What is Hashing?
Hashing is a little game we like to play. In a nutshell Hashers like to call themselves a drinking group with a running problem. We run and frolick, stopping to enjoy a cold beverage and sing a song or two. Based on the child’s game hare and hound, hashing requires a “hare” to mastermind and set a running trail. With a small head start, the “hare” lays a trail using flour (on the playa we use survey flags that are swept after trail is complete) with a group of “hounds” leaving shortly after with the goal of catching the hare. Your average hash trail is about 3 -4 miles long, ending with a cold adult beverage and song singing.
Hashing originated in December 1938 in Selayang Quarry, Selangor, then in the Federated Malay States (now Malaysia), when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British paper chase or “hare and hounds”, to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend. The original members included, Albert Stephen (A.S.) Ignatius “G” Gispert, Cecil Lee, Frederick “Horse” Thomson, Ronald “Torch” Bennett and John Woodrow. A. S. Gispert suggested the name “Hash House Harriers” after the Selangor Club Annex, where several of the original hashers happened to live, known as the “Hash House” where they also dined. After the end of World War II in an attempt to organize the city of Kuala Lumpur, they were informed by the Registrar of Societies that as a “group,” they would require a constitution. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the trail, harriers reaching the end of the trail would partake of beer, ginger beer and cigarettes.
Today there is a Hash House Harriers in every major city in the world. From San Francisco, California to Perth, Australia to Black Rock City. Like the Burning Man community, hashers are found in every corner of the world, sharing a common culture, nicknames and love for running and beer. The BRCH3 pays homage to our roots as hasher while evolving and educating our members to live in harmony with the principles of Burning Man while sharing our own culture and community.
Our Playa History
While we are certain hashers have been attending Burning Man since its inception, our playa debut happened in 2005 when a group of Ashland Hashers camping together decided it was time to introduce hashing to Black Rock City. That year, on a Thursday, hashers gathered at the man to run in our first Black Rock City Hash. We ran, biked and walked across our glorious city, stopping to drink beer, sing songs and spread the good word of hashing to curious on-lookers. Since then, each Thursday of the burn we anniversary that hash and it has since evolved into a Red Dress Run where every hasher dons a red dress and celebrates our hasher and burner roots. In 2014 we had over 100 burners in attendance at our Thursday event, some new hashing while some of us have been there since the beginning.
In 2010, we decided to have a more official presence on the playa putting together a theme camp of hashers called the BRCH3 (Bike Repair Camp). With the help of some established burners, we were able to camp together as an annex of the popular Leopard Martini Lounge, a long-time theme camp with several hasher/burner members. The BRCH3 is made of of hashers from all over the United States. In 2014 we saw folks from California, Washington DC, Seattle, Memphis and Florida (to mention a few). With the majority of the camp being virgins each year, we pride ourselves on educating our members on the 10 principles of Burning Man and try to get everyone involved and participating without having stepped foot on the playa.