Here is a checklist of things to consider when haring a trail. It’s not the hashing bible or anything, (because the only rule is…there are no rules) but it’s a decent guideline.
I often find locations for trails simply by looking out the window as I’m driving, but you can’t really know what’s in a given area until you go there, get out of your car and scout the trail.
Things to consider:
- Parking – Is there a place for a large number of vehicles at the beginning of the run? Keep in mind that while waiting for the start and, a bunch of wankers will be milling about and socializing. So, try to stay away from places where it is clearly posted that booze is prohibited, places where our presence will be closely observed, or where there are people likely to get perturbed.
- Trail – Are we crossing any property where we are likely to be pissing off the owners? Usually commercial properties that are not open for business when we go through are not a problem. Rental residences like apartment complexes are seldom problems either. Individual residences are the sticking point, and if you want to go through one, you must get permission first. Try to avoid places where there are lots of people who might mistake flour for anthrax. Keep off road if at all possible.
- Checks – Find good places for checks first. Remember that there will be a bunch of folks standing around yelling to the rest of the pack, so try to find places that are far enough off the beaten path so that this won’t arouse any suspicion, but at the same time, you want to make them accessible enough that you aren’t lugging coolers for miles through tough terrain (Fart). I learned this the hard way on my 2nd trail, hauling a cooler up a steep grade and being already exhausted by the start. If it’s a place where we might draw attention, consider making it a shot check. People don’t linger at those as long. This is also an alternative for checks that are far off the roads, because carrying a bottle is much easier than a whole cooler.
- On-in/after – Try to end the evening somewhere where people who drink a lot have the option of not driving. If you can’t use your home, find somewhere that people can camp or even stay at a motel. Bars can be good, but they cost everyone more, and people can get kicked out (Cause, Bushmonkey, etc.) Not all bars are prepared for H5’s level of revelry or debauchery, so keep that in mind.
- Scouting – Make sure you run/walk the trail yourself at least once, preferably several times, before the hash, so you can find out if the terrain is really passable, (DFM). Pick a date to hare a month or so in advance so you can tell Sister and have plenty of time to scout. You want to make the trail hard enough that it’s not a cakewalk, but you don’t want people getting hurt, or getting pissed. Remember, we want to get people to come back (especially if they are hot chicks) and having the trail go through a quarter mile of briers is not likely to accomplish this. If you want to do some treacherous terrain, consider having a separate Turkey trail that bypasses the hazards for the less hard core hashers.
The object is to keep the pack together. This means, hose the FRBs, but try to go places where the back of the pack can keep up. Avoid long straightaways, which allow the faster runners to really break away from the slower ones. If you must go a long way in one direction, use lots of checks, and place them so that it really seems plausible that the trail will turn at that point. Double back on yourself frequently so that the back of the pack can shortcut to where the FRB’s are going.
- Always get enough beverages. (unless we end at a bar) It’s always better to have too much than not enough. It sucks having to go out and get more.
- If the trail ends pretty far from the start, arrange to have a vehicle at the end to take people to get their cars at the start.
- Have a bag vehicle to bring everyone’s dry clothes and shoes to the end, and For God’s sake, make sure there’s beverages at the start and beverages and snacks at the end.
- Stage extra flour along the way so that you don’t run out (Fart).
- Make sure there’s enough at the beverage checks and plenty of water, especially for warm days. I generally go with the guideline of 1-and-a-half to 2 gallons and 1 liter of water. Usually 20 cups is sufficient, since folks will share.
- Try to post the hash info as far in advance as possible. If it’s a good trail and date, people will plan around it if they have enough advance notice.
- When sending directions to the list, try to put tha actual address of the start if it is available. That way, KY can set up a map link on the schedule.
- Send reminders to the mail list and talk up your trail. Remember, these are half-minds you’re talking to, they’ll believe the hype. (Well, at least the first time. If your first trail sucks they may be more skeptical next time)
Try to come up with a theme for your hash. People get into theme hashes, and if it works out, then you can turn it into an annual event. For instance, the Guy Fawkes hash in November, the Hanukkahash in December, the St. Pat’s hash in March are all looked to with great anticipation, and are always good turnouts. If you can match the beverages to the theme, cool. Some ideas:
- January- Superbowl
- February-Valentines day (14th)
- Mardi Gras (end)
- March- St. Pat’s (if you want to Co-hare with Tour) or
- Spring break- anything
- April- Paul Revere/Patriot’s day (18th)
- May- we already have Stinko DeMayo, that’s enough
- June- beach party/D-day, (6th )
- July- independence day,
- August- you’re on your own
- Sept.- Labor day, Rosh HASHannah
- Oct.- Columbus day, Yom Kippur, Halloween
OK, you get the picture. You can always pick some famous’s birthday too.
Figure on 20-30 people for food purposes, if it’s a special/annual event, then figure 25-35. Once again, it’s always better to have too much than not enough. For snacks,
pretzels, chips, salsa are staples. If you can have food match a theme, great. If not, try to do stuff that doesn’t require much prep. Burgers and dogs are OK, but someone has to cook them. Having cold cuts and rolls for make your own sub bar is something that anyone can deal with and no prep is required. Stew, Chili or something else than can be prepped ahead of time are also options.
Figure out a place where folks can change, shower, or both. Have a place for the circle where spillage and noise isn’t a problem. If you’re at a non-remote location, try to keep folks inside, or alert neighbors to be prepared for noise and weirdness. Having place for folks to crash is good. Don’t be afraid to ask folks to help out. Someone’s always willing.