From the Columbia Encyclopedia: Long distances by land or sea were measured by the day’s journey. “Ten-Sleep Lake,” named by Native Americans, measured maybe its length, or the distance around it.
The size of a field that a man with a yoke of oxen could plow in one day was a furrow-long (furlong), and its width that of four yoked oxen abreast, or 1 rod (about 16 ft.).
1 pace was 3 ft., 1 mile was 1000 paces.
Four oxen in their stalls were allowed 16 ft. of stall space. 16 ft. is still a standard length of boards.
The ft. was the length of a man’s foot. The hand was the width of a man’s hand (4 inches).
The yard was the length of a step, or the distance from the nose to the finger-tips.
The fathom was from finger-tips to finger-tips of the outstretched arms (6ft.).
The inch was the outer joint of the thumb, or the length of 3 grains of barley placed end to end.