Drone technology offers a better option for monitoring your surroundings from a safe distance. These unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs, known as drones, can be used in urban, rural, or suburban areas.
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This is Part 1 of a 2 Part Series on Using Drones for Survival Security Monitoring

Drone technology offers a better option for monitoring your surroundings from a safe distance. These unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, or drones, can be used in urban, rural, or suburban areas.

Investing in survival equipment is a clever safety measure and a prudent investment that can benefit you and your family in several ways. Before purchasing a random drone, you should educate yourself on what features to look for and how to operate it properly. We have prepared a helpful guide to assist you in making an informed decision.

Related – Emergency Communication Survival Gear

Fixed-wing Unmanned aerial vehicle - UAV, aka Drones at survivalpreppersuply.com
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Fixed-Wing Drone

1. Different Types of Drones Suitable for Survival Security

There are two main types of drones you may want to consider for survival surveillance and security: quadcopters and fixed-wing aerial drones. The main difference is that you can hover in place with a quadcopter, but a fixed-wing drone has to keep moving.

Both of these have their pros and cons.


  • A quadcopter has four rotors, and it takes off and lands vertically.
  • This might be beneficial in an urban setting with buildings and tight spaces.
  • They’re easy to maneuver, and you can alter directions rapidly when needed.
  • One drawback of some quadcopters is they have a shorter flight time, so they may not be able to travel as far as a fixed-wing drone.
  • They use more battery life, and they’re not as wind-resistant as other forms of drones.


  • A fixed-wing drone, similar to an airplane, will provide you with the flight time and distance capabilities you want, especially in a rural setting where you need to cover many acres or miles.
  • Because they can glide, they’re not energy hogs compared to the quadcopters.
  • However, they need space for takeoff and landing, similar to how an airplane gets airborne.

Related – Human Psychology in Survival Situations

  • Choose a quadcopter if you only use it for short surveillance or in city spaces.
  • Use a fixed-wing drone to reach significant distances and to have unobstructed airspace.

Another consideration is space. If you have plenty of space and portability isn’t a concern, then fixed-wing drones work fine. But quadcopters are more compact and easily moved from one location to another.

Quadcopters are also more beginner-friendly. But you’ll have a learning curve either way, so if you need a fixed-wing drone for distance and time reasons, go ahead and start with that instead of having to switch gears and learn later.

2. How to Use Drones for Survival Security Missions

Let’s discuss how these gadgets will be used for your survival security measures. This is something the military uses and ordinary people can use, too. In terms of survival, it can help you locate things you need, like a natural water source.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission for qualifying purchases at no extra cost to the buyer.

Read this – Outdoor Home Security without Advertising that You are a Prepper

Drones can also be used for rescue missions. You might have someone in your group go foraging for food and not return, and a drone can help you find them in a hurry if they’ve been in an accident or gotten lost.

You can use a drone to inspect the entry points of your property and ensure no one has breached the gated area. If you’re in a location with bears or large wildcats, a drone can help you avoid encountering one.

Some drones have advanced features like thermal and night vision capabilities, perfect for detecting living beings and surveilling at night. If someone is hiding from the drone, a thermal scope can spot them.

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You can also find drones that auto-track moving targets or let you enter an automated route that it will take like a flight pattern, so you don’t have to continually pilot it manually for its proper course.

Remember that some drones are loud and visible, while others have stealth capabilities. You can get quiet propellers and coatings that will not reflect light if you don’t want your drone spotted.

3. Thermal Imaging and Night Vision Technology to Help with Surveillance

As previously mentioned, some drones have thermal imaging and night vision capabilities. Let’s dive into this more deeply because you want to surveil your property at night and identify anyone hiding at any time.

These two options are going to enhance your security significantly. If the weather conditions are poor, the drone can still pinpoint a living being (animal or human) without much light.

Predatory beings often count on the fact that they can be concealed in the dark by hiding in brush or camouflage. You don’t want their presence to go undetected. These options also give you better abilities to search and rescue missing people (or animals like a pet or part of your herd or flock) if they’ve become separated from the rest of you.

