Binoculars and scopes are two very important tools for hunters and outdoors people. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to take proper care of their optics investment.
I’ve learned most of what I know about caring for binoculars and scopes through trial and error and experience. You wouldn’t want to make a careless (and expensive) mistake, right? This post is dedicated to passing on those methods to those of you who are about to, or have recently made the big purchase.
Protecting the Body and Lenses
When walking around in rough terrain while carrying lots of gear, it can sometimes too easy to lose hold of your binoculars, or even damage them if you happen to slip.
You can start off by using the carrying case that came with your spotting scopes and binoculars. The case can withstand normal shock which is key in keeping them safe. Your binocs should have come with a heavy duty strap, use this too to prevent against accidental drops.
If you don’t need ready access to them, you can tuck the binoculars away securely under your jacket Another option I like, is a pouch called a Binoc-Shield. This pouch costs around $20, and allows you to have both easy access to the glasses, and protection from the elements.
Keeping the Lenses Clean
Once you have protected them from physical damage, you must then ensure that the lenses, which are probably the most important parts of these instruments, are kept clean. Dirty lenses obstruct your view making it difficult for you to appreciate whatever you are looking or aiming at, as it is the case with rifle scopes.
First, use the rain guards whenever possible, and put the covers back on whenever they are not in use. If you get dust or debris on the lenses, first point them upside down and gently blow over them to get any particles off the lenses.
Remember, the best way to keep the lenses clean is by not having to clean them at all!
Cleaning the Lenses
As much as you try to minimize the frequency of cleaning binoculars lenses, you need to ensure that you clean them properly when you need to. Your lenses have sensitive coatings on them that require special treatment.
To remove smudges and fingerprints, first make sure you remove any loose dust particles. Hold them over your head and use a can of compressed air to blow off dust and dirt. If you leave debris on the lens, you greatly increase the chance of scratching the delicate coatings.
You should always use an alcohol based liquid and a soft cloth to clean these lenses. Most quality binoculars, especially for hunting, will come with a cleaning cloth, and it’s a smart idea to use it! Never use paper towels, napkins, handkerchiefs, paper, or shirts to clean your binocular lenses. Too often these fabrics have fibers in them that can easily scratch the lens coatings.
Use only light pressure when wiping off the lenses. Heavy pressure can also scratch the coatings. Be gentle and give your optics some tender loving care! If you follow these simple tips, you can be assured of keeping your spotter scopes and binoculars in perfect shape and condition for many years to come.
Image credit: Caro’s Lines