The Art Of Nighttime Navigation: How To Use Night Vision Devices For Outdoor Adventures

June 12, 2023
The Art Of Nighttime Navigation: How To Use Night Vision Devices For Outdoor Adventures, Steele Industries Inc

Nighttime navigation is an important skill for outdoor adventurers to understand and master. Using the right equipment, such as night vision devices, can help make nighttime navigation easier and safer.

This article will explore the benefits of using night vision devices for outdoor adventures, the different types of night vision devices available, how to choose the right device for specific needs, and tips for safe and accurate nighttime navigation.

Night vision devices can provide a range of advantages for outdoor adventurers, including increased visibility and improved situational awareness. Additionally, the range of devices available can be tailored to the needs of the individual, allowing for more precise nighttime navigation.

By understanding the benefits and features of night vision devices, outdoor adventurers can make informed decisions and best utilize the technology for their nighttime navigation needs.

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Benefits of Using Night Vision Devices for Outdoor Adventures

As night vision devices are becoming increasingly popular among outdoor adventurers, it is important to understand the various advantages these devices provide.

Enhancing visibility in low-light conditions is a major benefit of using night vision devices, as they allow adventurers to make out their surroundings and easily navigate through them.

Another benefit of these devices is the ability to observe wildlife without disturbing it, as the device’s technology allows adventurers to remain undetected when in the vicinity of wildlife.

Finally, night vision devices provide increased safety during nighttime activities, as these devices allow adventurers to identify potential hazards and obstacles in their path.

Enhancing Visibility in Low-light Conditions

Low-light conditions can be difficult to navigate, but certain techniques can be employed to enhance visibility.

For example, the use of night vision devices is one way to increase visibility in low-light conditions. Night vision devices use infrared light and other technology to allow users to see beyond their normal range of vision. This technology allows users to see objects and terrain that would otherwise be difficult to identify in low-light conditions.

Furthermore, night vision devices can also help to identify potential hazards that may otherwise be difficult to spot, such as hidden objects or dangerous terrain. Additionally, night vision devices can be used in conjunction with standard flashlights to further enhance visibility.

By using a flashlight in combination with night vision devices, users can effectively illuminate objects and terrain while still maintaining their night vision. In this way, users can effectively navigate areas with low-light conditions and maximize their safety while exploring the outdoors.

Observing Wildlife Without Disturbance

Wildlife observation can be a rewarding and educational experience, however, it is important to ensure that animals are not disturbed during the process.

Night vision devices can be used to observe wildlife without interfering with their normal activities. This is beneficial because it allows researchers and observers to gain an understanding of the behavior of animals without causing them any stress.

Night vision devices can be used to monitor a wide variety of species, such as birds, small mammals, and even large mammals, as the infrared light emitted by these devices does not disturb the animals.

In addition, night vision devices can be used to observe animals from a greater distance than is possible without the use of the device. This means that the animals are less likely to be disturbed by the observer’s presence and can be observed in their natural environment.

Furthermore, night vision devices can help the observer identify animals that may be difficult to spot in the dark due to their coloration.

Increased Safety During Nighttime Activities

With the help of night vision technology, outdoor activities that take place during the night can be made much safer. Night vision devices allow users to see in the dark, which can alert them to potential hazards such as rocks, tree stumps, and other obstacles that may be difficult to detect in the dark.

Additionally, night vision technology can be used to spot potential predators or other dangerous animals, such as bears or mountain lions. Furthermore, night vision devices can be used to detect potential human threats that may be present during nighttime activities. By being able to spot potential dangers before they become a threat, outdoor adventurers are able to take proper precautionary measures to ensure their safety.

Night vision technology also allows for increased safety in areas with limited visibility, such as caves or dense forests. Without night vision devices, it would be difficult to see in these dark environments and thus be susceptible to potential risks.

Additionally, night vision technology can be used to spot potential flashlights or other light sources that may indicate the presence of other people, such as search and rescue teams or law enforcement. By being able to detect these sources, outdoor adventurers are better able to plan their movements and stay out of harm’s way.

Night vision technology thus provides a significant advantage when it comes to increased safety during nighttime activities.

Types of Night Vision Devices Available for Outdoor Adventures

Night vision devices have become increasingly popular for outdoor adventures and can be broken down into three main categories: Image Intensifier Devices, Thermal Imaging Devices, and Digital Night Vision Devices.

