This technique is used to provide accurate length estimates in the field without using a tape measure. It will allow you to determine the length of the beach you covered while counting horseshoe crabs.
Pacing trial data form
Step 1: Mark off a known distance using the tape measure. It should be relatively long—at least 50 feet. 50 meters, or 164 feet is a good distance. Alternately, use a marked, known distance (i.e. a local school's football field, at 100 yards, or 300 feet).
Step 2: Pace marked area three times, recording the number of paces it takes for each trial on the data form. Remember that one pace equals one step or footfall.
Step 3: Determine average number of paces per measrued distance. Add the three pacing trials and divide by three
Example: Suppose during the three trials it took you 55, then 57, then 54 paces to cover a 50 meter distance. Then we have: (55 +57+54) = 166/3 = 55.3 paces for 50 meters.
Step 4: Determine number of paces per meter or foot. Divide the average number of paces per distance walked by the actual distance. (This number will enable us to calculate the length of the survey area).
Example: 55.3 paces/50 meters = 1.1 paces per meter.
Pacing Trial Data
Number of paces it takes to walk ______ meters or feet (call this number E):
Average paces per(E) meters or feet:
Total (A+B+C)=____________/3=______________(D) paces per (E) meters or feet.
Number of paces per meter:
(D)_______________/(E)=____________paces per meter/foot (note that this number will likely be greater than 1 if you use meters, and will be less than 1 if you use feet).
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