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12 Binoculars for Camping and Hiking

When you’re on the trail or exploring your campground, there’s only so much you can see with the naked eye. This is where a great pair of binoculars come in. Sure, you can squint and strain for a quick peek of that mama moose, but the view will likely be out of focus and lacking color. Wouldn’t you rather have a clear view of those big brown eyes and the ability to see high-definition details? Yup, we thought so.

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For those of us who camp or hike regularly, we know there’s nothing better than a good pair of binoculars, especially for getting up-close and personal with Mother Nature. Basic binoculars can bring animal sightings to life, with their lens power magnifying objects to 7x, 8x, and 10x their actual size! They’re also a useful tool for hunting, bird watching, spotting inclement weather, and the list goes on. Because binoculars have many uses, they vary in pricing, which is why we’ve complied a list of binos (below) to take on your next camping trip.

12 Binoculars for Camping and Hiking:

UNDER $200

The Nikon ACULON A211 is for anyone who would like to feel closer to nature. With its level 8 magnification and 42mm objective lens, you’ll be able to see all kinds of wildlife (even as the sun goes down!) The center focus wheel is easy to use and the ergonomic design allows for a range of outdoor uses. If you’re looking for a product with sharp colorful imaging, the Nikon ACULON will not let you down!

The Celestron Nature DX is just the tool you need for your next adventure. Its durable rubber exterior and waterproof features, will withstand unpredictable conditions (raise your hand if you’ve ever been rained on..) and keep you going strong! Compact with high definition 8×42 magnification, you’ll never want to leave home without it.

The Carson VP Series is another great option for a low-end pair of binos that’ll get the job done. This bad boy is built for all types of terrain with lightweight, durable nonslip grip features. With a field view of nearly 400 feet and power magnification 8×42, you’ll have no trouble seeing critters and distant rock formations. Just like the Celestron, these binos are waterproof and fog proof.

The Zhumell Signature Waterproof binoculars are perfect for campers on the go! Its roof prism design allows for a comfortable grip, and the twist-up eyecups are great for people with eyeglasses. This particular pair comes with a field-harness and neck strap, so you can explore hands-free all the way to the summit.

The Steiner Champ Compact model has a magnifying power of 8×22 and weighs next to nothing (9.5oz) for easy packing. High-contrasting lenses allow for high performance and the ergonomic eyecups protect against wind and glare issues. Molded traction bars provide a steady grip and the rubber armor exterior is durable and waterproof.


OVER $200

The Vortex Diamondback features rubber armor with nonslip grip and multicoated lenses, keeping images sharper and brighter than ever. With a magnifying power of 10×50 and an adjustable right-eye diopter, wildlife sightings will be a breeze. Its compact size and roof prism structure make these binos an easy grab-n-go, before heading out the door.

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD binoculars are built for all kinds of outdoor wear and tear. The water-repellent lens coating, handy rain guard, and durable rubber exterior, protect the binos from potential damages. With extra-low dispersion (ED) Prime glass and magnification of 10×42, you’ll have sharp, clear imaging for spotting all of the flora and fauna you desire.

The Nikon Monarch 5 is lightweight for easy packing, featuring a fiberglass-reinforced resin body. The multi-click rubber eyecups are adjustable and the tough nonslip exterior will prevent cracking and water issues. Added bonus: These binos perform great in low-lighting as well, and they come with a padded neck strap!

The Maven B Series is a great option for compact high-end binoculars. Weighing in at just over a pound, the B series has a field depth of 430 feet, ED glass and superior low-light resolution. Edge-to-edge image clarity and a power magnification of 8×30, these binos will have you hit the ground running!

$400 and Up

The ALPEN Wings ED features high performance ED glass, twist-lock eyecups, a close distance depth of 8.5 feet, and a locking diopter. Its lightweight body, open hinge design, and 10×42 magnification, make for easy and comfortable viewing.

The Zeiss Terra ED binos are a quality product with precision focus, razor sharp imaging, and a close focus distance of 5.25 feet (with a wide-angle field of view!). With a power magnification of 10×42, the ED glass and Zeiss lens coating will even produce crystal clear imagery in low lighting. On-the-go? This particular design is compact and durable for light easy travel.


The Minox BL HD binoculars are also on the higher end, but worth every penny! It’s easy to grab-n-go, weighing a little over a pound (1 lb. 5 oz.), and the open bridge design offers comfort and durability while viewing. The lens power is 8×33 and adjustable eyecups are great for eyeglass wearers. Minox partial dispersion HD optics allow for higher light transmission, and no glare!

Tips and Tricks for Using Your Binoculars:

As with any new gear, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how to use your binoculars before you set off on your next adventure. Learning the ins and outs of new equipment can be disorienting in an unfamiliar environment, especially in the case of an emergency (ie: getting lost in the woods). When compared to other outdoor gear, binoculars are simple in design and fairly easy to master. Taking the time to scan over the manual, locate the focus wheel, and adjust the diopter will ensure your safety and keep you focused on the trail ahead.

Quick Bino How-To:

  1. Find an object in your environment.
  2. Hold your binoculars and look through the left eyepiece, at the object.
  3. Adjust the focus wheel until the view is clear (object should not be blurry).
  4. Look at the same object, using the right eyepiece.
  5. Rotate the diopter wheel (on the right eyepiece) until the image comes into focus.

Having trouble? Click Here for a quick refresh on how to adjust the diopter wheel.

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