Carry the Telescope in a Backpack on the Heiligenstein?

Introduction | Packing the Heritage 100P for a Walk | Packing the Heritage P130 for a Walk | A First Test: Walking with the Heritage 100P on the Heiligenstein | Packing the Heritage 100P for the Bicycle | Conclusions


On this page, I ask the question of whether it makes sense to carry one of my two smaller telescopes (Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P, Heritage P130) in a backpack on the Heiligenstein hill to have a great view. Or should I better transport the telescopes in my bicycle or car? At the end of the page, I will present my answers to these questions.

Addition 1: In November 2017, I purchased a Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 OTA (Maksutov-Cassegrain). The weight of the tube is close about 3.5 kg, plus accessories. I did not yet check, whether this is still doable with a backpack. I would also have to add the Sky-Watcher AZ Pronto Mount.

Addition 2: In September 2018, I purchased an Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 ED OTA (refractor). The weight of the tube is close to 2 kg, plus accessories. I would also have to add the Sky-Watcher AZ Pronto Mount.

Note: In April 2017, I parted from the Sky-Watcher Heritage P130 (5") and GSO GSD 680 (8") telescopes, in March 2019 from the Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P.



I had this idea on my way to the supermarket, where I typically use a caddy to transport my purchases. Sometimes, I also take a backpack with me, if I am going to buy a lot. So I wondered if it would be possible to disassemble my small telescopes and transport them in a caddy and a backpack. On our terrace, the view is very limited, but on the Heiligenstein vineyard I would be able to enjoy an all-round view.

Of course, this immediately raised the question of whether I can actually motivate myself to go on such a walk at night... But before this question can be resolved, I wanted to check whether the preconditions for such an endeavor can been met. So I tried to pack my small telescopes in a backpack and a caddy.


Packing the Heritage 100P for a Walk

First, I prepared the Heritage 100P telescope for transportation on foot with a backpack and a caddy. The tube fit reasonably in a backpack, plus four eyepieces and a variable neutral density filter. The caddy was to transport a small IKEA folding table and the telescope base. The base proved to be a bit bulky, because it consists of two circular base plates and the vertical telescopic support. I do not consider to disassemble the base as an option...

The following photos show that I succeeded in packing everything as desired:

Heritage 100P with larger... ...and smaller folding table Ready to go with Heritage 100P and small folding table
The complete package... Ditto Base and small folding table in the caddy
Tubus, eyepieces and filter in the backpack Everything before I closed the packages... Ditto, but with larger folding table for a test


Packing the Heritage P130 for a Walk

Then I prepared the Heritage P130 telescope for "on foot" transportation with backpack and caddy. The tube fitted only in a slightly larger backpack (the zip closing of the small backpack was not divided, and so had problems with closing the back pack). After all, the Heritage P130 tube is fatter but not so much longer than the Heritage 100P.

The base turned out to be significantly more bulky that the 100P's. It also consists of two circular base plates and the vertical telescopic support, but everything is considerably larger than compared with the 100P... Because of the larger diameter of the base plates, the small folding table was no longer sufficient and I needed a larger one (also from IKEA...), which did not fit into the bag of my caddy.

The following photos show that I still somehow managed to pack everything as desired. However, I did not try out so far, how practical the "over hanging" folding table really is on transport (for the reason see below).

The Heritage P130 telescope only fits the larger folding table...

The larger folding table can only be trabsported with the caddy when placed this way

Ready to go with Heritage P130 and large folding table

The complete package... Base in caddy The large folding table has to be put on top...


A First Test: Walking with the Heritage 100P on the Heiligenstein

I had two observation places in my mind for the Heiligenstein hill (vineyard). One was at about the highest point of the vineyard, but requires the use of a small table. The other ons is located at a view hut with picknick seating and table outside - here you can do without a table. But the view to the west is unfortunately severely limited by trees. Also, this place is a popular meeting place of youths in the night (easily reached by car). In this respect, it is probably not an option.... Both places are about 20 minutes away from our house (1.5 km).

I visited both places consecutively on my walk (3.4 km). This showed that climbing the Heiligenstein with lightweight luggage like the Heritage 100P was already an effort over time. I was glad not to have made my first test with the Heritage P130! In the end, I came to the conclusion that walking to the observation places and back home would take about forty-five minutes and that even lightweight luggage would already make trouble at the ascent. So already for this purpose, using a bicycle would be recommended, especially since I can cope with the steep ascent without too much trouble using my electric bike. In the plane, hoewever, I would accept a one-way trip of 10 minutes on foot (there are potential candidates for observation points also at lower sites nearby).

Map displaying the situation; the complete round trip is 3.4 km (1 h); going to the observation places takes about 20 minutes

Here are photos of my "on foot " excursion:

The first observation place. Here a table is needed. Base on folding table Heritage 100P on folding table
Ditto The second observation place with picknick place Westwards, trees limit observations
Telescope on picknick table Ditto

Telescope on picknick table directed towards a transmitter on an opposite hill


Packing the Heritage 100P for the Bicycle

After my experiences with my first "on foot excursion" with a telescope as luggage, I tried to make the small telescope ready for bicycle transport. With two side pockets, one for the base, one for the folding table, I was able to achieve this. I made the bike ready for travel, but found that there was no need for a test - that should be easily done!

Heritage 100P base in bicycle bag

The small foldingtable in the second bicycle bag

The complete package for bicycle transport

Ditto The complete package - bags closed Ditto
Bicycle bags mounted, backpack leans against the bicycle



After my walk to the Heiligenstein there is only the following solution left: For the small Heritage 100P, I will take the bike. For the larger Heritage P130 the car is actually recommended (because of the large folding table). And for the GSO 8" telescope only the car is feasible. The tube can be stowed away on the back seat or in the back, the base fits into the passenger compartment - in a VW van this is not a problem... By the way, for the 8" telescope I do not need a folding table, since it stands on the ground.

Rather carrying the base and the tube is a problem for me, but that should just go so...

I wonder if I'll really make a trip with the telescopes on the Heiligenstein, whether by car or by bicycle ...


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