Hitchhiking Statistics 2021

Where each hitchhiking day began, and how many rides I got that day.

In 2021 there were 53 days that I hitchhiked within the United States and the Bahamas. I got a total of 156 rides that carried me 7,040 miles.

As in 2019 and 2020, I compiled statistics on these rides collecting data points like distances, genders of drivers, police interactions, and even how often I was offered things like food, beer, and weed.

This was one of my lightest years of hitchhiking, and as you can see from the map, mostly only involved the United States (a day of hitchhiking in The Bahamas isn't shown). Covid is partially to blame for the lack of international travel. However, only one person asked me to wear a mask of the 156 people who picked me up. Not a big deal, and essentially a non-factor in my hitching.

The chart above shows how many rides and how far I got on the days I hitchhiked in 2021. The first gap in the year around April and May involved watching a friend's dogs and road-tripping with friends, so no hitchhiking. There's also the gap in August where I was helping out on a pot farm, so again, no hitchhiking during that time.

The most rides I got in a single day this year was 8, which happened twice. The furthest I got in a day was from Reno to Palm Springs, which was 814 kilometers, or ~506 miles. That was a single ride as well from a girl traveling with her cat.

I hitchhiked on 68 days in 2019, 69 days in 2020, and only 53 in 2021.

I caught 269 rides in 2019, 200 in 2020, and down to 156 in 2021.

I very well might have traveled more miles this year than last year, but a lot was via road trips with friends, planes, and methods other than hitchhiking. As far as hitchhiking is concerned, I covered:

10,122 miles in 2019
11,111 miles in 2020
 7,040 miles in 2021

The average length per ride I hitched was:

37.63 miles per ride in 2019
55.56 miles per ride in 2020
45.13 miles per ride in 2021

The average number of rides per day of hitchhiking in 2021 was 2.94.

Like previous years, getting picked up by a lone male still accounted for the vast majority of rides. It dropped from 74.7% in 2020, however, to just 60.9% in 2021, while solo females increased from 9.6% to 14.7% of my rides.

"Mixed Group" refers to getting picked up by a man and a woman, like a couple, or even getting picked up by a man and his daughter, for example.

Multiple females, like last year, is still the rarest gender combination to offer a ride. You could read from these and previous years' statistics that a woman by herself is ten times more likely to pick up a hitchhiker than if she is with a female friend.

While not necessarily relevant to the day of hitchhiking itself, this pie chart shows what my sleeping situation was on the nights after a day of hitchhiking.

You'll notice I spent half the time catching up with friends and family, a third of the time stealth camping, and we can mostly attribute the chunk of hotel nights to free rooms at casinos around the country. Something I did a lot of in 2021.

Absent from the pie chart this year is "invites," which is when someone who gave me a ride then offered me a place to stay for the night. Also missing is "couch surfing." And while I did some of that in 2021, mostly through TrustRoots.org, apparently that never landed after a day of hitchhiking. It's worth noting that a decent chunk of "friends" are people that I indeed initially met through TrustRoots or Couchsurfing in previous years, and well, became friends.

Come to think of it, at least one person did invite me to stay after a day of hitchhiking in Missoula. My hitchhiking partner during that stretch, Nick, indeed took him up on the offer, but I had a cousin in town that I instead stayed with.

Amazingly, I had only 6 interactions with police, 2 that resulted in a positive ride. An "interaction" can be anything from them shouting at me on their bullhorn to "get off the highway" as they drive by, to actually stopping and checking me out, or even giving me a ride.

Almost a quarter of the rides I got in 2021 were from pickup trucks, sometimes riding in the open-air bed of the pickup. If I was nerdier, maybe I'd keep track of SUVs, convertibles, and further breakdown vehicle types, but for now, these select types are all I keep track of. I was kinda surprised trucks (18-wheelers) weren't a little higher this year.

Here's a fun one. This chart shows that about 10% of the days that I hitchhiked, at least one of the people who picked me up gave me a beer, a shot of whiskey, or offered me some weed. Far more common still is being offered a bite to eat, whether it be a bag of Cheetos, a run through the drive-thru, or even a stop at a fancy restaurant. And once in a while, someone insists you take their money. In 2021 the most I was handed was fifty dollars, which is pretty incredible.

There you have it, my 2021 hitchhiking statistics. Anything else you think I could keep track of? Do you have stats of your own? Feel free to comment and let me know what you think. One of these days I swear I'll get around to rounding up my statistics from 2007 to 2018. One day.


  1. Dope stuff, my man! Killing it as always.

  2. Interesting that multiple females are rare to pick up a male hitchhiker.
    Maybe I hold the record then, because in the Netherlands, I was once picked up by four Belgian women in a car (although there was hardly any space left): https://andreasmoser.blog/2020/04/13/ypres-hitchhiking/

    Last year, I only had one interaction with police in Germany.
    I was standing by the side of the road, they stopped and informed me that they have to take a photo of the road because there had been an accident the day before. They asked me if I wanted to be in the photo or not. Very friendly. Sadly, they were going the wrong way. Anyway, it was too cold that morning, I gave up and took the train.

    When I was hitchhiking in 2020, at the beginning of Covid, I noticed that I got more rides from pick-up trucks, sitting in the bed of the truck. The best one was on Pico, taking me across the whole island: https://andreasmoser.blog/2020/03/20/hitchhiking-corona/


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