Resources for Hitchhiking, Cycling, or Anything Adventurous...
Solo Female Hitchhikers: women shouldn't be afraid to hitchhike. My advice on staying safe.
External Links for general info & reference
Digihitch and Hitchwiki - particularly their country-by-country info sections
Bike Forums - a lot of good discussion for those planning to take off on a bicycle
Aire de Camping - map to free camp sites all over France
World Championships of Hitchhiking, put on by the St. Petersburg Autostop League. Anyone want to form a team?
Google Maps Distance Calculator - because Mapquest doesn't work in Africa
Key Items - Hitchhiking in Africa
I've decided to bring a tent and sleeping bag on the current leg of my travels through Eastern Europe to Central Asia etc. This is primarily because Im aiming for more 'wild' experiences - hiking, camping, survival - and less hanging out in villages like in Africa (although that was great too). I chose the MSR Hubba, which together with my sleeping bag means my camping gear weight is under 3kg - pretty great!
For cycling, basic tools, spare inner tube and a repair kit were the most crucial additions to my Africa hitchhiking gear, although eventually when a wonderful friend - James from the Tour d'Afrique - gave me a tent I used it daily. Clip-in shoes were also a blessing once discovered.
That said, I went many hundreds of kilometers before having any of this. Hardcore cyclists often boast of fancy touring bikes, fancy gadgets, and months of preparation. I had zero preparation time, and my bike was a $90 Chinese made imitation mountain bike I picked up when I randomly walked into a used Zambian bike shop. It got me by. Yes, I went slower, suffered too much at the begin, and my knees fought a war (since the bike wasn't properly sized), but it got me by. You can do anything if you try, so don't let lack of experience or a bike that isn't up to Tour de France standards put you off.