Drone

Drones For Survival

Have you considered adding a drone to your when the SHTF plan survival gear? You should I’m just going to list some that I can think of. 

Benefits of Drones For Survival

  • Hunting: looking for nearby game can give you a hunting strategy. It is illegal for a hunter to use a drone but in a survival scenario I’m sure you won’t care about things like hunting tags and other rules and regulations.
  • Perimeter Checks: A drone can be scheduled to fly certain routes during certain hours of the day to video the surrounding area for any nearby threats.
  • Bugging out: Bugging out should always be a back-up survival plan in-case you’re unable to hold the fort. Having a drone while traveling would come in useful to view the surrounding area and get an idea of where to go for resources like water, food..etc.
  • Weaponizing: Of course, It is illegal to weaponize a drone but in a survival scenario I’m sure you’ll hope you have a weaponized drone. I’m not smart enough to figure out how to do this but it is on my list. Even if you were able to do something as simple as attach a high powered laser to a drone you could use that to puncture the tire sidewall of a sitting enemy vehicle to buy you time, or perhaps start a fire in enemy territory. It can be done. If you like click here to see a drone that has a stun gun attached to it.
  • Find nearby help. A drone could be helpful in finding or communicating with nearby friendlies. 

Survival Features To Look For In A Drone

  • Durability: Some drones can only be flown under ideal conditions while others are water resistant, can stable themselves against the wind, and can operate in cold weather.
  • Battery Capacity: It might be awhile before you have the opportunity to adequately charge. 
  • Optical Zoom Lens: A camera lens that is able to zoom in will allow you to get a closer view of the action while keeping your drone at distance. 
  • Stability: May be important to you. Especially, if you plan on using this drone to drop off supplies or weaponize it in some way.
  • Real Time Live Camera Feed: UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) may be able to fly a route and return with footage for you to see but having the footage in real time is much more beneficial in a disaster scenario. 
  • Return To Base: A drone that is not cheap will have a feature to return back to the user when the battery starts to run low. This way your life saving piece of equipment is not lost. 
  • Range: Using your drone for emergency survival purposes you’ll want one with the longest range possible. First Person View Drones communicate both video feed and commands via the controller. The best ranges via radio that I know of are as far as 8km. For us in the US that is about 5 miles. 

How Much Should I Pay For A Drone

Drones seemed to be evolving to be more and more capable on the marketplace. At the time of this writing any drone under $800 is going to be missing a lot of enjoyable features and may not be the best for a when the crap hits the fan scenario.

Toy drones can be around $40 whereas very professional capable drones used by cinematographers can be as high as $4,000 or more.

Below we’ll have a few recommendations of drones that are great for survival with cost ranges from $800 – $3500. We also added the DJI mini drone as another budget friendly drone around the cost of $450.

How Does A Drone Work? 

Drones can be piloted in two different ways, either via line of sight meaning you’re visually observing the drone from the ground or by First Person View (FPV), meaning you’re controlling the drone with a remote while viewing video feed that is being sent to the controller or goggles. 

When piloting via line of sight you don’t get live video feed. The video is stored on a card that you’ll be able to access later. 

If you’re purchasing a drone for the purpose of being prepared for when the poo hits the fan then you probably want a drone that provides live feed. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Drones run are powered. How am I going to use my drone if the grid is down? 

You’ll have to have some means of powering your drone. Luckily, there are some innovative devices for generating electricity off the grid, some of these are portable enough that you could place them in a hiking pack. 

Drone batteries are small and don’t hold a lot of charge so luckily you don’t need a huge powerful generator to replenish the battery. 

  1. Could I fly my drone if GPS satellites were down? 

Yes you could. If GPS satellites were down you’d only lose the functionality of being able to have your drone auto-pilot itself and run programmed routes. 

  1. What if I attract the wrong attention with my drone? 

As a prepper this is a concern. However, I think the pros of having a drone outweigh the cons. This is why I recommend you have a drone with a long range. If an enemy has spotted your drone then they’ll only know there is someone close within 5 miles or less, and that may be a little difficult for them to find. 

Our Recommendations

DJI Mavic Air 2

The great thing about the drone industry is it seems like every year a newer model offers more and more. One the newest models to come to the market is the DJI Mavic Air 2. It is probably has the best value in relation to its cost. At only $800 this drone does a lot.

The one drawback to this drone is the camera does not have a zoom feature.

Why is it a survival drone?

