Binoculars are as essential for outdoor adventure as good boots or a waterproof coat, but which pair will best suit your needs depends entirely on what they will be used for. Magnification, angle of view, brightness index, weight, focusing distance – all of these features should be carefully considered when choosing a pair of binoculars. Here are some guidelines that will help you find the right pair.
Magnification refers to the power of your binoculars to increase the size of the scene you are viewing. For example, assume you're considering purchasing 10 x 25 binoculars. The first number, 10, means that the image will appear ten times closer than it would to the naked eye. The second number, 25, is the measure in millimeters of the front lens. In general, a large lens enables you to see better in dim conditions: the larger the lens, the brighter the image. The lens also compensates for the light lost by magnification. Powerful magnification can dissipate the natural brightness of your environment.
Angle of View
Angle of view refers to the field of vision you have when looking through your binoculars. The angle is measured in degrees, and the larger the angle of view, the easier it will be to spot a subject. A wide-angle binocular has an Apparent Angle of View of 65 degrees or greater.
Those who plan on using their binoculars at a range of times during the day and in a variety of light conditions should be aware of the brightness index. The exit-pupil diameter is used as a way to measure the brightness of an image; this number is reached by dividing the objective lens diameter by the magnification power. Binoculars that are 10 x 42 binoculars have an exit pupil diameter of 4.2mm (42 divided by 10). If you plan on using your glasses in the daytime exclusively, an exit pupil diameter of 2-3 should suffice. Those who want the view wildlife at dawn or dusk will need to purchase a pair of binoculars with an exit pupil diameter of at least 5-7mm.
Consider the Conditions of Use
The weight, shape, and weatherproof capacities of a pair of binoculars is a matter of personal preference. That said, binoculars for a rainforest trip or boating use should always be water-resistant to avoid disappointment.
Used for 150 (cold and wet) years on driven shoots in Great Britain, breeks are built for movement. In wet weather, they fit neatly into high boot tops. With a fresh pair of socks, you’re dry and ready for the afternoon
shoot. Our breeks are made by an old English firm that only makes breeks for the field with the pleated fit that no other manufacturer would understand. The fit is pure comfort on the legs, and not simply a cut off pant. A stabilizer waistband keeps the shirt tucked in for safety, and slider buckle leg closures with elastic inserts keep socks from pulling out.
living in Downeast Maine in the early 1900s wing shooting was for the
pot not for sport. Inhabitants of towns like Larrabee took from the
land and sea what food those moody mistresses were inclined to surrender.
Our Field Cuff KHP Marsh Pants are near exact duplicates
of a pair worn for years by Robert Pettegrow, Robert handed them down
to his grandson, Brent Pettegrow, current Ducks Unlimited State Chairman
from Maine. It’s the most practical, versatile, traditional hunting
pant we’ve ever offered. And it’s the toughest. It’s hard to imagine
a more rigorous field test than that performed by Robert Pettegrow on
into duck blinds along the rocky shoreline, pushing through the chest-high
tangle of wind-beaten coastal shrubs, or slogging through tidal marshes
in pursuit of moose, Pettegrow put the pants to the test to put food
in the larder. The genius of these pants start at the cuff, an area
overlooked in the design of most upland and duck-hunting pants. The
rack-on-rib knit wool cuff snugs the pants to your field boot top to
keep out the cold, water, and debris. And it holds the pant close to
your ankle when you step into your boots.
Depending on what the day brought, a trip to Hen Grays
Cove or to Yoho Cove on the Kennebec Bay side of Machiasport, Robert
Pettegrow might vary his footwear – field boot, hipper, or wader – but
his choice of pants varied little.
Shipbuilding was central to Downeast Maine in the early
1900’s. Robert Pettegrow’s work clothes were cut from sailcloth, well
suited for the rugged, damp conditions. We located the manufacturer
of the sailcloth fabric that went into these pants. It’s heavily washed
to tighten its grid-like weave and to soften the pant. Robert Pettegrow
didn’t have the advantage of a heavy wash to soften his sailcloth pants.
The elements did that for him.
On gray winter days he’d run his dory onto large ice cakes
far up the Machias River and float with the floes down the river and
onto the flock of goldeneye and black duck in the bay.
Our pants, like his, are double layered with moisture-repellent
cotton poplin at the seat and thigh to hold off any moisture that might
make its way through the tight canvas weave.
"My Grandfather maintained two duck blinds on what I always
knew as Churchyard Cove on Machias Bay – one on Birch Point, the other
on L-Point – from which he hunted for eiders and golden eyes. I hunted
these coves for several years and had the pleasure of taking my grandfather
on his last hunt on Birch point in 1979."
Placing his shotgun inside the door, Robert Pettegrow
said, "That’s it. I’m done" satisfied in the knowledge that he’d passed
on the tradition to his grandson.
He’d also passed along a legacy of practical, rugged,
functional clothing that Orvis is proud to continue.
