Do’s & Don’ts: Magical Mushroom Camping Trip

If the idea of going camping with an eighth of mushrooms has ever crossed your mind, I would like to share some tips and tricks to ensure you have an epic time. I took mushrooms for the very first time while on a camping trip in Sequoia National Park. It was a magical day, brimming with kaleidoscopic clouds, bedazzled trees, and life-changing revelations. But it was a WILD RIDE for someone who 1) has never taken mushrooms before and 2) does not go camping often. I know some things can’t be planned, especially when it comes to drug trips, but there are a few things I wish I knew before embarking on this psychedelic journey through the forest. Here’s what I learned the hard (rather, horrifyingly interesting) way.

DO pack yourself a bag for the day

Mushroom trips usually last around six hours, during which time you will be frolicking around like a little forest nymph. I’m about to get in serious mom mode here, but you have to pack sunscreen, a jacket, and water! I didn’t want to have to carry anything while tripping, but man did I regret that decision later on. It’s easier to feel chilly on mushrooms and not having a jacket really distracted me from enjoying the last bit of my trip. I also didn’t have any sunscreen with me all day so I returned to camp with a beautiful sunburn on my face and arms.

 

DON’T eat a huge meal beforehand

If anything, eat very light and vegetarian if possible. You will feel nauseous from the onset of psilocybin in your body, so having a bunch of food in your stomach won’t be very comfortable. This also impacts the drug’s effectiveness. Your trip will take much longer to kick in, which is annoying when everyone is laughing at rocks except you.

DO be cautious of your surroundings

You’re in nature, not Disneyland. Try not to be overly-cautious as that might create a negative experience, but just mindful of where you are. I ended up wandering slightly off the beaten path because I wanted to climb this big ass tree. Guess what I found next? A big ass black bear. If I hadn’t gotten so carried away and remembered that I was in a forest ridden with wild animals, I wouldn’t have been paranoid for the next hour.

DON’T try to make friends with other campers

I know you’re stoked because this is “literallaaayy the most amazing experience of my liiiiiifffeee”, but you probably look something like this:

DO bring a camera! (not professional, much buttons, so big, many expensive)

It might not capture the rainbow tie-dye swirl you saw in the trunk of a tree, but at least you’ll have something to spark that amazing memory. You’re new iPhone camera might do, just make sure you bring an extra charger so you don’t drain yours!

 

Mistakes We Made Camping So That You Don’t Have To: Part 1 – Road to Zion

The road-trip to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon –  an epic week of camping where we learned a lot about what to do and what not to do, the hard way!

1 Volvo, 5 girls, 7 epic days of camping, you do the math.

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Lesson 1

Check campground availability. Although we did successfully plan our route beforehand using the wonderful www.roadtrippers.com and had a comprehensive packing list, our first mistake occurred early on in our trip: we didn’t realize that we would be camping over Memorial Day Weekend. This meant—you guessed it— everyone and their mother (literally) wanted to go camping this weekend, so there were zero campsites open at Watchman Campground in Zion National Park, our first stop.

If we wanted to camp at Zion that weekend, we would have to drive nine hours overnight to snag a first-come-first-served campsite in the early morning at South Campground. Our trip went something like this…

 10:45PM: Los Angeles. With our Volvo bursting with our supplies for the week, we hit the road. Blasting Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar’s “Bad Blood Remix,” we drove-thru Starbucks for some venti coffees to start the night.

3 AM: Gas station on I-15, off the Vegas Strip. What started as an innocent candy refuel stop quickly turned into a disastrous gambling opportunity. $3 were lost at those gas station slots.  Still blasting Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar’s “Bad Blood Remix,” we went on our way. Our ‘Snapchat Stories’ continued to document the story of our increasingly delirious journey on the desolate highways connecting Los Angeles and Southern Utah: dollar bills of the Las Vegas geotag rained on tired heads resting on neck pillows, Nerds Ropes and Hot Cheetos refueled our spirits when we were in desperate need of a 5AM snack, dynamic stretching in an otherwise abandoned gas station helped energize us through the final hours of the drive, and a spontaneous purchase of matching raccoon hats had us cracking up as we greeted the sun that sleepily crept up through our windshield.

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Lesson 2

Know your time zones. We weren’t going to put this on the list, but sadly we struggled with this more than once. In this unfortunate mix-up (the first of two), we were forced to forgo a diner breakfast feast when we lost an hour crossing into Utah. Our two-hour window to get to the park and find an open campsite turned into a one-hour window, so our glorious feast turned into a quick stop at McDonald’s. But hey, not mad about Egg McMuffins. 7:30 AM (NOT 6:30): Zion National Park, South Entrance. We zipped through the waking town outside of South Zion, and were all surprised by the fact that we weren’t really “out here” in the wilderness. In fact, there were grocery stores, cafés, and even a movie theater. Blasting Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar’s “Bad Blood Remix,” we continued into the park.

We proceeded to unashamedly peer pressure a stranger out of his campsite; then crashed for the next few hours before the next phase of our adventure began.IMG_7363Credit: http://bit.ly/1V6TYN9

Lesson 3

REI is your friend. Even though we made some pretty basic mistakes, we didn’t do everything wrong!

If you’re camping on a budget (or not), REI is perfect for you since they have a great return policy and reasonably priced rentals. We rented a tent and a cook stove from these guys—the cook stove ended up being a huge lifesaver as the rainy weather we had for half our trip would definitely have prevented us from starting and maintaining our own fire. We also bought a lantern from REI for our trip, and when we returned it we got all of our money back! (Sorry we’re not sorry, REI).

