Best drones for backpacking, camping & hiking

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Best drones for camping & hiking


Drones can be used in a variety of ways nowadays. In fact, it’s quite amazing how the industry developed over the last 10 years or so. You can use drones for mapping, exploring, construction, civil engineering, travel, camping, hiking, and many other things. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best drones for camping and hiking as well as some suggestions on how to pick a drone for backpacking and what to look for in that situation.

Deciding on which drone to use for camping and hiking is not an easy decision since there are a lot of solutions nowadays due to the growth of the industry. For example, picking a drone would be a much easier job a few years ago due to the lack of alternatives. 

When you go hiking, the last thing you want to do is to carry additional weight and equipment. Keep in mind that this kind of adventure can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you are a beginner and not in great shape. This is why we investigated a few drones that are small in their weight and size so that you can easily put them in your backpack while you camp and hike.

After a thorough investigation, 7 drones stood out as the best ones for camping and hiking. Without further ado, let’s jump into details. 

Note: Keep in mind that these are only our opinions based on my thorough investigation of the best drone for camping and hiking. In any case, please do your own research before deciding which ones are the most suitable ones for your goals and needs.

At this point, it is good to note that all opinions and suggestions written in this article are not considered financial advice. 

DJI Mavic 3


DJI Mavic 3 is the first drone on our “best drones for camping and hiking” list. This is a widely popular drone and a well-equipped one. Mavic 3 offers a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera. Even though it was launched recently (in November of 2021), the drone became well-known in a short period of time.

The main thing to note about DJI Mavic 3 is that it can fly for ~46 minutes in a distance of 18.6 miles (or close to 30km). The capacity of the battery is 5000 mAh. The weight of the drone is 895 grams so you will need to register with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in order to use this drone (the rule is that all drones above 249 grams need to register with the FAA).

Besides producing high-quality images, an important feature of DJI Mavic 3 is that it can fly under cold weather conditions, or in other words, this is a “wintertime drone”. This is the main reason why Mavic 3 found its place on our list of the best drones for camping and hiking. In fact, based on the investigation I did, DJI Mavic 3 is mostly used for backpacking. 

Moreover, DJI Mavic 3 has an automated flight mode and return-to-home functionality which are additional reasons why the drone is suitable for backpacking. You can put the drone in your backpack when you don’t need it without taking a lot of space. 

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro


Another drone that is used for traveling and backpacking is DJI Mavic 2 Pro. In fact, in the drone industry, this drone is widely considered as one of the best drones in this kind of need. The main reason why Mavic 2 Pro is suitable for hiking is that it has a design layout that makes the drones almost effortless to carry and transport. 

Moreover, DJI Mavic 2 Pro is beginner-friendly and easy to use. It has GPS built-in which keeps the drone from being blown by the heavy winds. The Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing and collision avoidance help this drone avoid crashing and obstacles. However, keep in mind that this drone may still crash, so make sure to still be very careful and prevent situations that might be costly for you. Images and photos Mavic 2 Pro creates are of high quality. The drone can fly for about ~30 minutes. 

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Parrot Anafi – best drone for camping


The next drone we will show you today is Anafi by Parrot, another drone that is widely considered one of the best ones for camping. However, even though the drone is suitable for hiking, I would say you have to be a bit experienced drone user in order to use Parrot efficiently. 

The size and weight of this drone are small enough so that you can carry it easily while you travel and hike and eventually take nice images along the way. It features a 4K camera and HDR movie capture which heavily increases the quality of the photos and images Parrot produces. Moreover, it has a GPS built-in that makes sure it automatically returns to the place where it took off if the remote link has been missing.

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DJI Mavic Air 2


DJI Mavic Air 2 is the next drone on our list. The design of the drone is typical for all Mavic drones and this was the first thing I noticed about it. Mavic Air 2 is mostly used by aerial photography enthusiasts, but it’s suitable for hiking and camping since it can perform under bad weather conditions as well.

Furthermore, Mavic Air 2 is great for beginners since it’s easy to use. The drone features a SmartCapture mode which means you can fly it with super simple hand gestures. Of course, as with all other drones in this article, Mavir Air 2 is suitable to carry in a backpack when traveling and hiking, but you don’t need it. Also, Mavic Air 2 offers Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS) that ensure the drone avoids obstacles. 

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Contixo F24 Pro 4K Drone


And last, but definitely not least, drone on our list of best drones for camping and hiking is the Contixo F24 Pro 4K drone. This drone is widely popular among campers and hikers. It’s pretty much effortless to carry around even though it’s a bit bigger when compared to custom drones. 

The main feature of the drone is the effective brushless motors that help it fly without and issues and smoothly. Also, these motors are quieter than the brushed motors. Moreover, brushless motors are way more efficient and can last longer than brushed ones which means they are a bit more costly. The battery of Contixo F24 Pro lasts for 24 minutes. As the name suggests, the drone features a 4K camera and 2.7K movie footage which is definitely a plus.

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FIMI X8 SE 2022


FIMI X8 SE 2022 is a new drone that was launched and we should look at it as a game-changer, but it can still offer some useful features to its users. In 2018, FIMI announced that the company will start producing drones with the first foldable camera mode, the X8 SE. 2022 version upgraded its camera when compared to its predecessor since it has a better came with the great image sensor and upgraded transmission technology. However, FIMI is still way behind DJI when we talk about avoiding obstacles systems. 

One of the most important features of FIMI X8 SE 2022 is its upgraded weather protection system. The drone can perform under wind gusts of level-8. Moreover, it is rain and snowproof. This drone has the ability to safely return home even under bad weather conditions. This is why FIMI X8 SE 2022 is suitable for camping, hiking, and backpacking.

