From the 1938 charter of the Hash House Harriers Kuala Lumpur
- To promote physical fitness among our members
- To get rid of weekend hangovers
- To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
- To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
The Hash is based on an old English school yard game called the "hare and the hounds". Here's how it works: One or more 'hares' (really just people) leave behind a trail of flour, chalk, or toilet paper. The pack of 'hounds' (more people) set out, tracking the marks to find trail in quest for beer and merriment. There are false trails and other interesting checks/adventures along the way, going checkpoint to checkpoint until trail is complete.
Not competitive! Or timed! Many walk or bring dogs (when allowed). The distance of the trail varies depending on the hares personal preference and trails can go anywhere. The run can be anywhere from 2 miles to no more than 5 miles (unless noted).
At the end of the trail, the group will form a fraternal circle, sing drinking songs and come up with excuses for, and encouraging their comrades to drink beer. Or soda or water, for the teetotalers out there who are also welcome!
A longer history and origins of hashing
What is Hashing? Article From Off Track Planet
CNN article on Hash House Harriers
Syracuse newspaper article about SOH4 experience