1PM: South Campground, Zion National Park. We awoke after several hours’ rest, excited to explore the magical park we would spend the next two days in. How much success would we have, and how much more of a joke would our lives turn into? Stay tuned for the next installation of our camping trip, where we restock in nearby civilization and learn the hard way that not all windbreakers are waterproof….

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All the other pics are ours!

Easy Campfire Meals to Survive The Wild

Planning what meals to eat for a camping trip is undeniably one of the most fun parts of the process.
Ideally, you would sit down before you go to the store, write out all your meals, and buy only the ingredients you’ve agreed upon. I’m sure this happens for people who are legitimate, relatively intense campers or backpackers who have to think about what they carry and for how long.

However for the rest of us independent twenty-something-year-olds, I say “ideally” because once you actually enter the store it’s more than likely that your purchasing process will become a free-for-all, guided by a love of snacks and an unspoken mutual fear of starving to the death in the wilderness. And yes, this impulse can, and probably will, take over even if you are consciously aware of the fact that you’ll only be in said wilderness for 24 hours. Because, c’mon, we both know you can’t survive.

Regardless of which category of camper you find yourself in, here are some easy campfire meals to survive the wild.


Hobo Dinners

Credit: http://bit.ly/1PHU3jd

Ingredients

  • bread
  • carrots
  • onions
  • cheese
  • potatoes
  • veggie/meat patty
  • ketchup,
  • mustard
  • mayo
  • salt
  • pepper
  • + 21-flavor mixed seasoning
  • Tin foil (necessary)

Instructions

  • First take a big sheet of tin foil and lay it out on the table.
  • Next, chop all of your food into small pieces and organize them onto different plates (like a buffet). This will make them cook faster. Take as much as you want of each ingredient throw them into your tin foil.
  • Add your desired amount of condiments/seasonings, and a drop of water to help the veggies cook.
  • Stir it all up inside your piece of foil, wrap the foil around the food (the longer and flatter they are the better they cook!), just make sure you make handles with the ends of the foil so it’s easier to pick up.
  • Now set it on the embers of the fire. Your hobo should be done within fifteen or twenty minutes, depending on surface area and food density.

Credit: http://bit.ly/1PHU3jd

Pro-tip: If you’re nervous about your embers or eating raw meat, or just getting hangry, go for the veggie patties – they’re usually pre-cooked so worse comes to worst you can eat your semi-cooked meal safely.


Pita Pizzas

Credit: http://bit.ly/1PHU3jd

Ingredients

  • Pita bread
  • mozzarella cheese
  • marinara
  • pepperoni (optional)
  • Tin foil (necessary)

Instructions

Remember those awesome pizza lunchables we had in middle school? Well this is the same idea.

  • Take a piece of foil and create a circular indent a little bigger than your pita size. Take your pita and fit it into the space.
  • Next, generously spread sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on your piece of pita bread.
  • Now wrap the foil around the top of the pita, but try to create some separation between foil and pizza top so the cheese doesn’t get stuck, and watch it cook.

Pro-tip: Open up the pita and shove all your ingredients in there to make a pizza pocket.


 Hot Dogs

Credit: http://bit.ly/1PHU3jd

Ingredients

  • Wieners
  • Buns
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish

Instructions

  • Stick a skewer, or if you don’t have a skewer then a stick, in that bad boy and get roasting. This one you do over the open flames.
  • Put your buns over some tin foil and let them toast.

Pro-tip: Cheddar-infused or bacon wrapped hot dogs make you feel fancy…And they taste bomb.


Cake Batter Oranges

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Credit: http://bit.ly/1KZ0JWt

Ingredients

  • Orange
  • Cake batter mix
  • Water/milk
  • Tin foil (necessary)

Instructions

  • Slice off the top of an orange and cut/scoop out the inside. Try to leave as little orange and pulp left in the skin.
  • Mix the cake batter mix with water or milk. Pour the cake batter into the empty orange skin about ¾ of the way to the top. Wrap it in a tin foil ball with a handle and place upright on the grill/fire over the flame.
  • Should take about 30-40 minutes to cook, depending on desired consistency. Feel free to open up the foil and check on your little cake. The cake will be orange-infused, and you don’t need a plate!

Pro-tip: Bring frosting, or mix up the type of cake that you make in the orange for different delicious treats. You can also do brownies!


Banana Boats

Credit: http://bit.ly/1NJNG1n

Ingredients

  • Banana
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • Tin foil (necessary)

Instructions

  • Cut your banana in half vertically, leaving the skin on.
  • Stuff the middle full with marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  • Wrap in tin foil and place on a grill or on embers. It should just take a few minutes for everything to melt.

Pro-tip: Think peanut butter chips. Nutella is also delicious in these! And whipped cream is great on top. Let your imagination run!


S’mores

Credit: http://bit.ly/1X8GsH8

Ingredients

  • Hershey’s chocolate
  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows

Instructions

  • Roast a marshmallow on a stick til it’s a golden brown (if you’re patient) or set that sucker on fire (if you’re not).
  • Place it between two graham crackers with some chocolate. A campfire classic.

Or just watch this, and pay attention Smalls!

Pro-tip: Stick the chocolate inside the marshmallow so it roasts with the chocolate melting inside. Or switch out Hershey’s for Reese’s peanut butter cups for an amazing alternative!

Now if it’s between you or the over-confident guitar player, I’ll say you are the real winner on this trip.