You are on page 1of 7

Home Sign Up!

Browse Community Submit


All Art Craft Food Games Green Home Kids Life Music Offbeat Outdoors Pets Photo Ride Science Tech

Army Ranger Beads


by Nikcdc on April 12, 2009 Table of Contents Army Ranger Beads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: Army Ranger Beads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 1: What You Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 2: Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 3: Adding beads (Top Rung) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 4: Adding beads (Second Rung) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 5: Using Ranger Beads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Ranger-Beads/

Intro: Army Ranger Beads


Hey there! These (hopefully ) will show you how to make your very own Ranger beads, used by the US Army . They cost a pretty penny at stores (The one on the left cost me $12! *sigh*), but you can make them for much, much less obviously. Also called "Pace Counter beads", they're used to keep track of how far you've gone while doing land navigation. Great for Scouts, back-packers, people who like dangling bits of string with beads on it...

Image Notes 1. 'Official' Ranger beads 2. Homemade Ranger beads!

Step 1: What You Need


You don't need too much to make Ranger beads. Really, only three things... 550 Cord : A staple of any soldier. I've heard it called "Parachute Cord" too. You can find a 50ft roll of it at any military surplus store for two or three dollars. You should be able to find it at a regular box store too. Beads : Just about any type will do. I have yet to find the "official" shell-type beads anywhere, but it's not important; as long as they fit through the rope (some guys in my squad have cool-looking skull beads on theirs). Matches : A lighter will work too. Anything that produces a small, fairly controlled flame. :) Okay, now that you have that, let's get started!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Ranger-Beads/

Image Notes 1. Matches / Zippo 2. Beads 3. 550 Cord / Parachute Cord

Step 2: Preparation
First, cut off a length of cord. How much depends on how many beads you want on the top part. I used four , and I cut off 22 - 23 inches (55 - 60 centimeters). You can experiment. Pull out the core . That's the white strings on the inside. This lets you compress the cord, which will be important when you're putting the beads on. Make a loop in the middle . First, even up the loose ends. Refer to the second picture for how to make a loop knot. Make a small loop if you're going to put this around a shirt button; make a bigger one if you're going to loop it through your LCE/LBE. Fuse the ends . Using a match or your lighter, wave the cord ends back and forth through the flame until they start turning black. Then quickly mash each end together ( not with each other ) so it's closed off.

Image Notes 1. Core

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Ranger-Beads/

Step 3: Adding beads (Top Rung)


I'm not going to lie, this part is a pain. There are several ways to do this; here's my method... First, put the bead through one end of the cord . Pull it an inch or two up the cord. ***(If you can't get it in, use scissors to cut the black melted part until you can. I suggest a slanted cut to make it easer)*** Get the second end stuck inside the bead . Unless you're really really lucky, you won't be able to just push it through. Soooo... Use the match to push the second end the rest of the way . A tooth pick or needle will work too. Try to have the point hit the black melted part so you can push off it. You may have to cut the second end as well. How many beads you put on this first part depends on how far you're planning on walking. In the Army, each of the top beads represent 1000 meters. You may use yards, feet, miles, gigawatts, or any other unit.

Image Notes 1. Bead

Image Notes 1. Knot

Step 4: Adding beads (Second Rung)


First, tie a knot in the cord . It should be an inch or two below the last bead; enough so you can slide them up and down. Next, add NINE beads . This is assuming you're using a system based on ten. When we're doing land nav, we pull one bead down for every 100 meters we walk, until we hit 1000. If you're using this for counting something in base 12, 16, or whatever, you would use a different "count-up-to" number. Finally, tie another knot in the cord . Leave an inch or two, same as before. Congratulations! If you've been following along, you've just made your first set of Ranger beads. Now, how do you use them?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Ranger-Beads/

Image Notes 1. Knot

Step 5: Using Ranger Beads


Ranger beads work the same as an abacus. It's really not that hard to use... First, find your pace count . For most people it's between 60 and 70 left steps for 100 meters. You can find out what yours is by measuring off the distance, then walk normally and count every time your left foot hits the ground (or right foot. It doesn't matter, just use the same foot each time). Now, every time you walk that many steps, pull down one of the lower beads . Each one stands for 100 meters you've walked. When you've pulled all of those down, pull down one of the top ones AND push all the lower ones back up . This represents 1000 meters. Repeat the process for however far you're going . There you have it. Trust me, it'll make your life easier in the field, especially if you're sorta absent-minded like myself. Hope this was helpful!

Related Instructables

Ascend Long's Peak via the Keyhole Route by nbehning1714

Backpack From Old Army Laundry Bag v.1 by GRAF3M3

Backpacking: An Easy Guide for First Timers by benpayne

Army Surplus Backpack Pannier by lxc6

Hobo Stove Ultralight Backpacking Make It Yourself In 3 Minutes 1oz (video) by Levlle

Command and Counquer Zero Hour basics (U.S.A.) by BADWOLF1

Comments
26 comments Add Comment

mr awesome says:

Jun 25, 2011. 9:34 PM REPLY do you have any idea where you get the skull beads from. i ve seen them on other instructables but i dont know where to get them from.

mr awesome says:
nice way of counting how far you have walked. have you ever forgotten what number you were up to while you were walking?

Jun 25, 2011. 9:33 PM REPLY

dphillips2 says:
Thank you so much for your guide!!! I would like to share how I get the beads onto the cord quickly, maybe it will help someone doing this in the future.

