Tradition: Since one of the tenants of hashing is going out and working up a good sweat, a trail is necessary for hash members in run in order to justify their beer drinking. Beforehand a hasher usually will sign up to hare anywhere from a few weeks to a few months in advance, select a start location, and begin planning a trail. Trails are generally denoted base on two sets of factors: when they are laid and where they end.
Trails where the pack is running trail after the hare has laid the trail are referred to as “dead lays” – much like your ex, the trail just lays there and takes whatever you give it. Dead lay trails are usually laid a few hours in advance of trail and are the most common type of trail found in Chicago. Trails where the pack and the hare are out on trail at the same time are considered “Live” trails – usually a hare is given a short head start before the pack leaves and if the hare is caught on trail, whoever caught the hare is given a head start and continues trail. In the event that no hare can be found, a “pick-up hash” may be held where the hare is picked from among the attending hashers and is forced to lay a live trail.
The second way to differentiate between trails is by where they end – trails that begin and end in the same place are referred to as A-to-A trails while trails that begin and end in different locations are referred to as A-to-B trails. A-to-A trails are the most common type found in Chicago, as trails usually begin and end at the same bar, but it is not uncommon for trails to start at a bar and end at a particular hasher’s house.
Along with trail, hares are also responsible for including a beer stop on trail. Any location will generally do, as long as it doesn’t result in public intoxication charges being filed against the hash. In exchange for running the beer stop, the hares are not required to pay hash cash at any hashes they lay. Since the point of the hash is to drink beer first and get exercise later, hares are encouraged to lay their trails so that all members of the hash get to the beer stop at about the same time regardless of their running ability – besides, there’s nothing more annoying that getting to a beer stop to discover that all of the front running bastards have already finished all of the beers. Extra care should also be paid to making sure that you’re trail is not too easy to short cut, as discovering that everyone has missed a large portion of trail and made it to the beer stop before you is no fun either.
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