Pacing is a technique used with Dead reckoning.

Everyone walks a natural amount of steps over a certain distance when travelling on level ground. We can use this to help is work out our distance travelled on the ground in poor visibility or at night. We are going to work out your Pace Count over 100m and once you have this information you can use it on the mountain to keep track of your progress.

Working out your Pacing Count

First off we need to work out the natural amount of steps you take over 100 meters.

  1. First off find a flat area of land and work out a 100m stretch either with your map or by measuring it out. A 100m running track is also good for this.
  2. Now you need to walk at your normal pace for the 100m.
  3. Count each double step, so if you start with your right foot, count every time you place your left foot down thereafter.
  4. Once you get to the end, note down your count.
  5. Repeat this a few times to get an average pace that you can use. Most people are roughly between 60 and 70 paces.

Now that you have your pacing count for flat ground it is useful to note that certain things can increase your count when on the hill including:

  • Walking Uphill or downhill
  • Walking into a head wind
  • Walking with a heavy rucksack
  • Poor visibility
  • Rough terrains like snow or rock
  • tiredness and fatigue

As with all things navigation, the more you practice then the better you will get at it. Practice your pacing in different conditions so that you can better adjust for them on the mountain.

Using your Pacing Count

Now we have out PC we can start using it on the hill to judge distance.

If you are wanting to pace a small distance that is less than 100m then we can divide our pace into the distance we need.

I travel 100m in 65 paces. If I wanted to travel just 50m then I would just divide my PC by two and it would take me 50m.

65/2 = 32.5 paces for 50m.

If you want to travel more than 100m then it can get easy to lose count of your paces. The best thing to do is every time you reach 100m, mark it down and start the count again.

There are a few good ways to track how many 100m you have done.

  • You can either tally it on your map with a pencil
  • Pick up a stone every 100m, the number of stones you have in your hand is the distance you have already travelled
  • Drop a stone every 100m, if you wanted to travel 400m then pick up four stones and drop one every 100m, when you run out of stones you are there.
  • Add some beads to your compass lanyard and move one around every 100m

Now you know how to pace, go out and practice it as the more you do it, the better you can judge the distance in different conditions.

Got a Question?

We are commited to bringing you the best tutorials we possibly can. If you have any questions or even contributions on our tutorial then we would love to here it.

Use the comments section below to let us know what your thinking and we'll get back to you as soon as were back from the mountain!

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