I got asked a question…Aren’t you afraid of hobos? My first thought was, is hobo even a term people still use? Regardless, I was asked specifically if I was afraid of hobos. According to my research a hobo is a person who travels to find work. They typically will work a job and then travel for a while and look for another job. Sounds kind of like what I plan to do. In order to hike the AT I will be giving up my home, my job and the majority of my possessions. When I arrive in Maine I will need to find a job there or where ever we decide to end up .
Hobos even have a Hobo Code which sounds reasonable and close to what a thru-hiker might follow.
- Decide your own life, don’t let another person run or rule you. (Hike your own hike)
- When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
- Don’t take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
- Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again.
- When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
- Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals’ treatment of other hobos.
- When jungling in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as badly, if not worse than you. (Don’t be greedy when you encounter a Trail Angel)
- Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling. (Leave No Trace)
- If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.
- Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.
- When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member. (Respect the trail, Don’t destroy nature)
- Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard. (Don’t ruin experiences and locations for future hikers)
- Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose all molesters to authorities, they are the worst garbage to infest any society. (Does’t this apply to everyone?)
- Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
- Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.
- If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it. Whether for or against the accused, your voice counts! (source: http://www.hobo.net/hobocode.html)
So, am I afraid of hobos…I think I might be a hobo! The trails will be my rails!