if you need money.

heresolong said...

Is it available on Kindle?

(I know, :-) but good humor never goes out of style)

Anonymous said...

Heh. To quote a Canadian blogger:

"Riding public transit is like inviting 20 random hitch hikers into your car."

She doesn't mean that in a good way.

The idea is to look like a respectable citizen who needs a ride.

Then you have the whole issue as a hitch hiker: who knows what loony is picking you up.

Matt Forney said...

where he consequently went through the Captain's home town and did not inform him of his presence

I thought you were still living in Wyoming, dude!