Trail Laying Guide

The following advice is given to assist in laying hash trails for Aberdeen Hash House Harriers.

Once you have decided on your run area, it helps to remember we are a "hash kennel" with an accent on social running, which can be maintained by adopting a few basic principles and techniques, see also Generic Risk Assessment:


  • Keep in touch with the Head Hare.

  • Experienced Hares are encouraged to take a new runner as a co-hare.

  • New Runners, haring for the first time, should set trails with a more experienced hasher as a co-hare.

  • It is expected that all new hashers will help lay a trail after about 10 runs.

  • With AH3 average pack size, you are only expected to lay two trails a year, but this only works if all the pack make an effort.


  • Try to find somewhere with adequate parking.

  • Try and find a location that is interesting, with maybe a good view, a bit of history or archaeology, etc.

  • Tarmac is fine, but it’s nice to get out of town.

  • How far to the site? – no distance is too far, but try to work within a 30 mile radius of Aberdeen as a rule of thumb.

  • If you want to do something different drop the Head Hare a line and they will help you sort it out.

  • Once you have decided on a location let the Head Hare know well in advance the details of your trail, which should include:

    • On On site location name.

    • Area location.

    • Ordnance Survey map reference No. and/or Google Map link

    • Directions from Aberdeen.

  • If in doubt the Head Hare will assist.

Some useful websites:

Forests around Aberdeen

Walkhighlands, Aberdeenshire/

Visit Scotland, aberdeen-city-shire

Aberdeenshire archaeology

Wheres the path


  • Always reccy your trail at least a week beforehand.

  • Check with the local land owners that it's OK to cross their land or use their pathways.

  • Always try and collect the AH3 signs after the previous hash, and use them to help the pack find your OnOn site on the day. Get in touch with Head Hare if you need signs or if you have any signs tucked away.

  • Set up the AH3 signs in good time before the hash starts (about one hour).


  • A pack that runs together, finishes together.

  • All hashers of whatever physical ability have the right to be on the trail.

  • Trails should be around an hour to an hour and a half in length.

  • Anything longer than this is in ball breaker territory and should be advised in advance to ensure inclusiveness is maintained.

Trail laying, hints & tips

  • In Aberdeen we generally use flour to mark the trail, but sometimes use chalk in built up areas.

  • Flour is very tenacious; when it gets wet it turns to paste – it does not wash away.

  • Take the time to tell civilians, notably dog walkers, what you are doing, many of them worry that it might be rat poison!

  • Where possible, lay flour on trees or on stone surfaces, rather than on the ground.

  • If laid on turf or sand the flour will soak in and disappear within a few hours, especially in damp conditions.

  • When you want the pack to follow your trail, make it plain to see. (e.g. front of trees at eye level for easy, ground level for difficult)

  • If you want to slow the pack down, make it difficult to see or find the flour, especially at check points to allow regroups. (e.g. lay it behind trees or rocks)

  • Mix powder paint with your flour for those frosty, snowy days.

  • Give the FRBs that bit of extra mileage by adding check backs and loops to the basic trail. This also lets the slower hashers catch up (hint: it is advisable to set the back check outside your trail loop and not inside, so that those going through the back check wont find your in-trail further on).

  • Obstacles can be fun, but make sure the less able are catered for.

  • As a guide – two hours trail laying results in one hour to hash.

Regroup (beer check)

  • In Aberdeen it is common practice to have a regroup at about the 2/3 stage of the trail (usually after about an hour of trail).

  • The contents of the refreshments provided are not cast in stone and is up to the hares discretion, but some tips may help.

  • Remember that a receipt is cash in the bank, no receipt no cash back. 😊

  • Work on a pack of approximately 30, sometimes it’s more, sometimes less. As a guide:

    • 16 cans ale (cans are a lot lighter than bottles for carrying, and generally cheaper)

    • 5 zero alcahol beers

    • 4 cans lager

    • 4 cans cider

    • 6 cans softies

    • 12 boxes juice

    • Bag of mixed chocolate bites.

  • £40 to £45 is the guide for spend on the beer stop. (If you want to enhance it you must fund it out your own pocket.), but with the drink driving limit being reduced most people won't drink much anyway.

  • Flour is no longer reimbursed due to the wide variation in how much flour is used.

    • The lead hare and assistant do not pay a run fee.

On Inn

  • The organisation of the OnInn (i.e. the food for a social get-together afterwards) is the responsibility of the hare, but the Head Hare will be able to advise.

  • If you are organising a pub they will usually want to know how many will be turning up, so make sure you get the numbers before the run to advise the pub in plenty of time.

  • It’s always pleasant to be invited back by the hares to their home for food afterwards, and this is to be encouraged. If you do this; it may be advisable to state what food is on offer beforehand. If you are not offering drink it may be advisable to state it is BYOB. Note: Hash Beer is not used for the On Inn.

  • It is also nice on occasion for food etc, to be provided or prepared at the run site (BBQ, soup, sandwiches etc).

  • For any OnInn activities make sure you are not left out of pocket, so charge an amount to cover your costs. You may also wish to use the occasion as a fund raising event.