The bluffer's guide to surviving pub crawls

February 09, 2015
Article Promo Image

We’ve all heard of pub crawls but not many of us may not know how best to act on them.

Is it better to be the buzzing drunk flirting with members of the opposite sex? Or is best to stick to a low-key but friendly profile and make small talk in the booths?

As many of us are heading back to uni in March, we’d better brush up on how to best to behave on a pub crawl. While the temptations of discount pints and cider on the cheap will be rife, it might be better to remind yourself that less is more.

Line your stomach

This may seem like something your parents would say, but you really can’t understate how quick the booze will seep into your body and get you buzzing if you don’t eat. Make sure you have a good pub meal on your crawl or get dinner beforehand if it’s going to be a big night out.

Take it slow

You’re probably going to be an eager beaver to show the lads (or ladies) how quick you can skull pints, but this isn’t advised. I could give you the old tortoise versus rabbit comparison but I won’t. Because it’s a crawl, the aim is to hit as many watering holes as possible near your campus – if you crash and burn after the first bar then you’re simply not cutting it.

Buddy up

I took a friend to my first pub crawl because although crawls are often initiation rituals, they can also be an intimating experience first year newbies. Take a mate who’ll have your back when you’re low on the cash monies and need to get home. Bonus points for mates who’re prepared to hold your hair during a power vom.

Be friendly – but not too friendly

Using this crawl as a pick up exercise? Maybe don’t do it. Try and make small talk with some new people on your night of frivolity and aim to build some friendships before getting your pash on. If you’re a first year, it’s better to build bridges than burn down connections before they’ve even had a chance to begin.

Drink beer

There’ll probably be the temptation later in the night to down some shots. Don’t. Do. It. By this stage you’re already well boozed and tequila might very well mean you’re heaving in the gents. Stick with beer and cider y’all and take the night slow. For first-timers: it’s better to downplay yourself than be screaming uncontrollable drunk by the pub’s pool table.

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a Master of Journalism student at the University of Melbourne. His writing has been published in Salon, The Advocate, and Overland. He maintains a website at

Image: How I Met Yout Mother official Facebook page