So now that your shoes are cord-clad, you can be sure your new laces will be indestructible. This means plenty of uninterrupted mileage on those bad boys...but wouldn't it be great if you could keep track of how far you've walked? Say, for instance, on a hike, or for exercise, or maybe mapping out the distance between the nearest safe zone and where the zombie hoards were last spotted??? Enter the pace counter. A simple device that does exactly that; keep track of the distance you've walked. Army rangers have used these for decades, and they can be very useful in emergency situations.
Commonly, you'll find that they have 14 beads separated into two groups: 9 on the bottom, and 4 on top. Depending on how you use the pace counter, you can keep track of your individual paces, or a set distance traveled. For example, let's say you've measured the distance you take on an average step, or pace (on flat terrain, a person averages 30"-36" per step)*. Now for every ten steps you take, move down one of the bottom beads. You continue to do this until you've reached 90 paces, or 9 beads. This time, when you reach 100 paces, you move down 1 of the upper beads and reset all of the lower ones. In this way you can accurately keep track of up to 500 paces. And if you already know how large your pace is, you can approximate the distance traveled. You can also measure larger distances if you already know how many paces it takes to travel a set distance. Most people will do this using 100m as "1 bead distance", and following the same process as before you've gone from measuring 500 individual paces to 5 kilometers!
Of course, these aren't the only ways to use a pace counter. You can be as creative as you like, and measure anything you want. Suppose you're walking down a long road, you can track your distance by moving a bead every time you pass a telephone pole. Maybe you need to track how many laps you run, or count how many times your boss annoys you throughout the day. Regardless of what you use it for, the pace counter is a perfect way to always have some paracord on hand!
If you want to see how to make your own pace counter, check out this video from ITS Tactical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MEynCUua-0&feature=g-user-u
*keep in mind that your pace is greatly affected by the terrain you're traversing, i.e. your uphill/bad weather/against the wind pace count will be higher than your flat ground/downhill/good weather/with the wind pace count for the same distance