Should you take a drone with you when backpacking?


Adventurers can escape the restrictions of daily life and immerse themselves in nature by engaging in their favorite pastime of backpacking. The use of drones while trekking has drawn controversy due to the quick evolution of technology. These adaptable aerial tools allow for the taking of breath-blowing pictures and films as well as amazing views. However, when traveling, you must give serious thought to whether to bring a drone with you. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of adding a drone to your backpacking equipment in this article to help you decide what to bring on your upcoming adventure.

Backpacking with a Drone

If you are a seasoned traveler who recently caught the travel discomfort once more. While you often only go on solo travels, and this time you plan to travel with your drone. Is it worth it to bring a drone on vacation, or is it preferable to leave it behind?

Drones are perfect for recording all types of travel because of how light and portable they are and the high-quality images and movies they can create. They are well worth the minor hassle of packing your drone for a flight and the requirement to familiarize yourself with the local drone regulations. 

In this thorough instruction, we’ll first discuss the benefits and then the drawbacks of traveling with a drone. After finishing this article, you’ll be able to decide with certainty if your Drone will become your new trip companion. 

Drone flying

The Pros of Backpacking with a Drone

Let’s start by going over all the advantages that traveling with your drone will provide for you. 

1. Drones are more convenient way to take selfies and photos

You virtually always have a camera with you when you travel to a new region of the world. You really can’t help it—you end up taking everything, from landscape images to pictures of people walking by to even a few selfies for good measure. As much of the ambiance and the moment as you can be captured.

The setup time is rather difficult if you only have a camera, or even worse, only your smartphone, to take pictures. A tripod must be set up in order to capture angled or raised images. You can have a GoPro mounted to your body or head, giving an appearance that you are a tourist. 

You can throw away the tripod and the GoPro if you have a drone in your pocket. Your drone can take pictures up close to you, closer to the ground, or several stories above you. Many drones available today may be instructed to take pictures (including selfies) with a hand motion or voice command.

The technology for unmanned aerial vehicles has also advanced to the point where you can program your drone to fly in a particular pattern or direction, follow you, and take pictures or movies as it goes. The only way to take a striking photo of yourself in the distance is in that manner. That is, if you don’t ask a stranger to use your phone or camera. 

When visiting a new location for the first time, it’s important to keep in mind that for many people around, this is just their home. When capturing pictures and films, the less disturbing you are, the better. You may quickly get the footage you desire by using your drone, then carry on with your journey.

2. A drone makes it easy to capture footage from a unique vantage point

These days, individuals would do everything to get the ideal shot. Girls regularly pose as their partners for the camera. While it is illegal to do so, some people may halt traffic in order to take a picture for Instagram.

To get an over-the-head shot, more individuals are still going to hang their iPhones from a tree branch with a flexible tripod. Even though it’s difficult, what else are you expected to do? After all, the typical camera or smartphone cannot simply remain in the desired location.

That’s unquestionably one benefit that your drone offers. Your drone can stay suspended at almost whatever height you tell it to be, as we hinted at in the paragraphs above (if it’s legal to fly your drone at that height, of course). 

The nice aspect is that nothing needs to be modified. All it takes is a few button presses on your drone remote (or even on the touchscreen of your phone if your Drone uses an app) or mapping a customized flight path to achieve all those uncommon perspectives that the average human finds so difficult to achieve.

You can now record images and videos of popular tourist destinations and other distinctive sights that stand out from other people’s footage. People will be overwhelmed over your drone images when you share them on social media and they will be amazed at how wonderful they are.

3. Today’s drones are ultra-portable

Owning a drone for travel used to be like owning a telephone in the 1990s: it was cool, but it was primarily difficult and inconvenient. Fortunately, drone technology has advanced quickly and is still developing, making modern drones easier to transport everywhere.

These days, drones are incredibly lightweight. Even though they aren’t the kind of tough drones you’ll travel with, toy drones weigh roughly two ounces. A consumer drone, which ranges in weight from 0.5 pounds to three pounds, will most likely accompany you on your journey.

Because it will be so light, your drone will make it much easier for you to take it wherever you want to go. 

The fact that more and more modern drones can fold and compact when not in use is another advantage for your vacation. It will take up very little room whether you have a special carrying case for your drone or carry it in a backpack or shoulder bag. Talk about comfort!

Recreational drone, Lamberts beach lookout, Slade Point 2016

4. Drone footage is a great way to build your portfolio

You want to be a photographer or a videographer, right? You might choose to enter the real estate, land surveying, or even travel photography industries. You need a portfolio showing the range of your work in any of those positions.

Using a drone while traveling is a terrific method to build up your portfolio rapidly. You can produce a sort of photo and video documentary highlighting your adventures traveling to distant regions all over the world, or even within your nation. 

If you’re interested in using your drone to earn money, having a comprehensive and diversified photography/videography portfolio will help you increase traffic to your website and even your customers. 

You can receive inquiries from potential clients interested in hiring your images or videos for use in articles or on websites. They might want to purchase some prints of your work. You’re never sure! 

A commercial drone pilot license is required if you intend to profit from your aerial images or movies.

5. A drone takes high-quality videos and photos, unlike your smartphone

Shooting using a drone will enhance your portfolio because a good camera drone is equipped with some of the most cutting-edge cameras and technology. 

For instance, the DJI Air 2S (Amazon link) has a CMOS sensor that measures an inch in size. 4K quality at 60 frames per second or 5.4K quality at 30 frames per second are the video resolution options for the drone. Photos are produced in 20 MP resolution and have a wide range of vibrant colors. 

