Top Tips #14 Keeping Count
Being able to measure how far you've travelled is an essential navigation skill and the key methods available to navigators are pacing and timing. It's important to understand how map scales relate to distance on the map and ground and then to be able to calculate that in your head - but possible mistakes in calculations can sometimes be removed by having something to help make the calculations more easily in a stressful situation. If you've attended one of Peak Mountaineering's navigation courses you will almost certainly have been introduced to our legendary pacing and timing counters. They are priceless (yep....they cost nothing!).
Now, for the first time you are welcome to download this little gem directly from the website here. All you need to do is print it off, fold it in half and laminate it. When we laminate the ones for courses we leave room at the top of the laminating plastic to punch a hole. This then makes it really easy to fasten the card to the cord on our compass.
Of course, for measuring the time a navigation leg has taken you will also need a decent watch with, ideally, a stopwatch. Similarly, to measure your sets of paces you need some system to count off each block of 100 metres. Lots of people use cord grips on a length of accessory cord but, for that touch of individuality, why not consider one of Peak Mountaineering's skull pace counters. Each block of 100 paces is clocked off with a luminous skull. Cool.....and efficient. The skulls come on a cord that can be fastened to shoulder straps or zips so you'll always know where to find it.