Magic mushrooms aren't something you can just go out and get whenever you please. For most drugs, as long as you know somebody who grows their own or has a good supplier, you can be fairly confident that your high of choice is going to be available when you want it.
Of course, there are odd moments when you'll come up dry. It could be the result of a major police operation, supply chain complications or even just tough luck.
Magic mushrooms are a little different. In a select few places, they are readily available due to the presence of highly knowledgeable mycologists with a penchant for partying. It's much more likely that you'll have to wait until the right conditions, aka mushroom season, rolls around. In the West, this tends to coincide with the autumn months, but the exact period can vary based on location.
But if you've ever felt the need to trip balls in the middle of summer, you'll need to be a little more proactive about it.
At this point, it's important to point out that I'm not advocating that you break the law. At one time it was perfectly legal to harvest magic mushrooms as long as you didn't 'prepare' them in any way. In the UK it's now illegal to even pick them out of the ground. The information contained within this article is just that: information. What you do with it is entirely your own prerogative.
Now, here's how to prepare magic mushrooms so that you can have enough to last you all year long.
Step One: Harvest
If you're going to have enough 'shrooms to last all year, you're going to need to pick a pretty hefty amount.
With that said, picking too many will wreck your picking spots for next year. You need to leave enough so that the spores are able to distribute.
This is where the pick 'n' flick technique comes in. The idea is that every time you go to pick a mushroom, you give it a solid flick so that it shakes plenty of spores loose. Using a thin woven basket to store them in rather than a plastic bag lets you spread the spores across the field as you walk.
This will make sure that when your supply does run out by the time the next season rolls around, there will be a new crop to harvest.
You also need to have some realistic expectations about how many times you can have a full trip each year. If you're expecting to be able to get completely out of it every week, you're going to be spending a long time harvesting. It's better to adjust your expectations down to once or, at most, twice a month. Your tolerance to magic mushrooms builds pretty rapidly, and it gets prohibitively difficult to consume enough to trip more than a couple of times a week. It is much more economical to spread out your trips.
Step Two: Drying
Magic mushrooms are at their most potent when you first pick them. The longer you keep them, the more chance there is for the active psilocybe and psilocybin to become oxidised and lose their potency.
Drying your harvest makes them last much longer. They do become weaker, but a good sized dose will still be powerful enough to send you to the moon.
The first step is to give them a good air dry. A fan blowing over them until they visibly lose moisture is enough. Keep the mushrooms on a wire rack so that the air circulates around them completely. They should be dry to the touch. In this state they will keep for a couple of weeks or so without rotting, assuming you store them correctly, which we'll look at later.
At this stage your mushrooms will still be surprisingly moist. Even mushrooms that appear to be bone dry can still have as much as 10 percent water content, which will be more than enough to cause rot eventually.
A food dehydrator the number one best solution to dry your mushrooms for long-term storage is. Anywhere between 30 - 48 hours should be enough to completely remove any moisture. In this condition they will last for a year quite easily.
If you don't have a food dehydrator, you can use an oven. A fan-assisted one is best, but not essential. Be careful not to use a high heat or you will damage the active compounds. There is some argument regarding this particular point, with some claiming that heat doesn't actually cause any detrimental effects. Still, better safe than sorry!
The third option is to use a desiccant to remove the moisture from your mushrooms. However, this will take a large amount to do so, and is a bit of a lengthy process.
Step Three: Storage
Once you've gone to all the effort of drying your mushrooms, it'd be a shame to ruin all of your hard work by not storing them properly. Failure to do this properly will let moisture back into the mushrooms and degrade their quality.
The first thing you will need is an airtight jar. Masonry jars are perfect for this, but a biscuit or cake tin will do the job just as well.
The jar by itself is a good start, but if you want to be absolutely sure you should chuck a silica gel pouch in with the mushrooms. Every time you open the jar you will let a small amount of moisture in, and if the jar isn't completely airtight some will seep in over time. A silica gel pouch will prevent this from being a problem.
Having a number of jars with their own silica gel pouch is better than keeping it all in one. There are two benefits to this. It's easier for a single gel pouch to keep a small container dry, and if one jar somehow goes wrong then you haven't lost your entire supply.
Step Four: Pacing
No matter how well you take care of your magic mushrooms, you're only going to have a finite supply. Keep your sessions to a reasonable level, and weigh out the amount you're going to be using with a scale accurate to 0.01 grams. This way you will save yourself from using more than you need.
As previously mentioned, it's also important to space out your trips to avoid building up a tolerance. A week or two between trips is the bare minimum, and a month is better to keep the experience fresh.
Step Five: Enjoy
Now you know everything you need. Have a good time.