>> North America
>> Hitchhiked all over Canada
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I will fly to Halifax at the beginning of June, stay WWOOFing in Nova Scotia for June + July (with some bike tours and hikes in between) and then make my way across the country to meet up with a friend in Longworth, BC in September. I want to stay away from the big cities, hopefully find some couches to surf on the way and add a few more WWOOFing stops (probably one in Lion's Head, ON and one in Meadow Lake, SK).
I thought about getting a Discovery Pass for the Greyhound, but I might to decide to hitchhike instead. I did some long distances hitchhiking in Europe a few years ago and it has really gotten out of fashion here. You still do get lifts, but you probably don't see any other hitchhikers around. Many drivers are reluctant to take you, but commercial truck drivers do. And it is so much fun to ride in a big truck. Much better than being stuck on a backseat with two dogs, three kids and the driver's grandma (even though that, too, can be funny).
Someone told me that Canadian truckers are not allowed to take hitchhikers. Is that true? How are the chances of getting a ride in a truck? Is it worth a try to go into a truck stop and ask around? Or is it better just to stay at the roadside and lift a thumb?
I am very excited about this trip. I quit my job yesterday to be able to do this, it is a life long dream coming true. Tight budget, though :)
I appreciate any hints, couchs (obviously), must sees etc. for the trip.
Hey! I have many of the same questions. Maybe we can investigate together? My trip sets off from the interior of BC in October. Where will you be then? Care to share your experiences up till that point, and perhaps accompany us? :)
I've recently hitched from the GTA-ish all the way to Vancouver. I went out on the 69 then 17 then 1 and came back mostly on the 16 I believe. I saw so many cyclists and very few hitchers. The best advice I can give you is follow your guts feeling. Even if you've been waiting in the swealtering heat for 2 hours with no ride.
And I should be in Japser soon... gimme some notice and you're welcome to stay with me. If you really need a place near Toronto I can let my folks know and I'm sure they'd be cool with letting you stay with them :)
i'm hitchin' right now across the great white north. got a truck ride from Omar, 18 hrs!!! from wawa ontario to winnipeg. THAT was lucky. he did have already two other hitchhikers in the cabin with him who were hitchhiking on their own, so in total he picked up three hitching groups. he was certainly worried that he'd get stopped at a truck weigh station and someone checking his papers. we would have to just hide in the back behind the curtain. i'd say it's pretty unlikely to get picked up by a trucker, but during out 'hike my friend and i saw other friends of ours (also hitchhiking at the same time on the same road) get picked up by a trucker. so...i think they're not supposed to, but if you do, well, you're sure to get a good ride out of it.
also, i'm in vancouver about the 8th of october, and from there heading back home to toronto. wanna hook up?
I'd advise against going to a truck stop and asking around when you are a female. There are hookers that hang around there. You don't want a trucker to get the wrong idea. And yes, sometimes they can't pick you up... for rules or for timelines. In Ontario you can't hitch on the 400 series highways... I dunno what'd they'd do. Maybe give you a ticket. Its really for your safety there isn't anywhere to pull over on those highways. Ontario will probably be your hardest province to get through. Also, pick up is illegal in BC, but you will find a ride pretty easily. Highway 16 from Edmonton to Prince George is apparently called the "Highway of Tears" because of the amount of hitchers who have gone missing there. I didn't travel that bit of hwy... I dunno. But like I said trust that gut feeling over everything. I don't like to hitch at night I find creepers are more likely to do something then. Also, try to stay close to something just in case something does happen... like keep close to an on ramp or intersection.
It is not illegal for Truckers to pick up HHers, BUT some insurance companies and Fleet safety people do not allow it, a Independent Trucker is far more likely to pick up then a fleet driver like FedEX or Purolator,
I work with the Trucking industry and talk to LOTS of Truck drivers daily, many times we share stories of HHers we have picked up, what they were doing, how far be brought them, all sorts of stuff.
Good luck with the HHing
It has been my experience big rigs tend to pick you up if you're further down the highway and not close to an on-ramp, and therefore not in plain view of a great number of people. I've been told that it is indeed for insurance purposes. Truckers are often happy to help out but they don't want to be responsible for someone they met five minutes ago.
thanks for all the advices, that was very helpfull
My friend and I want to hitchhike from toronto to vancouver in january 2011, do you think that is possile during winter?
I already hitchhiked a bit in the north of quebec and around montreal, but I never tried a distance like that. I also wanted to know if its really much harder to find a ride for 2 people...?
think of what the driver's thinking when he sees ppl hitchhiking and how much space is available in a vehicle. statistically speaking, i think your odds are much less if you're 2 ppl. it's much easier if you're alone. ppl also seem to prefer picking up couples as opposed to 2 guys.
also, i would not recommend hitching in the winter, it's very cold!
I wrote this guide to hitch-hiking a while back, based on my experiences in Canada. You might find it useful: