HITCH-HIKING AT NIGHT: EQUIPMENT
1) Bright suit (overalls).
2) Reflector attached to the hand with rubber.
3) Reflection tape attached sewed on the suit (overalls). Remember: much more car flashlight's light falls on the road, so, the reflection tapes on the legs would make a greater effect.
4) Pocket flashlight with removable red filter.
During thumbing you should make a periodical impulse (light-on/off) with flashlight.
Some VHHC's members use the red flashlight for cyclists.
- Orange filter also could be useful.
Red filter - is not allways "right".
For example, in Sweden, red flashlight - police's tool and drivers reaction to the police imitation you could't forecast.
- One more nuance: there were cases, when during the thumbing after railway crossing with red flashlight, the cars came to a stop before railway crossing.
HH AT NIGHT: POSITION'S ESTABLISHING
The same requests, as for HH in daytime (low speed, good visibility, convenient place for stop).
In addition, at night choose such positions:
1) Light up position (it is very important for travelers without needful equipment).
Atention: the light should fall on the face (on the front), otherwise the driver would see only your contour.
- Anyway, if you must to thumbing at night, but you don't feel very strong, then try to find position with light (settlements, bridges, railway crossing).
2) "Not dangerous for driver" postion.
I am talking about the places where the driver, may feel safe during the stop and the first conversation with you.
Such positions could be petrol stations. Settlements - I think is rather dangerous.
It is very strange, but the thumbing near forests and nature's objects, which are far from the settlements give to us good results.
The lenght of distance in which the driver can observe you is also very imortant, especially in "high speed" roads.
In daytime the driver should see you and your manoeuvre (one).
But at night, between yours flashlight's twinkles and the reflector raising, should pass a few (3-5) seconds.
HH AT NIGHT: THUMBING' TECHNIQUE
1) When the car appears - a few twinkles with flashlight (with red filter).
2) When the car has enlightened you - thumbing with reflector (you should keep it directed at car's flashlight). That entire time flashlight should blink.
3) If the car stopped after you (you are not enlighted), then it could be better to turn on your flashlight, so, the driver could watch your manoeuvres.
4) During conversation with driver don't forget to turn out the flashlight (light on eyes - unpleasent).
The game is: (situation in "high speed linear" road)
The car appeared; it moves towards you very quickly.
While it is rather far from you, several times twinkle your flashlight. The car's speed immediately falls until it becomes convenient for survey and thumbing. NOW. Calmly look at car (it looks that the thumbing should be started some time ago, but...). At the critical moment (the driver exerted oneself - what are you going to do? - don't let him think about your suggestion to stop, the driver should decide in a moment) with friendly manoeuvre you offer him to stop (a palm with NOT_RED reflector should be a little to the front). Besides that, there should be absolute self-confidence and the belief in driver's stop.
The main thing is the moment's catching and ensured manoeuvre. One mine friend said - hitch-hiker should work as unexpectedly appeared barrier.
HH AT NIGHT: PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES
Thumbing without special equipment is not effective, and more, it is even dangerous! Imagine: you are sitting in a car. How many metres would left between you and the person wearing dark clothes and standing on the road, when you would be able to see him. Well, i will aggravate - from the opposite side of the road goes another car.
Now.... Do you want to say that you could see nothing? :-)
1) Good position - also - not dangerous position!
Low speed, good visibility, convenient place for stop.
2) There should be enough place for moving more to the wayside. You should control the cars' stream on the opposite side - maybe one of that cars would need the place for manoeuvres - you should give up your place for that car. The situation becomes worse when there is an ice on the road.
3) If there are a very big car's stream (column) on the road, then your manoeuvres should be seen not only for the first drivers, but also for others.
4) The driver could fall asleep during the driving! There are some means to protect oneself against it:
So, there are the "ruses" for overcoming the sleep:
Try to keep the same cool temperature in the car. Don't overeat before night. Chew a chewing gum. Discuss interesting themes. Listen different musics (carry a cassete). Don't use drinks, which has a caffeine (I have a temporary wakefulness from those drinks, but later i feel a bad self-control).
HH AT NIGHT: THE DISADVANTAGES
Because of bad visibility it is complicated to define how manyfree places has a car. Also it is difficult to define the mark (class) of the car.
Sometimes the drivers unexpectedly could stop for sleep.
HH AT NIGHT: THE ADVANTAGES
There are more transit cars at night (less local cars).
The small settlements passes sooner.