What To Expect, When You Expect To Go Hashing

Here's what you need to know before you hit the trail!

First Off: Wear Old Shoes! This is a must! Bring long socks, 
be prepared for  the day's weather forecast and also bring a 
"Dry Bag" (which should include a change of clothes, warm 
layers, dry socks and alternate dry footwear)   And Bring a 
sense of adventure and humor!


What to Expect from a Hash

1. Showing Up: Hash Time
Not all hashes are alike (remember that for each step of this
walk-through), but many run on hash time.

In Omaha, for example, running on hash time means that a start time of
2pm actually starts around 2:30pm. In other hashes, if they say it
starts at 2pm, it may start at 2pm or at 3pm. So be prepared to show up
on time and perhaps to wait. Don't be discouraged if you show up on
time and no one is there. Just wait for awhile, they're probably just
running on hash time.

Whenever you show up, don't wear new shoes or a competitive race shirt. 
Just trust us on this one. (You will understand later)


 2. Don't Be Surprised by Our Names
Whether your greeted first by a Spotted Dick or a Sweet Cheeks, don't 
be surprised that no one goes by their real name. If this is your first
hash, you should be addressed as No Name (your first name) or Just
(your first name), as in Just David or No Name David. In other words,
you don't have a hash name yet. You'll also probably be called a
virgin.

Hashes give names to the hashers in different ways. In some hashes you
remain unnamed until you do something worthy of a naming. In other
hashes, you get named on a certain hash, say your 5th hash. Expect
most names to be of a devious or sexual (at least implied) nature. (If
you're easily shocked or offended, hashing might not be the pastime
for you.)


3. Start the Run
So now you've stood around, met a few crazies, and perhaps had a few
beers. The hare has probably shown up and conducted "Chalk Talk"
(explained the marks you'll find on trail). (If You still feel a little confused,
just stick close to the pack, ask questions, it's pretty easy to learn as 
you go) Now, it's time for the run (or walk).

Basically, for most hashes, you're following a bunch of blobs of flour
(or possibly chalk marks). Checks (big O's) mean that trail can go in
any direction from there, so you have to run around different ways to
resume finding the blobs of flour. There are other marks that mean
other things as well (falses, backchecks, arrows).

Try Your trail solving skills here on a Virtual Hash Dry Run and follow
the trail until you find your reward of "Nectar from the Gods" BEER!
Sir Walters H3 Virtual Hash

Remember this run is social, it is not a race. In fact, competition is
an accusation-worthy offense. Running is ok, but use of the word,
R*cing is unacceptable! :)


4. The Beer Check
Somewhere along trail, you are likely to hear calls of "beer near".
This means you are approaching the beer check. Here you can refuel
(with beer of course) and rest. Usually, most hashes wait for everyone to get
there before sending the pack off again, some have a drink, catch their breath 
and are off again. 
This can happen at a Bar, someone's backyard, or a beer cooler stashed in 
the middle of the woods or under a bridge. In any case, it's best to stay on trail 
and not "short cut" (also called "zenning") so you don't miss out a beer stop!



5. More Trail
After the beer check, there will be more trail. On longer trails there
may be several beer checks. Eventually though, you'll make it
(hopefully) to...


6.The On In
The On In is the end of the running part of the hash. Don't think,
however, that the end of the run means the end of the hash. Actually,
the on in usually includes some munchies, more beer, and lots of talk.
Once the pack is in and fed, the RA (religious adviser) takes over.


7. The Circle
If you thought the names were bad, you're in for real trouble now. The
circle brings 3 things to most hashes: bad/naughty/bawdy songs,
down-downs, and accusations. The Songs are a cross between Old
Sea Shanties, Limericks & Rugby Songs. Sung all in good fun.
To learn a few of the songs to share next time you attend the hash,
Visit our list of Hash Notes for a growing selection of songs.

Circle may start with a song or a sermon (a joke from the RA or 
the crowd) Then the RA will probably start doling out down-downs for 
virgins (people who are hashing for the first time), six week wankers
(hashers who haven't showed up for 6 weeks or more), autowankers 
(people who did part of trail by car), and many more categories. 
As people get called into the circle, they may plead their case or just 
accept their punishment: BEER, then, as the rest of the group sings a 
song to them, they chug their beer until it's empty (or pour it on their 
head-"Head? Who said Head?") and exit  the circle.

This is followed by accusations. Someone raises their beer (usually
resting it on their "cranium") to be called on and, when they have the
floor, they can accuse other members of offenses on trial. Offenses
are varied and get crazier as more beer is consumed. (The RA's job is
to keep some semblance of control in the circle.) The accused, usually
found guilty, will then enter the circle and drink as the crowd sings
for them.


8. The On After
Sometimes at a bar, someone's house, or continued at the On In, the On
After is just an extension of the party. There's no need to stay, but
it can be a lot of fun and a great way to get to know other hashers. 
Sometimes food is provided by the hash or your hares, or it will be at 
a bar where food is served.

More to come....