Image Intensifier Devices use an image intensifier tube to gather and amplify light from the environment, while Thermal Imaging Devices detect infrared radiation from objects and generate an image based on the intensity of the radiation.

Digital Night Vision Devices use a digital imaging sensor with an infrared illuminator and a display to create an image in low light conditions.

Image Intensifier Devices

Image Intensifier Devices provide the ability to observe in low-light environments, allowing for the exploration of nocturnal environments.

These devices, also known as night vision goggles, are specialized optical instruments which contain a photocathode tube which amplifies the light available to create a visible image.

The amplified light is then sent to an eyepiece, allowing the user to see in low-light environments.

The most advanced image intensifier devices are able to amplify available light up to 1,000,000 times.

Image intensifier devices use ambient light, such as starlight, moonlight, or infrared light from an infrared illuminator, to create an image.

The devices are typically powered by a battery, allowing for portability and flexibility.

Depending on the type of device, they may also come equipped with a variety of features, such as magnification, infrared illuminator, and autogating.

These features can be used to increase the user’s ability to observe at night.

They can also be used to help the user identify objects in the dark, which can be helpful for navigation.

Thermal Imaging Devices

Thermal Imaging Devices enable users to observe in total darkness, providing an enhanced capability for exploration in challenging environments. These devices use infrared radiation to create a visual representation of the area around the user which is translated into a visible image.

This technology has been used for many years in the military and is now increasingly accessible to the general public. Thermal imaging devices are typically small and lightweight, making them ideal for use in outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, and exploring.

Thermal imaging devices can detect temperature differences in the environment, allowing users to pick out objects in complete darkness. These devices can be used to detect animals that may be hiding in the dark, or to identify potential hazards, such as a hidden body of water.

Thermal imaging devices can also be used to identify objects and people that are in motion, as the sensors can detect differences in heat that are caused by movement. Thermal imaging devices can also be used to observe the layout of terrain, allowing users to plot their course or locate a specific point of interest.

Digital Night Vision Devices

Having discussed thermal imaging devices, which detect body heat, it is important to also consider digital night vision devices.

Digital night vision devices, or digital NV, are a type of optical device that amplifies existing light, such as moonlight, starlight, and the light from street lamps, to create an image that can be seen in the dark.

Digital NV is typically used for surveillance, hunting, wildlife observation, and other night-time activities.

Unlike thermal imaging devices, digital NV has the advantage of being able to detect moving objects in the dark.

Digital NV also produces a higher-resolution image than thermal imaging devices, allowing the user to see more detail.

Additionally, digital NV has a greater range and a wider field of view than thermal imaging devices, meaning it can cover a larger area and detect objects from a greater distance.

Digital NV also has a greater degree of image control, allowing users to adjust contrast, brightness, and other settings.

However, digital NV devices are typically more expensive than thermal imaging devices.

How to Choose the Right Device for Your Needs

Selecting a device suitable for one’s requirements is an essential part of the process for successful nocturnal excursions. Before deciding on a device, it is important to consider the type of adventure that one is undertaking and the environment in which the device will be used.

For instance, if one is navigating through dense woodlands or other areas with limited visibility, then a device with a higher magnification and better resolution may be needed. Additionally, if the environment is very dark, then a device that can detect infrared light and provide thermal imaging may be the most effective.

Another factor to consider when choosing a device is the range of the device. If one is navigating through open terrain, then a device with a higher range may be beneficial. It is also important to consider the power source of the device, as many digital night vision devices require batteries or other power sources to operate.

Additionally, if the device is to be used in a wet or humid environment, then it is important to select a device that is waterproof and resistant to moisture. Taking the time to choose the right device for one’s needs will help ensure a successful night time excursion.

Tips for Safe and Accurate Nighttime Navigation

Having chosen the right device for one’s needs, the next step in nighttime navigation is to employ safe and accurate techniques.

Navigating at night can be difficult, and it is important to be prepared and take cautious steps to ensure a successful journey. This includes having a plan and knowing the route, as well as understanding the terrain and the environment in which one is navigating.

When using a night vision device, it is important to be aware of the range of visibility and the type of device being used. Different types of devices offer different levels of visibility, and it is important to understand what type of device is best suited for the terrain and environment.

Additionally, it is important to understand the limitations of the device and how to best take advantage of the device’s capabilities. For instance, some devices may not be able to see in total darkness, and thus it is important to be aware of any obstacles that may be in the area. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the direction of the light source, as it may affect the accuracy of the device.

