Soft and Gentle Guidance(1)
for Hares on the Laying of Trails
(1) Remembering that there are no rules on the Hash (2) and certainly no hard and fast ones (3);
(2) Except for Rule 6 and that the GM is never wrong and that the RA is never wrong (4);
(3) Except (2) above;
(4) Unless the RA contradicts the GM.
1. Hares: Always try to have two hares, one to be sort of energetic and mark the trails, and the other (usually the short, fat, stumpy one) to go with the walkie talkies. Marking the checks allows for late arrivals or wayward FRBs to catch up. Try to have a veteran Hare with any v!rg!n hare so that discrete guidance may be offered to avoid a monumental c0ck-up; this is ultimately the Hare Raiser's responsibility.
2. Trail: Generally just a dollop of flour. You can be discreet where you drop the flour (e.g. the far side of a lamp post from the direction of travel) but try not to put flour on moving targets (e.g. on a dog or on the road where a car may park and obscure it). If it's raining (we are in Scotland so there is a faint possibility!) when you are laying the trail make sure you use good solid dollops of flour, not a wispy thin dusting.
For a typical trail buy three or four bags of flour, which should leave both Hares with half a bag each to mark the checks or to correct a bit of the trail or replace flour which some local has dilegently swept off the pavement in front of his house.
3. Checks: Could be relatively short distance between them. The idea is to keep the pack together, irrespective of whether they are FRBs or walkie talkies. They should be marked by the hares (or expect the wrath of Dweebe if you don't), although many hashes do not do this (a hare being seen on the trail results in an automatic Hash Sh*t Award on some Hashes!) and leave it to the pack to find their own way. TNT does mark the Checks though to help late hashers or Hashers/Hariettes operating on Trossachs H3 time (eg. Scoop, Snake Charmer and Deathwish 2000) and for lost/checking FRBers.
4. Checkaround: Try to have them at quiet junctions (e.g. not Haymarket!) so that others can hear when the On On is called.
Lost or Checking Hashers will call 'RU' to find out if anyone is on Flour. If when checking you hear 'RU' shout back 'Checking' if you haven't found Flour or if you have then call 'On On' (don't be shy when you are On)
5. Backchecks: A bit like a Falsie. Used on some other hashes instead of Falsies, may have a number next to the backcheck. This denotes the number of splodges of flour you need to count back before looking for the correct trail. But see Falsies re debate for the purists.
6. Falsies: Usually denoted by a large 'F' (sometimes by a 'X' or 'Line' on some other hashes). Basically a dead-end. There is no reason why they cannot just appear on the trail if you want to change direction of the trail, although they are often used at checkarounds. They are very useful for giving the FRBs a good run around. For the purists, many hashes in South East Asia and worldwide use them, but there is argument that the original hash (good old Mother Hash) did not use any falsies – if you were on flour, you were on. False trails should be no longer than 80 to 100 metres before ending in a distinct F (or X on other hashes).
7. Arrows: Optional whether to use them. Some say that arrows don't lie, so you should avoid an arrow immediately before a Falsie. Similarly, if there is a checkaround, or a backcheck the pack knows only to go as far back as the last arrow before looking outwards.
8. Number of checks: Probably 6 or 7 checks is ample. Too long a distance between checks makes for an endurance marathon with no respite. Too short a distance makes for an awkward stop/start. It absolutely depends on the location and availability of suitable sites for the check etc, but as a rough guide, somewhere around 400 to 800 metres between should be fine, but they should be at varied intervals so it is not a regular 500 metres: check 500 metres: check etc.
9. After a Check: The trail should start up within 50 to 10 meters of the check and may begin again anywhere within 360 degrees of the checkaround.
10. Figure of Eight: A clever, if complex trail, where the trail literally does a figure of eight loop. Having a footpath bridge for one of the directions is useful so that you do not join the in-trail when still on the out-trail! (A simplier variation is having loops as semi-circles added to the main circular route of the trail – imagine a child's picture of a flower, with the main circle surrounded by pretty loops all around.)
11. On Inn: This should be scrawled at the final run-up to the pub where we started. After marked 'On Inn' there is no need to continue marking the trail.
12. Signs: 'VP' is View Point; 'WM' is Whisky Mack Stop; 'BS' is Beer Stop' or 'BC' Beer Check, 'RG' is Regroup so the Walkie Talkies can catchup with the FRBs.
13. FRBs: Front Running B@st@rds> they get all they deserve.
14. Walkie Talkies: Discrete of pace, loud of voice as they toddle round in their own time, chatting away.
15. SCBs: Short Cutting B@st@rds. To be admired and envied when they take a short cut and it proves correct. Equally, to be laughed and derided when they go hideously off trail. It's their risk!
16. Time: When laying a run it should take you about two hours to lay it / walk (including Falsies etc.), and that way the r*n should last about an hour.
17. Beerstops: Most welcome if there is provision for a brief respite from the ardour or r*nning whilst on trail!. Occasionally have bucks fizz or whicky macks or even mince pies and other cheesey comestibles etc.
18. Pub Grub and Beer: A hare's duty includes approaching the landlord for free beers (usually half a dozen pints) for the Down Downs and free sandwiches/pies for afterwards. Don't be shy of asking: they can only say no, and there are plenty of pubs that are delighted to host us and provide this.
19. Scribe Report: A hare's duty is not completed until the hare has written up the R*n Report from the next week and submitted it to the On Sec. That way we have something to read about in the eTrash.
20. Freedom of Choice: It's up to each hare exactly how to lay the trail. As a hash, we can only be grateful of the people who take the time to lay trails, so it is up to them how to lay it.
With fifty or so Hashers running every week you would only have to lay two trails each a year to do your fair share.