Shopping for a drone pilot this holiday season and not sure what to get them? Fear not. We put together this shopping list of must-have accessories for the drone-lover in your life. Enjoy!
Piloting a drone can be as exciting as it is perilous. Trees, waterfalls, rocks: They’re fun to fly around, but a total bummer (and sometimes catastrophic) to fly into. To avoid a premature and possibly permanent grounding, be sure to keep plenty of spare parts handy, especially props and additional batteries. Depending on where I’m flying, sometimes I’ll even bring additional hardware pieces, like motors or arms. My general rule is: If it can fail or fall off, always pack a spare.
Protective Case or Backpack
Let's face it: Being a drone pilot isn't cheap. Even so-called "beginner" drones tend to require a fairly substantial investment. If you're looking to protect that investment, we recommend a protective carrying case from a well-known brand like Nanuk.
Nanuk currently offers an exhaustive catalog of cases that will safeguard your drone and drone accessories from just about every conceivable threat or hazard: weather, drops, etc. Nanuk cases will even float if somehow they end up in water. There are drone-specific cases available for just about every drone model under the sun or you can purchase a separate foam liner and cut it to fit your gear needs.
In addition to being the best insurance policy for your drone, Nanuk cases are also surprisingly lightweight and easy to carry. And as far as weather-resistant hard cases go, they look pretty slick, too (especially in orange or yellow).
Beyond the adrenaline and the thrill, one of the great things about going on an adventure is capturing the endeavor on film. And if you are looking to snag some shots from the sky, be sure to bring the right accessories to bolster your drone’s performance. Chief among those camera accessories are drone filters, which can enhance footage and allow you to shoot in different types of environments, weather, and light levels. Brands like Freewell and PolarPro offer lots of drone lens-filter options for various flyers, while drone manufacturers like DJI also make filters specific to their vehicle’s specifications.
By now, you’ve probably gleaned that “adventure” is kind of synonymous with “danger,” in that adventures have an inherent risk factor built into them. If you’re concerned about your drone’s well-being, consider some additional safety measures, like prop guards or even an emergency parachute. If you’re adventuring somewhere with treacherous terrain and you need a safe landing spot, don’t forget to pick up a drone pad. Brands like Hoodman and Zuma make excellent pads that are great for launching or landing.
(Not) Breaking the Law
Something we (and the legal department) thought you should remember is that while flying in the United States, be sure to observe all federal and local aviation laws. There are plenty of ways to protect your drone, but the only safeguard against a hefty fine is to not fly where you’re not supposed to. OK, sorry about the buzzkill—adventure on!
That’s our list for must-have adventure accessories. Did we forget anything? Let us know in the Comments section, below, and be sure to tell us your favorite gear to bring along when you take your drone on an adventure.