Hitch a ride in Canada, done/ not done?
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jan 26, 2013 1:32 PM Last Post By: crakrr
Jan 21, 2013 12:05 PM
Hitch a ride in Canada, done/ not done?Hi
My friend and I are planning a trip (for this summer) from Toronto to Vancouver.
As we are two graduating high school students (18 years), we don’t have a big budget to spend.
So we depend on public transport and/or thumb riding.
Is there anyone with experience who can tell us about thumb riding in Canada (distance in one day, public opinion regarding thumb riding, things to avoid… etc.)
We are particularly interested for Chilcotin- Bella Coola hwy 20.
Jan 21, 2013 12:23 PM
1I for one do NOT pick up any hitch hikers, male or female. A large percentage of the males I see are not exactly savory looking and that may only be one per week.
Also sometimes the huge back packs they carry is also a detriment in my opinion.
And 2 males, I would say forget it and save up for bus or train tickets.
Jan 21, 2013 1:48 PM
Jan 21, 2013 3:05 PM
Jan 21, 2013 7:37 PM
4I traveled through Africa for about 6 months. Got lots of rides. When I moved to Canada I thought I would pay it forward. Big mistake. I think in about 3 months I picked up about 10 people. Some nice. But most were nutters.
I only pick up people hitching now to and from our local ski hills. They are usually a safe bet been aussies who are on a winter break.
Jan 22, 2013 3:13 PM
5my boyfriend and i did a cross canada trip this past summer and there are definitely things to know for hitching!
those who mentioned that BC has the serial killer problem- well thats true. but mostly true of northern BC. getting a ride between vancouver, whistler, squamish, the ferry terminals to get to van island are really quite easy. once youre on the island (if youre going there) hitching is very common. no problems there.
however, i strongly suggest looking into a greyhound pass. we each got a 30 day pass that allows for unlimited rides anywhere in canada/us/parts of mexico and it was about $400. it seems like a lot but was WELL worth it! we calculated our trip afterwards and had paid off the ticket and saved money on all our greyhound trips. besides the money thing, its also ridiculously convenient. doing the long drives between provinces is a major pain and i would never suggest doing long distances where you may fall asleep hitch hiking. save the hitching for the smaller distances, and invest in a greyhound to take you the long distances. also, we were able to travel long distances at night to save on a night of accommodations as well as avoid missing out on a whole day just to get to where you want to be. this way its done while you sleep and you wake up in the next province!
i know BC decently well so i was ok with hitching because id know if we were off track- but once we left our familiarity areas we stuck to the bus thing. note: always have a map with you so youll be aware if a driver is heading in the wrong direction.
Jan 22, 2013 6:49 PM
Jan 22, 2013 10:23 PM
7I also pick up hitchhikers. I'd suggest taking much of what's said above with a large grain of salt.
Still, if you haven't hitched long distances before, you'll want to have a backup plan (and the funds to put it into action). You'll also want to be prepared for bugs, rain, getting stranded here or there, the occasional obnoxious driver, the need for showers, food and laundry, etc. Smaller backpacks will serve you better than larger ones, but each of you should be capable of surviving independently (for those times when the driver will only take one, or you can't attract a ride without splitting up).
Think carefully about the road to Bella Coola: not much traffic, not many services, not many boats once you arrive at the end of the line.
Post back here if you go.
Jan 25, 2013 11:18 AM
8I dont know alot about western canada, but a friend of mine and his girlfriend decided to hitchhike from new-brunswick to Ottawa.Since police dont let you walk in highways anymore it is realy hard finding people that will bring you for a long ride.
I think they did it in 7 days and 2 of the day they just walked since no one picked them up, and people who do pick them up drop them 1 hour later...
I admit they were not realy lucky, but thats still what can appen when you hitchhike.Sorry but the Bus would cost alot less since you wont need 7 days of food or place to sleep/ or sleep on the road/wood
Jan 25, 2013 3:29 PM
Jan 25, 2013 4:17 PM
10Sorry #9 but in quebec you cannot walk on highways.My friends got remove from highway several time by police trying to hitchhike.
I know in New-Brunswick (where im from) Police dont bother you that much but they still dont like it.
Jan 25, 2013 4:43 PM
11Also # 9 in Ontario, pedestrians are not permitted on any of the 400 series highways!!!
Jan 25, 2013 4:46 PM
12In almost every locality I know of, any regulations against "walking on the highways" can be evaded by merely walking on the shoulder (verge), i.e., walking off the regularly-traveled portion of the highways.
The exception is on limited access highways, also known as interstates, freeways, motorways, autopistas, etc. On these routes, walking is generally illegal even on the road shoulders. That means hitchhikers have to stand on the shoulder of an entrance ramp, prior to the sign which says something like "Freeway entrance: pedestrians forbidden." Again, in most locations this makes hitchhiking legal.
In the USA, there used to be several states which made it entirely illegal to solicit rides, a.k.a. hitchhike. Colorado was one such, back in the day....but that didn't stop me from hitching through and within Colorado many times. Nor would it stop me today, were I more energetic. FWIW, I also hitched through Quebec. In that era, hitching the full length of the Trans Canada was common recreation.
Of course, I did get hassled by police a fair bit, but that's part of the game.
There are websites devoted to hitchhiking. I'd research there, not here on Thorntree, where opinions abound but not many hitchhikers contribute.
Jan 25, 2013 10:02 PM
13".My friends got remove from highway several time by police trying to hitchhike."
Your friends must be particularly dense.
" in Ontario, pedestrians are not permitted on any of the 400 series highways"
Yes it was like that in the early 70's too but it never stopped me.
"In almost every locality I know of, any regulations against "walking on the highways" can be evaded by merely walking on the shoulder "
"Thorntree, where opinions abound but not many hitchhikers contribute. "
Indeed-it was ever thus here.
Jan 25, 2013 10:04 PM
I recommend VIA rail where possible. Much more comfortable than buses, and if you book early enough you can get some good prices. Also other travellers tend to be much more sociable on trains. I travelled from Nova Scotia to BC by train. Either way, have fun
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