Thermal imaging devices have come a long way in recent years, and even more so over the last few decades. The sort of technology that was once only available in heavy stationary or vehicle-mounted form is now small enough to fit into your pocket. Portable thermals have many valuable uses for a survivalist — hunting, tracking, search and rescue, home defense, and scanning for threats in a SHTF situation. Knowing exactly what just went bump in the night will give you a huge tactical advantage.

Leupold Tracker 2 HD thermal optic scope hunting survival prepping 1

Leupold recently released the LTO Tracker 2 and Tracker 2 HD as the latest models in its handheld thermal imaging line. The company calls the new Tracker 2 “a high-performing thermal that anybody can use.” The Tracker 2 series is built into a 5.5-inch all-aluminum body, weighs only 7 ounces, and runs on standard CR123 batteries. It's fully waterproof as well as rated to withstand extreme climates.

Leupold Tracker 2 HD thermal optic scope hunting survival prepping 2

Standard and HD variants of the Tracker 2 series are available. The base model uses a 206×156 thermal sensor and 240×204 display, while the HD model offers a 320×240 sensor and 390×390 display for greater clarity and detail. The Tracker 2 HD also has a more durable Gorilla Glass display screen. Both devices offer 7x digital zoom and 6 color palettes.

Leupold Tracker 2 HD thermal optic scope hunting survival prepping 3

A new feature for this generation is the ability to set temperature thresholds. This enables the user to reduce background noise from the environment and more accurately track a desired target's heat signature. The Tracker 2 is effective up to 600 yards; the Tracker 2 HD can reach out to 750 yards.

MSRP for the LTO Tracker 2 is $1,040, while the HD will set you back $1,560. Although this is a considerable amount of money, it's worth recalling that devices like these would've cost ten times as much not too long ago. And there's no denying that being able to instantly spot warm-blooded creatures in total darkness can increase your odds of staying safe during a survival situation. For more information on the Leupold Tracker 2 series, go to

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