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John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Transportation on 04/30/2007 18:53:04 MDT Print View

Transportation: To be sure I’m opening myself up for the stupid award of the year, but here goes.
Does anyone have the problem of getting back to the car after a hike? 2days, 4 days, a week, what ever? I never read about the trip back to the car, just the great 5 days out on the trail.

It seems the most difficult thing for me is trying to avoid walking back from where I just came on the same trail. The area of the A_T that I frequent isn’t favorable to the loop or the loops are short so you don’t get too far.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Transportation on 04/30/2007 19:59:54 MDT Print View

I often stash a bike in the woods and cycle back. Works especially well for "almost loops" to avoid a few miles of tedious road walking. Plan it so that the ride bike is downhill if possible :~)

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
getting back on 04/30/2007 20:54:28 MDT Print View

Because of the nature of mountains and the types of trips that appeal to us, simple loops rarely work. I've spent a looong nite on a boat dock 50 miles up Lake Chelan because of a few minutes at the start of the day. And never count on hitching a ride in the States, I must look like a crazed axe murderer by the end of a trip from the way people speed up when they see me, even what appears [at 65 mph] to be other hikers. You'll die from silicosis from all the dust you've eaten before you'll get a ride out. Or maybe it's just me ... .

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: getting back on 04/30/2007 21:08:14 MDT Print View

I've hitched quite a few times to avoid the long walk back - learned a sweet lesson battle Larry's problem(looking scruffy after the hike), I usually park at the trailhead/park, and hitch from the permit office - then hike back to the car. Usually just ask people "leaving the park", loading up there canoes and stuff. Seems to work pretty good. That way, if you don't get a ride right away, you can plan trip length accordingly.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 04/30/2007 21:09:09 MDT.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Transportation on 04/30/2007 21:20:11 MDT Print View

Steven, good suggestion to hitch away from the trail head instead of to it. Hitching out you can choose a responsible camping-type family to hitch with, instead of a random psycho; and secondly the chances of someone agreeing are greater because it is obvious you are a hiker starting a journey.
I read of another way; two people take two cars, leave one at each end and shuttle the other person. Costly though..

Erin McKittrick
(mckittre) - MLife

Locale: Seldovia, Alaska
Re: Transportation on 04/30/2007 22:37:16 MDT Print View

Depends where you are... Hitchhiking still works fine in Alaska (even scruffy and dirty with skis). And I hear it's easy in Hawaii too.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
hitching on 05/01/2007 07:13:08 MDT Print View

The best two places I have hitched are Japan and the Faroe Islands, extremely easy in both countries.
But hitching in Alaska can be very 'entertaining' getting rides with some very 'out-there' people ! It was wonderful. Doing the driving for a drunk is much better then being the passenger.

A few simple ideas for hitching . . .
a: if in or near a town it's best to walk to the outskirts and start from there.
b: Try and look sane and neat, don't wear sunglasses so that the driver can see your eyes and work you out.
c: Smile a bit and look like a pleasant sort of person.
d: stand where a stopping car can pull off the road and avoid a pile-up.
e: don't stick your thumb out when there's a stream of cars coming, again to avoid a pile-up.

With time you even get a feel for what type of cars are best to try for.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: re:Transportation on 05/01/2007 09:40:49 MDT Print View

Brett wrote: two people take two cars, leave one at each end and shuttle the other person

Always a good option, especially if more then one carload is already going.

Another good idea although I've never done it, is to have a sign/bandana(I saw them for sale somewhere) with your destination on it - ie. "Trailhead" or "Town" - at least letting people know where you are going before they stop may sway them a bit...I think. And, of course fellow hikers would be more likely to pick you up.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: re:Transportation on 05/01/2007 12:05:25 MDT Print View

If you were fortunate enough to attend the ADZPCTKO you could have gotten one of Gottago's PCT Bandana. Lettering along one edge says, HIKER TO TOWN. Opposite edge: HIKER TO TRAIL. These are so common along the PCT they work much better than the old stand by "cardboard sign".

Last October friend and I used the bandana and had a guy in a pickup truck drive a mile to find a place to turn around so he could give us a ride.

