When I say drones, I’m talking about civilian drones, the ones anyone can go out and buy. I recommend getting a drone as they can come in handy in SHTF situations.
What better way is there to check something out near you without the associated danger? You can use a drone to patrol the area for looters, trespassers, etc.
When hunting, instead of sitting in one spot waiting…and waiting for your next meal, you can throw a drone up and search the area. A lot faster way in finding what is around. Just make sure you’re high enough in the sky so that the sound doesn’t do the opposite of helping you and scare your meal away.
There are many types of drones. Fixed wing, helicopters, quadcopters, tri-copters and many more, but those are the most common. I would recommend a quadcopter as they are incredibly nimble, being able to maneuver almost anywhere. A fixed wing (plane) drone would be good for long distances but they are usually huge in size compared to a quad and you would need a long take off and landing spot.
There are 2 drones I would recommend you have during a SHTF situation. One is something like the DJI Mavic, and the other a small racing drone. Let me explain why I would choose these 2 drones.
The DJI Mavic is the type of drone anyone can fly. If you let go of the controls it just hovers in one spot. It can return to home by itself. It can withstand strong winds. Although being a somewhat larger drone, the arms fold up making it easier to transport. The DJI can fly for about 25mins and up to 7 kms (approx 4.3 miles). To me that’s plenty of distance to scout out the area. It can even avoid obstacles itself if it sees it is about to crash into something. The 1080p quality of picture is amazing, but people have complained it doesn’t have as good of a picture as the Phantom 4. But guess what? Who cares if you don’t have the absolute best picture quality in a SHTF situation. What’s that?.. the colours look washed out? Maybe you should just sit at home and wait for emergency services to come rescue you.
The 2nd type of drone I’d recommend having is a small racing drone. They come in many sizes but I would say from around 120mm to 250mm (length from front motor diagonally to rear motor) would be good. They are still small and compact but being racing drones they have powerful motors, so some wind wouldn’t be an issue. With these drones you have full control, so you would have to learn to fly them. Unlike the Mavic, if you let go of the controls, it will drop out of the sky. They only have 5-10min of battery life. Being compact, these are good for having in your backpack for when you wanted to quickly see something ahead, or get into tight spots. Being much more agile than the Mavic, it would be a lot harder for someone to shoot out of the sky.
Now, considering this is a SHTF situation where say the power grid could be down, how on earth will you power your drone’s batteries?? There are actually many ways. One way, which is probably the most popular and easiest, is by solar energy.
For example, if you had a DJI Mavic, all you need is a battery bank (Voltaic V72 comes with a lot of connections), a solar panel, and a Mavic car charger. The Voltaic V72 can charge the 43.6 Wh battery (11.4V 3830mAh) Mavic battery more than once. And you can use solar panels to charge the Voltaic battery. You’re looking at about 12 hours for a 10W panel, 6 hours for a 17W panel, and 5 hours for a 20W panel, to charge it fully.
I definitely would suggest having a drone in your SHTF arsenal. Do your research and see what type of drone(s) and ways to charge it is best for you.
Until next time.