Ranger beads were originally developed by military personnel as a means of gauging distances when traveling by foot. Also known as “pace beads”, they are easy to make and can assist you in determining distances that you have traveled. When combined with a good compass, they make an excellent tool to assist hikers or the well-dressed survivalist.
Ranger beads are merely a lanyard (usually made from paracord) that has two sets of beads separated by a knot. The bottom part has nine beads and the top part has five beads. Moving the beads helps you to keep track and calculate the distances you have traveled based on your pace count.
Your “pace count” is determined by how many steps it takes for you to walk 100 meters. For every 100 meters you travel, you simply move one of the nine lower beads up the lanyard. When you have traveled 1000 meters, move one of the five top beads up and pull all of the lower beads back down. This will reset your beads and indicate that you have traveled one kilometer (or “click”). You can measure distances up to five kilometers with a set of ranger beads configured in this manner (see above pic).
You can also visit a friend of mine. Army Ranger Rick at Survival Outdoor Skills has even more survival tips and tricks for you to check out.
Got ranger beads?