Hiking can be a lot of fun. Most of the hiking enthusiasts are always on the prowl for new and interesting locations. Photographs and video footages can add value to this exquisite experience. It can become a bit taxing to capture videos and images using a conventional camera for hikers during their travels. As a matter of fact, they may even end up missing out on some of the most glorious of shots.
This is where travel drones come to your rescue. Boasting a decent field of drone, drones help out in capturing memorable aerial images and videos. You can then share those unforgettable moments with your friends and family. In this post, we are going to discuss the best hiking and backpacking drones for extreme adventures.
DJI Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic Pro is placed right there at the top thanks to its small size and feature-rich technology. Its small size means that it can be conveniently transported from one place to another so you won’t get tired to having to drag along a drone with you while you traverse different corners of the astonishing world. The drone is maneuvered with a radio controller fitted with OcuSync transmission technology that offers a control range of about 7Km. The Mavic can also be controlled via WiFi using your smartphone.The cool gadget can also be used to broadcast short range videos at 1080p HD and long range videos at 720p. The drone also lets you capture aerial videos at 4K UHD and a frame rate of 30 frames per second.
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Moreover, the three axis gimbal ensures supreme image stabilization even when the drone is whizzing through the skies at incredible speeds. This amazing feature ensures that the videos and images captured are precise, crisp and smooth. When it comes to image quality with regard to photographs and videos, the Mavic promises to deliver on both fronts.In spite of the small size, the DJI Mavic Pro offers a flight time of 27 minutes which is sufficient to enable the hitch hikers to capture their fantastic adventures. If you are planning to use the DJI Mavic Pro in an area brimming with trees, then its flight autonomy technology allows the device to stay clear of obstructions up to 49 feet away.
It can go around the obstructions as well as come to a halt to avoid them as soon as it identifies them. The return to home mode ensures that the device gets back to its original point of takeoff in case of a malfunction or if the battery is about to run out of juice. On the whole, the DJI Mavic Pro is equipped with stunning features that will assist you in your next adventures.The device is also loaded with numerous sensors to enhance its control while the TapFly feature allows you to fly smoothly in the direction that you wish the drone to fly into. The hand gesture mode enables the pilot to capture selfies with this fabulous gizmo. You simply have to wave at the drone and it will capture as many selfies as you want. That is why the DJI Mavic Pro is a phenomenal selfie drone.
• Captures high quality travel videos and images
• Easy to fly
• Loaded with obstacle avoidance and safety features
• Boasts a prolific flight time
• Easily portable, fits into a drone backpack and offers support for third party landing gear
• Attains high altitude
• Not easy to fly at night
• Suitable for devices powered by iOS
• Software leaves a lot to be desired
• Battery comes with its flaws and needs to be replaced a couple of months of usage
Who is it for?
The DJI Mavic Pro is a great choice for a novice who does not want to spend a lot in the first go. It reaches high altitudes which makes it a suitable choice for flights in mountainous terrains. It is an impressive option for those running a travel blog or on the lookout for a drone for backpacking.The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is a newer version that offers a flight time of about half an hour and does not make as much of a noise as its predecessor.
EVO, beyond any measure of doubt, is one of the best hiking drones to have hit the shelves and a relatively new entrant into the market. The trendy and aesthetically pleasing design makes it a crowd favorite as the orange color of the device ensures that the pilot keeps an eye on the machine even on the dreariest of days with lots of fog around.
Boasting a formidable construction, Autel EVO is loaded with smart flight features that enable an exquisite flight experience while simultaneously letting the pilot capture stunning aerial imagery thanks to its 4K UHD camera that functions at 60 frames per second. The drone is integrated with a three axis gimbal stabilization system that ensures tremendous image stability; letting the operator capture sensational images as they hike without worrying about their pace.
The sensors located at the front and rear end of the gizmo are its other peculiar features that enable the device to avoid obstructions that come its way and hence prevent it from crashing down. The foldable design ensures supreme portability while the device offers a control range of 7Km. The EVO comes with a radio controller that has a 3.3” OLED screen that streams real time HD dual band. The company promises to offer high quality customer support service in case of any malfunctioning.The Autel EVO is loaded with a high end camera that boasts a 94 degree field of view. The camera further supports file formats such as DNG or JPG for images and MP4 or MOV for videos. The device provides support for both Android and iOS powered platforms.
