- Paracord (4ft)
- Pace Beads (13)
- Bison® Designs, LLC Carabiner
- Step-By-Step Tying Instructions
- Land Navigation Wallet Card
- Supplementary Video
Getting lost is one of most common dangers in the wild. More orienteering mistakes are based on poorly estimating distance than any other factor. Pace Counters A.K.A. “Ranger Beads” are designed to prevent this error and named because of their common use by U.S. Army Rangers, known for their expert land navigation skills.
We were disappointed by the quality of the parts and versatility of the designs that were currently available on the market. So in typical Wazoo fashion we decided to offer a Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.) Ranger Beads Kit comprised of the highest quality components we could find coupled with how-to instructions that encourage creative designs and learning new skills.
There is no doubt that every kit can benefit from having a set of Ranger Beads. We think you can benefit even more if you make your own and do it with the most reliable parts available.
There’s plenty of Ranger Bead instructions online. They are all essentially the same … Gut paracord, put on beads, tie some overhand knots. We felt the standard Pace Counter designs needed to be reimagined to accommodate better knotting techniques, better components, and customization.
Why DIY? We created this set as a Do It Yourself for a few reasons. First, it gets you physically invested in the object. Things are more special if they are made by hands, especially if they are your own or someone you know. It allows you to put your own touch on it, incorporating extra parts, and/or getting fancy with tie. Yes, we sell pre-assembled paracord bracelets and the like that technically you can make yourself (we sell all the individual components), but trust us they are deceivingly challenging to try to copy our versions. On the other hand (pun intended) Ranger Beads are something that is within the skill scope of the average person that kid can do it. Which brings us to the second reason...
This is a great opportunity to do something with others! The kit is designed so that you could take it on a camping trip and sit around the campfire with your family making your own Pace Bead sets. Equally, a local SAR group could gain good team building time with a fun yet functional project like Ranger Beads.
Lastly, but not at all the least, we wanted to pass on a skill. We love working with our hands, especially when it comes to paracord and other survival tool parts. We wanted to share this passion and skills we’ve learned of the years with others.
You won’t find this quality of bead anywhere else. A common trend for Ranger Beads is to use plastic beads. Plastic beads are notorious for cracking and breaking due to exposure of hot/cold, water, atmospheric pressure, and of course blunt impact (stepped on). We wanted to design the best bead that would withstand any environment and last a lifetime.
We derived the beads shape from hardware rubber washers and actually used a US manufacturer’s rubber washer mold and had them custom mix a batch of EPDM rubber. *Standard hardware rubber washers are made of various materials for various needs, none of which are for outdoor use. EPDM is a rubber known to be the toughest for outdoor applications like roofing material. After various tests, we’re confident these are the toughest Ranger Beads out there
When figuring out an attachment piece of hardware for this project, we wanted to make sure to use something versatile and long-lasting. We consulted with Brian the founder and owner of Bison® Designs, one of the most prolific and innovative carabiner creators on this project. With his advice, we opted to go with a wire gate D-shaped carabiner (a standard rock climbing design) for it’s simplicity and longevity.
We sourced the black paracord from our favorite US manufacturer, E.L Wood Braiding. A company we have come to trust to over the years to make Mil-Spec 550lb rated 7-strand paracord that has never waned in consistency or quality. We believe it’s the best.
BONUS! A LAND NAV QUICK REFERENCE CARD
In order to use a Pace Counter, it is important to know your Pace Count. Once established, you’ll need to remember the average paces and if you test for 3 terrains in 3 conditions, that could be 9 Pace Counts to remember. We thought it would be helpful to include a credit card size card that you could jot down your personal pace counts so that you can quickly reference them if needed. Assuming one would carry this card with them, we included other reference tips to aid navigation.
NOTE: Our apologies on the packaging, the zip bags we were led to believe were made in the US, turn out to be made overseas.