A Hasher's Guide to Getting (a Trail) Laid

Resource Summary: hash friendly bc’s & on-ins & budgeting spreadsheet
Armchair Scouting: gmap pedometer, google walking maps, & usa track & field

When do we hash?

  • Winter trails start on Sundays at 2:30pm HST. Hares are away by 2:50pm, pack is away at 3:00pm. Some exceptions for Sundays can be made with advance notice to the Hareraiser. A typical reason for a time change might be that trail set on a location on the Commuter Rail rather than the subway.
  • Summer trails are set for Wednesdays at 6:30pm HST. Hares are away by 6:50pm, pack is away at 7:00pm.
  • The change from the Winter to the Summer schedule is announced in advance by the Grand Master. It usually happens sometime in September near the time of AGM.
  • HST stands for Hash Standard Time.

Where do we hash?

  • The start and end of the trail should be within ½ mile of a MBTA Subway stop. Contact the Hare Raiser about trails with start or end requiring bus or commuter rail access.
  • Take into account schedules and additional time/cost to the pack when scheduling a trail not on the subway.

Advance Preparations

  • Make an Announcement: Ideally you should post an announcement to runs list at least 4 days in advance so visitors & regulars can plan ahead (who said head). And, so we can update the calendar & hotline.
  • Find a Bag Car: You need to find someone to be the Bag Car, or find someone to stay with the bags if it’s an A-to-A trail. Ask a hasher for help or plan on one of the Hares doing it. If all else fails, spam the list a few days prior, but be aware that you may still end up doing it yourself!
  • Secure an On In: Talk to the Manager of the bar (not just any bartender) at the On-In bar in advance so (s)he’ll know we’re coming. Make sure the bar and you know what to expect - circle, off-color songs, bringing in food, etc. Also ask the Manager about prices. If they are higher than what is outlined below they reduce them even if you promise a certain number of people, don’t use the bar because high prices = less beer = unhappy pack.
  • Buy Supplies: Pre-purchase supplies for the Trail and Beer Check, see below.
  • Scout Trail: Physically scout your trail with your co-hare ahead of time! Don’t rely only on Internet maps!

Trail Basics

  • Trails should be 3 to 6 miles long, as run by the pack. A trail scouted as 4 miles from A to B will be closer to 5 miles for the pack to run when you add in falses, back-checks, etc. A short, interesting trail is always preferable to a long, boring death march. We’re a drinking & social club first and foremost, not a running club!
  • Set your marks from the nearest T stop to the start location no later than the announced HST.
  • Use sidewalk chalk &/or colored flour. You can mix flour with carpenters chalk, Kool-Aid, or something similar. Using pure white flour may attract unwanted attention from the local authorities and general public for which you alone will be responsible. Just ask New Haven!
  • One Beer Check per trail is typical and lasts until the DFLs catch up… usually about 15 minutes. If you are providing more than one BC, consider the impact on getting the pack to the On-In at a reasonable time, particularly on Wednesday night trails.
  • A good rule of thumb for planning is that the average hasher can run a 10 minute mile. A 4 mile trail with one BC should take about 1 hour to get to the On-In, including the allowance for running down falses, etc.
  • Provide a walker’s trail, map, or inside info for less-able members of the pack, or have a Sweeper follow behind the pack to guide the stragglers and the lost and to mark all checks with the correct direction.
  • Trails can be set live or dead (pre-laid), and can go from “A-to-A”, “A to A1”, or “A-to-B”.
  • Use standard BH3 trail markings. Tell the RA at the start about anything new or special that should be relayed to the pack.
  • Marks should be placed every 50-100 feet or 1 block apart.
  • Don’t set a long trail if it is going to get dark or if the temperature is 85+ degrees.
  • Don’t lay a “dead” trail more than a couple hours before the hash because weather or people might wash the marks away.
  • Be considerate of public & private property and avoid hazardous areas the average hasher will not be able to get to.

