I still remember my first time looking through a pair of night vision goggles. I was inside a darkened office within the walls for 5th Marine Recon aboard Camp Pendleton.

A bit grainy and green, but night had turned into day and I was amazed.  Since that time I’ve had the opportunity to use night vision on a regular basis. Once I was in the Teams night vision was always available so I got to take it with me everywhere I went.

I was blind but now I see

The big problem with night vision is that once you’ve used it once you want to use it all of the time, which is only really a problem if you don’t own any.

Someone once asked me why I carry night vision when I hike or go camping. I explained that there’s an entirely different world available to you when you can see at night. New critters, trails and most of all new possibilities for adventure. Not having night vision is kind of like diving without a mask. Sure you can move about, but you can’t really see a thing.

Another reason I consider night vision essential is that it allows for superior and safe night movement. Night vision allows me to either stay out on the trail longer or, should an emergency occur after the sun goes down, I haven’t lost a significant part of my survival kit, my ability to see, so I can still safely navigate and identify hazards and safe harbors.

Yes – you can actually buy these things

Even though I know that you can now buy night vision I still think of it as military only equipment because for so long it was just too pricey for civilian use, but that’s all changed now.

12 Survivors Trace 5X50

For less than $300 you can now see in the dark thanks to 12 Survivors. Also because of technology this night vision can do more than just open your eyes, it can also record the moment for you.

Relevant Specs:

  • Built-in video recorder – 800×600 pixels.
  • Highly sensitive CCD sensor
  •  Monocular is outfitted with a built-in IR illuminator – Basically, an invisible flashlight that helps you see better

You can head to their site and check it out: Trace