PCT thru-hiker Funnybone tells how it’s done.
To “yogi” is to ask for something—in this case, a ride down to Independence—without actually asking. I define yogi-ing as such: implying you could use help without inquiring for help.
It goes like this…
Me: “Hi. Sure is nice here.”
Unsuspecting day hiker: “Howdy. Ain’t it though? Are you thru-hiking the PCT?”
Me: “Nah, I’m about a third of the way through.”
Unsuspecting day hiker: “Oh, that’s not what I meant. I meant—”
Me, interrupting: “I’m just kidding, it’s a silly thru-hiker joke, like putting a rock in another hiker’s backpack…say, do you know if there’s anywhere free to stay in town, like a city park or something?” (Special emphasis is placed on the word “free”.)
Unsuspecting day hiker: “Oh, no. There ain’t nothing free in this Godforsaken town. I’ll tell you what though; you seem like a decent feller, why don’t you stay with me and my old lady. She cooks up a real mean casserole.”
Me: “Oh, no. I couldn’t, thank you.”
Unsuspecting day hiker: “Are you sure? You can get yerself cleaned up too.”
Me: “Oh, what the hell, why not? Canada isn’t going anywhere.”
This is just one of the many examples of how the art of yogi-ing works. It’s part art, part science, and an experienced thru-hiker is a professional at it all.
The blogger’s variant is posting examples of other people’s clever verbiage to avoid the exertion of coming up with it on one’s own.
My favorite tactic for yogi-ing was to start with the post office at one of my mail drops. Pre-trip, I wrote to the postmasters explaining when I’d arrive and asked them to hold my general delivery mail. So when I walked in to claim it, they already knew about me and my hike. When I asked “where can I get a…” or “where’s a good place to camp…” as often as not they’d already planned to offer dinner or had someone who could put me up for the night. I was amazed how easy it all was.