• The drone comes with a camera that has a wide field of view
• Offers follow me mode which is called as dynamic tracking
• Offers support for both Android and iOS powered devices
• Boasts a formidable design and construction
• Integrated with a high end 4K UHD camera with customizable features
• High quality customer support service offered by the company
• Comes with numerous modes of flight and avoidance systems
• The batteries take an eternity to get charged up
Who should fly it?
The Autel EVO is suitable for both seasoned as well as novice hikers, travel bloggers and photographers who are in search for a reasonably priced device with a high end camera that will capture your imagination.
DJI Mavic Air Fly More Combo
The DJI Mavic Air is a magnificent drone that is affordable and comes with mind-blowing features for travelling enthusiasts. Integrated with flight autonomy technology, the drone is able to stay clear of obstacles up to 49 meter away while the OcySync technology in its radio controller bolsters its control range up to a whopping 7Km.The DJI Mavic Air offers an impressive flight time of 27 minutes along with a remarkable top speed of 43mph. It offers support for 4K UHD videos at a frame rate of 30fps while the three axis gimbal ensures seamless image stabilization during flights.The compact and lightweight design of the machine ensures that the device can be transported from one place to another with tremendous ease. GPS and Vision based navigation features enable the pilot to keep track of the accurate location of the machine. The Tripod mode allows the operator to fly the machine at a low speed as the satellite positioning exterminates drifting. The TapFly feature makes way for smooth flights in the desired direction.
• Offers a commendable flight time of 27 minutes
• Intuitive flight control
• High quality camera captures great aerial imagery
• Loaded with sensors to avoid obstacles in the path
• Compact and lightweight design allows for enhanced portability
• Can only be maneuvered via its radio controller
Who should fly it?
It is suitable for hikers who are rookies in the world of drones and those who love to travel long and hard as portability is always going to be an addition advantage for them.
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DJI Spark Fly More Combo
If you are an avid hiker who is looking to get their hands on a low cost drone, then the DJI Spark Fly More Combo could be a great bet. This device enables you to capture sensational aerial imagery during your adventures and comes with the FaceAware feature that lets the pilot launch it from the palm of their hands by recognizing their face immediately after it has been triggered on. The pilot does not necessarily have to bank on a radio controller to maneuver the device thanks to the gesture control technology.The easily comprehensible and smart modes of flight make it easier to capture high quality imagery.
The drone is also compatible with the DJI Go app that lets you share images captured with the device instantly on different social media platforms. The device also comes with ActiveTrack feature that enables the machine to follow different objects based on their speed of motion for accurate photography.The DJI Spart also comes loaded with a two axis gimbal for image stabilization along with a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor that captures photographs at 12MP and video footages at 1080p. The advanced flight control system means that you can fly the drone at speeds in excess of 31mph. HD WiFi technology allows for live video streaming of 720p up to a control range of 2Km. The DJI Spark offers a flight duration of 16 minutes.
• Boasts a compact and lightweight design for seamless portability
• Dependable construction
• Offers HD WiFi video streaming
• Intuitive controls
• Provides support for gesture control
• Offers a short flight time
• Control range is also restricted
• No customer support service provided by the manufacturer
Who should fly it?
It is a great choice for novice hikers who are looking to build up on their experience with drones. It is a nice option if you are looking to save some money up your sleeves.
Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera
The Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera is another great drone for hikers and backpackers. It comes loaded with all the pre-requisites for an adventurous tour. It is integrated with a camera that lets you capture images at 13MP and videos at 4K UHD.Thanks to its intuitive controls, the Yuneec Breeze is a phenomenal choice for hikers who have minimal experience with drones. It offers five unique modes of flight including orbit, pilot, follow me, journey and selfie for top of the line videography and photography experience.
The high end indoor positioning system of the Yuneec Breeze makes it ideal for both indoor as well as outdoor adventures. The propeller protectors provide added protection. The drone also provides support for an application that lets you share your captured imagery with your friends and dear ones on various social media platforms. The machine is backed up by a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
• Backed up by a one year manufacturer’s warranty
• Intuitive controls
• Comes with additional protective features
• Easily portable
• Offers stable flight and captures high quality images
• WiFi connectivity is not all that reliable
• It does not come with a dedicated radio controller which makes its maneuvering a touch difficult
Who should fly it?
The drone is suitable for novice hikers who are looking for an affordable drone along with those who travel in slightly windy terrains. Portability is always going to be a telling factor when it comes to drones for backpackers and hikers. A lightweight and compact sized drone is always the way to go in such a scenario. You will definitely thank your stars for a lightweight drone during your sojourns.
