Friday, September 9, 2011

Night Vision

Hi ferfal
Love thebook and the blog, thanks for all you do to help get people ready for tough times ahead.
I am pretty well along with all of my peeps and supplies etc.  I have been thinking about night vision goggles and/or scopes.  Admittedly, I love gadgets and NV gear is pretty darn cool.  But do you think such items have a valid place in the preppers equipment inventory, and if so can you make any suggestions on how to shop for one that is appropriate?
I'd love to hear your opinion on this subject.
Thanks again.

Hi Eric, night vision can give you a huge strategic advantage during certain situations. People with military experience often mention how important it can be and some of them will make it part of the must-have equipment. Folks here that live in the country and take their security seriously will also make the effort to find and afford night vision gear, which is hard to find and much more expensive than in USA.
I wouldn’t consider it must have equipment unless your circumstances make it so. In general terms even if power goes down there’s backup systems, battery operated emergency lights, vehicles. Combined with being responsible about the gear you carry and always making sure you have an LED light with you, you will be able to see and move around with confidence. Now If you are away from the city and within certain isolation, you might want to look into it more seriously.
Think about the use you will have for it. Its mostly going to be used for defensive purposes, not wildlife sighting,  so you basically have three options. Goggles, monoculars or scopes.

These come in all sorts of quality an prices, going up to several thousands for gen4 goggles and monculars to setups costing a couple hundred bucks. In this filed, you usually get what you pay for so don’t expect the latest tec to be cheap.
 ATN PS15-4 GEN 4 Night Vision Goggle System 
 ATN 6015-WP Gen WPT Night Vision Multi Purpose Monocular 

For those that need it but can’t drop several grand on NV Yukon is making a pretty acceptable product. Again, don’t expect it to be the same a goggles costing several grand, but the reviews in their products are very good. If I had to get NV due to my situation within a limited budget, I’d go for their headmount monocular kit.
 Yukon NVMT 1x24 Head Mount Kit 
If your terrain makes it possible that you may need to defend your home from attacks further away, then a night vision rifle scope may be waht you need. Given that this is rarely the case, Id take the moncular head kit.
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Anonymous said...

here's what i've learned about
Gen-3 nightvision over the last
eleven years.
'bad' news first:

expect Pixels to die. which
means a black/dark spot on the
good news: the spots are really
really small. you'll get used to
bad: the cost. anything less than
$700 is a waste. buy more and better flashlights with that $.
good: the best ones are excellent.
bad: everyone wants to borrow your nightvision.
good: you have lots of new friends.

Anonymous said...

One question is whether one of those generation 1 monoculars with built-in IR source for about $150. is better than nothing and still gives you an advantage of someone creeping up who has no NV.


Anonymous said...

A few points. First, I agree on avoiding the cheap night vision gear if your budget allows. I purchased a cheap Gen-1 night vision scope just to "get my feet wet" and get some practical experience with night vision gear. As far as light amplification, Gen-1 isn't that good, although the IR illuminator works very well with the NV scope. Second, a decent set of binoculars (e.g. 7X35 or better) really brightens up the night, and for a fraction of the cost of good NV gear. With the binoculars, you can see things clearly when your naked eyes can see virtually nothing. Third, I've read that smoking diminishes the light sensitivity of your eyes - yet another reason not to smoke.

Anonymous said...

using Gen-1 for nightvision is like
using only Norton for anti-virus. it's just a tiny fraction better
than nothing.

Anonymous said...

FERFAL, Unless you are going to be sniping a night vision scope is not the way to go. A scope gives too much tunnel vision and you do not want to point your weapon at everything you need to look at. For other applications that are more realistic you want head mounted night vision and an IR laser. THAT is an unbeatable combination out to 300M or so.