How to Make a DIY Field Expedient Pace Counter Using Only Paracord

by March 27, 2014 03/27/14
DIY Paracord Pace Count

No beads are required to make this pace counter. With just a 7 foot length of paracord, you can create a field expedient device that will enable to you to keep pace while hiking, rucking or just walking about. A pace counter is typically made from paracord and beads, but if you only have paracord available, you can still make this tool to determine your pace.

The premise behind Pace Count Beads is to pull down a bead from the bottom stack of nine beads each time you hit your “Pace Count.” Your Pace Count needs to be determined prior to setting off on your trek and there’s a great article here on ITS that explains how to determine your Pace Count.

The single bead pulled from the bottom represents 100 meters traveled. At each 100 meter increment another bead is pulled down. After the ninth bead is pulled down, the next 100 meters traveled (1000 meters total / 1 Kilometer total / 1 Klick total) resets the stack of nine beads and a single bead from the top stack of four is pulled down.

Items Required

DIY Paracord Pace Counter


Step 1: Cut the 7 foot long cord into two lengths measuring 4 feet and 3 feet long.

Step 2: Fold the 3ft length in half and measure 6 inches from the loop.

Step 3: Tie an overhand knot at the 6 inch mark then a second overhand knot 6 inches down. This will now give you two overhand knots evenly spaced 6 inches apart.

DIY Paracord Pace Counter

Step 4: Now gut the 4ft length of cord and cut into 13 pieces each measuring 4 inches. These will be used as the pace counters.

DIY Paracord Pace Counter

Step 5: Girth hitch and secure 4 pace counters between the first overhand knot and loop, followed by girth hitching 9 pace counters between the two overhand knots.

DIY Paracord Pace Counter

Tip: Since the fusing paracord can sometimes burn your fingers, use the side of the lighter to extinguish the flame and apply slight pressure to flatten the end. This will also secure the pace counter better and provide a cleaner look than just using your fingers.

DIY Paracord Pace Counter
DIY Paracord Pace Counter

If you’re dead set on using beads for your pace counter, there’s also an article here on the ITS Knot of the Week that goes over making your own Pace Count Beads.

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: We’d like to thank our good friend and ITS Plank Owner, Karl, from OscarDelta for allowing us to share this how-to article. Karl is a freelance designer specializing in making, modifying and adapting gear for EDC, urban survival and bushcraft scenarios. Be sure to visit his blog, SnakeDr.

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