Read this – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle aka Drone

Some of the drones only have one or the other – thermal or night vision, but there are hybrid drones that provide both for you to use. Pay attention when shopping to see what your drone options have and what generation it is.

There are older generations of night vision capabilities, and they keep evolving to be more effective. If you buy an older or used drone, you might get one that doesn’t work.

4. Enhanced Visual and Video Drone Capabilities

Besides the specialty vision capabilities just now discussed, you want your drone to have the best visuals possible for regular, everyday use. You’ve probably seen the difference between clear security cameras and those that look like a grainy throwback to the 1970s.

Your drone visuals need to be clear so you can adequately observe whatever you’re looking at. Start by finding one with high resolution. You can find a good 4K or HD video drone that will do the job nicely, but they also have 6k and 8k video options.

It also needs a good stabilizer so the camera isn’t shaky – especially in windy situations. Look for one that includes a Gimbal system for stabilization so you can see everything smoothly.

For advanced use, you might even want to ensure it’s equipped with encrypted data transmission so that others can’t intercept and use the live stream to their benefit. But that may not be necessary in most situations.

5. Staying in Stealth Mode with Your Drone Surveillance

You may feel like using a drone is already operating in stealth mode. However, drones can be very loud and spotted quickly overhead. You must avoid detection regarding having the drone notice in the first place and what happens afterward.

You want to ensure the undercover operations of your drone so that it doesn’t get damaged, such as having someone shoot it down. But you also want to protect yourself as the pilot from being discovered nearby.

You can look for a drone with sound navigation and ranging SONAR capabilities. This is great for areas where you don’t have very good sight because it allows the drone to avoid obstacles.

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Next, you can focus on the noise level of the drone. The less expensive drones are usually going to be very noisy. But you can choose drones with propellers that are a bit larger and have fewer revolutions per minute (RPM) so that they’re not as loud.

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Another thing you can do is fly higher so that the sound of your drone is not as prevalent to those nearby. There are even materials you can attach to your drone or choose to use special propellers that will be quieter during your mission.

By using encrypted communication channels, your drone won’t be at risk of being hacked and tracked. Although you can create routine flight patterns to browse your property’s perimeter, if you are routinely going outside of your property, you may want to vary your flight patterns so that they aren’t as predictable.

You may even want top-tier drones you use for reconnaissance missions with cheap decoy drones you won’t mind losing that you use to distract or mislead people who might want to follow it back to you.

Make sure that you are far enough away that they may not be able to keep up with tracking it on foot by following it home. You must never put your supplies and your family at risk trying to recover a drone if you realize it’s being followed. It’s always best to lose the drone than to lead people to you as a target.

Read Next: 10 Ways to Use Drones for Survival Security Monitoring, Part 2

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  1. Hi Teri,

    Thank you for your interesting and comprehensive article on using drones for surveillance. I live in Australia, so many of us face the threat of bushfires from time to time. Drones are a perfect tool to monitor bushfire activity in your area. I found it interesting that there is a choice of quad-copter or fixed-wing drones depending on the desired range of the surveillance area. Also, being able to monitor your area night and day would be an important consideration. Bushfires can be a threat any time of day.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Cheers John

    1. Thanks, John

      I would love to get a really good drone. I got a ‘free’ one for just shipping, but haven’t used it yet.

      I’m glad you found it useful!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂


  2. Wow, you have quite an impressive selection of topics on self sustainability and survival. Your background story is also interesting and I enjoyed reading about your upbringing and how your father was also a survivalist. I’m definitely going to bookmark your website as my husband and I have been interested in learning more about self sustainability and survival skills. 

    1. Thank you, Teresa,

      I appreciate your comments and am glad you are interested in a sustainable life! I was lucky to have parents that I looked up to. I would want them with me if I was stranded on a desert island.😎

      I have a new Resources page coming that will have 50 tips and 50 checklists as downloadable PDFs, watch out for it 🙂


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