Are you planning an epic outdoor adventure? If so, you probably want to take memorable photos of the trip. A drone can give you a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape while allowing you to stay safely on the ground. You can also use a drone to take photos of yourself on a solo hike, so you don’t have to pose awkwardly with a selfie stick. Which type of drone should you bring along?
Know Before You Go
Before you head out on your hiking or backpacking trip, you should be aware of a few rules regarding drones. Go over the Civil Aviation Authority’s list of places you can fly to help you plan your trip.
Be aware of any ongoing research projects in an area, which may use drones or helicopters for aerial surveys, before embarking on your hike. It’s also illegal to fly near a wildfire since this could prevent helitack firefighting crews from putting out the flames or obstruct active search and rescue crews.
Drones disturb wildlife and often disrupt their natural behaviours. Keep away from ecologically sensitive areas with nesting or migrating birds, and never fly your drone close to any animals on purpose.
If you want to take your drone hiking or backpacking, you’ll need to check local ordinances, obtain proper permits, and ensure you aren’t going to bother people or animals. Many individuals go hiking to escape technology and watch wildlife, so find a less-popular trail or go during the off-season.
Private landowners might let you fly a drone on their property, so ask around if you’re having trouble finding a scenic place to hike that allows drones. There are plenty of places to legally fly if you know where to look.
The Best Drones for Outdoor Travels
Here are the top picks for drones to take hiking or backpacking:
1. Simrex X300C Drone
This mini drone, which weighs in at a mere 180 grams, is perfect for carrying in a backpack without overloading yourself. You can control it from up to 14.8 metres away. The Simrex X300C will stay airborne for 10 minutes and can record video footage. It may not be the most professional drone, but at less than £50, it’s a fun gadget perfect for learning how to fly. It’s compatible with VR as well.
2. Teeggi M71 Drone
This lightweight, foldable drone lets you record HD videos in real-time, and you can control its flight direction by tilting your phone. It weighs 140 grams, has a flight time of 12 minutes and has a control distance of 70 metres. It’s inexpensive and has a built-in barometer that helps stabilize it in the air.
3. Contixo F22 Camera Drone
The Contixo F22 camera drone is equipped with a GPS function, allowing you to create a flight path on your phone for the drone to follow. Its 230-gram weight may be justified in your backpack for that feature alone since it allows you to take videos of yourself running or climbing on the trail.
It does suffer from poor stabilization and requires a 120-minute charge time for a maximum of 20 minutes of flight. However, it’s a great drone for exploring specific routes on hiking trips.
4. DJI Mavic Mini Light Foldable Drone
This drone has a 400-metre control range, allowing you to get crisp shots of distant scenery. It can fly for up to 30 minutes, is very reliable and weighs just 230 grams. It may hover outside some people’s price range, but it’s a high-quality machine great for flying even in high wind conditions.
5. SELFLY Flying Phone Case Drone
Have you ever wished you owned a flying phone? Now you can. This drone has a slot for you to insert your smartphone, allowing you to take aerial photos and videos like never before. It only weighs 50 grams, folds down small enough that you can carry it in your pack and — best of all — can be controlled with hand gestures from afar.
Adventuring With a Drone
No matter which type of drone you take, you’re bound to have an unforgettable trip and see some amazing scenery. The trails are calling — get outside and capture some great memories!