Beer Checks & On-Ins

  • We put together a couple of maps. One has Outdoor On Ins & Beer Check locations and the other shows On In Bars.
  • At the BC, plan for one beer per hasher plus a couple of extra cans. The Hare Raiser will be able to give you a typical pack size; it varies with the season. You can probably expect 15 to 40 hashers for a Sunday trail with variations depending on the weather. Around Christmastime we might have 10 hashers or up to 40 hashers on a really nice day.
  • Always provide water. Allow for extra water during 80+ degree weather.
  • At the BC, let a member of MisMgt know the exact location so they can update the hotline for stragglers and latecomers.
  • Order food for the On~In at the Beer Check. Ideally plan the timing of the food delivery so the food does not arrive at the On~In until the Circle is underway.
  • Outdoor On~In’s are a good alternate to bars if you can find a discrete place where the noise won’t draw the attention of authorities or the public. If you are using someone’s backyard, be sure they are willing to take full responsibility for having the entire pack drinking in their yard and making noise.

Budgeting Time

  • Allow about 20 minutes per mile.
  • Allow about 20 minutes per beer check.

Budgeting Hash Cash

  • Please budget according to the guidelines below and seek reimbursement from Hash Cash for trail expenses directly after the trail ends. Hash Cash will collect all the Cash and use it to reimburse the hares, order the On-In beer, and pay & tip the delivery person & bartender.
  • Each hasher pays $10. Each hare pays $10. The Bag Car pays only $5. Ask Hash Cash ahead of time if you have questions or need help!
  • Reimbursable expenses include: chalk, flour, beer check beer, water, soda, ice, cups and minimal snacks
  • All trinkets and other expenses will be incurred at the personal expense of the hare.
  • Shop around for deals on beer check beer. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just cold!
  • Pick food that falls within the range of $2.50-$3 per hasher. If ordering pizza this works out to about $7-$9 per pie.
  • Plan on ordering one pizza for every 3 hashers. Allow for 1 extra pie for every 15 hashers. Provide at least one vegetarian pizza.
  • Choose an On In where beer is $1.50 for 12oz, $2.00 16oz, or at most $8.00 per pitcher. When speaking to the Manager, try negotiating.
  • Beer purchases after the Circle has ended are not considered part of the Hares budget and should be purchased by individual pack members unless there is a surplus of collected Hash Cash.
  • Hare Club thoughtfully created an estimation-shestimation tool for the hashing community-at-large. We know you'll think it's SO fabulous that you'll want to download a copy to simulate the cost of your own hashes. Be sure to thank him.

Armchair Trail Scouting

  • GAP says: First there was gmap-pedometer.com and now there's Google "Walking" available on google maps. As described by Google: You can tell Google Maps that you want walking directions, and we'll try to find you a route that's direct, flat, and uses pedestrian pathways when we know about them. Just get directions as you normally would. If you're going 10 km or less (some call this 6.2 miles), we'll show you a link that you can click to get "Walking" directions. Note to hares: that means NO directions if your route is over 6.2 miles… but that wouldn't be a problem for Boston hares, now would it? :)
  • Ski (Resident old fart, crank and GM Emeritus) says: Pretty much ignore GAP when it comes to trails. It certainly makes sense to look at the a map or one of the Internet tools . Always go out there & really scout the trail . What's on the map & what's on the real world can different. You can certainly pick up some oddities that are not shown on a map that & make the run more interesting. More importantly , ya might find out the whole idea sucks & is only just an 8K run. If ya think an 8K is a fun hash, go over ta the wankers at the Sommerville striders . O yeh, figure out the On In, then figure out the hash.
  • Headmaster says: Ski has some points, here are a few more: This "google walk" may be useful for 1) Getting walkers from point to point on the trail. You should always be prepared to accomodate people who prefer to go at a slower pace - either lay a turkey trail or provide walker directions. 2) Getting people back to public transit. If you're ending in a swamp, salt marsh, or Oak Square, it might be nice to print out a map so people can walk back to the T and 3) Buy haberdashery!
  • Someone else said nothing, but uses the USATF site.
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