Introduction: Mini Project #6: DIY Pace Counter

About: Hi I'm Alex and I love to make stuff! I mainly work with different metals but I also love to explore new (to me) materials and dabble in woodworking, jewelry, knife making, design and many more.

Hi Instructables community,

thanks for the great feedback for last weeks's Mini Projects and all the new followers, views & favs.

This week I will be looking at another easy project that you can make yourself with little effort, time and tools.

I have tried to add a few improvements to the way I write Instructables (e.g. using HTML tables etc.). In addition this time I have made an all new video which is something I hope to do for every new Instructable.

Please let me know in the comments or via PM what you think.

Time:5 Minutes
Tools:Lighter, Scissors, Pliers
Materials:60cm 550 Cord, 14 Crafting Beads
Primary Use:Measuring metric distances

This little item is relatively easy to make and will only require little practice to use efficiently. Even in today's times where cheap GPS devices and GPS capable smartphones are commonplace one should still be able to use tools like a compass. When navigating with a compass over land you will need a way to measure the distance you have traveled. This is where the pace counter can be used to measure distances quite accurately. If you already know how to make a pace counter and only want to know how to use it you can jump right to step 7.

If you like this Instructable please vote, fav, share, subscribe & comment. You can also check my YouTube, Facebook and Twitter sites for current and upcoming projects.

Take care & stay safe

Cheers Alex

Step 1: What Do You Need?

You will need:

  1. 60cm / 23 Inches of paracord

  2. 13-14 crafting beads (The colors will depend on whether you want to use them in a tactical setting in which case I recommend tan, brown & green. For general use I would recommend two different colors to help avoid mistakes when you are exhausted.)

  1. Lighter
  2. Pair of scissors
  3. Pliers

Step 2: Prepping the Cord

  1. Start by gutting the paracord (i.e. removing the inner strands) - keep one strand for later.
  2. Now tie a figure eight knot into the ends.

Step 3: Threading the Beads

Use the single inner strand from step one as a guide to thread 9 beads on to the paracord. These 9 beads will be used later as markers for each 100 meters you travel.

Step 4: Repeat

Once you have threaded all nine beads on the paracord tie a figure eight knot in it. Ensure that you leave and Inch space for the beads to slide up and down.

Once you are done repeat the previous step with the remaining beads. These beads will be used to count the kilometers you have traveled and will also require some space to slide up and down on the paracord.

Step 5: Melting the Ends

Although you could do this step in the beginning I tend to do this as a last step.

Take your lighter and carefully melt the two ends and permanently fuse them together with the pliers. You do not have to do this if you want to preserve the cord for emergency cordage. I would still recommend to melt the ends (separately) to avoid the cord from unraveling.

Step 6: How to Use This Thing?

Congratulations you have just finished your own pace counter now lets get to learn how to use it.

As you can see in the second picture I usually attach mine to the shoulder straps of my backpack. I found this to be very convenient as it is secured against loss and easy to access whilst on the move.

Before you can head out and start using it you will have to do a little preparation first.

Go outside and find a track that is exactly 100 meters long. In sports stadiums there might be running tracks available that have 100m marks. Now there are two ways you can go about the next step:

  1. Counting all steps (Left And Right foot - LAR) it takes you to walk the 100m.
    1. The disadvantage here is that you will have to count further which can get confusing when travelling long distances.
  2. Counting every second step (Left Or Right foot - LOR).
    1. Personally I prefer this method but I suggest you try what feels best for yourself.

Try both methods and decide which one you are more comfortable with. Walk the distance three time whilst trying to maintain the same walking speed. When you are finished take the average of steps it took you to walk the 100m and note them with a permanent marker on one of your EDC items (e.g. the case of your compass or your EDC bag, container of your survival kit etc.). I would recommend you also repeat this measurement for a fast walking pace as well whilst carrying your hiking gear.

To use the counting method:

  1. When starting to walk also start counting (Using LAR/LOR method).
  2. Once your count reaches the 100m mark pull one bead down from the nine bead section of the counter.
  3. Repeat this until all nine beads are pulled down. Now you pull down the first Kilometer bead and slide the nine 100m beads back up and repeat the process all over again.
  4. Once all your kilometer beads have been moved down you could continue by starting to move them back up to continue the count.

You can use this to walk a known distance or to measure a certain distance yourself (e.g. to measure the distance to your base camp when doing a recce of your surrounding area) or to be able to retrace your steps.

I highly recommend to practice this method a few times to get used to it.

Epilog Contest VII

Participated in the
Epilog Contest VII