Be Careful Out There
Hopefully you won’t actually die, but it has to be said running off road in all weathers over irregular ground in the dark, crossing streams, bogs and marshes, running along cliff top paths, getting cold and lost on Dartmoor all have their risks. Then there’s the Stinging Nettles, Brambles, low hanging branches, Giant Hogweed and Gorse all trying to get you before the snapping farm dogs and belligerent cattle do.
You Hash At Your Own Risk
For many of us, a major part of the attraction of Hashing is that it involves running and being in places off the beaten track and away from health and safety assessments. However, by coming Hashing, you are accepting the risks involved and taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. There’s no Marshals to check you in, no Ambulance waiting on standby.
The Hare’s lay a trail based on what they think is safe for them to lay, there’s nothing implied that it means it’s safe for you to follow. For example, just because the Trail crosses a river in the dark does not mean it’s safe for you to cross. Only you can make the decision about what’s safe for you to do or not do. You must be the guardian of your own safety. If you bring your kids along, you must be the guardian of their safety as well.
SH4 holds Public Liability Insurance for our activities, but there is NO Insurance for personal injury or loss.
Check Out, Check In
We do try to keep an informal track of people who haven’t made it back to the Pub by Closing time, but again, you are responsible for your own welfare. We ask for you to fill in your own contact details (if you carry your phone on the Hash we can try to call/text you) and an emergency Contact in case you bang your head and we need to know who to call. The Hon Sec may use the board to see who’s turned up to the Hash so they can count your Hashes, another good reason to sign in!
Make sure you find the Check in Check out board at the Circle Up, it’ll normally be in the back of a Hasher’s Car/Van. Find your Name Card, twist it to Red to show you’re on the Hash. Back in the warm cosy pub, find the board again and turn your Card to Green. That way we know who’s started but still not finished. Be prepared for us to call you if you Check In but then trot off home without coming into the Pub and Checking Out.
If you’re concerned about getting lost or what happens if you get injured, you may want to consider teaming up with some running buddies and always sticking together. In these situations, it’s often better to run in a minimum of three, one injured, one to stay with the injured and one to get help.
Get Kitted Out
Wearing decent kit and having safety gear is a complete waste of time, so don’t bother having it or using it. Unless of course it’s the one time that you need it, then it’s really, really useful. What you take with you on a Hash is up to you, you’ve got to carry it.
What would happen if you get separated from the other Hashers in winter? then you turn your ankle. Are your clothes sufficient to keep you warm at hobbling speed or sitting down? Have you got a phone or even a cheap whistle to summon help?
Some Hashers carry a mobile phone, though be aware that sometimes we do go through bogs, streams and rivers and thus a waterproof case may be required to protect your shiny new smartphone. Also remember that mobile phone reception can be poor or non-existent in the rural and moorland areas where we often Hash. You may want to put in the number of the Pub we’re visiting before you set out and find there’s no Internet reception so you can call easily if you get into trouble.
If you carry your phone Hashing, it’s well worth downloading the What3Words app. This is increasingly used by the Emergency Services to locate someone to a 3m x 3m square. It works off line so you don’t need a data connection to use it.
Emergency Text When No Phone Signal
Also, remember that even when you can’t get a call through, a text may often work instead. You should register your phone with the emergency services BEFORE you need them. See full instructions at https://www.emergencysms.org.uk/
Excerpts from Dartmoor Search And Rescue’s Advice
- Never be afraid to cut your route short. If a member of your party is unwell or you are being overtaken by the weather then turn back before the problem gets worse.
- If you are caught out on the Moor and can’t get to safety then try to find cover in the shelter of a Tor or other feature.
- If you have to call the SAR Team, (or anyone else) then stay where you are. It’s easier for us to locate you than if you are wandering around.