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

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