Furthermore, when using a night vision device, it is important to be aware of the potential for disorientation. This is because night vision devices can create a false sense of depth and distance.

As such, it is important to take the necessary steps to avoid becoming disoriented, such as familiarizing oneself with the area beforehand and taking frequent breaks. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the effects of weather and temperature on the device, as they can affect the accuracy and visibility of the device.

Some of the Night Vision Devices Offered by Steele Industry

AB Night Vision RNVG – Ruggedized Night Vision Goggle

Nighttime navigation, The Art Of Nighttime Navigation: How To Use Night Vision Devices For Outdoor Adventures, Steele Industries Inc


Our SI/RNVG is equipped with new generation 3 image intensifier tubes from Elbit Systems of America, L3Harris, and now Photonis Imaging Tubes. We offer it with Elbit White Phosphor, starting at $7,399.98. This white phosphor image intensifier configuration is quite popular with this binocular due to its budget-friendly price point. We also provide L3Harris image intensifiers at a price of $8,999.98.

The RNVG operates on a single CR123A battery and includes an auxiliary LEMO port for use with battery packs, such as the AB Night Vision Inc Ground Optimized Battery Pack. This goggle also has interpupillary adjustment points, enabling you to align the pod location perfectly with your eyes.

We offer a FREE HAND SELECTION for all our customers. If you want to be involved in the assembly process, which we strongly recommend, please include the minimum specs you’re looking for in your order notes. Alternatively, if you’d like to be contacted when your order is in the build queue, simply write “hand select” in your order notes, and we’ll call you for FREE to handpick your image intensifier.

DIMENSIONS: 4.7″ x 4.2″ x 2.8″

WEIGHT: 20.1

FINISH: Anodized Matte Black

POWER: One (1) CR123 3v Battery, External Battery Pack

BATTERY LIFE: Approx. 30 Hours at Room Temp.

WARRANTY: 10 Year Warranty & Limited Life Time Service

GATE: Auto

GAIN: Automatic Gain Control

FOV: 40º


DIOPTER: +2 to -6

FOCUS: 9.8″ to Infinity

BASIC KIT: SI/RNVG, SI/Lens Pen, Warranty Registration, Quality Check Report, Hardcase, Factory Spec Sheets


Nighttime navigation, The Art Of Nighttime Navigation: How To Use Night Vision Devices For Outdoor Adventures, Steele Industries Inc


The EOTECH® ClipNV-LR is a cutting-edge clip-on night vision device designed to offer users a rifle-mounted solution with unparalleled target detection and identification capabilities. The ClipNV-LR is specifically built for use with medium to high (4-20X) magnification day sights, allowing for nighttime targeting while maintaining the day optic’s ballistic zero. The device features simple ON/OFF, Manual Gain Control, and Focus knobs, all ergonomically positioned. It easily attaches to Picatinny (1913) rails and includes an integrated auxiliary Picatinny rail for mounting accessory equipment such as IR illuminators/designators.


  • Compact, lightweight, rugged, and MIL SPEC
  • Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Enhances existing day optic with night vision capabilities
  • Tailored for use with 4-20X day optics
  • Rated for .50 caliber firearms
  • Quick and straightforward mounting on 1913 rails, no zeroing necessary
  • Auto-gated power supply includes an automatic high light cut-off system to protect the image intensifier tube and improve resolution in high light conditions
  • Omni-directional battery functionality
  • Low battery indicator visible through day sight
  • Manual gain control

L × W × H 9.0″ × 3.5″ × 3.3″ (229.2 × 90 × 82.6mm)

WEIGHT 35.3 oz / 2.2 lbs (1000g) including battery

POWER SOURCE 1 AA battery — Supports lithium, alkaline or rechargeable

BATTERY LIFE Lithium: >60





IMAGE INTENSIFICATION TUBE Gen III Elbit Thin Filmed White Phosphor

FIGURE OF MERIT (FOM) 2376 minimum FOM


Nighttime navigation is an essential skill for any outdoor adventure.

With the help of night vision devices, the task of navigating in the dark can be made much easier and safer.

By understanding the types of night vision devices available and how to select the right device for their needs, adventurers can ensure they have a safe and successful experience.

Furthermore, by following the safety tips for nighttime navigation, adventurers can ensure that their journey is both enjoyable and safe.

With night vision devices, adventurers can explore new and exciting places even after the sun sets.

⇒ Contact:

-Call us at ​​(800) 674-7302


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