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What should you think about before trying LSD for the first time and doing so at Burning Man?

Brian FeyBrian Fey, I went 1999 to 2004 and was pa... (more)
51 upvotes by Sanjay Sabnani, Quora User, Kyle Pennell, (more)
It could all work out just fine.

I don't think you should do that there the first time.

Though LSD is very well tested and created amazing and education experiences for many people, I have seen a few negative experiences which resulted in mental insanity, broken neck, trip to Reno. Shit other people have to clean up, and the tripper spends years recovering from, if they live.
Burning Man can be the Advanced Class, and not the best place to get in too chemically deep for your first experiences.

  • You will be messing with your neurotransmitters in ways that you can't predict the results of. While acid is a very well tested and excellent tool, it is a deep tool, not a party favor. Rare dumbfucks can give it a bad reputation. Brain chemistry remains mysterious. Some people should swim in pools, not the ocean. Don't jump in, when you don't know you can swim.
  • At Burning Man your brain may be under other stresses such as sleep deprivation, high levels of creative excitement, altered nutritional patterns, relationship stresses, sexual triggers, noise pollution and blinky lights. It is crazy enough to make someone forget the Oxford comma!
  • Your normal stable patterns of behavior will be altered. You will not be able to function with your normal ruleset in a very chaotic environment. Don't cut your foot on rebar because you thought you could run free in the dark and are then tripping in the medical tent. Don't inconvenience your friends.
  • If you do end up making somebody babysit you and hold your hand then you should repay them heavily for your irresponsibility. And they should question whether they should be your friend.

If you didn't know how to surf, would you start on an unknown beach with huge unknown waves? Maybe better at home with few variables.
Stick with the waves you know. Don't climb stuff. Cars are real.

I hate to sound like a conservative bummer, but I think if you are on the playa for the first time, you should trip on that experience. It can be entertaining enough and overwhelming for most people. Trip on people building things. Offer to help if they are setup to handle it. Imagine what you could build next year. If Burning Man is a social experiment that can transform people's lives and inspire them to inventory their values and actions in the civilization they create, and if those lessons are ones you can become your own teacher in, then the complexity of your visions will increase and you will perhaps find that your own life becomes a run on sentence under your control, partly, as you surf it in ways you never expected. Enjoy the blinky lights.

So don't do that. Or whatever.

Some of the most creative, pretty people are at Burning Man. It is a bizarre gathering of creative anarchy.
If you have a hungry mind, then find them and meet them to play your part in the creative storms which will create the next nows. It could be just a party, or it could be creation of new culture for greater human fulfillment and a survivable future. How do you want to play? Or did you just want to pretend that dancing under blinky lights means anything.. shit... Sorry... aging and grumpier at the "happy words" people and their bullshit. Pretty people sure do have silly words.

Don't listen to me too much.

Sometimes you got to fuck your mind hard repeatedly without mercy to get the mental orgasm you need. Bruise the mind.

If you have good Set and setting, it could all be fine. It likely would be!
  • Have good people around you.
  • Do half as much trip as your experienced friends offer. Neither you nor they know your brain chemistry. 
  • Have water and basic physical needs attended to. Ground control is nice, though if you be conservative you will not need it and will explore happy new frosting on an amazing universe.
  • As in a lucid dream, you have control of what you focus on. Stay mellow.


This dude here is dead now.
[Photo deleted for privacy]
There was no way he could have known his brain would be one of the less than 1% that would go off due to a mix of neurotransmitter altering agents. It took years of brain chemistry instability to push him to his solution. And his happy friends could not know that their role would be for him a factor. And perhaps it would have all happened anyway. It does.

But we do have to know the depths of the water we play in and why.

Playa surf is up!
I love the smell of napalm in the morning!
Burn it bitches!

Sanjay SabnaniSanjay Sabnani, Has worked in drug addiction r... (more)
  1. Read as many trip reports and commentaries on LSD as you can.  Get comfortable with the range of things that you may feel or experience so that you do not get freaked out at the time.
  2. Make sure you are aware of where the medics are set up.
  3. Make sure that you are comfortable with the source of your LSD.  This is an illegal substance and if prepared incorrectly it can kill you or result in brain damage.  There are law enforcement officers on the Playa so you may get arrested if you are caught.
  4. Be around friends who know what you are doing and make sure that at least one of them is not tripping when you are.
5.  Stay close to home until you feel like exploring and have your sea legs.
Jack Lion HeartJack Lion Heart, Aspiring medicine man
42 upvotes by Paul Wais, Sophie Xie, Anonymous, (more)
Congratulations, this is a wonderful opportunity. It deserves your respect; a powerful experience is often accompanied by a great challenge. You will have your own unique way of relating to that challenge, but, however it arrives in you, remember that it is part of the experience you are seeking, and so you can choose to embrace it if you want to.

Investigate your mind to explore what kind of difficulties might come up. Ask yourself: What could go wrong? What am I afraid of? What would I be terrified to lose? Imagine that worst nightmare as your reality. Identify a perspective or a ritual that might help you accept that -- maybe yoga or meditation, or singing and dancing, or lying and looking at the stars, taking a walk, or sitting by the campfire. If you start to feel anxious, go there. You have the power to shape your own experience.

