Re: optics set up for BP hunting
I've never tried one but I've read a ton of reviews on the Nikon ED50 spotting scope and they all say nothing in that size class compares. It can't run with the big scopes, but only weighs a pound. I'd be buying one but I want 15x binos instead.
I have 10x50 Leupold Olympic binoculars and have been real impressed with them. They work well in low light and weigh 25.7oz which isn't bad for 50mm glass. The guy I hunt with has Leupold gold ring 10x42 glass and we both think mine are every bit as good, maybe better. I think his weigh 32oz also. I'm happy enough I probably won't upgrade on 8-10x unless I go to Swaros some day. No sense buying more mid-range glass and then spending the big money anyway.
I'm still looking to pick up high end 15x binoculars and probably not carrying any other optics. My hunting partner carries a scope and his 10x42 binos so we would be sitting pretty good with that set up.
For a tripod I have been using my Bog-pods all summer glassing and I don't see myself using a different one. There are much better tripods available for glassing and the bogpods are light for windy days. What I like is that the bog-pods work decent and I can carry one tripod for rifle, spotter, and binoculars that weighs about 2lbs plus adapters. I like the standing model for brush country where I may need to stand and glass and the short one for sitting. The short one allows steady 6" high prone shooting which I really like and still goes high enough for kneeling shots.