Edited by redleader on 05/01/2007 12:07:34 MDT.

christopher witter
(cwitter) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Transportation on 05/01/2007 19:47:36 MDT Print View

One of the hardest logistical parts of solo hiking. I just went through this very problem. This really limits your options, I was stuck hiking in the same area ( Delaware Water Gap/Sun Fish Pond) because I had no transportation.
I like the idea of stashing a bike at the end and biking back. Now I just need a bike. I first saw this technique documented by Risk , who originally used a motorcycle and then a bicycle to get from the end of his hike back to his car.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Transportation on 05/02/2007 06:59:57 MDT Print View

Many thanks for the replies.
So ….we’re looking at thumbing back or biking back. Hum……

I’m a New Yorker, so I’m thinking “a limo” ‘just can’t imagine hitching after walking for a week.

Keep on keep’n on

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
HIking shuttle on 05/02/2007 16:57:57 MDT Print View

I've hitched.

I've done the two car shuttle. (A variation of this is I park my truck at Trail's end and a friend drops me off at the beginning - and the friend goes home or wherever.)

I've biked (I like to bike at the END of a trip when my food bag is nearly empty).

I've thrown myself on public transport (On my Colorado Trail through-hike, I hitched the 3 miles to Durango then arrived at a bus station. At the end of my AT thru-hike, I took a mix of hitch, bus, train, bus, and family pick-up)

This summer I'm going even more elaborate by FLYING in my other car (with my girlfriend who will rent a car for a week). I will park my truck near Whitney Portal, then in her rental car we will tour SEKI and Yosemite. From there, I will start my JMT hike and she will return to the airport. This would NOT be my first choice except that she has to work and I will hike the Tahoe Rim Trail before she flies in.

And the final option is the "Chaufeur", a GOOD friend or significant other who drops you off and picks you up at predesignated times. This also applies to my NOLS days when a tan school bus dropped us off and picked us up.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Re: HIking shuttle on 05/03/2007 07:46:05 MDT Print View

Though I typically bike at the end of a trip, I don't carry my pack either way. The pack gets stashed while riding and then picked up. I'm usually boinked by time I get back to a trail head... so the idea of riding with a pack is ...uugh.

Another option that occasionally works is paying someone trustworthy to shuttle your car for you. Guide services will sometimes do this. If you have connections to summercamps or outdoor programs, instructors are sometimes good for this on off days; a little extra cash never hurt anyone. I've usually set this up so that the car is shuttled on the last day of a trip to minimize the time it sits unattended at the trail head. One piece of advice - carry a spare key with you. Also remember that 2 cars are involved, so you're paying 2 drivers. Not cheap, but certainly convenient, especially for remote trailheads.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
motor bike drop off on 05/03/2007 17:24:12 MDT Print View

christopher; I had read that in a few places as well. I think a small motor bike or scooter dropped off in a good locatation sounds like a real good idea. (It seems to me I saw an article here at the BPL about someone who does this) It may just be the thing that makes it for me this season. I've also heard of the Appalachian club which also has a small bus type shuttle service during most of the summer months up more in the New Hampshire area.They make pick ups and drop offs on a daily basis.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Re: Re: Transportation on 05/15/2007 19:00:11 MDT Print View

Gotta git me one o them ban dan as

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Re: Re: Transportation on 05/18/2007 11:50:27 MDT Print View

Hmmm. Pretty happy to hike in Europe from this persepective. At the end of a hike it's always possible to catch a bus or train back home or back to the car. The downside is off course there isn't much wilderness experience.

Hitching works better the less populated the erea is in my experience. It once took me all night to get from Salzburg to Ljubljana, about 300 miles in about 12 hours, which wasn't that bad concidering I was hitch hiking at night. The fastes ride I got took me one second! I got to the trailhead and wanted to lash my poles to the BP, but there was a car approaching so I put up my thumb and this sweet old lady imediately puled over to give me a ride :D


Jeremy Weaver
(JeremyWeaver) - F

Locale: Bellingham, WA
Transportation on 05/23/2007 21:23:05 MDT Print View

I miss hitchhiking in Alaska. Now I'll call a taxi, get a bus.