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Night-time Geocaching

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Night-time Geocaching

Postby Polycron on Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:09 pm

I need some help picking a night vision device. Here is the scenario: There is a hobby called Geocaching. Basically there are containers (as small as a match stick holder to as big as a ammo box that are hidden out in the woods (usually wrapped in camo tape). The hidden items have GPS coordinates and you have to go find these containers, sign logbooks and swap trinkets in the boxes. Doing this in the daytime is fun but doing it in stealth at night is even more fun.

This would entail walking in the woods, looking at a GPS, not knocking yourself out on the low hanging branches or tripping on the logs on the ground and eventually when you get to the general location, searching for the actual container.

I have borrowed a Yukon Sea Wolf 3x42 but have the noticed the following:
* I can't see where I'm walking. I'm guessing the FOV of 20 degrees coupled with the 3x magnification is my major problem.
* Distance (20+ feet) looks great. Not helpful when walking, but great when trying to find the container from a distance.
* On dark nights I have to use the IR but when pointing at the ground it is so blasted bright it makes it hard to see where your walking. Couple this with the magnification and low FOV and I'm ready to give up.
* Looking at the GPS is impossible since the IR reflects completely (even looking at sharp angles) and you do this often while walking the 1/2 mile or more to make sure your on course.
* I will say the IR is great at distances. 100-150 feet is no problem with 3x42 sea wolf.

So, the question is: Would I be better off with something like the NVMT 1x24 with headset? Trying to read reviews it seems the effective range on the 1x24 is less then 30 feet (IR limitations? or is it lack of magnification?) Would the lower magnification and larger FOV make walking in the dense woods feasible or am I asking for too much from a 1gen unit? Also various reviews seemed to indicate that using the 1x24 I'd be constantly futzing with the focus as I walk (Looking down to make sure your not going to trip and then looking up so you know where your going).

If the walking part is asking too much from the 1x24 maybe I should just use a small flashlight to get to my location and then use the 3x42 once I'm there? Any thoughts or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

- Jeff
Polycron
 
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Postby Ryan_W on Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:06 pm

Hi,

If you're going to use a night vision unit while walking, I would recommend that you stick to a 1x unit. Considering that Gen 1 units are hard enough to see through clearly, adding magnification will only make you trip more quickly.

I have had great luck with the Bushnell 1x20 goggles with headset. This unit adjusts very easily and quickly, and is comfortable to wear. A monocular version may help you with reading your GPS. You can use your right eye to see where you're going and your left eye to read the GPS if it has a backlight. Personally, this would annoy my eyes and I would go with the binoculars.
Best regards,

Ryan W.


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Postby Steven_L on Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:10 pm

I use the Bushnell #261020 goggles . They are as good as anything I have used for your application. The magnification of the units you're using is too much for walking and close viewing. The one power units are much better. Yes, you will have to adjust your focus occasionally. I also like the easily adjustable and comfortable headset. These can be used as an ergonomic binocular as well. They do have an auto shutoff for bright lights, but the GPS will still give you a problem. What you're doing sounds like fun.
Aim Hard!

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Postby Polycron on Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:41 pm

Any recommendations on a monocular with headset? Although I may still go for the binocular model you mentioned. Choices are good.

Thanks for the quick feedback.

- Jeff
Polycron
 
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Postby Ryan_W on Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:44 pm

Ryan_W wrote:A monocular version may help you with reading your GPS. You can use your right eye to see where you're going and your left eye to read the GPS if it has a backlight. Personally, this would annoy my eyes and I would go with the binoculars.


Sorry, the link seems to have gotten lost in the text. Click on "monocular version" in the text above
Best regards,

Ryan W.


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