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Pacing Notes

Here are some handy guides to pacing and timing when out on the the hill.

Timing notes


Measuring Distance and Duration

There will come a time when you will need to know exactly how far you need
to travel along a path, stream or ridgeline in the mist or dark or when
there are few, if any, features to tick off.  The two techniques used for
this are pacing and timing.  Both are very accurate after some practise.
I tend to use pacing under a 1000m but move to timing above this distance
- counting out 3000m metres can be somewhat tedious to put it mildly!

In pacing you count just every second step.  For me, on the flat 30 double
paces is 50m.  This changes dependant on angle and terrain so the best way
is to measure your own paces against a fixed distance.  If you or a friend
has a 50m rope, go out and lay it over various terrain, count your paces
and make a note.  You will soon work out how many you take.  It is
important to note that you need to take a “normal pace” and not an
exaggerated one. One way to make the counting easier is to fasten 5 button
toggles to the lanyard on your compass or rucsack and slide one along
every 100m, once you have moved them all you have done 500m and you can
continue the count by moving them back. You can buy a counter that clips
to your compass.

For timing, I use a variant of Naismith’s Rule.  This is designed for
walking so you need to check your times over a set distance if you are
running.  Again, measure it out on the flat first then do the same
distance on a climb and note the difference.  A Bob Graham pace will
obviously be different to a two hour score event, so  practise and take a
note book or download the blank pace file below.  Once you have this
information you can make an algorithm which is very accurate.  Make a
small card and have it attached to a compass or rucsac ready to be used.
Below is the version with instructions I hand out on my navigation course
as a guide.  You need to work it out for your own stride length and pace
however feel free to scan/laminate it until you can make your own.

You can download a pacing sheet with a blank table below

Pace notes download