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What Is A Pace?


12UP
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How long is a pace?

 

I did some searching, and emailed the person who created the offset puzzle requiring me to use a number of "paces", turn, and count a few more to locate a cache.

 

I find I'm not the only one facing this challenge involving the interpretation of a "pace" to locate a geocache:

Good luck. I hope you find out because I'm going to do one today that requires 7 paces.

 

The advice in the reference link advises that the person creating the instructions "calibrate" you to what a pace length might be.

 

I'm still waiting for a reply, but I'll keep hunting!

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How long is a pace?

 

I did some searching, and emailed the person who created the offset puzzle requiring me to use a number of "paces", turn, and count a few more to locate a cache.

 

I find I'm not the only one facing this challenge involving the interpretation of a "pace" to locate a geocache:

Good luck. I hope you find out because I'm going to do one today that requires 7 paces.

 

The advice in the reference link advises that the person creating the instructions "calibrate" you to what a pace length might be.

 

I'm still waiting for a reply, but I'll keep hunting!

Yards, meters, rods, or chains please, but NOT paces.

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It's not a problem of finding an answer, it's more like finding which answer the person leaving the cache used. If it's just "It's 7 paces West NorthWest from the lamppost on the North side of the lake you see to the East.", that's not so bad. You can get to the lamp post and walk until you find it.

 

The trouble with the one I'm currently looking for, is it has instructions to walk double digit paces, turn on a heading, and walk more double digit paces, then look in "the middle of the palmettos under some palmetto fronds." There's palmettos everywhere in this swamp!

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There really is no set definition of a pace, and even if there were, every person’s pace would be different. One easy way to avoid this problem is to first include a “pace calibration” leg of the cache. Have cachers walk between two distinct objects while counting their paces. Then, instead of telling them to walk X number of paces, tell them to multiply the number of paces they counted by a given constant.

 

For example, if the distance you want them to pace is 0.457 miles and the distance between the two distinct objects is 0.134 miles, you’d tell them to multiply the number of paces they counted by 3.41 and that’s how many paces they need to walk. Simple! It doesn’t matter if their pace is 10 inches or 1000 inches in length, if they keep their pace size consistent, it will work perfectly.

 

…of course, this post does nothing for helping you find caches that are already placed, but if anyone reading this is thinking of placing a cache involving pacing…

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I think you'll find the way most cachers use the term 'pace' is to count two steps. So, step once with your left leg then once with your right legand that is one pace.

Granted everybody's stride is a bit different, but this should get you close enough.

 

NOTE: THe above directions even work if you step with your right leg first! :)

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Unfortunately what follows is pretty much useless, since different people think of this differently:

 

As the early definition of a pace, it was a good one ("about 3 feet"). A pace is usually a single step which for most heights will end up being about 3 feet. It won't be exact and that's one reason people use "paces". If they wanted to tell you exactly how far, they'd use a metered size like feet, meters, etc.

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As the early definition of a pace, it was a good one ("about 3 feet").  A pace is usually a single step which for most heights will end up being about 3 feet. 

That seems way long, counting toe to heel. Maybe heel to toe. Picture a yardstick. That's a big ol' stride. I count my stride at about 2.5' and I ain't short.

 

Wait. Do they still make yardsticks? Do you have to call them metersticks now?

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Anonymous', better luck next hunt - sir!

 

The good news is that I found the one I was looking for - thanks for wishing me the luck that you needed.

 

The actual problem was not so much what the "pace" measure was (but I urge you to use something more interesting and more defined when leaving instructions to find geocaches), it was that the area was flooded during my first two visits. The flood gates were finally opened to lower the water level in this area and now the cache is finally visible, accessable, and going to dry out a bit. The person hiding this cache hid it near the highest point in the area (I consulted a topographical map), but the recent storms near the cache overtook it.

 

The person hiding the cache I mentioned intended for the measure to be a "step" not a "pace" after all. Thanks for all your help and responses here!

 

[ADDED]

subterranean's method is the best model for something like this!

Edited by 12UP
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I think most people would find a one-yard pace to be a bit of a stretch. In high school, we would sometimes march "six to the five," which is 6 steps every 5 yards. That was actually a pretty comfortable "pace" for most people. Interestingly, this is equal to dictionary.com's definition #2, "A unit of length equal to 30 inches (0.76 meter)."

 

I'm guessing that Papade's 5.5' pace is the two step version, at 33" per stride (Popade is probably pretty tall).

 

It is almost as bad as the practice in Texas of measuring legal descriptions in "varas," a Spanish unit of measure of between 32 and 43 inches.

 

But this one time, at band camp, . . . No wait. That's a different story.

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I know I’m getting away from the original topic a bit, but after having slept on it, it dawned on me (actually I woke up at noon, so it didn’t exactly dawn on me) that if any pace-calibration method is included in a cache, actual pacing can be avoided altogether by using a GPS instead.

 

In the calibration method I illustrated, for example, you could simply mark a waypoint at each distinct object and have the GPS calculate the distance between the objects for you. Then, simply multiply the constant given on the cache page by this distance, instead of by your counted number of paces. It’s then just a matter of projecting a waypoint using the resulting distance to get to the next leg of the cache… no pacing required at all.

 

If the calibration of the type given in the linked article is used, again, find the distance between the two objects using a GPS. Divide this distance by the given number of paces the cache hider says should be between the two objects (this gives the exact length of a single pace used by the cache placer). Then, multiply the resulting number by the number of paces you are supposed to walk in order to get to the next stage. Use this distance to project the waypoint, instead of pacing, and again, you’ve avoided the need to pace altogether.

 

Using a GPS instead of counting paces may be considered cheating by some and perfectly acceptable by others. So, for those who are thinking of including a method of calibrating paces in their cache, keep in mind that some will use their GPSs instead of actually pacing.

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I've done forestry work that actually requires knowing your pace, and here's what I can say:

 

A pace is 2 steps.

The best way to find your pace is to measure 100' and walk it off.

I am 5'8" tall with an 'agressive' stride in the woods.

I need 19 paces to complete 100'.

One pace for me is 5.25'.

I need 12.5 paces to walk a chain.

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