A 2x optical zoom Hasselblad L1D-20c camera is included in the DJI Mavic 2 Pro (Amazon link). Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution, or HNCS, technology is embedded into the camera to produce stunning 20-megapixel images. The one-inch CMOS sensor also supports your best HDR or 4K filmmaking.

Does your smartphone fit the bill? Actually, no. No matter if you are using the front or rear cameras, even the most recent iPhone 14 Pro Max can only shoot images at a resolution of 48 MP. The camera on a DJI drone can easily outperform the phone in terms of quality.

Drone Mavic Pro May 2020

The Cons of Backpacking with a Drone

Despite how fantastic traveling by drone can be, we must talk about the drawbacks of doing so in order to keep this post balanced and to help you make an informed choice. 

1. It can be a hassle to get a drone through airline security

Your drone should be able to fly with you most of the time, but the process itself can be nerve-wracking. 

In this article, we go through some of the specifics of traveling with a drone.

To prevent your drone from being pushed around, you must first provide it with adequate storage. Most of the time, you can bring your drone on board as a carry-on, but you’ll need a bag specifically made for them that also complies with carry-on regulations. 

Larger drones must be checked in with your checked luggage, which prevents them from flying alongside you. Since you don’t want it to be smashed or damaged by the luggage handlers, you’ll probably be concerned about your drone the entire flight. 

You should bring drone batteries, however if you want to fit them in a carry-on bag, the batteries can’t have a capacity greater than 100 watt-hours. Nevertheless, due to different airports’ watt-hour restrictions, the 100-watt-hour minimum might not be applicable to all carriers. 

Even without the added burden of an international travel, planning a trip is difficult enough. With all the regulations around packing, checking in, and traveling with your drone and its batteries, you are under a lot more pressure now. 

Of course, you can always leave your drone at home and buy a new one when you get to your destination if you’d rather avoid all these headaches. This approach also has major disadvantages.

It’s excessively pricey, to begin with. A high-quality drone typically costs at least $400, but prices can occasionally go as high as $1,000. After spending so much on airfare, hotel, and other travel-related expenses, that is a significant sum of money to have to pay.

Another issue is what you’ll do with the drone when you get home. It would be the same as flushing cash down the drain in order to leave it behind. It is therefore difficult to escape the hassle of getting a drone through airport security whether you are flying to or from a destination unless you choose to not utilize a drone while doing so.

2. Not all countries allow you to fly a drone

Check to see if your drone is permitted in your intended destination country before purchasing a suitcase for it and carefully packing it to go through the airport security checkpoint. Uzbekistan, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, India, Cuba, Barbados, and Argentina are just a few of the nations that expressly prohibit the use of drones.

You cannot bring your drone into the aforementioned nations, regardless of whether your goal is to use it to take beautiful images of the scenery or earn money. Although there may be exceptions if you have a permit, we believe it is not worthwhile to attempt to carry your drone into a nation that has a prohibition. 

3. You have to learn different drone rules wherever you go

You are an expert in Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, regulations. But here’s the deal. Only within the United States is aircraft use required by the FAA. Once you leave the country, you can be subject to a completely different set of rules. 

Before turning on your drone while on the road, you must familiarize yourself with the laws of the country you intend to visit. In this manner, you may be certain that you are abiding by all regulations. After all, running afoul of the law in a foreign nation can be terrifying. 

Flying Drone

4. Long battery charging times can hinder your adventures

The longest flying time of the drones that are currently on the market is about 30 minutes. Can some individuals fly farther? Yes, but they are difficult to locate.

The first time you use your drone to film an exciting location, you don’t realize how quickly a half-hour passes. Your drone runs out of power and returns to land before you know it. You feel obliged to use your phone to shoot pictures and videos for the duration of your time at the location. It’s simply not the same. 

You now have to wait many hours after returning to your hotel for the drone batteries to finish charging. There are drone models that can recharge their batteries in as little as 60 or 90 minutes, others that require two hours, and still others that require as much as three or four hours.

If you wanted to fly your drone as soon as possible, you would have to wait for a long period of time. Sure, you could always do something different, particularly if it didn’t include or allow drones, but now you had to change your entire schedule.

However, you shouldn’t keep the drone batteries on the charger for any longer than is absolutely required. You may always charge your batteries overnight.

The time it takes to charge your drone batteries cannot be avoided, as a result. You’ll need to prepare for the interruptions, which can seriously interfere with your travel plans. 

5. You might be required to register a drone in another country

If you thought that when flying your drone in another country, you were just subject to local regulations, think again. Many of the same guidelines that the FAA imposes must be followed by the regulatory authorities of other nations as well.

For instance, even if you have already registered your drone in your home country, you must do so in Ireland if it weighs more than 250 grams (which is what most drones do). You wouldn’t have any choice but to register your drone because that is equally true of all drones equipped with a sensor or camera. 

Now you have to deal with more time, more paperwork, and possibly more money. 

Is a Drone Worth it For Backpacking?

Is a drone worthwhile to bring on your trip after weighing the pros and cons? You must make that decision for yourself, but we agree that it is worthwhile. 

You could have to wait longer in the airport security line, and before your flight takes off, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the drone-flying regulations in the country you’re traveling. You can then enhance your travels with your drone by your side once you’ve taken care of what are ultimately only minor inconveniences. 

You may always look back on the pictures and films you take along the road as though they were free souvenirs. In contrast to a tacky key-chain, your video will quickly trigger a sentiment or memory. 


The choice of whether to bring a drone on a backpacking trip is a personal one that is based on your tastes, travel objectives, and the particulars of your journey. While drones present fantastic chances for shooting breathtaking aerial photos and improving your narrative skills, there are other factors to take into consideration, like weight, portability, laws, and legal issues.