Friday, April 29, 2016

Birdwatching: The finnstick

I am an avid birdwatcher, which means I often use binoculars for a prolonged period of time. This results in stress and tension in my upper-back, neck and finally in my lower-back. Not to mention the increase in instability over time.

There is a simple and efficient remedy for this: adding something to rest the binoculars on. Of course one could use a tripod or monopod, but loose all of the mobility that comes with binoculars. Here in Finland there is something called "staijauskeppi" or "finnstick" that many birdwatchers use. Simply it is a long handle that the binoculars rest upon. This transfers the weight downwards and makes it possible to keep one's hand on the stomach or hip while supporting the binoculars. Please see video, as it is hard to explain in writing.

There are several commercial finnsticks out there, but it is a simple project to diy. All you need is handle or some sort of stick, some foam, tape, a tool for shaping the end your binoculars rests on.

Some might say it all looks very silly and it probably does. But doesn't birdwatchers look silly already? The finnstick allows for prolonged use of binoculars and gives tripod like stability. I say looking silly is a small price for that.