Estimationof Height and Widths
This is quite a useful skill for a Scout duringpioneering projects, camping or going on an adventure trip. After learning allthese skills, he will be able to estimate the height of a tree, building oreven a specific distance. It is also one of the tests conducted at the KingScouts' Standardization.
Measuring Heights - Pencil Method or ProportionalMethod Have a friend whose height you know stand beside a tree, or tie aribbon around the tree at your own height. Step back and hold a pencil or a stickat arm's length in front of you. With one eye closed, sight over the stick sothat the top of it appears to touch the ribbon or your friend's head. Placeyour thumbnail on the stick where it seems to touch the base of the tree. Nowmove the stick up to see how many times this measurement goes into the heightof the tree. Multiply that number by the height of your friend or the ribbon,and you will know the height of the tree. You can also use this method tomeasure buildings, waterfalls,and walls.
Measuring Heights - Shadow Method The method can be used only ifthe sun is able to cast a shadow. First is we measure the shadow cast by thetree (from the base of the tree to the shadow of it's top), we label thislength as AB. We then measure the shadow cast by someone or an object of knownheight, we label this as CD.
We merely solve the unknownheight by use of proportions, by equating:
UNKNOWN = ----------------------
AB - Length of the shadow cast by tree
CD - Length of the shadowcast by a known height
Measuring Heights - Inch-to-Foot Method From the foot of the object youare to measure pace eleven (11) units, we label it distance AB. A unit can beany number of paces, so if we say our unit is five paces then 11 units isequivalent to 55 paces. Place something to mark the point B. From B take one moreunit forward, this is distance BC. From location C lie down on the ground suchthat your eyes are close to the ground as possible. Sight the tree with themarker on B in your line of sight. Note where your line of sight cuts themarker to the tip of the tree. That spot is labelled as D. The distance of BDin inches is the estimated height of tree in feet.
Measuring Widths - Napoleon Method Stand on one shore of a stream. Bow your head, chin against yourchest. Hold your hand to your forehead in a salute. Move your hand down untilthe front edge of it seems to touch the opposite shore. Without changing theposition of your hand, make a quarter turn. Notice the point at which the edgeof your hand seems to touch the near shore. Pace off the distance to thatpoint, and you will know the width of the river. Napoleon might have used thebrim of this hat instead of his hand. If you are wearing a cap with a visor, socan you.
Measuring Widths - Stride or Step Method Select an object on the oppositeside of the river, such as a tree and we mark it as A. Mark the point directlyin front of the object on the opposite side of the river, mark it as point B.Take at least 50 paces to point C, so as to form line BC. Note that line BCshould be perpendicular to line AB. Mark point C with a stick or anotherperson. Again, pace another distance to point D. The distance CD is half thedistance of BC. From point D, pace another distance to point E. Line DE isparallel to line AB. Point E is marked on a location wherein you can see pointC forming a straight line with point A. Meaning when you look at the stick onpoint C. it somewhat blocks your line of sight to point A. The distance AB istwice the distance DE. AB = DE x 2. We can alter the method a bit. Instead ofhaving distance CD half the distance between BC, we can make it equal to eachother. Do the same method to find point E. Using this alternative, AB="DE." Thisis more accurate.
Locate an object on the other side of a river. Standon your side and point the direction-of-travel arrow towards the object. Alignthe magnetic needle to 45O indicator of the compass housing. Pace the line BCwhile pointing the direction-of-travel arrow towards the object all the time.Point C is marked when the compass is oriented (magnetic needle is directlyabove the orienteering arrow). The distance BC is a rough estimate of distanceAC. You have just formed a 45-45-90 triangle, which has two of its sides equalto each other.