Old 02-07-2004, 19:09   #1
Team Sergeant
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Pace Count

Quote:
Originally posted by Valhal
Can you give some examples of how you use pace count for land nav.

On a flat paved marked greenbelt I count about 900 paces to a mile, that's wearing a 40lbs weighted vest and 5lbs ankle weights doing a little over 15 minute a mile tempo.

What should I expect in the rough terrain of the foot hills?

Thanks,
Mark

Good point lets start a Land Nav thread.

When you are developing your pace count you should;

a. walk a flat 100m and do a count.
b. walk in rough terrain 100m and conduct a count.
c. walk in rough terrain with ruck and gear 100m and perform a count.

Do not become transfixed with pace count. Learn to read a map blindfolded.
Learn how to recognize terrain features and to associate those terrain features you are seeing with the map you are carrying.

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Old 02-08-2004, 02:14   #2
Roguish Lawyer
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I've had brief instruction in underwater navigation for diving. What, if anything, is different on land?
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Old 02-08-2004, 08:30   #3
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You talking about surface or sub-surface navigation?

I'm sure one of the SCUBA guys can give you a reply. Combat Diver was not one of my specialties.
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Old 02-08-2004, 10:11   #4
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I think you should pace count for klicks and not miles. Use the metric system, that way when you do it in another country, you'll be set. Plus its easier.
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Old 02-08-2004, 10:26   #5
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Re: Pace Count

Quote:
Originally posted by Team Sergeant
Good point lets start a Land Nav thread.

When you are developing your pace count you should;

a. walk a flat 100m and do a count.
b. walk in rough terrain 100m and conduct a count.
c. walk in rough terrain with ruck and gear 100m and perform a count.

Do not become transfixed with pace count. Learn to read a map blindfolded.
Learn how to recognize terrain features and to associate those terrain features you are seeing with the map you are carrying.

The Team Sergeant
Thanks Team Sergeant,

Your advice will be taken; I am joining a local orienteering club and will practice. At night though the pace count will be important.
To determine distance as you walk through various contour lines is there a trick?

Here is a scenario. You are in a jungle or heavy forested area and you can not see terrain features at a distance. You shoot your azimuth, and you start moving out. The terrain differences are subtle and make it hard to know exactly where you are at. The distance on the map from point A to point B is ten km as a bird flies. Question is you have numerous elevation changes, how do you determine walking distance?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 03-10-2008, 18:19   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valhal View Post
Thanks Team Sergeant,

Here is a scenario. You are in a jungle or heavy forested area and you can not see terrain features at a distance. You shoot your azimuth, and you start moving out. The terrain differences are subtle and make it hard to know exactly where you are at. The distance on the map from point A to point B is ten km as a bird flies. Question is you have numerous elevation changes, how do you determine walking distance?

Thanks,
Mark
1968, West of Song Be, Inserted into a very small LZ at last light. Moved to a RON and moved again 20 meters away for the real RON. At first light, did a leaders recon and couldn't determine where I was. It was triple canopy with thick under brush every where. Found a stream with a fork about 100 meters away but the stream wasn't on my map sheet.

Waited until the noon contact and called the O1E. He flew circles around where we were supposed to be, but I couldn't hear him. I finally climbed a tall tree and called for an arty round. (WP 50 meter height-of-burst). Round was fired but not observed or heard.

I ordered another round with an add 1000 on the gun-target line. Luckily, I spotted this round way off to the South-East. I added 500 and shifted right 500. From the two azimuths that I shot, I resected and had my location.

I was almost two kilometers away from where I was supposed to have been inserted and across the fence. We spent four days moving back to RVN and an LZ. There is value in having a compass.

Called the O1E to see if he could get a location from my signal mirror. He was tied up on another team in contact.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:34   #7
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About the only thing we use GPS units for during our domestic land nav classes is to measure / verify distance. Backstops, terrain association, handrails, and offset navigation are probably the best things a new nav student can learn. A word of real caution on GPS systems is to always check your topo map and set your GPS for the correct map datum. We failed to do this on one course and a student just had to "verify " where we were with his GPS. It showed we we were a few hundred meters north of where we KNEW we were. We forgot about the GPS and finished the course out with map and compass without a problem.

I have low jungle topo maps of South America that are just one big green blob with contour lines inches apart and maybe a river running through. No backstops, handrails and forget about any type of offset navigation unless you're headed towards the river. We will sometimes use a GPS to get an initial fix on the topo after coming upriver to our jump-off point then it's dead reckoning and pace count to get to our targets. Jungle can be some wicked stuff to navigate, especially secondary jungle. Give me the easy movement of Primary jungle any day.
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Old 09-25-2014, 16:27   #8
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Great stories.

Had to bump.

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Old 09-25-2014, 17:16   #9
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Old 02-08-2004, 10:49   #10
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Re: Re: Pace Count

Quote:
Originally posted by Valhal
Here is a scenario. You are in a jungle or heavy forested area and you can not see terrain features at a distance. You shoot your azimuth, and you start moving out. The terrain differences are subtle and make it hard to know exactly where you are at. The distance on the map from point A to point B is ten km as a bird flies. Question is you have numerous elevation changes, how do you determine walking distance?

