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As a hunter, you know that binoculars are an essential item to carry with you on any hunt. Ever heard of vision!? Bad joke… I know. A solid pair of binoculars will allow you to spot game from a distance, plan your route, avoid getting lost, and give you time to plan your approach (or descent).
However, carrying binoculars can be cumbersome and uncomfortable, especially on long hunts. In this blog, we will explore different ways to carry binoculars while hunting, so you can choose the method that works best for you.
Before we dive into the different ways to carry binoculars, let's discuss why they are so important to have with you while hunting. Binoculars allow you to see animals from a distance, which is crucial for spotting game before it spots you. This gives you time to plan your approach and make sure you are in the best position for a successful hunt.
Additionally, a good pair of hunting binoculars can help you identify animals accurately, which is especially important when hunting in areas with strict regulations.
As you’ve probably seen in your favorite Indiana Jones movie (did he wear binoculars, it feels so right!), one of the most common ways to carry binoculars is with a neck strap. This is a simple and convenient method that keeps your binoculars close to your chest, so you can quickly grab them when you need them.
However, this method can be uncomfortable on long hunts, as the weight of the binoculars can cause neck strain. To alleviate this, consider a padded neck strap or wearing the strap over your shoulder instead of your neck if you don’t want to spring for another type of carry.
Another popular option is a harness or a chest rig. A harness distributes the weight of the binoculars evenly across your shoulders and back, making it a more comfortable option for long hunts.
Additionally, a harness keeps your binoculars close to your chest, so you can quickly grab them when you need them. There are many different harness and chest rig options available on the market, so be sure to choose one that fits your body and binoculars well.
The difference between a harness and a chest rig could be small, but harnesses typically give you the option to wear the binoculars lower on your waist and give you more immediate access to the binoculars if you need it. There are slight differences between harnesses and chest rigs; a harness is specifically made for one pair of binoculars whereas a chest rig could be any pouch that you can use for binoculars among other things.
Although many brands and websites will reference them as if they are the same thing. Chest rigs will take a hair longer to access the binoculars, but for myself, I’m not typically in a position to make sudden movements and grab my binocs. For bird watchers or stalk-hunters, a harness is normally a more silent option; something to keep in mind!
If you prefer to keep your binoculars out of sight until you need them, consider carrying them in a backpack. Many hunting backpacks include a designated pouch or compartment for binoculars, so they are easy to access when you need them.
However, this method may not be as convenient as having your binoculars easily accessible on your person. I would say dependent on the type of hunting you are doing (stalking, tree-stand, etc.) you will need to enhance your sight at different intervals.
A waist pack is another option for hunters who want to keep their binoculars easily accessible while keeping their hands free. A waist pack typically includes a pouch that sits on your waist, sometimes with straps that go over your shoulders to keep it in place.
This method is normally pretty comfortable and easy to access, but keep in mind that it may not be suitable for all body types. People with smaller frames typically regret using waist packs for long trips, and tend to lean towards a chest pack for comfort and convenience.
If you prefer to keep your binoculars on your belt, you can use a belt clip. This is a simple clip that attaches to your binoculars and your belt. While this method is easy and convenient, it can be uncomfortable if you're carrying heavy binoculars for an extended period.
I had a monocular that I kept on a belt clip because it was so light and my binoculars were stashed in my backpack, but I wouldn’t put anything heavy on my belt.
When carrying your binoculars while hunting, there are a few things you should avoid to prevent discomfort, injury, or damage to your gear. Avoid carrying your binoculars in your pants pockets, as this can be uncomfortable and put pressure on your hips. Additionally, avoid carrying your binoculars on a single shoulder strap, as this can cause uneven weight distribution and lead to discomfort or injury.
Finally, make sure to properly secure your binoculars to prevent them from bouncing or swinging while you're on the move. Don’t forget to always consider noise or noise reduction relevant to your hunting style! Loud Velcro is not always the best option! Consider a magnetic-closing pack or a zipper if you’re
going to need to keep noise levels down.
Personally, I use a neck strap for shorter trips, but when I have more gear and more distance to cover, I’ll opt for a chest pack as I actually start to get a rash on my neck from prolonged use.
Carrying binoculars while hunting is almost always essential, but it doesn't have to be uncomfortable or cumbersome.
By exploring different methods of carrying binoculars, you can find the option that works best for you and your hunting style. Consider trying different methods to see which one you prefer, and remember that comfort and convenience are key.
For more information on the Best Hunting Binocular Brands we have the information you need!