There are few things I’d rather do than be outside watching wildlife. Somehow, I got lucky, and watching wildlife while guiding natural history film productions has become my job. In the field, I require good optics for my work. I like a basic pair of binoculars to use when I’m moving. If I’m stationary, I prefer a spotting scope. But most scopes are too bulky and heavy to bring on anything but easy “front country” forays. For real backcountry adventures, weight, bulk, and the necessity become critical gear considerations. I’ve had a lot of trips when it felt impractical to bring a spotting scope, so I left it at home. Thankfully, Maven solved a lot of my issues with their S.2 12-27X56 Spotting Scope.

The S.2, at 11 inches long and 34 ounces, is smaller than a water bottle. Like all Maven products, the glass is great and withstands the punishment Alaska dishes out. Waterproof and fog proof, the S.2 has a lifetime warranty. The S.2 is ideal for use on remote trips, like a Dall sheep hunt, but I am just as likely to use it on “front country” outings. This is largely because I find the S.2 just as bright, clear, and practical to use as bulkier and heavier models. It is the ideal spotting scope for hunters and anyone who wants to see past where the pavement ends. For its price, I think the S.2 is one of the best spotting scopes on the market.


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Bjorn Dihle is Alaska magazine's gear editor and a lifelong resident of southeast Alaska. You can follow him at instagram.com/bjorndihle or facebook.com/BjornDihleauthor.

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