The origin of shooting flashes goes back to the time when there was more clubbing, hacking, and running-through being done than shooting. In the time before elastic, warriors tied their socks up.
Why the different colors? A better question might be "Why bother wearing flashes at all if your socks stand up on their own?" At one time, a spot of color at the top on the sock might well have provided a method of separating different sub- groups within the larger Scots clans. The same holds true today with clubs and organizations differentiating themselves by the color of their flashes beneath (relatively) bland tweed shooting garments. So color and the selection of a particular color is largely a matter of personal choice.
How are flashes worn?
Pull the socks all the way up over the bottom of your breeks. Wrap the flash once around to hold the sock in place, then tie a square knot and leave the two ends dangling below your sock. When it’s all done, the top of the sock is worn so that it overlaps the bottom of the breeks.
General guidelines for dressing for an European shoot
As Terry Wieland points out in his excellent article,"Dressed for the Sport," (Shooting Sportsman, January/February 2001) as intimidating as British-shooting accoutrements might look, there are few hard-and-fast rules. An appealing mix of tradition and practicality governs everything else regarding dress."The aristocratic British gunner in tweeds and tie is a favorite target for cartoonists on both sides of the Atlantic. In America the fact that a British shooter habitually wears a jacket and tie is held up as evidence of eccentricity, if not decadence. But the fact is, the UK shooter’s choice of clothing in eminently practical and highly refined for the conditions under which he shoots. What’s more, the nuances of proper shooting attire are almost as arcane as the fitting of a custom game gun. This is based no on snobbery, but on practicality. "Contrary to popular belief, there is no real proper or improper dress, within reason. For the vast majority of driven shoots, a "gun" is expected to look presentable, but it is more important that he be dressed to cope with the weather. In that case, the guiding principle is that if it is not raining right now, it either was recently or soon will be. A secondary principle is: Whatever the weather, shooters will be out in it… European and British shooters do not like to be cold and wet any more than anyone else, so their clothing is designed to cope with almost any conditions while allowing the wearer to shoot comfortably and freely at all times. Marrying these various principles is not easy, but through the course of 150 years of sartorial evolution, tailors and outfitters have arrived at an approach that is both elegant and amazingly functional."
Ventile: The Greatest Outdoor Fabric’s Wartime Beginnings
Winston Churchill didn’t hunt New England partridge, but he nevertheless inspired the world’s greatest hunting gear: Orvis Ventile.
Protects you from wind, rain, sleet, and snow.
Keeps out wind to protect you from wind chill.
High moisture vapor transmission helps keep you dry when active.
NATURAL 100% COTTON
The benefit of cotton with environmental peace of mind.
Lightweight and breathable for comfort afield or in town.
Very long lasting. Expect years of use from garments in Ventile®.
No "rustle" is ideal for hunting or bird watching where noise would be a problem.
Proven performance across the globe since WWII.
Ventile clothing resulted from Churchill’s demand for a material to protect his pilots when they ejected from their Hurricane or Spitfire planes into the frigid North Atlantic. Survival time to get into a life raft was two minutes. Not enough to save most pilots. After many trials, scientists at the Shirley Institute in Manchester U.K. developed Ventile. The original Ventile immersion suits proved impenetrable to arctic winds and icy water, extending survival time tenfold and saving 80% of ejected pilots. The suits remain in use by British Royal Air Force today. No other fabric offers the uncompromising performance of Ventile. It has been to Everest, K2, and Antarctica. It’s used in the greatest upland hunting clothing fabric we have ever offered.
Named after ventus, Latin for wind, all-cotton Ventile is windproof, waterproof, and endures extreme variations in weather and temperature conditions. It’s rugged enough to turn back the nastiest thorns and tight upland cover, yet lightweight and breathable for the utmost comfort in the field.
Made of long staple cotton fibers woven into a tight, dense fabric. The weave is just large enough to allow air molecules to pass through – for breathability – while water is blocked out. Most importantly, the gently spun cotton fibers swell and close up the tiny gaps in the fabric when drenched by moisture. But they remain just large enough to allow body vapor out. Ventile can withstand twenty-four hours of constant immersion in water without leakage.
Charging through dense thickets is remarkably easy – no more rips or tears, no more thorns catching jackets or pants.
Ventile Hunting Clothes are an investment in yourself and your passion for wing shooting. Guaranteed to make it more than one generation. In fact, they could very well last as long as your fine double-gun.
Weatherproof. Waterproof. Breathable. Quiet.
Fiber: Ventile uses long staple fibers found in only the top 2% of the cotton produced worldwide, to guarantee cotton’s natural benefits of breathability and durability.
Yarn: Great care is taken in spinning and doubling the yarn at a time when the raw cotton fiber is in its most vulnerable state. Such care means the weave will perform as expected.
Weave: Woven using 30% more yarn than in other cotton fabrics. At the first hint of moisture, the special weave expands to lock out dampness, while it maintains breathability. The dense weave makes Ventile waterproof, windproof, thornproof, and extremely durable.