Holy Stone HS160 Shadow
If you are planning a hiking trip any time soon with your friends, then the Holy Stone HS160 Shadow could help you capture those memorable moments forever. The retractable and flexible blades of the device ensures that it is easily portable and can be stuffed into your backpack as and when desired. Having said that, it does not mean that the drone flatters to deceive when it comes to flight features.The device is loaded with a WiFi FPV 720p HD camera that lets you capture high quality images and video footages.
The media files can either be saved in the mobile album system or the app. The machine is compatible with both Android and iOS powered devices and also offers support for an application that lets you maneuver with impressive comfort.The Holy Stone HS160 Shadow boasts a couple of modular batteries along with a spare one for longer hikes. The single key start and landing makes its flight operations remarkably easier while the gravity sensor mode makes the drone fly in the direction in which the smartphone is moving.
• Reasonably priced
• Easy to fly
• Comes with LED lights for better visibility
• Easily portable
• Boasts a trendy design
• Includes a spare battery
• Offers a foldable design
• Not suitable for use in windy terrains
• Boasts a flight time of just 6 to 8 minutes
• The application is a bit cluttered
How to Choose the Best Drone for Hiking
The sheer number of brands available on the market can be overwhelming for those in pursuit of an ideal drone for hiking and backpacking. Each drone boasts a unique construction and you would surely not want to get a machine that is not in accordance with your requirements and preferences. Here are a few things that you may want to take into account while purchasing a decent drone for hiking.
1 – Obstacle avoidance
Obstacle avoidance is one of the most important features that you have to look for in a hiking drone. This is a crucial feature for those hiking in mountainous terrains or in forests. This technology assists in controlling the drone. It allows the gizmo to avoid an obstruction placed in its path or navigate across it without crashing into it. This massively reduces the probability of the drone getting damaged as a result of the crash. All the more, this tech enables the pilot to focus more on capturing aerial imagery instead of worrying about controlling the drone.
2 – Battery Life
A drone operates on batteries which means that it needs plenty of charge supplied by the batteries to remain in the air and also to be able to capture stunning aerial imagery. Some drones offer extended battery life in contrast to the others as there are some out there that even boast a flight time in excess of half an hour. Always try to get your hands on a drone that offers longer battery lifespan. Spare batteries in your repertoire can always come in handy if you are yearning for more flight time.
3 – Camera
Hikers and backpackers purchase a drone to capture images during their travels and camera becomes the most important component of a drone in this regard. A camera that offers versatility and high quality in terms of resolution is what you should be looking for in a drone. You can also purchase a drone wherein an action camera can be installed. You should always purchase a drone that sports a high quality camera to help you capture stunning imagery during your adventures.
4 – Gimbal
Image stabilization is achieved by virtue of a gimbal. It ensures that hikers and backpackers are able to capture top quality images and videos.
5 – Control Range
You may have to walk for longer distances during your hike. A drone with a longer control range will always come in handy in such a situation. Always opt for a drone with longer control range.
6 – Integrated GPS
With the help of an integrated GPS, you can keep track of the exact location of your bird mid-flight. A drone with an inbuilt GPS is also fitted with Return to Home feature which comes in handy in case the batteries run of juice or in the event of a malfunction. The navigation prowess of a drone is greatly bolstered thanks to an inbuilt GPS.
7 – Portability
A lightweight drone with a compact size and retractable design can makes its transportation easier. Portability has to be one of the most important features to take into account while choosing the best hiking and backpacking drones.
The Wrap Up
Drones have changed the way we capture images and videos in the modern era. If you are a travel enthusiast, you will reap rich dividends by purchasing a drone fitted with a high quality camera. It can be taxing to purchase a drone that is in accordance with your preferences. There are numerous options out there and you need to get the one that is reasonably priced. Purchasing an expensive drone cannot be the sanest of choices always. The features of a device are the most important thing. We did not include drones such as DJI Phantoms, GoPro Karma, Ehang Ghost and Parrot Bebop due to their size and weight. We are of the view that such drones are not suited to hiking owing to their size and bulkiness.
You can amp up your hiking experience by having a look at the drones mentioned above and then purchasing the one that suits your preferences and budget. You can travel to every nook and corner of the world thanks to the revolutionary technology of drones and capture stunning imagery. We sincerely hope that you will have learnt a lot about the best hiking and backpacking drones out there in the market.