5 min

The Psychedelic Trip Sitter's Guide

5 min

Whether you are new to psychedelics or an experienced hand, the benefits of a trip sitter are significant. While they will not guide your trip, they are there to make sure you can explore the cosmos in safety. Continue reading to find out what it means to be a trip sitter, and what the role entails.

Having a tripsitter watch over you whilst you get high can be a really reassuring experience, helping guide a trip to new and unexplored heights through the knowledge that there is someone around to catch you if you fall. However, the art of tripsitting is not as simple as asking a friend to hang around whilst you take hallucinogenics, so we have put together a small guide to being a good tripsitter.

Now, before we get into the real details of what a tripsitter is, and how to be a good one, it is important to note that a tripsitter is not essential, even for first time users. Not having one doesn’t mean you are going to have a bad trip, so don’t worry if you were not considering finding one. They simply offer those who want it, a little bit of extra reassurance and information.


The presence of a "trip sitter" is becoming increasingly common. Not only does it refer to someone who is there to offer support during a psychedelic trip at home, but also at festivals worldwide and other locations. The premise is simple; trip sitters are there to ensure you have a safe psychedelic experience, offering assistance should you begin to have a bad trip.

Trip sitters are not responsible for guiding a spiritual journey, nor should they directly intervene in a trip if possible. They are usually a person the tripper trusts and can rely on to stay calm and composed. The trip sitter’s role is to watch from afar, and if needed, provide hydration or amend settings to ensure the tripper stays as comfortable as possible. A trip sitter is your safety net should an experience become too overwhelming; often, just their presence is enough to keep a journey through the cosmos on its spiritual tracks.

Related article

What To Do When You Have A Bad Trip



While trip sitters will not take an active role in guiding a psychedelic journey, there are some key points that need to be considered before, during, and after the trip.

  • Before

It is vital that you know the person you are trip sitting. In most cases, they will probably be a friend, so you will have a good idea of both their experience and tolerance. If the person you are trip sitting is unfamiliar, spend some time getting to know them. Be sure to understand the positive memories or experiences they've had. These can be key when trying to reassure someone during a bad trip. Someone who is having trouble understanding where they are in space and time will find the presence of someone they know more calming than someone they don't.

  • During

During a trip, your role can be very mild and uninteresting, or more involved depending on how the trip progresses. For the most part, you will be sat around waiting for hours at a time as the person tripping goes on their spiritual journey. Be sure to bring a book or something equally unobtrusive. Sitting playing a video game with loud noises and intense visuals is likely to upset the tripper.

Make sure the person tripping has plenty of water to hand, and food if needed. You will want to try and remain out of the room they are tripping in so they can experience psychedelics undisturbed, but it is a good idea to keep a regular eye on them. Trips can go from good to bad very quickly, so hanging out downstairs with your headphones in is not a great idea.

If the trip takes a turn for the worse, then this is where your background research and understanding of the person tripping will put you in good stead. You want to try and reassure the person without overwhelming them. Ask simple questions, talk to them about a happy memory, remove anything that might be disturbing, and, if appropriate, provide them with a thick blanket to help them feel more comfortable.

Remember—if the person becomes violent, starts having suicidal thoughts, or exhibits unusual side effects, then seeking immediate medical assistance is a priority. Once medical experts arrive, you can talk them through the situation and let them know which drug has been taken. Psychedelics alter a person's state of mind, and in the majority of cases, trying to reason with them will not work. If you fear for theirs, or your own safety, maintain your distance, keep a calm tone of voice, and call the emergency services.

  • After

Many people think that once a trip is over, the experience has ended. For both the trip sitter and the person tripping, this is simply not the case. The level of inner reflection and the visions seen during a trip take time to be processed by the brain. It is essential to take stock after the trip to discuss what the person tripping saw, felt, and experienced. Not only will it significantly improve their overall experience of psychedelics, but it also serves as a means of checking if there are residual side effects.

If their psychedelic journey was a negative one, then it is equally important to talk about what may have triggered it so the tripper is prepared in the future. If the person tripping still does not seem themselves, then as a trip sitter, encourage them to get some rest. In nearly all cases, sleep will bring them back to sobriety.

Related article

How To Sober Up From A Mushroom Trip



Preparation is essential as a trip sitter. Depending on your previous experience with psychedelics, this may take longer than the tripping experience itself. While not crucial, it is a good idea to have a basic level of first aid should anything go awry.

Firstly, as a trip sitter, you need to know what to expect during the trip. This means either having experience with the drug being taken, or spending some time doing background research. Given the spectrum of psychedelics, experiences vary widely, so knowing what is and isn't normal behaviour is crucial. Tripping on mushrooms, for example, may only last several hours, while MDMA or LSD trips can be significantly longer.

Magic mushroomsView Magic Mushrooms

Secondly, every psychedelic has slightly different side effects and characteristics. These are important factors to consider so that you know whether a trip is going as intended. Visions and euphoria are common in substances like peyote and truffles, but this is not always the case with synthetic drugs like PCP or ketamine.

Finally, your last job when preparing as a trip sitter is to make sure the area they are tripping in is safe. Ideally, the person tripping will want somewhere to lay or sit comfortably. Remove any immediate hazards from the area, and make sure you know where all the essentials can be found (phone, water, food, blankets, etc.). Tripping next to an open fire might be a mind-melting experience, but it is also an incredibly unsafe one!



We have covered a lot of ground; for the most part, the information above will be more than enough to ensure a pleasant and informative experience. However, to cover as many scenarios as possible, we have a few tips that may help you out when trip sitting.

  • Mixing psychedelics is a surefire way to end up in a bad trip—or worse. Make sure that the person tripping does not have a psychedelic stash nearby that could become tempting during a trip.

  • Don't be intimidated by the idea of being a trip sitter. A significant number of bad experiences when tripping come down to a lack of preparation and understanding of psychedelics. Something as simple as taking mushrooms in a quiet room delivers an experience that is hugely more enjoyable than taking them for the first time at a party or festival, for example.

  • Knowing when to back off versus when to reassure someone is also a vital skill for a trip sitter. Some people may become incredible paranoid, in which case trying to comfort them or hold their hand may make matters worse. Always remember that the role of a trip sitter is to ensure safety, not to act as a shaman. Often, the bad trip needs to play out as you watch from afar.

  • It may sound strange, but a fantastic remedy for someone having a bad trip is to take off their shoes and socks and encourage them to go barefoot on the ground (as long as it's safe).

  • Breathing exercises are another fantastic way to support someone who has become distressed. Get them to focus on the process of breathing in through their nose and out through their mouth. Repeat this process until they have started to calm down.

  • Try to see the world through the tripper’s eyes. Remember, this experience isn't about you—it is about what they are thinking and feeling. Don’t remind them about work or family obligations. Ask them to talk you through what they can hear or see if you sense they are becoming upset.

  • A psychedelic trip is not a journey from point A to point B. Often, the experience can vary in intensity from one minute to the next. Before jumping in and panicking, wait to see whether the person tripping relaxes by themselves.

  • Finally, the most important skill required is patience. Just like being the designated driver, you may not fully enjoy the night out, but it is essential you are there. Plus, once you trip-sit for one of your friends, you can ask them to return the favour!

Magic Mushroom And Truffle Trip Guide

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
How To Shroomshop
Search in categories