Going Hiking? Consider Getting Yourself a Monocular Telescope.

It's a no-frills piece of gear that'll greatly improve your relationship with the outdoors

The Nocs Zoom Tube Monocular Telescope is my favorite new piece of outdoor gear
Nocs Zoom Tube Monocular Telescope

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Unless you’re a retired senior donning a pair of quick-dry pants and a breathable safari button-up, chances are you don’t own a pair of binoculars.

Despite the fact we all played with a pair of cheap binos as kids, most of us have since retired such tech until we find time to admire the birds in our golden years. It’s not something we’ve done by choice, but by necessity, as our free time becomes occupied by other matters. Maybe that’s why I was so giddy when Nocs Provisions sent me a sample of the recently released Zoom Tube Monocular Telescope.

If you don’t know what a monocular is, welcome to the club. I didn’t either when it landed on my desk, but I’ve since learned it’s like a pair of binoculars cut in half. The one I received from Nocs comes furnished with 8x magnification power and a 32-millimeter objective lens in a profile the size of your hand. Its rubberized housing is IPX4 water-resistant and shockproof, and the multi-coated lens offers a wide field of view to find your subject.

Get to know the Zoom Tube
Nocs Provisions

I’ve fallen in love with the Zoom Tube after using it for a few weeks. That’s due in part to the compact size that allows me to take it anywhere. When I leave the city, it fits in my water bottle pocket until I wish to study birds, watering holes or sleepy villages in the valley. And when I’m home, it sits on my windowsill for the hopeful spotting of a bird that isn’t a pigeon, or should I feel inclined to do my best rendition of James Stewart in Rear Window.

But what I really love about the Zoom Tube is the relationship it establishes between myself and the outdoors. It prevents me from juggling various claims for my attention by letting my mind wander in search of what I can’t often see. There’s no shiny display, no fidgety buttons or a battery that I need to charge every day. Of all the nonsensical, superfluous gear I own, this fun-sized monocular provides enjoyment that can’t be found anywhere else.

Maybe that’s what those old birders are really getting at.

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