May 5, 2011. 4:10 PM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Ranger-Beads/

dphillips2 says:

May 5, 2011. 4:12 PM REPLY the picture is wrong, but I think you guys can figure out what I tried to do. essentially I used an inner strand as a pull cable and pulled the bite of the cord through all the beads at one. take care

Necis says:

May 5, 2009. 12:30 PM REPLY The sad thing is that one on the left, a said company that sells our stuff on base that shall remain nameless tries to gouge us 10$ for them... 550 cord (100 ft) 6$ beads of your choice, 1lb 5$. 50 pace counters that are completely original, priceless.... going have to do this as a hands on project for my joe's one day... swear I'm a baby sitter more so than a NCO :p

PjaXs0n says:

Apr 10, 2011. 2:28 PM REPLY Dad? ;) My Dad would say that line at the end just about every time he came home. (He's a retired MSgt. US Army and trained troops in A.P.G, MD and Schofield Bks, HI.)

asteidl says:

Apr 4, 2011. 3:52 PM REPLY Nice instructable. Very informative steps. Thank you for writing this. I'm a civilian, but I'm in the process of quitting smoking, and this might very well help me to keep my mind on math, rather than on the almighty cigarette, while I'm trying to exercise. Truth be told, I wish I had joined the military when I graduated high school, but, the damn Ritalin, etc kept me from it. Damn recruiters, rofl. :P Anyway, maybe even as a civvie, I can learn how to use a abacus-related tool, used by the military, and it might even help me quit a deadly addiction to tobacco. Cheers, Nikcdc! And thanks. Adam Steidl, civilian.

shepard1 says:

Dec 24, 2010. 1:42 PM REPLY I have made a few of these. Thanks! My family and I use them as Geocache treasures. GPS is fine and all but, there is something to be said about good old map and compass Skills.

divyang6478 says:
(removed by author or community request)

Aug 5, 2009. 4:33 AM

whitmire says:

Dec 8, 2010. 5:38 AM REPLY This is the first I've ever seen of this type of counting beads, so I'm very grateful for the 'ible. I've always carried change in my pocket and moved it to another pocket. After four pennies, I return them and move a nickel. This is great! Not sure why you have to complain about free advice.

mettaurlover says:

Mar 22, 2010. 1:33 AM REPLY Actually, this is simply explaining how to do it for cheap, and as far as I can see, nobody else posted one on this. The point of 'ibles is to teach people how to do things, even if "everybody" can do it. I could hack into the government, but I don't know how. I could make this, but I didn't know how before reading this. Consider that before you do this on another person's work.

TrailH4x says:

Dec 2, 2010. 5:24 PM REPLY As a tip to reduce a bit of frustration, thread on all of the beads before tying the knot for the top loop. I teach my Boys to tie the tail knot (bottom) first, then use one of the inner core strands looped through the paracord to thread the cord through the beads (sort of like using the smaller sting as a fish wire for electrical conduit). I've found the Boys don't get at frustrated and all of them complete their projects in one sitting. Aug 30, 2010. 10:41 AM REPLY If you're really a hardcore Joe (Sapper or Sapper wanna-be), you take the gasket out of M-60 (now M-80 with the addition of the MDI adapter plug (I think)) fuze ignitors that you pull for blasts that you have calculated and rigged, and use those. By the time you've got enough for a pace counter, you've also got a fair amount of experience with explosives.

jed.watkins says:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Ranger-Beads/

keng says:
BTW: my son and I made a couple of these today...awesome project for us.

Jun 17, 2010. 6:21 PM REPLY

tinkersdamb says:

May 27, 2010. 6:42 AM REPLY In rough bush country such as northern Ontario, you pace will change with the terrain, so a bead counter my not be accurate in comparison to move level ground. I would suggest using a cps and a bead counter to determen an average for the type of conditions you walk in normally. A mile on the side of the road, will be much different in bush and hills.

Nikcdc says:

May 27, 2010. 11:03 AM REPLY When we were being taught land-nav, we had to learn two pace counts; a kilometer on the road, then a kilometer through hilly terrain. My DS said the hilly terrain wasn't perfect, but it could be used as a good estimate. Of course, he also recommended using sight navigation whenever possible.

Kaya Tetsu says:

May 16, 2010. 8:12 PM REPLY I've made variants of these as a craft for my friends girl scout troop. Instead of using them for land nav, they also work great as a hydration counter. Everytime you drink your whole water bottle you move a bead. You need to move all the beads by the end of the day or you weren't drinking enough water. I think we used 8 beads, might be wrong, I'd have to find mine again. But it worked great for keeping the girls hydrated in the Oklahoma heat.

slaitch says:
This is pretty much a variant of an abacus, isn't it?

Apr 19, 2010. 9:15 AM REPLY

maven says:
I am printing this up for my son's boyscout troop. I think it will make a great project! THANKS!

Mar 25, 2010. 11:33 AM REPLY

old n grumpy says:


GPS s need batteries... PACE counters don't

Oct 17, 2009. 7:09 PM REPLY

ENJINE says:
We just use knots. Or a tally counter, those're handy.

Jul 24, 2009. 8:23 AM REPLY

Loco_001 says:
Great. I'm going to make one to use as a golf score counter.

Jun 6, 2009. 8:26 PM REPLY

keng says:

Apr 27, 2009. 2:05 PM REPLY I saw this at my local mil-surp and thought about doing the same thing...this may actually be good as a pedometer to! probably just as accurate 80)

microman171 says:
Except you still have to count your steps :-\. Would definitely help me out, I always forget stuff like that... We have a GPS now =D

Apr 12, 2009. 2:26 PM REPLY

thematthatter says:
you cant use GPS during land navigation.

Apr 13, 2009. 9:18 AM REPLY

Nikcdc says:

Apr 12, 2009. 8:16 PM REPLY Haha. Well, there's always a chance the GPS will break, or get clogged with sand, or you forgot to bring it (or can't afford one). Some people just prefer the low tech way. Pace counters are designed to make keeping track of your steps easier, not replace that altogether. Sorry. :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Ranger-Beads/

Related Interests