Check in. Do you feel too vulnerable to meet your own fears? Realize that could well be what you're doing, and see if you really want to do that. If not, honor yourself and take the night easy. There will be other chances to find what you're looking for.

Identify your friends. Whose presence makes you feel safe? Whom are you going to follow? Remember that keeping a large group together is frustrating and futile. Be clear with anyone you want to stay close to, and try to get right with the possibility of getting separated.

Give yourself the freedom to explore. Orient yourself directionally beforehand so that you can get lost and enjoy it. Pack your bag with an extra layer and extra water and maybe a surprise for yourself or friends along the way. Ask yourself what you're going to want at 5am and bring it with you, but don't weigh yourself down beyond adventure.

Set your intention. Declare to yourself what you want to experience tonight. Feel your words fully and believe in their power. Release any expectations to a particular outcome. Celebrate.

Let go. Trust that you have done your job. Turn off the planning and turn on the presence. Be open to serendipity.

Aditya NandaAditya Nanda, hates airport security
9 upvotes by Sanjay Sabnani, Brian Fey, Kyle Pennell, (more)
I have'nt attended the Burning Man but for LSD (for most psychedelic drugs) set and setting is the most important. The best way to judge set and setting is to think how you would feel in these circumstances in your normal state of consciousness. If in your normal state you would feel good then the set and setting is great and you will end up with a great LSD trip. People, now and then, mention these trips that changed their lives and made them a better and more complete person. It could happen to you if the set and setting is good.

Make sure you are tripping with a group of friends and not with a bunch of total strangers and make sure at least some people of the group know you are tripping.

Sanjay Sabnani has mentioned a great point. Read about LSD trips. Once you know what to expect, there is very, very little probablity of ending up with what is called a bad trip. Timothy Leary(of the hippies fame) wrote a short book(very short book called The Psychedelic Experience ) which is intended to serve as a manual while using psychedleic drugs. It mentions in a lot of places that the best way to enjoy your trip is to remain calm and let the things flow in their own pace and way and all manner of negative and judgemental emotions are to be avoided.

Good luck!
Quora UserQuora User, I Love Sunsets
19 upvotes by Kyle Pennell, Brian Fey, Sanjay Sabnani, (more)
As long as you're asking, I'd suggest thinking twice before dropping LSD for the first time at any major event.

To me, it's like asking, "What should you think about skiing a double black diamond trail at a world class resort for the first time out on skis?"

Consider taking a nice, quiet, personal first trip with a trusted (patient) friend who isn't tripping for the first time. Then go to Burning Man with your new found awareness and view the event with opened eyes (with or without LSD).
AnonymousAnonymous
9 upvotes by Brian Fey, Rupert Baines, Denis Oakley, (more)
My first acid trip was on a Wednesday night at Burning Man, and it was beautiful. That said, my tripmates and I prepared carefully for our voyage. Below are the things we did to make it enjoyable. Take this information as you will.

Do it in a group of about four people who all like and respect each other. (No more than five or you will lose a few wanderers.) At least one of you should have prior acid experience and act as a trip guide-- the leader who compels everyone to follow him/her to the next adventure. It would help if your leader is dressed in something interesting to look at, like EL wire at night, so they'll be easier to track. It may also be preferable if your leader is hallucinogen-sober, in case you run into any difficulty dealing with regular people or cops.

For your journey, bring water that's easy to drink and food that's easy  to eat. (You may not like Clif bars, but they get the job done in a  pinch.) Dress in clothes that are easy to undo in a porta potty at  night. You may be in a completely altered state for what feels like  forever. Plan ahead to stay physically comfortable.

Have a blinking/glowing thing on you, even if you plan on tripping in the daytime. Your trip may last well into the night, and you don't want to be in the deep playa without any lights-- art cars will not see you.

Have your name (playa or real) and the name and location of your camp written somewhere accessible in case you're lost and non-verbal.

Make sure you're in a calm, relatively healthy state of mind when you begin. If you're trying to be chill but underneath that calm exterior is a tumultuous mess of thoughts and emotions, the acid will find it soon enough.

If you're unsure about your dosage, don't take more in a few hours if you haven't started feeling funny yet. When it comes to recreational drugs, not being on enough is generally better than being on too much. I've had a trip or two where I re-dosed in hour three and then began to feel the first dose, and it gets intense. Don't do this your first time.

If you're overwhelmed by everything, I suggest walking to the temple  with someone you trust. (The trash fence is too far if someone needs to  actually get you help.) Things are quieter there, and you can remind  yourself that not all is lost, and this thrill ride will be over in a  bit.

If you're really overwhelmed  by everything, a small amount of an anxiolytic like Ativan has helped  me calm down before. (I've also successfully used a little ecstasy to  counteract a bout of paranoia, but if you've never taken it before, it's  not a great idea.) As with the rest of this information, your mileage  will vary.

One of the best things about tripping on the playa is that you can act like a little kid without anyone looking at you funny. And you are! You're experiencing the world anew. Play with your friends, get distracted by shiny things, and remind each other that cars are real.

As for the original question-- think about your life and where you want it to lead you. Think about where you've been and what you want in your day-to-day life to be satisfied. Think about the world and yourself and what you can do to change them both for the better. And look forward to how easy doing normal things will be once your trip is over and you can function like a regular human being.

Good luck. Have fun. I hope you understand yourself better afterward.
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