In this post we'll be looking at another way of measuring distances using the body, this time longer distances. The post will be focused upon the 2 basic measurements we can take as we walk; the step and the pace.
First we have the step, the measurement from the heel of the right foot to the heel of the left foot (or vice versa) when taking one step forward. This measurement is not widely used as it falls between the foot and the pace - it is generally equivalent to 2 1/2 foot lengths and equal to 1/2 a pace. There is a need to remember that the ancient Romans referred to a foot as being a pes and that this isn't the same as a pace.
This is the more important of the 2 measurements. It is the distance from the heel of the foot, through 2 steps, to when the same heel next hits the ground. The reason that it is important is that it lets us estimate the distance we have travelled with a degree of accuracy.
I was planning on writing a whole article on how to use this information, along with counting paces and pace beads, for navigation. In this case though, someone else has got there first and written an excellent article over at The Rucksack. I really don't see where I can add a lot to what they've said so I'll just link to them!
This method and these measurements are great for combining with maps, making your own maps (pirate style) and for longer distances (the height of trees, length of fields). My own personal experience in orienteering, proved that the method can be fairly accurate on the flat but it takes a lot more experience to employ it in really rough ground
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