Trip Tips for First Timers
However, while magic mushrooms can be your best friend, they can also be your enemy. You can have some of the best and worst times of your life on mushrooms, and sometimes both ends of the spectrum occur within an hour of each other. So we’ve compiled a guide to help you have the best possible experience.
Sara Gael, Zendo Project’s Director of Harm Reduction, and the Harm Reduction Advocate for the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel said, “Psilocybin significantly alters perception of reality. Effects can range from positive to negative and are unique to every individual,” she continued. “Some effects of psilocybin include elevated mood or euphoria, creativity, mystical or spiritual experiences, dissolution of the ego and altered perception of oneself, their environment, altered perception of time, and increased sensitivity to outside stimulus.”
“Gael went on to say that some negative effects can include fear, disorientation, confusion, paranoia, physical discomfort, or nausea, and that effects can last between 4-7 hours, with after effects lasting up to 6 hours post-journey depending on dosage.”
Set and setting are key to a positive trip
Having a positive mindset and environment are crucial to having a good mushroom trip. It’s not advisable to do mushrooms (or any psychedelics for that matter) when you’re in a negative headspace or mood, or in an unsafe, uncomfortable environment. It’s a good idea to prepare everything you’ll need, like water, a place to use the restroom, music and more. Consider having personal items like a notebook and pen as well as a nice playlist. You don’t want to be scrolling on mushrooms.
This brings us to the next point. Technology has a nasty way of creeping into our lives. It’s also unfiltered and allows you to be connected to people at all times. These are not desirable traits when taking mushrooms. You don’t want to be stuck scrolling, faced with triggering content or get an email from your boss while you’re on mushrooms. Perhaps consider putting your phone somewhere safe while you’re tripping.
Having a friend around to watch over you, especially someone who’s tripped before, can be very beneficial. “Especially If you have never taken psilocybin before, you should plan to have a sober sitter and start with a small dose,” said Gael. “They should be someone you know and are comfortable with and feel safe with.”
Try to weigh out your mushrooms and roughly know how many grams you’re taking. Depending on your dosage, trips can range from slightly intense euphoria to a bullet-train ride into another dimension. Consider which end of this spectrum you’re aiming to arrive at and consume your dose accordingly. Don’t get too confident, start at a low dose of 1-2 grams for your first trip and increase your dosage with experience.
Be cautious when looking in a mirror. The image reflected back to you can look very bizarre on shrooms. Staring at yourself can freak you out. Do it at your own risk.
“You’ll likely experience dissolution of the ego, or ego death, which will challenge your senses of self and identity, your connection to reality, and your place in the world. Mushroom trips are often reported to leave you feeling one with everything and connected to all of existence. It’s beautiful. Usually. It can get weird, so just hang in there. Remember you’re tripping, and just go with it. Don’t fight the journey, just let it happen.”
9. Fast beforehand
It helps to trip on an empty stomach—particularly if you’re going to take dried mushrooms. This is because when your body realizes you’ve consumed mushrooms, it’ll try and kick them out of there. Mushrooms can be accompanied by nausea as your body fights what it believes is poison. It helps to have an empty stomach. Cannabis can also help with this “fight” and soothe your stomach. Plan to eat a good meal a few hours before and then just light snacks during the trip as well as plenty of fluids.
A mushroom trip will last roughly six to eight hours. Realistically you should clear more time in your schedule than that as you’ll feel out of sorts afterwards—particularly your first time. “If you want to trip in nature, think about what you’ll do if it begins to rain or if you need to get home immediately. Driving is off-limits, and you probably won’t want/know how to order an Uber at the peak of your trip. It’s often a good idea to trip near your home, or near a tent—if you’re camping—so that you have a private space you can escape to.”
As we suggested earlier in this guide, a trip sitter is a great idea. They can help you navigate the experience. Especially if it’s your first time. But not everyone has access to someone like that. A new app by Field Trip Health, launched in September, to try bridge this gap.
It guides you through the journey with prompts, suggestions and resources for before, during and after. Prompts include checking in yourself with questions about how you’re feeling, your intentions for the trip and the depths you’re wanting to go. It also offers music channels curated for your specific purpose.
Please note that we are not doctors and this is not intended as medical advice. Please speak to a medical professional and do your own research before embarking on any trip. And please consult local laws regarding psychedelics.
Something to keep in mind is that psilocybin has been known to trigger psychotic episodes in those prone to them—so it’s wise to know your family history and to avoid mushrooms if there are incidences of schizophrenia or early-onset mental illness in your family.