Ranger beads were traditionally used in military land navigation, like for foot patrol. Today, it’s become popular among bushcrafters, hikers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts for exercise, mapping out trails, and keeping track of where you are.
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How Do You Use Pace Counter Beads?
Ranger beads, or pace count beads, track the distance you've traveled through a manual pace count on a paracord with 13 beads. The paracord is divided into two sections separated by a knot. There are nine beads in the lower section and four beads in the upper.
You can also use ranger beads in one of two ways: Measuring distance or paces. You can choose whichever is most convenient for you to remember, but both require understanding the relationship between paces and distance.
First, you need to know your pace count. If you don’t know your pace count, lay out a 100-meter paracord or tape and count how many paces it takes to walk that length. Try on different terrains since your pace will change depending on your surroundings and speed.
Method #1: Measure by Distance
This method measures distance using meters. Remember that while you can measure in yards, miles, or feet, you’ll have to arrange the beads differently. Most bushcrafters measure by meter because the math is more straightforward. The starting position is when all beads are at the top knots.
In the lower half, you’ll drop one bead for every 100 meters you walk. Dropping all nine beads means you’ve covered 900 meters. When you reach 1,000, you’ll go to the top half and lower a bead — this represents 1,000 meters. Then you’ll place the lower half beads back up to the knot and start over. This method works for up to 5,000 meters.
Watch the Self Reliance Outfitter how-to video “Tip of the Week – Pace Beads” on how to use this method.
Method #2: Measure by Paces
You can also measure ranger beads by paces. This works opposite the distance method, which means you’ll start with all your beads towards the bottom and work in reverse.
The starting position is when all beads are at the bottom of the cordage so that the top half will be at the center knot and the lower half will be at the bottom knot. The top half represents your pace by the hundreds.
On the lower half, move one bead for every ten paces taken toward the center knot. You’ll know you’re at the 90th pace when all nine beads are against the knot. Once you reach the 100th pace, take the nine beads away from the knot and move a bead from the upper half up away from the knot.
Stay on Track with Ranger Beads Today
Are you ready to take your expertise to the ultimate level? Look no further than ranger beads from Self Reliance Outfitters. These quality-crafted beads are crucial in any land nav survival scenario so you can accurately track how far you’ve traveled while out in the field.
Track game trails, find water sources, and explore your surroundings, always knowing how far you’ve gone from the base. Get your hands on our ranger beads now and join the elite group of survivalists who trust our products to guide them through the wilderness.