[13] Surviving Large Outdoor Events by Phase_dancer

Catch-22

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Urban ravers often enjoy the thought of a remote location dance party, but many attend their first event with little idea of what's in store other than knowing the DJ lineup. Arriving at a large outdoor festival unprepared can turn an otherwise fun adventure into a grueling ordeal, but with a bit of preparation, a good camping plan and adequate recovery time, it can instead be the magic event often described.

Preparation
  • Organize your camping or accommodation requirements well in advance. Find out what services are provided on-site. If you're camping, aside from your cooking/eating/sleeping gear, try to also include a solar powered or gaslight, fold up table and chairs, shade covers, rope, a shovel and a hatchet.
  • Plan to take more food and drinking water than you think you'll need. Take mostly non-perishable foods unless you have a good cooler and ice source (dry ice can last several days if stored in a well insulated container). Keep all food in seal-able containers and pack an extra flashlight. Don't forget your health supplements/vitamins and include glucose energy drinks or powder.
  • Arrange reliable transport. If traveling with others, ensure your return ride is organized before you leave. As the date approaches also check the venue hasn't changed. Traveling with a sober driver is definitely a good idea. Equally important (especially for the return journey) is that the driver has slept between partying and driving.
  • Find out what toilet/shower/swimming services are available onsite. A solar heated bush shower is inexpensive and can be blissful after three days of cold water bathing. Some people find they aren't comfortable with using either chemical toilets or the more natural but smelly long drop type. If the site is remote enough, a more private alternative can be a walk with a shovel. If buried properly and away from water areas avoided, this shouldn't pose a risk to others or the environment.
  • Include warm and cool weather clothing. Temperatures can be scorching during the day and freezing at night. Pack sensible shoes/boots, warm blankets and a hat that covers the back of your neck.
  • Take a basic first aid kit including aspirin or other analgesic, antiseptic, disinfectant, antihistamine, insect repellant, band aids, tampons, ear plugs, tissue paper and sun burn cream. Don't forget any prescribed medications, and be aware of known interactions between these and any recreational drugs you may be thinking of using.
  • If you intend to indulge in illicit substances, try to obtain and test them prior to leaving home i.e. don't intend to buy on site. Generally speaking, sourcing on site puts everyone at more risk, particularly you. If you plan to do this regardless, check Pillreports before you leave and note any recently reported suspect or bad pills. Pack your testing kits.
  • Inform someone of when you intend to return home and try to stick to this timetable. Cell/mobile service at remote venues is often unavailable so it can prove difficult to notify friends or family of plan changes.
  • Rest, exercise and eat well over the days preceding your adventure. Limit your drug use during this time, or better still avoid using altogether.
  • Have some emergency money. There's usually something you'll forget or some surprise expense not planned for.
Attendance
  • If camping, locate a good site position. Try to be close to everything but not too close. Watch out for overhanging tree branches. Old eucalyptus trees and strong winds can be fatal. The perfect site is often a compromise between shade and safety, but don't take unnecessary risks. Your camp will also be your rest retreat, so don't pitch your tent directly in line of the main speakers. Get to know the terrain around your camp while there's daylight.
  • Once you have set up camp, locate on-site amenities such as a fresh water source, rubbish drop area and toilets. Visit the first aid and pill testing tents. You may not be anticipating you'll be requiring their services, but say hello anyway. Meeting personnel at the beginning of an event usually tends to make you less hesitant to ask for help should you need it later.
  • Pace yourself. Try not to overdo it on the first day. Prioritize your schedule so you are in good form for your favorite performers. Try to get a good night's sleep at least every second night if the festival is run over several days.
  • If you do choose to obtain pills/powder etc on site, at the very least try to score from someone you know and trust - test regardless - and ask others who have taken that particular form for their opinions on content, strength etc.
  • If you are not eating regularly, try to eat a nutritious meal when you do. In between meals, keep your energy levels up by taking glucose and an occasional multivitamin. Regulate your water intake so it balances your level of activity, the effects of any substances you may have taken, and ambient temperature.
  • A greater degree of hygiene is often needed at large crowd events where contamination can pose a greater threat. Keep your food preparation areas clean by disinfecting regularly and boil any water sourced on site before it is used for cooking or drinking.
  • Protect your belongings. If possible, have someone from your group be designated camp mother. If you're camping alone, get to know your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on your stuff. Lock unattended valuables in a car.
Aftermath
  • The basic rule for an easy recovery is to have a couple of days free following your return. Rest, exercise and food are the essential ingredients.
  • If you take supplements to reduce harm from drug taking, then it's usually a good idea to continue taking them through your recovery period.
  • A good chat to supportive friends can be invaluable, particularly if you had some tricky moments or are feeling some post event burnout.
  • Get some sunlight, fresh air and plenty of fluids. Take time to reflect on the highlights of your experience and you'll soon be looking forward to attending the next big event.

