The sash idea came about with the corona pandemic, to allow for local exercise, solo or with people you live with, your bubble, or one other 2 metres apart – according the rules you find yourself under.
A sash is somewhat like a hash run or walk. Though instead of visible marks of flour etc, that show the way, there are audible announcements of marks.
The announcements are made by your smartphone, or GPS-equipped tablet. To date, a free app named Echoes has been used. It’s available for iPhone/iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets. The app uses GPS to know where to announce marks.
Viewing the sashes
The Echoes webpage for each sash may be viewed by visiting https://explore.echoes.xyz/ and typing ‘sash’ in the Find your next adventure box, as below. No need to press Enter, in fact it does nothing. Clicking the magnifying glass instead finds local walks, which may or may not be sash trails.
Here’s the first three sash trails you’ll see there:
Unfortunately only 10 sashes appear and there isn’t a Show More button (so a full list is available here : Known Sashes). Echoes have been asked to fix this.
Ground rules, per UK rule relaxation: 1) No set date or time. 2) Undertake in groups up to the maximum allowed by guidelines. 3) Keep 2 metres apart from those outside your bubble. 4) Keep 2 metres apart from others if you encounter. 5) Ideally pick sashes that are local to you. 6) Walk bits where you can’t clearly see the way ahead, so that 2 metre separation from others can be maintained. 7) In the pub, wear mask according the venue guidelines, or if none, your preference. 8) Mask not recommended while drinking or eating. 9) Do the sash at your own risk.
How a sash works
Here’s how it works: Visible on your Apple/Android smartphone or GPS-equipped tablet, referred to here as device, are the following: A start/end square, and four circles showing the initial direction. Your device audibly ‘echoes’ blobs, checks, etc, when in the vicinity. You can just keep your device in your pocket or backpack, and follow the blob echoes. Or for a check echo, discover which way the blob trail continues. Two or three blobs in succession, per the Echoes webpage for the sash, or another check, and you’ve have found the onward trail. A false echo means it’s not that way. An echo saying ‘on/go left’, or ‘on/go right’, means go that way. One saying ‘on on’ means go straight ahead. Echoes can announce a fair few paces prior to the spot. And echoes repeat every minute, or every 15 seconds for more recent sashes. For those, on longer stretches, echoes repeat every 15 seconds regardless of where you are within the stretch.
Runners and Walkers
Most sash trails have a runners and walkers route: Part-way along the trail, your device echoes that the runners and walkers trails diverge. The trails rejoin enroute.
Along the shared sections, the walkers will encounter the checks, so they’ll have a bit more work to do than on a regular hash. The runners-only part often has a ‘fish hook’ echo, at which participants should return to the last check, then rerun that section 😊
For runners and walkers, about half-way around, your device echoes ‘beer near’, then ‘beer stop’. For the latter you may like to take some refreshment in your backpack. For many sashes, nearer the end, your device echoes ‘circle up near’, then ‘circle up’, so save some refreshment. After, your device typically echoes ‘inn no’, and leads you back to the start/end point.
Help on hand
If you get stuck, a help map is available: Zoom in on the start/end square, then tap the triangle beside, then tap SEE MORE. The blue square is the start/end, the arrows show the trail direction, and the walkers-only part if any is dotted.
Installing the app
On your device, open the Apple App Store or Android Play Store, and type ‘echoes’ in the store search box. The ECHOES app icon looks a bit like a fingerprint. Install, then open, and sign up. A sash trail or two should list under ‘near you’. Tap MORE NEAR YOU if not. Possible too, is a tap on the magnifying glass, then type ‘sash’ to see all. Tap a trail, then tap STREAM WALK to use online copy. Or tap DOWNLOAD or down-arrow symbol for offline copy, then tap START.
Swipe down screen to refresh downloaded copy, in case changed online. Sometimes app exit then app restart are needed to fully refresh downloaded copy. Download might get stuck before reaching 100%. In which case, exit app then restart, and tap STREAM WALK instead.
Like most location apps, ECHOES uses the battery a fair bit. A fully-charged device should be enough for the trail. But you might like to take a powerbank, or spare battery. Plus a paper map as backup.
Laying a Sash
If you’re keen, here’s a link to the sash laying guide: SashLayingGuideV2.pdf