The Gea Org.

Navigation with Distance, Time, and Pace (X)

By Robert Finlay of KayakLakeMead.com

Edited by Federico Ferrero


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USING DISTANCE, TIME, and PACE to DETERMINE POSITION: It is always good procedure to keep track of distance covered and time elapsed, distance over time; i.e. your pace. Knowing elapsed time is super important! Knowing your pace is super important! These are the primary clues in knowing your position. Sometimes they will be the only clues.

PACE: A runner knows she is clipping along with a 6 minute mile and she knows this from her experience as a runner but she still clocks herself. An avid mountain biker will have the advantage of a speedometer and will know her pace with a glance but even without the speedometer she probably has a good feel for her pace on any given terrain. As you gain experience covering distances on primitive trails, through the mountains with no trail, or across the desert you'll develop the same feel for your pace. Pay attention to your experiences, clock yourself, and take notes. With a little time you will know when you're doing 15 min miles, 12 min miles, etc.

1. Mountain Biking on a Road:

You are at position "C"; mountain biking south to WP 5/7 with the intention of hiking to position "F". It is getting dark and you're concerned, rightly so, that you will not be able see the valley leading up to "F". Yes, there is a hilltop (orange arrow) just to the west of WP 5/7 but notice also that a ridge off that hilltop extends north to the direction you're coming from and the hilltop itself is merely a part of a ridge extending further to the south. Are you still sure you will be able to readily identify WP 5/7 in the dark? Yes, there is a saddle (pink arrow) south of that hilltop which will also help identify the position.


Ref. map A1, Indian Springs Hills

Distance: Measuring the distance of the road from "C" to "5/7" gives 2.25 miles.

Pace: If you keep an eyeball on your speedometer and your speed at 4.5 mph.

Time: You will arrive at "5/7" in 30 min.





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