FIMI X8 SE 2022 can produce high-quality images since it features a 48 MP Sony 1/2″-inch image sensor. Furthermore, it has a fixed f/1.6 aperture with a focal distance of 4.71mm. The resolutions of the images are similar to the ones that FIMI X8 MINI and the DJI MINI 2 drones produce.

Potensic D88 Foldable Drone


Yet another drone on our list of the best drones for camping and hiking is the Potensic D88 Foldable drone. The drone features an aluminum carry case that makes it extremely easy to carry it in your backpack. As the name of the drone suggests, even with no scenario, it can be foldable which makes it suitable for travel and hiking. 

The camera of the drone produces 2K images which some people will consider outdated due to 4K cameras in the majority of drones nowadays. However, the camera of Potensic D88 produces precise images and video footage. Additional features of the drone include the follow-up manner, making it possible for the drone to keep track of your movement. Finally, the drone has a residence feature as well that you can trigger on the remote controller if you want the drone to come back home or you want to record yourself while you walk, ride a bike, etc. 

How to pick a drone for backpacking – what to look for?


Alright, so once we went through the list of the best drones for camping and hiking, let’s now look at some of the most important factors you should consider when looking for a drone for backpacking. The most important things here are durability, weight, size, picture quality, battery life, “Follow me” flying mode, and obstacle avoidance system. Let me break each one. 

Durability


Durability is definitely one of the first things you should consider when picking up a drone for hiking. In fact, having a drone that can last longer is always a good thing. When you go hiking and backpacking, It’s highly beneficial to have a drone than can last for at least 30 minutes so that you don’t have to charge it multiple times if you want to take more images and record longer videos of beautiful views. 

Weight/Size


I have already mentioned multiple times in this article, that makes sure the drone you carry during hiking and backpacking has a small weight and size. The reason is quite simple – why would you carry a big and heavy drone in your backpack and hike at the same time? 

My suggestion here is buying a lightweight hiking drone which will make you no repent each and everything you take in an incline. Moreover, Foldable drones are an excellent alternative since they are also almost effortless to carry around. 

Picture Quality


The quality of pictures your drone produces is also one of the most important factors you should look into when deciding which drone to purchase for camping, hiking, and backpacking. Most people use drones in these situations to take photos and record videos of beautiful views and this is why the quality of the image has to be on stage. 

The good thing about the picture quality is that you can’t go wrong there. Most of today’s drones have a high-quality camera, so you should have any issues when it comes to picture quality no matter which drone you choose. 

Battery Life


The reason why people go camping and hiking is to go into nature and leave their everyday life for at least a little while. But when you enjoy beautiful sights, you don’t have enough time to charge your drone constantly. This is why the battery life of your drone should last long enough.

The exact time depends on what you need your drone for. If you just want to take nice images for a couple of minutes, then the battery life of about 20-30 minutes should be enough for you. However, if you want to use your drone to record long videos that will cover the whole place where you are at the moment, then you need a battery for at least 40-50 minutes. 

Moreover, please do always try to take an extra pack of batteries with you. This can be extremely helpful when it comes to hiking that lasts for multiple days. 

Follow Me Flying Mode


Another feature I think your drone for hiking should have is the “Follow me” flying mode. This means that you can set your drone to follow you anywhere you go. It can be useful when you want to take images and record videos of yourself and your friends in the present time – a drone will follow you across rivers and mountains. 

Obstacle Avoidance


When you go camping and hiking, you will likely be around a lot of jagged peaks, tons of stones, trees, and even water, so you probably want a drone that has a built-in obstacle avoidance system. The name of the feature is pretty much self-explanatory, there are some drones that can avoid various obstacles and not crash into them. 

FAQs


Let’s look at some frequently asked questions when it comes to drones for camping/hiking.

Which is the best drone for taking professional photos and videos while hiking

This is a million-dollar question since, as I mentioned above, almost all of today’s drones have a high-quality camera that can produce excellent photos and videos. However, if you want the best possible photos and videos, you should look into drones with 4K cameras. A good example is Contixo F24 Pro 4K Drone.

Is a GPS drone necessary for hiking

I would not say it’s necessary, but if you plan to hike in some windy places and under bad weather conditions, you should definitely consider a drone with GPS.

Can you fly a drone in the mountains

Of course, you can, but this won’t be a piece of cake since you can have some difficulties if you are in high mountains due to the lower air density at higher altitudes. You can also see some shorter flight time since the batteries can last shorter due to low temperatures in the mountains. 

What is the best hiking drone

Nowadays you can find a lot of exciting hiking drones. When I investigated suitable drones for this article, I came to the conclusion that there is a variety of choices. Some of the best drones for hiking are DJI Mavic 3, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Parrot, DJI Mavic Air 2, FIMI X8 SE 2022, Potensic D88, and Contixo F24 Pro 4K. 

Also, please keep in mind that durability, weight, size, quality of images, battery life, follow-me flying mode, and obstacle avoidance systems are important factors you should consider when picking up which drone to use for hiking and camping. 

Conclusion


Hiking, camping, and backpacking are extremely exciting and healthy hobbies any man can have and people tend to take beautiful images and record videos that become their memories for life. This is why drones are used for hiking more often than not nowadays. 

Of course, please always do a thorough investigation before deciding which drone to use. This is not an easy task since the amount of choice is basically growing constantly. In this article, I listed all the important things you should look into before deciding what drone is the best solution for you. Durability, weight, size, and quality of the images drones produce are the most important factors, keep that in mind. 

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