Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ranger Beads

At the same time that my friend Jon Mac, was busy making Char Cloth, I was busy fulfilling a promise that I made to my brother a few months (has it really been that long?) ago about making him a set of ranger beads.  To be fair I had no idea really how to make a set when I promised him, but I had been fooling around with making a few paracord bracelets and was full of myself. 

I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how sometimes you make promises that you fully intend to keep and then life gets in the way, or rather, you allow life to get in the way, and they fall by the wayside.  I'm going to try to do better in 2012.  I've got a few unfulfilled promises that need to be kept.  I haven't forgotten.

Back to the point of this post, I promised my brother I would make him a set of ranger beads, and it hadn't been done.  So today, I kept that promise.

I'm working on a few other odds and ends for him, mainly for his girls, and when I get them done, I'll put them in the mail and send them off to Pennsylvania.  I figure with all the walking he is doing, he might get some use out of them.

They aren't much, just some lanyard knots in 550 paracord, with some sliding paracord "beads" to act as the counters.  I tightened them with a pair of needle nose pliers to the would be tight and then trimmed and melted the extra paracord from each bead to ensure they won't unwrap.

I made two sets of beads, first the top set that are used for marking each 100 paces walked, and the bottom set, which is 9 beads to count each 10 paces.  The idea behind ranger beads is that you move the bottom beads after every 10 paces, and the top beads after you have moved all 9 at the bottom and you have walked 100 paces.  Pretty simple and effective.

There is a loop at the top for attaching to your belt or pack.  One promise down, quite a few to go.

Happy Carving everyone.  Before I go, let me leave you with one final thought.  Never apologize for working with your hands.  Never feel like working with your hands is silly or embarrassing.  It isn't.  Try it, just one time.  Create something just one time.  It is a powerful thing to hold something in your hands that YOU have made.


  1. Good blog Tom. A very effective way to keep track of your paces whilst micro navigating...J

  2. Very cool, how do you make those knots?

  3. Martijn,

    I wish I could take credit for those knots, but I used the video instructions here:

  4. That's great, thanks. I must try that!

  5. Wonderful blog, thanks tom super idea