[Edit: Correct author included. BigTrancer]
 
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Catch-22

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Extra note: This was written by someone who has plenty of experience working the first aid and pill testing tents at Australian doofs. Many people have bad reactions when taking familiar drugs in unfamiliar/uncomfortable environment. Taking these sensible precautions will improve the set and setting.

Reminder: I am posting this essay on behalf of someone else. These comments are not an official policy statement. Whether you want to agree or disagree, please put your thoughts in this thread. Do not send me PM's or emails unless you are contributing a new essay of your own. Thanks!
 

Hessel R.K.

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I love the outdoors. I guess I must have cought 'hippy' from the seat of a public toilet somewhere, but if im tripping its GoTTA be outside.

I would add to this list, go back in time and join the boy/girlscouts. Learn a little about camping. Then you wont need info on how to survive a fest. Fest is a funny word, btw.
 
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Digitally Analog

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you cant be a pussy at outdoor events, shit can happen to even the best prepared (not me). Take mishaps in stride, then, eat some more caps, otherwise, some tabs. Stop being a pussy, and enjoy the trip.
 

kooky_swanky

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Bush doofs are the best, dancin in the dirt gives you lots of room to go crazy, no dancing like a club sardine. Chillin round bonfire is also very boss.
 

Hessel R.K.

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Bonfires are chill as fuck, but you gotta call a campfire by its name... Too many people I know are like 'Im gonna have a bonfire' and its like 6 wax logs from the local gerocery store. Bonfires are big.

Anyway, dont let your friends get away with calling a campfire a bonfire.
 

mongman

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You are focusing mainly on summer festivals. The dangers are just if not more extreame at this time of year. I involve myself in outdoor bush parties during winter and the risk of exposure etc if unprepared and in a forest can be very high. Consider it!
 

OldSchoolStyley

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Digitally Analog said:
you cant be a pussy at outdoor events, shit can happen to even the best prepared (not me). Take mishaps in stride, then, eat some more caps, otherwise, some tabs. Stop being a pussy, and enjoy the trip.
Yeah because if your ill take more drugs is obviously going to make it better....

"Man I feel dizzy.....think I'm going to throw up"

"Here have some more E. That'll make it better"

"Cheers. I feel much better now. Where's the toilet?"

Aint gonna happen champ
 

Empty

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It's posts like these that make me hate being in America. You'd never find an event that big outside anywhere around here. At least not where I live, anyway. Even if you did, you'd have to worry about it being one giant bust, or it getting busted halfway through. Fucking opressive bullshit, I tell ya!:X
 

Chubba75

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Top quality harm-reduction post :D
 

Felixonapedestal

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All good... It's actually amzing how much of this stuff you fail to take into account. Or maybe thats just what I get for spontanious rave hunting.
 

two

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interesting post!
 

rm-rf

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you cant be a pussy at outdoor events, shit can happen to even the best prepared (not me). Take mishaps in stride, then, eat some more caps, otherwise, some tabs. Stop being a pussy, and enjoy the trip.

hahaha thats funny.
 

MissBehavin'_416

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I'll be needing this info this upcoming summa :D
 

phactor

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Empty said:
It's posts like these that make me hate being in America. You'd never find an event that big outside anywhere around here. At least not where I live, anyway. Even if you did, you'd have to worry about it being one giant bust, or it getting busted halfway through. Fucking opressive bullshit, I tell ya!:X

Uhhh look harder
 

Sandbag

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OldSchoolStyley said:
Yeah because if your ill take more drugs is obviously going to make it better....

"Man I feel dizzy.....think I'm going to throw up"

"Here have some more E. That'll make it better"

"Cheers. I feel much better now. Where's the toilet?"

Aint gonna happen champ
Meh, I'm familiar with the outdoor festival scene; but I've had an alarm set on my phone for when I was supposed to eat my next roll and my friends slapped me around to wake me up to feed me my bean while I was semi-conscious, laying down and trippin' very hard on acid and then let me be once I had swallowed it. Bout 45min later I was up off the group and dancing again....it's not responsible...but I prefer to balance my drugs with more drugs.

*edit*Sry bout bumping ancient thread...didn't see the date.
 

RaverKitty

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That nice room with the thumping bass and flashy l
Empty said:
It's posts like these that make me hate being in America. You'd never find an event that big outside anywhere around here. At least not where I live, anyway. Even if you did, you'd have to worry about it being one giant bust, or it getting busted halfway through. Fucking opressive bullshit, I tell ya!:X
Oh, I wouldn't say ANYWHERE, just not easily located. Oregon's good. Abandoned rock quarries, clearings way out in the woods, places you need to drive 10-15 miles out into the countryside to arrive at, where they tell you where to go, then you're checked out, if you pass you go to the REAL place... where you get directions. And then you are told which road to follow, how far, and drive with the windows down 'til you hear the bass.

There are also a good #of pretty awesome events in northern California, but the Oregon scene (particularly around Eugene) is almost like the scene back in the late 90s. Amazing outdoor underground events.

Damn it, now I'm dying
(again)to go to Eugene and visit my friends out there...
 
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