Ranger beads (pace counting beads) were originally developed by military forces to help them to keep count of the distance that they had travelled while they were on foot.
These are a super simple project that you can start and finish in no time and is easy enough that you can get the kids involved too. All it is is basically a lanyard with one section of nine beads and one section of four or five beads. As you walk you would move the beads at various distances so that you know how far you have travelled.
The basics of how ranger beads work is that:
- Count how many steps it takes to reach 100m
- Now, for every 100m that you walk, move one of the lower nine beads up
- On the tenth time instead move one of the 5 upper beads up and pull all 9 of the lower beads back down to reset. This indicates that you have walked 1km.
- You can measure up to 5km with this configuration of beads.