Telescopes You Can Take Backpacking

Backpacking is one of the fun activities that you can do if you want to be free from all the hustles and bustles of the city and get closer to nature. You can go up the mountain and camp with your friends and family. Most of the time, camping destinations have darker skies compared to what you are used to at home during the night. This means that it is also a good chance to get in touch with the stars.

If you are a travel enthusiast and also fond of stargazing, then what you need to have is a portable telescope. This will enable you to see how big and beautiful the universe is. Aside from that, it can help you feel more relaxed and connect with mesmerizing nature more. Stargazing can also be a romantic pastime with your loved onesor a great way to spend your alone time.

If you’re going to travel soon and you’re backpacking or packing light, you might be searching for a lightweight and portable telescope to take with you. When you search for a portable telescope, you will be bombarded with a lot of options, which can make choosing the best one challenging. To help you, we are giving you a list of the best telescopes that you can take backpacking.

a telescope under a sky filled with stars

Things to Consider

Before we give you the list of the best telescopes for backpacking, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration when buying one. Here are some of them:

Type

There are different types of telescopes that you can find out there. You can choose between refractor, reflector, and catadioptric telescopes. Refractor telescopes are economical, compact, and can be used easily. They have a curved surface and concave lens that enables the light to pass through the air right into the glass and back again. It is perfect if you are looking into spending the night watching the skies in lightly-polluted areas.

Reflector telescopes are great for those who want to enjoy deep-sky viewing and planetary viewing. It functions a bit differently compared to a refractor. It is equipped with a larger aperture for clearer views in high resolution. However, it is not a great option for terrestrial viewing because it provides an upside-down image.

Lastly, catadioptric telescopes are those that use both mirrors and lenses to gather and focus attention on the light passing inside. It is often referred to as the most versatile telescope as it offers an all-around type of viewing. It has a large aperture that is packed in a compact tube, making it great for astrophotography.

Aperture

Aperture is the diameter of the lens or mirror. It is what gathers the appropriate quantity of light from distant objects and focuses it on producing eye-catching images. This means that the larger the aperture, the more light you can collect to be able to view more.

Eyepieces/Magnification

When buying a telescope, it is also important that it has at least one eyepiece. The more eyepieces, the better. These eyepieces are rated by millimeters. The smaller the number, the higher the magnification will be and vice versa.

Size

If you are searching for a good portable telescope, then size is one of the most important aspects that you need to look into. Since you will bring it with you on trips, it is recommended that you choose a lightweight and compact device. It’s best to choose a model that is not to heavy and fits in your bag.

Focal Ratio

The focal ratio is the speed of the optics. It is also needed to be considered before you settle for the best telescope: the more focal ratio, the better choice.

Kind of Mount and Ease of Use

You also need to pay attention to the type of mount when searching for a travel telescope. There are two types you can choose from, which are equatorial mount and altazimuth mount. An equatorial mount is designed to follow the rotation of the sky, but it is more expensive. An altazimuth mount, on the other hand, is more of a standard mount. You can move it up, down, left, and right. However, it cannot track the sky by itself. It means that you need to adjust your telescope more often. But it is very affordable.

Cases

Since you are looking for a telescope that you can take backpacking, then it should have a convenient carrying case. Hard cases are usually heavy and bulky, but they are great for travel enthusiasts as they can give your telescope adequate protection. However, if you are planning to go hiking, it’s better to choose one that comes with a soft case. This way, you will be able to carry your telescope safely and comfortably.

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Celestron Regal M2 80ED Spotting Scope – Fully Multi-Coated Optics – Hunting Gear – ED Objective Lens for Bird Watching, Hunting and Digiscoping – Dual Focus – 20-60x Zoom Eyepiece
Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
Meade Instruments – Infinity 70mm Aperture, Portable Refracting Astronomy Telescope for Kids & Beginners – Multiple Eyepieces & Accessories Included - Adjustable Alt-azimuth (AZ) Manual Mount
Orion 10149 StarBlast 62mm Compact Travel Refractor Telescope (Black)
Celestron - NexStar 4SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+ Celestial Objects - 4-Inch Primary Mirror
Celestron - 80LCM Computerized Refractor Telescope - Telescopes for Beginners - 2 Eyepieces - Full-Height Tripod - Motorized Altazimuth Mount - Large 80mm Refractor Reflector
Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
Gskyer Telescope, 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope, German Technology Travel Scope (Cell Phone Holder NOT included)
Celestron - PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope - Manual German Equatorial Telescope for Beginners - Compact and Portable - BONUS Astronomy Software Package - 80mm Aperture

 

The Best Telescopes for Backpacking

Now that you know the different things to consider, here’s a list of the best telescopes for backpacking that we can recommend:

1. Orion 10016 Star Blast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope

This is a very appealing choice if you love traveling and just beginning in the world of astronomy. It is a lightweight, easy to set up, and grab and go telescope model that has strong optical features. The Orion 10016 StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope is great when it comes to obtaining a clear, sharp, and detailed view of different planets and other deep sky-gems. It promises versatile performance when you go stargazing.

