Rock Mountain Sports
September 1, 1994

House House Harriers Primer

Your Very Own Hash House Harriers Primer

Rocky Mountain Sports
September 1, 1994
By Tom White

This document is most rare. Generally, one learns the customs and peculiarities of hashing by “trail” and error. However, since I've come to know a lot of hashers, I realize that “bit error” is their preferred method, so to save me a grand mal seizure I have whipped up this little treatise. Be aware, though, that it is by no means exhaustive – although the actual act of hashing often is!

The Rules of Hashing

  • Rule #1: There are no rules.
  • Rule #2: A hash is not a race.

Hash Theory

A hash is a hound and hare run. The designated hares get a 15-minute head start and lay a trail, which the hounds then follow. At the halfway point there is a beer check provided for the replenishment of carbo stores. At the finish there is, of course, more beer! You see, the Hash House Harriers are not a track team. They are, actually, a drinking club with a serious running problem.

Sounds simple, huh? NOT! You thought you could just come, run, drink beer and then fall down, right? Well the good news is that you get to drink beer. The bad news is that the hares will do their damnedest to see to it that you fall down before you get to the beer.

Hash Practice

But enough about theory – on to the nuts an bolts of successful hashing. There are certain “hare-sign” conventions. The basic trail is marked with splotches of flour. Where possible, arrows will be drawn with chalk (on trees, under rocks, etc. I once even saw a hare arrow frawn on a sleeping dog!) You will come to “CHECKS”. Now pay attention, because this is important. A CHECK looks like this:

When you encounter a CHECK be aware that the trail picks up again within a 360 degree radius of the CHECK and within 100 hash meters (naturally a hash meter is subject od some individual interpretations on the part of the hares). Watch out for false trails. If you are following a trail and you come to a false trail sign, then backtrack to the last CHECK because (duh) you're on a false trail! But enough of hare signs. You people will just have to learn about the other hare signs – like famous Eagle-Turkey Split on the job.

Oh, yeah, another crucial point. The whole object of the game is to get all the hounds together so you can have a great party at the end. Generally the faster runners ferret out the false trails and solve the checkpoints so that the slower (or more inebriated) runners can follow along without getting too far behind of (tsk tsk) lost. Thus we have pack arrows and whistles. The lead hounds must take responsibility for laying pack arrows (diagrams) and everyone must toot on their whistles (don't forget to bring a whistle – to do so would be a hash crime) frequently. The traditional shout of a hound on the hare trail is “On-On.” Only shout “On-On” if you are indeed (or at least believe yourself to be) on the trail. If you see some fellow hounds in the distance and you want to know if they are on trail, yell “Are You?” They will respond “On-On” if they are on trail, or “Checking” if they are in the process of exploring a potential hare trail.

Remember, the point is to get all the hounds successfully to the beer check and then to the finish and its Solemn and Mystic Ceremonial (read: stupid drinking games).

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