A spotting scope and tripod are two items not every birder can own. They run from being affordable, to uber-expensive, and every price range in between. And if you happen to own one I’m sure you’ve fallen victim to “Spotting Scope Fatigue”. A temporary numbness and localized pain in either both or one of your shoulders from carrying your burden all day long in the field.
How many times have I opened the rear hatch of my car and stare at my spotting scope just lying there. You know you’re going to be gone for several hours and the thought of carrying your scope hour after hour makes you pause and reconsider. You know if you don’t take it with you, you’ll curse yourself as you scan that mud flat at all those wading birds you can’t ID because you left your scope all alone… in your car. You spent all this money on your scope, so you feel obligated to take it along.
For myself, and I’m sure others would agree, the shifting of the scope from one shoulder to the other is something we as birders need to get used to. And if you happen upon a bird you either have to put the scope down before bringing up your bins, or you just bring your bins up and hope you don’t loose your balance. Either way it’s not the ideal. You and I both know that having two hands on your binoculars as you focus in on a bird is far superior than one hand.
So what’s the solution?
Jon and I always thought that there should be something out on the market like a backpack system for your scope and tripod. And there is.
I stumbled upon the Mulepack by CleySpy out of the England while searching the internet. It was exactly what we were looking for, but we were a little hesitant on pulling the trigger. The overall cost was about $73.00 dollars, and not knowing what the shipping was going to be we waited.
Then a wondeful thing happened. Jon’s wife and Mother-in-Law went on vacation to England. And on top of that he found another company which offered a slightly cheaper pack at $68.00 dollars with no shipping since they would be bringing them back to the states after their vacation was over. How sweet is that.
So now I’m a proud owner of a Scopac tripod carrier. And as you can tell by the photo, it fits and works wonderfully.
Plus it has a small zipper compartment for some loose items or a small field guide, and a net pouch for a water bottle. The shoulder straps are adjustable and it also has a sternum strap.
For an item such as a spotting scope and tripod we as birders really don’t have too many options for carrying our priceless gear. And as I grow older creature comforts are really high on my list. And shoulder fatigue is one less thing I need to take aspirin for.