This weekend, at a Wu Tang Clan concert in Austin TX, I found myself in the middle of a mosh pit. I had never had the pleasure of moshing before, and was a bit unprepared. Considering that you too might like to enjoy the mosh experience, I developed this handy guide.

Goals:

To remain upright. Two reasons: 1) falling could get you trampled, and 2) the floor is going to be very, very dirty.

To have fun. This does not include getting punched in the face, but may involve being pushed around and pushing other people to your hearts content with a backdrop of your favorite songs.

Preparation:

Consider which songs will initiate moshing action. Usually more up tempo, popular songs will get people in the moshing spirit.

Make a note of exits and how you will get there if you need to.

Brace yourself but remain flexible. If a crowd of people is pushing toward you, you want to go with the flow of energy and not against it.

Methods:

If you’d like to minimize personal injury, surround yourself with people that are bigger than you. Swinging arms, legs, and feet will hit them first and give you time to get out of the way.

Keep an eye out for crowdsurfers. As they get tossed around the crowd, their arms and legs may be flailing around uncontrollably – getting kicked in the head is not ideal.

Link elbows with a friend. This will help stabilize both of you, and help you straighten yourself out if you lose your balance.

If you feel yourself falling, grab the person closest to you and use them to pull yourself up. They won’t mind.

If you do fall, it’s ok. It comes with the territory. Hopefully someone will help you up and you can continue where you left off.

Be sure to shove other individuals with all your might – it is a mosh pit after all – but be sensible about how much impact you can withstand. Know when to step aside.

The look:

Minus the sunglasses and watch, Amber Rose is ready for the mosh pit.

#1 Wear boots

Combat boots. Steel toe if possible. In a mosh pit, your feet will get stepped on, a lot. They will get stepped on with the full weight of people’s bodies. They will be stepped on with the force exerted by a person attempting to launch another person into the air. Your friends will be the worst offenders. You want a shoe that will protect your toes and prevent you from slipping.

#2 Leave your coat and purse in the car

Mosh pits are hot, and a purse will be lost, stolen or both. You also want to have full range of motion in your arms so you won’t want a coat and purse holding you back. Bring your car/house key and a few dollars, and that should be all you need. Once the moshing starts, reapplying lip gloss or checking Twitter will be the last thing on your mind.

#3 Wear a mosh-ready hairstyle

Don’t wear a wig to a mosh pit. Just saying, it will probably leave your head at some point during the evening if you do. Your lovely hosts may even be kind enough to spray the crowd with water and/or beer, so I wouldn’t advise trying that new curly look or updo. A ponytail or bun is more than enough.

#4 Do not wear makeup

If you must break this rule, please make it waterproof. There will be sweating.

#5 Do not wear jewelry

No one likes a torn earlobe, and rings easily become brass knuckles as your arms flail about.

Other notes:

Moshing is supposed to be fun. The people you are moshing with should not be trying to kill each other or you. If you see murderous tendencies, get out of there.

If you see people falling and no one is helping them up, people getting injured and not being immediately helped to an exit, the aforementioned punching in the face, or anything of the like this may not be a benevolent mosh pit. Proceed accordingly, ie, leave as fast as you can.

For more info and tips, check out this this excellent Guide to Moshing & Concert Survival:

Happy Moshing. ♥