My lifestyle as a backpacker and travel writer has exposed me to several interesting instruments, such as binoculars. While travelling, there come moments when we need to improve the power of our eyes acutely. Whether it’s bird watching or capturing allusive animals from a distance, a powerful pair of binoculars comes in handy.
From my experience and knowledge, I would say that the uses of binoculars are versatile. From watching wildlife to stargazing to hiking and sightseeing, these instruments significantly amplify the power of our eyes.
After all, it feels great to examine the details of your matter of interest from a distance. Whether it comes to finding your hiking trail from miles away or quietly keeping your eyes on one of the endangered species, you need a powerful pair of binoculars at your disposal.
Altogether, I have discussed the main applications of binoculars in this article. Let’s explore and find your interest!
1. Watching Wildlife/ Birds
Watching wildlife and birds happens to be one of the most popular binocular-oriented hobbies. How about examining exotic and rare species from a distance?
Take the instance of the red panda, the endangered species found in the Singalila National Park. It also helped me to spot many Himalayan bird species using my binocular during my Sandakphu Trek.
Well, most animals and birds love keeping to themselves and don’t like to get close to humans. With the right pair of binoculars, you can get a detailed and close-up look at these birds and animals. Besides, if you are an avid birdwatcher or nature lover, you can spend hours tracking the movement of birds and studying their behaviour.
Binoculars are essential bird watching gear. I remember how handy my pair of binoculars proved to be during my visit to Joldapara National Park as a part of my last Dooars trip, while gazing through the bushlands to capture the views of a rhino.
Besides, this national park has bisons and elephants in plenty. Even peacocks and other birds appeared clearly to my eyes through these powerful lenses of the binoculars.
So, if you frequently go on jungle safaris or camping, make sure to buy a pair of long-range binoculars. It will enhance your experience watching the wildlife and plants significantly.
2. Stargazing and Astronomy
My lifestyle as a trekker has naturally put me in touch with several astronomy enthusiasts and stargazers.
Personally, I have witnessed the Milky Way Galaxy, projecting its vastness and details just like chalk powder scattered against the pitch-black canvas of the sky. As I talk about the top applications of binoculars, I cannot possibly miss out on this amazing recreation during my treks.
Be it the vastness of the Galaxy at the Gadsar camp during my Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, or watching the shooting star at Tonglu, my pair of binoculars has helped me capture the spectacular beauty of night skies in true serenity. Along with this, binoculars help locating constellations when the sky remains clear.
Suggested Read: Top Stargazing Places In India
3. Travel and Sightseeing
It’s tough to imagine travelling to unknown destinations without a good quality binocular. The powerful binoculars let you observe the details of waterfalls, mountains, and forests much more closely. As I discuss the best uses of binoculars, I clearly recall our trek leaders using these instruments to look out for indicators or landmarks.
Just like the compass, you need a binocular to keep forwarding on the right track. Whether you want to find your trek mates who have proceeded far ahead or just look at the intrinsic beauty of the forests, you cannot leave behind your binoculars! Travel binoculars are easy to carry and seamlessly fit into your bags.
Particularly, you might visit popular tourist destinations in India where you need to look at waterfalls from a distance. Take the instance of Jorenda Falls and Baheripani Waterfall, located in the Simlipal National Park in Orissa. At both these destinations, I had to count on my binoculars to get a vivid view of the falls from a distance.
4. Trekking and Hiking
Investing in a powerful pair of binoculars pay, particularly when you are into trekking, hiking, or rock climbing. Suppose, you are crossing a mountain pass and need to cross a boulder zone. I personally faced this challenging situation while crossing the Zaj Pass (13,000 + feet) during my Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.
You won’t be using these powerful lenses while you crawl across the rocks or traverse along the boulders. However, you can find one of the most practical uses of binoculars when you approach a crag. There might be several potential routes to the section.
A reliable pair of binoculars will help you identify the best route to mitigate possible dangers. This can also save your time, while making the ascend less tedious.
5. Military Purposes
Let’s explore the usage of binoculars beyond travelling and trekking. Military-grade binoculars are at least 20X more powerful than ordinary ones.
Besides, the army has been using night-vision binoculars for clear and perfect views in the dark. While handling sensitive targets or carrying out delicate missions, they need to have a hawk’s eyes on the enemies.
Likewise, the Police, coast guards, and security personnel use binoculars during surveillance to protect and survey large compounds and estates.
Hunting continues to be a recreation or hobby for many people. They deploy powerful binoculars for observing and scouting. After all, hunting involves 90% observation and following animals, and the remaining part constitutes the accuracy with shooting. So, it’s logical enough to include hunting among the top uses of binoculars.
While hunting, you need to frequently scan your surroundings. Lacing your binoculars on your neck, it becomes easy to glance at your prey. A long distance binocular can help you spot your prey miles away. You would find your binoculars handy even in low-light conditions when the sky remains overcast or during fast-settling dusk.
P.S.: The Government of India has banned any kind of hunting practices as per the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Hunting is considered to be a cruel and punishable offence.
7. Watching Live Events
How about using your binoculars to watch live events to enrich your experience with more details?
I carry my pair of binoculars whenever I visit the cricket stadium. Sitting in the crowd, these lenses help me capture a more accurate glimpse of the gameplay.
Be it any live event, make sure to have your binoculars in your bag. Whether you are watching your favourite sportsperson, musician or actor, these instruments will give you a more vivid visual experience.
8. Watching Marine Life
Do you love looking at the amazing marine life while having a boat ride?
Well, you can actually help your vision with a more spectacular sight when you use long-range binoculars yourself. There’s no fact denying that boat rides tend to be shaky. Besides, marine wildlife like Dolphins seldom stays in one place as you stare at it.
So, marine binoculars should be steadier in your hands or larger in size. However, these instruments generally come with a lower magnifying power. The reason is you would be using a pair of marine binoculars from a much closer range.
The choice of your binoculars largely depends on your purpose, habits, and, most importantly, experience. If you are a beginner, get your hands accustomed to a basic pair of binoculars before investing in a more powerful one.
Besides, determine the purpose for which you would be using the binoculars.
Do you love bird watching during your treks? Or love to spend your time watching marine animals or wildlife?
Depending on your mission, you need to settle for the right binocular. Check out the list of the most excellent binoculars to further narrow down your options.