Drones have been widely available on the market lately and they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. Many people look at drones and see an over-the-top expensive toy. I, on the other hand, as a prepper, see opportunity. And with good reason. Drones are remote-controlled gadgets, with enough battery autonomy that have cameras attached. No special skills are require to handle your very own drone and you can even pair to your smartphone. You can use drones in a TEOTWAWKI scenario to gather intelligence in your surroundings without being physically present in a possibly hostile territory. Reconnaissance missions will no longer require special preparations, other than that of flying a drone that has a camera attached. The cameras can take high quality pictures and even videos with sound. If you’re smart phone allows it, it can even emit in real time. Many drones have a built-in GPS software that helps them return safely to their launch point, in case radio contact is lost. However, in a survival scenario, the GPS service might not be available, so keep that in mind before taking off.
What you need to know about drones
First and foremost they are battery operated. So if you plan on using the drones even when everything falls to bits, you’ll need to ensure you have a recharging station, based on fuel, or even better, solar panels. They are computer and smartphone friendly, which means they have USB ports that allows you to connect your drone to your computer, for easy access and settings; you can even follow the flight path in real time from your smartphone and even adjust camera angles. The flight speed varies from model to model. The average drone flies at about 25 mph, but the more expensive model can reach staggering speeds of even 80 mph. Autonomy and control distance is also variables from one model to the next, but an average fully charged battery gets depleted in about 10 – 30 minutes. There are also gas-powered drones available on the market, their autonomy is superior to the battery operated ones, but they’re also more expensive. A drone can serve many purposes in SHTF situation: scouting and surveillance flights, scouting for wild game and even delivering messages from A to B. On the down side, drones are very visible and can attract unwanted attention. They can be taken down easily or even worse, followed to give away your location. So you’ll need a bit of practice before using it in a critical situation and A LOT of caution.
Some of the best drones that you can buy
The Dromida Ominus FPV is one of the cheapest drones on the market, which is perfect for flight practice. The camera quality is rather good and it has great connectivity to you mobile device. It’s easy to use, has decent autonomy and it can be very fun to fly. For those of you that are looking for a device to get you started in the drone area, look no further. The Dromida Ominus FPV is a resilient little gadget, comes in many colors you can chose from (blue, green red, yellow), is both iOS and Andriod compatible (so you won’t have to change your phone) and costs only $150. If you’re interested in purchasing it, go here.
The Parrot Bebop drone is possibly the most renowned of the Parrot company and it is a semi-pro drone, meaning it’s considered to sit in between toys and professional drones. The drone itsef is very lite and incredibly maneuverable, making it easy to fly even in closed spaces or indoors. It support smartphone and tablet connectivity and it comes with two batteries. The battery, if fully charged, should last about 10 – 15 minutes of continuous flight. The on-board camera is decent; it has a resolution of 1080p. The base model comes at about $450, but if you’re willing to spend more you can get the model with the range extension, that will allow it to fly further. For more details, go here.
The Yuneec Q500 4K is drone whose popularity is growing steadily amongst the drone enthusiasts thanks to its camera quality. The built in camera has a 4K resolution (4000p), meaning the image quality it offers for both pictures and video is unbeatable. It comes with two batteries and the camera is removable. There’s also a version that comes with a 1080p camera, but the $k version is of course far superior. The controller has an android built into it, so you don’t necessarily have to use your phone or tablet for maneuvering the drone. The model doesn’t have many gadgets and accessories available yet, but it won’t be long before Yuneec releases a bunch, considering how fast this little drone is gaining in popularity. The price is about $1300, and if you’re interested in getting your own, click here.
Getting your very own drone is nowhere near a bad idea. Flying one can be really fun and addictive, so if you’re lacking a serious hobby, drone flying could just fill that void. Enjoy it and practice, you’ll never know when your drone piloting skills will save your neck in a SHTF scenario.