How To Make Your Own Pace Count Beads for Land Navigation
Pace count beads or ranger beads are a manual counting tool used to keep track of distance travelled by counting your pace. Everytime you travel one hundred meters you move one of the bottom beads down. After your 9th bead is down you then move one of the top beads down and the bottom 9 beads up. You know have traveled 1000 meters (1 kilometer). To determine your pace count measure out one hundred meters on a flat surface. Then walk the distance counting your steps using a normal stride. Start with your feet together on the starting line and step off with your left foot.
Every time your left foot touches the ground, including your first step, count it. The average is about 62 – 65 steps on flat terrain. Do this two more times writing down the number each time. Now add all three numbers together and divide by 3 this is your base pace-count. Using a pace counter gives you one less thing to remember during intense land navigation and it will also help you get closer to your target area, especially during night navigation when distance can become skewed due to limited visibility and perception.
What you will need:
Step1. Measure a 26 inch length of paracord.
Step 2. Remove the inner strands from the paracord but do not throw them away you will need at least 1 of them later.
Step 3. Fuse both ends of the paracord by heating them up with a match or lighter and press the together with your fingers. Be careful not to burn yourself.
Step 4. Join the two ends of your piece of paracord together folding it in half to find the half way point and try to flatten it out as much as possible. Then tie an overhand knot where the two ends meet trying to keep it close to the end as possible.
Step 5. Now Take a strand from one of the guts of the paracord and pass it through the loop you made like the picture below. I happened to use two strands for this step. This is how you will thread the beads on.
Step 6. Now thread 9 beads on to the the strand of paracord gut that you just passed through like the picture below. This will help you thread the beads on to your paracord. Trying to do it without one of the inner strands will just make you curse.
Step7. Now that you have 9 beads on the paracord push them all the way down to the bottom knot. Use two fingers to measure the gap of your next overhand knot. Now repeat steps 5 and 6 and put another 4 beads onto the paracord.
Step 8. Push the 4 beads you just put on the paracord all the way down to the second knot. Now measure again, this time 1 finger length and tie the final overhand knot.
With all the colors or paracord and different style beads they have today the possibilities are pretty much endless. Here are a few others I have made. They also have skull beads and other types it’s just a matter of how much you would want to spend to make one.