Want To Really Know Whats Going On
Drones, Quadcopters and Prepping
For Survival When The SHTF
In this article I want to cover the specific uses a drone could have for us preppers if we find ourselves in the mist of a SHTF situation.
I use the title "Drones, Quadcopters and Preppers" because I want to be specific to their prepping uses as a very important piece of equipment for gaining information from which we can make life saving decisions.
Essentially a drone and a quadcopter are much the same thing - and they can be added to the military list of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
I prefer to call them drones, don't know why, it just seems an appropriate name for them..?!
Drones and UK Law
Firstly, the law - or more specifically the UK Law regarding drones:
As we stand at the moment - there isn't really any actual law regarding owning and flying a drone, with the exception of a couple of caveats:
- The drone can not be over 20kg in weight
- The drone cannot be used for commercial purposes
CREDIT: PHOTO: JOHN GILES/PA WIRE
There are also a few other common sense laws that you could easily get clobbered for, namely:
CCTV Code Of Practice:
The CCTV code of practice states that "it will be good practice for any domestic user of a drone to be fully aware of the potential privacy intrusion which the use of a drone can potentially cause, and to make sure they use the drone in a responsible manner".
download full CCTV code of practice PDF here.
Data Protection Law.
Where you are filming in a public area, within 50mtrs of a member of the public.
Conditions apply to flying near airports
BUT - we are talking SHTF and as such,
I don't think we need worry about that.
What are the benefits of a drone to us preppers?
Quite a few actually - A drone is going to give us the advantage of having our very own a spy in the sky. Making observing a situation easier than going out into a possible danger zone.
Why put yourself in danger when you can recce the whole area without the need to venture out.
Drones offer a facility known as FPV, first person view. Which mean you can see what the drone is seeing, in real time.
You see something dodgy, then guide your drone in for a closer look - all the time you are seeing actual footage of the situation as it unfolds.
With this sort of intel, it would make a bugging out decision far more easier - as would choosing the escape route of less resistance.
hand held - FPV monitor view
What to consider when choosing a drone
You only need to consider a couple of main things in order to have yourself a decent setup.
One thing to remember is that just about everything is manufactured in China these days - from your iPhone to your GoPro to your bushcraft knife.
As a side-note here:
The Bear Grylls range of Gerber knives and equipment right through to age old USA knife Manufacturers Shrade, all use China as there manufacturers.
So when it comes to electronics - theses no surprise that your drone will be fully made there as well.
It's no surprise as the quality of finished products are high, especially when value for money is concerned.
I got my drone direct from the suppliers in China, waited a couple of weeks for delivery and saved money!
So for this article I am using my own FUAV Seraphi FPV Quadcopter to film the benefits of using a drone for us preppers.
This drone fly's well and does what I want it to, with the advantage of being able to record footage as well as beam back exactly whats happening on the ground below.
These are the important factors to consider when buying a drone.
Especially for surveillance and to help with your safety in a bug out or SHTF situation:
- Flight Time:
Consider how long you will be in the air sending information back to yourself - realistically you will only be flying a 1/2 mile radius max. with a lot of hovering and rotating the drone for a 360 deg. view around your chosen area.
- Battery Life:
This is directly linked to your flight times, but governed by the life of the battery - look for a drone that offers a reasonable battery life and therefore a flight time of 25 - 30 mins.
- RTH - Return To Home:
Important feature if the drone goes out of sight - you may well have seen enough to make decisions and don't want the drone in the air for any longer than necessary.
This RTH feature will mean you can call your drone back to where it took off at the switch of a button.
- FPV - First Person View:
Essential - you can see whats happening in real time.
Whatever you point the drone camera at, you see on your hand held monitor screen - as you hover and move the camera around, your get the view as well.
These screens can be a hand held unit, like the one shown here.
It is also possible to have these as head worn glasses.
An important part of the drone if you want stable images to be transferred back to you.
Do not get a fixed axis gimble - your camera needs to be stable for good images.
A 2 axis gimble is the minimum - a 3 axis will give 100% stability.
Regardless of the position or angle of the drone, a gimble will move to keep a fixed position of the camera to give you good, clear views of your target.
- Camera Choice:
Most drones will accommodate a GoPro sized camera - the camera is used to capture footage and saved on a SD card for viewing later, but also serves as the medium to view the FPV.
For crystal clear footage you need to think about a high end GoPro.
I use a GoPro 3 and it works fine (12mpx)
Keeping your drone safe and preventing damage is another thing to consider - if you fly your drone into some you shouldn't then you will risk damage to the main propellers.
Always look for a drone that offers prop protection - ie: guards that go around the props and prevent them from touching anything solid.
Damaging a prop will compromise your ability to get the drone airborne and could even prevent it from flying completely.
Prop guards are removable, and some people leave them off for a more streamlined look.
They also add a more weight, but unless you are an experienced drone flyer, I would always fit them, just in case......
WHAT NOT TO DO
This was one of my early test flights.
short video of why you should always fit the prop guards to your drone...!
Note: no drones were harmed in the making of this video
Without a doubt a drone is a good investment, and there are a lot to choose from.
So long as you get the essentials you have the ability to plan ahead.
Although costly, I still think a drone is worth considering as a surveillance tool for your prepping kit.
Happy Prepping Folks.
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