2. Celestron Regal M2 80ED Spotting Scope

This is one of the best portable telescopes that you can use when backpacking. It blends a high-transmission optical path with a nitrogen-filled magnesium alloy to provide efficient imaging performance in dark lighting and unpleasant climates.

The standard eyepiece mount of this telescope is also compatible with most eyepieces, and it offers innumerable configurations. It is compact and waterproof and equipped with other unique features that can enhance its operating functions and user experience. Some of these are the sliding sunshade, sighting aid, dual-focus mechanism, and other vital enhancements that are needed for different outdoor glassing applications.

3. Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope

This is a compact and portable telescope that is packed with a lot of features, making it great for beginners to professionals. It has a 1.25” focuser that is compatible with many different accessories. Changing magnifications is also easier as it includes 25 mm and 10 mm eyepieces. It also has an easy to use red dot finder to make aiming a breeze for any level of user. It features a Dobsonian base that allows smooth motions and easy tracking.

This is a very convenient and portable telescope that will enable you to see impressive and detailed images while stargazing with your friends and family. It is also compact enough to bring anywhere you go.

4. Meade Instruments – Infinity 209001

This is a refractor telescope that is perfect for beginners who also love to travel. It allows users to view the planets and other celestial bodies that are quite far from earth. It has an altazimuth mount which height can be adjusted for more comfortable use.

It also comes with 3 different eyepieces, which are 30x, 50x, and 150x magnifications. You can also double up these magnifications by using the 2x Barlow lens attached to the unit. It is very easy to aim with.This is a compact and lightweight telescope that is also great for travel and backpacking.

5. Orion 10149 Star Blast Compact Travel Refractor Telescope

This is a beautifully constructed 62mm refractor telescope, which is great for on-the-go astronomers. It has a 4-element lens system that provides sharp, detailed views of the moon, planets, and bright deep-sky objects. It is a great travel telescope that you can add to your collection of astronomy gear.

This telescope also has a versatile design that can be used for any type of observing, either day or night. It has a smooth Crawford focuser and also includes a hard case, 45-degree correct-image diagonal, 20mm and 4mm Plossl eyepieces, and more.

6. Celestron Nex Star 4SE Telescope

This is a computerized telescope that features Celestron’s iconic orange tube design with updated technology and the latest features for amazing stargazing for beginners and experienced observers. Comes with a fully-automated go to mount that features a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects. It can automatically locate and track objects for you. It also comes with a free starry night software that you can download for an interactive sky stimulation. It is one of the best telescopes that you can bring when you go backpacking.

7. Celestron 80LCM Computerized Refractor Telescope

This is also a computerized automatic telescope, and it has an all-glass optics that can automatically locate 40,000 celestial objects with its GoTo mount and hand control. It features SkyAlign alignment technology that makes locating celestial objects simple. It also comes with everything you need for stargazing, such as an adjustable aluminum tripod, 2 high-quality eyepieces, and a StarPointer red dot finderscope. It also comes with a free starry night software that you can download.

8. Orion 9024 Astro View 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

This is a powerful and high-quality refractor telescope that is very affordable. It is also compact and lightweight, which is perfect for backpacking. It has a 90mm aperture and 910m focal length for crisp views of deep-sky objects, planets, and the moon. It comes with an adjustable tripod and an equatorial mount for manual slow-motion celestial tracking. It also comes with 2 Sirius Plossl eyepieces, a 6×30 finder scope, an astronomy software, and more. You can also use this for a great daytime terrestrial viewing.

9. Gskyer 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope

This is another great telescope for backpacking. It has a 350mm focal length and 60mm aperture to capture more light inviews, and it is also optical glass coated for enhanced image brightness while protecting your eyes. It has two interchangeable eyepieces with a 3x Barlow lens increase viewing power. It also comes with a 5×4 finder scope with a mounting bracket. The telescope and tripod can fit in the custom carry bag that it comes with for easy traveling and storage.

10. Celestron Power Seeker 80EQ Telescope

This telescope is easy to use and powerful, making it great for beginners. It is also compact and lightweight, which allows you to bring it when you go backpacking. You can use this telescope to navigate the sky as it features an equatorial mount with a slow-motion altitude rod for smooth and accurate pointing. It is a great campsite and dark sky observing site telescope for all ages. It also comes with accessories, such as eyepieces, erect image diagonal, finder scope, and 3x Barlow lens to triple the power of each eyepiece.

These are some of the best telescopes that you can take with you when you go backpacking. We hope the tips and products we shared here will help you in finding the best telescope that you can bring on your next adventure.