Tripping in nature is awesome.
The difficulty is that it’s an uncontrolled environment. Tripping safely and making the most of your time in the great outdoors can be helped hugely by some simple preparation.
Here are five tips to help you stay safe and enjoy the experience without getting bogged down in logistics. Some of these may seem obvious, but can be easily overlooked in a spur of the moment trip…
Take enough water and snacks with you
You do not want to get caught short out in nature and begin getting hungry or thirsty only to realize you’re either quite a long way from a shop or home, or that you don’t yet want to go to either. Keeping these supplies keeps you independent of the need to head to stock up.
Make sure you have the appropriate clothing for the weather
If it’s going to be hot you don’t want to be stuck in jeans, or forced to strip down to your undies, which will probably make you more self-conscious.
Conversely, you don’t wanna be left in shorts and a T-shirt if it’s cold and raining.
Check the weather forecast, prepare appropriately. You might need sunnies or a cap. Or you might want a pocket raincoat.
That said, don’t overpack because you don’t want to be lugging around a big heavy bag with you. Strike the balance and in cooler weather consider thin layered clothes rather than bulky winter jackets.
On the subject of weather, having some kind of base camp for your excursion can be helpful. Perhaps you have an airbnb which is in the countryside, from which you can go out and explore the vast expanse of nature. If needed, you can then stroll back to the comforts of home in what won’t be too much of an arduous journey.
Don’t get lost
You do not want to get lost in nature anytime. But especially when tripping.
This has happened to me before and I was pretty worried for a while there. I managed to find my way out of it due to a tip from a friend to stay in a certain area of woods. The woods ran alongside a stream which gave me a point of reference from which I could navigate back to town.
However you manage it, just make sure you know how you’ll find your way back.
If it’s maps on your phone, be careful that you’ll be able to get a signal if you need to.
Or just pay attention to where you’re going and keep a lookout for points of reference.
I always take an old school compass with me. I have a rough idea of the direction I’m heading and the direction of my base camp, so in the worst case scenario I can always figure out how to make my way back to base.
Depending on your substance, you may be sober enough to navigate with ease, so it might not be too much of a consideration. Judge accordingly.
Bring something that you can lie down on
Whether it’s a simple blanket or a sleeping mat, this can be very helpful. This can give you a little extra comfort if you want to lie down or just chill out. It might be that the ground is rough or has some kind of grass which is itchy or otherwise irritating.
As with any session setting, be it inside or outside: comfort is key.
Bonus: here is a Google Sheets copy of an outside trip checklist. Feel free to make a copy and make adjustments. You can then access it from your phone and do a quick run through before heading out. Copy of Outdoor Trip Checklist
Beware of interactions
Interacting with other people you might come across can be uncomfortable and a little weird. Just remember that you have no obligation to stop and talk with anyone. It’s fine for you to simply give a friendly smile and keep on walking.
If you are around people that are making you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, move on. If there’s something in your view that’s distracting or disturbing you, just changing your view and turning to face the other direction can be a simple and effective fix.
Get home safe
If you’re tripping in a park or nature area but heading back to your city home to sleep, you might consider treating yourself to a taxi to avoid the hassles or difficulty of navigating public areas and transport. You can consider this as a gift to your tripping self, and enjoy getting snuggly with a cuppa tea and some blankets once you arrive home.
Leave no trace
To borrow a Burning Man principle here, this is less of a tip and more of a plea.
Please tidy up after yourself when you head out into nature. Our natural habitats are suffering enough as it is, and we should do our best to be stewards for the incredible planet that we are blessed to inhabit.
Also, to move the psychedelic movement forward, you as a psychedelic tripper out in nature are representing psychonauts around the world. If you go round leaving your garbage behind, then you’re giving a bad name to us all and contributing to a negative public perception of the drug user. If we’re going to make ground as a movement then we want to show ourselves to be responsible, thoughtful and considerate citizens of the Earth.
Pick up your trash and leave no trace.
Tripping in nature can be a wonderful, beautiful, life affirming experience. It is something I think every psychedelic explorer should try: to connect to the wondrous and deep beauty of the Natural World. This can deepen our connection and stir up further ripples for the environmental and ecological movement.
If you’re an environmentalist, this is a great way to strengthen your bond with the Earth and the biosphere, to reconnect with this living organism which we could certainly work to improve our relationship with.
As always, safe and awesome journeys. Enjoy your time in nature.
And remember to hug some trees.