One popular hobby one might use a monocular for is hiking.
A monocular can be used for scouting hiking routes. Their light weight makes them an ideal tool for hikers who need to look ahead to assess the best trail to take while on a hike without adding a bunch of unnecessary weight to their pack. Not only hiking, but a monocular can also be handy on a camping trip to scout a campsite from a distance.
Any sort of trail activity is an activity one might find a monocular helpful to have on hand for. Some additional activities where a monocular could be helpful for scouting a route from a distance include but are not limited to a canoe trips, snowshoeing, and sailing.
Any sort of outdoor activity that would benefit from a look ahead at any given time is an activity that you might want to bring your monocular along on.
In 2017, 15.49 million people were paid hunting license holders in the United States, making it one of the most popular hobbies in the country (Statista, 2018).
In the hunting community, there are mixed feeling about the monocular. Some people say they do not like using a monocular to scout their target while hunting, because they feel a spotting scope or binoculars provides them with a better image. They are correct a spotting scope, which is essentially a large monocular, typically will display a clearer image because it has a larger more powerful lens; a monocular typically will only provide a two-dimensional view, where as a pair of binoculars can provide a three-dimensional view. However, a spotting scope is typically set up on a tripod, which takes time to set up and cannot be easily moved, and binoculars may be harder to handle while holding other hunting equipment like your bow or gun.
Neither a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope is as compact and easy to work with as a monocular, which is why it makes sense some people opt to use the monocular.
3. Bird Watching and Wildlife Viewing
While hunting remains one of the most popular hobbies in America, wildlife viewing is even more popular with a staggering 20.35 million people participating in the activity in 2017 (Statista, 2018).
Bird watching is a very popular segment of wildlife viewing in which a monocular is a very popular tool. While a monocular can range in clarity and distance, their small, compact nature makes them ideal for an avid bird watcher who may be carrying a lot of equipment with them already, such as a camera, record pad, tripod, and bird seed. They can also be a fun tool for those individuals who like to leaf view, which is a hobby where the individual gets an up-close look at different kinds of leaves to view their patterns, etc. Monoculars are also used for animal viewing, which is similar to bird watching, but viewers search for different types of animals instead of birds only.
Typically, a monocular would not be the only tool a star enthusiast would have on hand because they are not as strong and their image is not clear as other long-distance viewing options, such as the telescope.
Certain monoculars work better than others as far as distance and clarity. Monocular’s range in price anywhere from about ten dollars up to prices in the high hundreds. The quality varies greatly between these. There are other qualities that affect the price such as thermal imaging, infrared, and night vision, but one key price driver is the clarity and range (Telescope Observer, 2018). For astronomy lovers, a higher quality monocular may be an ideal supplemental tool used for stargazing. In some case star enthusiasts may not require the clear image of a telescope and would be perfectly happy just using a standard monocular. It is all based on personal preference.
5. Sporting and Theatre Events
Sporting and theatre events are another great time to use a monocular.
If you are seated far away from the action it will help you get a more up close and personal look at what is transpiring.
A monocular is great for sports where there may be quite a distance between the athletic event and the spectators such as rowing, golf, and cross country. This is another scenario where the compactness of the monocular might come in handy. For example, you’re at your son’s cross country meet and of course you can’t see every inch of the race. Typical. Instead of waiting with all the other parents at the finish line, steal some glances with your monocular. When you’re done, it will fit right back into your bag.
Or, if you’re at the theatre, you can use a monocular to view the little details that make live theatre such a popular artform.
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