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Thread: Small scope for backpacking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Small scope for backpacking

    Hi everyone, and sorry if this question has already been asked; I wasn't able to find a post asking the same.

    I live in the city, but relatively often go on hikes/camping trips in the surrounding nature. I'm looking for a scope that I would be able to use on such trips. I realize I won't be able to use it in the city due to light pollution.

    I am completely new to observing the sky, and before I go out and spend a lot, I would like to see if this is something for me. Hence, I am looking for a low-budget scope (preferably below 200$ but willing to stretch a bit for the right one) that can fit into a backpack without taking up too much space. The weight is not at all as important as the size.

    Can anyone give me some recommendations?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Fresno, CA
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    I did a Google search for "backpacking telescope" and this site was one of the more recent ones on the topic. https://www.space.com/31228-best-por...elescopes.html

  3. #3
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    Aug 2005
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    Small scope for backpacking

    You might consider packing some good binoculars. Easy to store, light and durable with no need for a stand unless you want to also carry a tripod.

    Take a look at the Orion site and youíll see a number of choices. Decide if you want to go for light gathering or enlargement. I would opt for light gathering but thatís just me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Rugged, light, and maybe inexspensive

    Binoculars, definetly. If weight is an issue, you could even consider a monocular. Personally, I am fond of 7x50's, but there are many variations. Check local flea markets, swap meats, thrift stores, yard sales, etc., for bargains. Also, many other uses in a natural environment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    The nice part of binoculars as a choice for observing while backpacking is of course the fact that they may also be useful for looking around at cool stuff in the daytime.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    680
    If you want something more capable there is also some compact Dobson telescopes (like the Skywatcher Dobson N 130/650 Heritage) especially if your observing location has a sturdy table or tree stump to place it on. Around 4 kg for 13 cm aparture is quite good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    The nice part of binoculars as a choice for observing while backpacking is of course the fact that they may also be useful for looking around at cool stuff in the daytime.
    Which is why, if it needs to be a telescope, I'd go with a good quality spotting scope. For the night sky it doesn't much matter if the image is upright or inverted. But if you want to look at wildlife, it does.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Which is why, if it needs to be a telescope, I'd go with a good quality spotting scope. For the night sky it doesn't much matter if the image is upright or inverted. But if you want to look at wildlife, it does.
    I've never had luck using my spotting scope for astronomy, other than a big target like the moon. Spotting scopes don't have a finder scope, and I find it very hard to find astronomy targets with just the spotting scope (I've tried a couple of times to see comets with it). This isn't such a problem in bright daylight; the background isn't just uniform black ("OK, I want just a little to the right of the big tree I'm seeing).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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