Good question Mark, now I have one for you.

Did you learn to run before you learned to walk?

In order to successfully navigate through a jungle one should have an advanced understanding of map reading and more than a beginner’s level of experience. You must incorporate all aspects of land navigation, pace count, route selection, map study etc. before one tries to tackle a triple canopy jungle. One discipline alone will not get you through the scenario you posted.

Learn the basics before you head out on the advanced skills trials!

If you think it is daunting navigating through a jungle, try the abovementioned scenario while watching for booby traps and enemy soldiers.

The Team Sergeant
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Old 02-08-2004, 10:58   #11
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Hi,
I rewrite the answer I gave in the fieldcraft thread:

I count approx 115 pairs (easier to count 2 paces than each) for 100m of forest.Thats because I avoid obstacles.On a road I do approx half less paces.But this is for me, for you it will changes.So you have to try.Very easy to found your paces with a GPS.
I use a little rope and I attach it to a button hole.Every 100m I add a node.
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Old 02-08-2004, 11:08   #12
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Roger that Team Sergeant, on that note I'm going to turn off this computer and go running.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 02-08-2004, 13:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Team Sergeant
You talking about surface or sub-surface navigation?

I'm sure one of the SCUBA guys can give you a reply. Combat Diver was not one of my specialties.
Subsurface.
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Old 02-08-2004, 19:54   #14
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Pace Count

Pace counts are still useful, remember, a navigator seeks every piece of available information to determine his position. Here's the procedure I used/taught:

First, start with at least 400 meters of flat level terrain, preferably in a square (To equalize slope). Walk the perimeter, counting your steps. Divide by 4. That is your base pace count for 100 meters. (Let's assume it's 135 steps per 100 meters). Write that number in the little green memorandum book in your shirt pocket.

That is the LOWEST pace count you will ever have. Why? Because it was daylight, you are fresh, with no load, on level ground, in good weather, etc. From then on everything else will increase your pace count.

Night - You will take shorter steps, and will wander more. That means more steps to travel 100 meters.

Loaded/Tired - Your steps will shorten and you will tend to look down. You won't follow an azimuth as accurately. Result: even more steps per 100 meters.

Uphill - You will take shorter steps, and you will be traveling a greater distance than what a point to point measurement on a map would indicate. (The hypotenuse of a right triangle is always the longest side). On a 30 degree slope, moving 100 meters as shown on the map requires you to march 115 meters over the ground. Also, you will tend to "cut the contours" (zig-zag) and that will increase travel distance. For the same reason, even traveling downhill will not usually result in a lower pace count than your base count, and may even be greater than your base pace count.

Rain/Snow/Soft soil - All will cause you to shorten your step, and than means more steps per 100 meters.

So, based on experience, you will begin to keep a list of pace counts in the back of your memo book. It might look something like this:

Base = 137
Ruck/LBE = 145
Night = 150
Tired/Ruck/Rain = 155
Uphill (shallow) = 160
Uphill (steep) = 175
Max (Night/Ruck/Tired/Uphill) = 200

You will adjust as you go. For example, assume the first leg of a rucksack march causes you to cross a road after 400 meters. You start with a estimate of 145 steps per 100 meters. After traveling 400 meters (4 knots in the pace cord), you have not come to the road, but you see it in front of you. Continue to count steps as you cross the road. Let's say that was 20 extra steps. Hmm, must be a little more tired than you thought. 20 steps, divided by 4 = 5 extra steps per 100 meters. Next leg, use a pace count of 150 per 100 meters. After a while, you will get surprisingly accurate in measuring distance in all kinds of conditions. Your notes will help you, and your men will trust you.

If you are keeping pace for sport navigation (orienteering), the same rules apply, but you will find it useful to count every other step (such as when your left foot strikes the ground). That way, you can add a Running pace count for cross country jaunts from control to control at a jog. The numbers will be about half that of counting every step, but again you will want a base count, followed with adjustments for weather, exhaustion, slope, etc.

There are several ways to keep track of pace, but my favorite is the simple ranger technique of a boot lace cut off and tied through the top buttonhole of the shirt, allowing the end with the little plastic thing at the tip to hang down about belt level. After traveling 100 meters, tie an overhand knot near the top of the string. Next 100 meters, tie another knot. In between knot-tying, curl up the string and stuff it in a top pocket. Day or night, slide your fingers down the string to count the knots/100 meter segments. When you get to the destination, untie the knots.

And now the bonus question:
What's the correct name for the little plastic thingies at the end of boot laces that keep the end from getting frazzled?

Last edited by CSB; 12-24-2007 at 20:28.
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:29   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSB


And now the bonus question:
What's the correct name for the little plastic thingies at the end of boot laces that keep the end from getting frazzled?

Aglet.

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