  • Long Range up to 6.2- miles (10km) video feed under ideal conditions
    • Dual Frequencies 2.4 GHz/5.8 GHz Auto-Switching for lower to ground urban area, and the high free skies
  • Fast 42 mph top speed
  • 34 minute flight time
  • First Person View designed to work with your smart phone.
  • 3-axis gimbal for steady shots
  • 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 256 GB for storing video recordings
  • 48 MP camera
  • Obstacle Avoidance System
  • Low noise design

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Amazon Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 Stars

The foldable DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 PRO (will talk more about the PRO later) are DJI’s most advanced flying drones to date. DJI is a reliable brand always have the best reviews online, and have been leaders in quadcopter drones for some time.

Why is it a survival drone?

  • Long Range up to 5- miles (8km) under ideal conditions
  • Fast 44 mph top speed, if spotted by the enemy it will soon be gone.
  • 31 minute flight time
  • First Person View designed to work with your smart phone
  • zooming capabilities 2x 24–48mm optical zoom lets you shoot wide and far.
  • 3-axis gimbal for steady shots
  • 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB for storing video recordings
  • Low noise design
  • HDR Photos
  • 4K video
  • 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor with up to 4x zoom, including a 2x optical zoom (24–48 mm)

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a lot like the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom . The two differences are camera and Price.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has an overall better camera in terms of quality photos. A fixed lens 1″ 20MP adjustable aperture camera for taking quality photos, higher definition, more vivid colors, and clarity.

Whereas the zoom has a variable lens 12MP for more creative shots and it’s ability to zoom in.

The pro costs about $250 more than the zoom.

I do lean towards the DJI Mavic Zoom 2 for a survival drone because it has a 4x zoom capability. However, if I’m just purchasing one drone and I needed a drone for a particular line of work requiring taking high definition photos or videos I’d probably purchase a DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Why the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a survival drone?

  • Long Range up to 5- miles (8km) under ideal conditions
  • Fast 44 mph top speed, if spotted by the enemy it will soon be gone.
  • 31 minute flight time
  • First Person View designed to work with your smart phone
  • zooming capabilities 2x 24–48mm optical zoom lets you shoot wide and far.
  • 3-axis gimbal for steady shots
  • 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB for storing video recordings
  • Low noise design
  • HDR Photos
  • 4K video
  • Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS Sensor

DJI Inspire 2

The DJI Inspire 2 makes for a great survival drone, but it is pricey. At the time of this writing it is over 3K.

The DJI Inspire 2 was created for film making to make difficult shots easier for film makers, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that was created with latest technologically sophisticated cameras available to drones, as well many different intelligent flight modes making the capture of complex dramatic shots simple and repeatable.

It is also capable of flying under some extremely cold weather, -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, and incredible top speed of 58 mph and an acceleration of 0-50 mph in under 5 seconds.

Why the DJI Inspire 2 is a survival drone?

  • Long Range up to 4.5- miles (7km) under ideal conditions
    • Dual frequencies of 5.8GHz & 2.4GHz
    • 5.8GHz video DL is the right choice for flying over and around urban areas because of the problems with interference (noise). And you have the 2.4GHz for long distance flying over open spaces.
  • Self heating system making it capable of flying in -4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fast 58 mph top speed (94kmph), 0-50 mph in under 5 seconds.
  • 27 minute flight time
  • Infared obstacle avoidance system
  • Capable of interchanging cameras Zenmuse7X, X5S, X4S 20fps @ (24MP)
  • New CineCore 2.1 image processing system, which is capable of recording video in 6K @4.44Gbps CinemaDNG*1, 5.2K @2.08Gbps Apple ProRes*2, and H.265/H.264 @100Mbps
  • First Person View designed to work with your smart phone
  • Return to home mode
  • 3-axis gimbal for steady shots
  • Low noise design

DJI Mini 2

I thought we’d add the DJI Mini 2 as another option for our survivalist that are looking for a more budget friendly drone and want something very small and lightweight they can easily pack in a bug-out back. Around $450.

Why is this a survival drone?

  • Range 6.2 miles (10km) unobstructed 3.7 miles 6km with obstructions
  • Several different frequency modes to help with range and interference
  • Capable of operation in temperatures of 14 – 104 degrees Farenheit.
  • Fast 35 mph top speed
  • 31 minute flight time
  • First Person View designed to work with your smart phone.
  • 3-axis gimbal for steady shots
  • 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 256 GB for storing video recordings
  • 12 MP camera
  • Low noise design

Conclusion

Hope you all enjoyed the info. Get prepared. The poo hit the fan day is inevitable. We can only debate about how bad it will be but we believe in preparing for the worst.

Leave us a comment or question. We love our audience and love to help.

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