Being outdoorsy doesn’t mean you have to swear off technology. To the contrary, people who enjoy the outdoors should embrace technology to enhance and capture their experiences.
The optics market (a market aimed at hunters, hikers, action sports and other outdoor activities) has grown exponentially over the last decade. From the integration of 4K action cameras like GoPros to the ability to get an accurate reading from 1 yard to 1,500 yards on a laser rangefinder, innovations in this space have outpaced just about all other outdoor sectors. It’s a space that deserves attention. To help you, we have a pinpointed a few optic devices that are leading the way.
A laser rangefinder (LRF) calculates the known speed of the laser with the time it takes the laser to travel to and from a target to measure the distance between two objects. They are highly accurate and many let you enter your weapon into the LRF to help your bullet trajectory when shooting. When stalking game, an LRF enables you to range your target as well as the distance you need to walk to get a clean shot. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite laser rangefinders that can be found at Cabela’s:
- Redfield Raider 600 Digital Laser Rangefinder: This lightweight (5oz with batteries) and budget-friendly laser rangefinder has a maximum range of 600 yards and minimum range of 3 yards. It sells for just under $200.
- Leica CRF 1000-R Rangefinder: The AquaDura hydrophobic lens repels dirt and water. As the name indicates, this LRF is good up to 1,000 yards and has a minimum of 10 yards. It’s a deal at $600.
- Swarovski EL Range Rangefinding Binoculars: Your hunt club buddies might nickname you Mr. Fancy Pants for carrying this expensive piece of tech into the field, but nobody will be laughing at the accuracy this LRF provides. Even from 1,500 yards away, you get 1-yard accuracy. The downfall compared to the other rangefinders we’ve highlighted is that this one weighs over 31 ounces. It sells for nearly $3,300.
Your shaky footage might not be professional quality, but it could be with a GoPro Hero4 Black. GoPro dominates the action camera market, and it seems like anybody who does anything outdoorsy already has one. If you don’t own one, or you need to upgrade, the Hero4 might be for you. GoPro calls this model its “most advanced action camera to date,” and it has 4K capabilities and produces 12 megapixel photos.
GoPro cameras can be attached to just about anything, including your dog, if you purchase the right mount. This model retails for $499.
Now that civilian drones are available, they are fast becoming a mainstay with the outdoorsy crowd. Civilian drones enable you to capture amazing aerial shots and scout locations. The DJI Inspire 1 Drone lets you do both of these tasks and more. It flies for up to 22 minutes on a single charge and captures 4K footage. An interesting feature is its dual operator control that allows one person to fly while another operates the camera with a separate remote control. While it’s a cool and useful product, this kind of innovation isn’t cheap. The Inspire 1 with Dual Remotes costs $3,399 and the Pro model is $4,500.