Walking by the beads
Ever wonder how far youíve walked to get somewhere or ever need to know how to get somewhere from where you are. Four kilometers due east; a mile and a half west from here.
Well military and orienteers use a method called pace counting. Here are the basics. You measure the length of your stride (start on right foot stop on right foot. Great you know how far a stride is. Now all you have to do is divide your stride into a known distance (kilometer or mile) and you know how many steps you have to take to go that distance. For example the average male stride for one hundred meters (110 yards) is 66 paces. This varies with load and terrain check to get your stride in different situations.
The pace beads illustrated above works like an abacus (Showing my age! Next the slide rule!). Note the beads are divided from the top loop into a top section (kilometers) and a bottom section (meters). Ok for every 66 paces you make you pull a bead from the bottom group down to the end of the string, for the last 66 paces you pull one down from the top group and all the bottom ones back up.
To buy or to make your own? Well Iím too tight purchase a pre-made set so I went to a craft shop and bought the beads with 3/16 holes in them. Took the beads home rubbed a little stain on them.
Next I took 30 inches of paracord and pulled the insides out. Melt the two ends with a lighter. Take one of the inner strands and double it over and pass it through a bead, slip half the paracord through the loop and pull the cord through the bead. Put the 9 beads (meters) on then as many of the kilometers as you want. From the picture you can tell I donít plan on walking more than 5.9 kilometers. Now separate the meters from the kilometers with a knot. If the bottom end is too long cut the ends to the length you want and melt the ends again. If you use a bead with a larger hole in it you might have to tie a knot at the bottom of the beads. The beads should be snug on the cord.
How to do it in miles. Use seven beads on the bottom. The lower seven are 110-yard markers and the top beads are half a mile markers.
Below is a table of stride length to number of paces for 100 meters or 110 yards.
The left side of the table is the distance between two right foot impressions.
The right number is the number of paces to go 100 meters or 110 yards.
The best site I have seen about pace counting is the one listed below
http://therucksack.tripod.com/landnav.htm#pacecounting . Itís an excellent hiking/camping site to boot. Katunk
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