Accessories for Wildlife Cameras
Trail cameras have revolutionized the way we observe and document the natural world and it’s wildlife. These versatile devices have become essential tools for wildlife enthusiasts, scientists and researchers. While the cameras themselves are powerful tools, a range of accessories can make their use even more efficient and effective. In this article, I will talk about the various accessories that can be used alongside wildlife cameras and how they can improve results and make wildlife monitoring a lot easier too.
Ground spikes are indispensable accessories for wildlife cameras, especially when setting up in outdoor environments. These sturdy, metal spikes help secure the camera firmly in the ground, preventing any accidental movement or tilting due to wind or animal activity. By ensuring a stable setup, ground spikes help capture clear and stable images and videos.
Ground spikes are available in different heights. Some are fixed and some are adjustable.
Memory cards play a crucial role in the functionality of wildlife cameras. These cameras capture high-resolution images and videos, which demand ample storage space. Choosing the right memory card with sufficient capacity and speed is essential. Look for cards with a Class 10 rating or higher to ensure smooth recording and minimal lag time between shots.
Always check to see the capacity that your camera can accept before buying a memory card. There’s no point paying extra for a 128G card if the camera will only take up to 64G. Also check with the trail cam needs an SD card or a micro SD card as different cameras require different size cards.
For extended periods of camera deployment, especially in remote locations, solar panels are a game-changer. Solar panels harness the power of the sun to charge the camera’s batteries, ensuring continuous operation without the need for frequent battery replacements. This eco-friendly solution not only extends the camera’s lifespan but also reduces maintenance efforts.
Some trail cameras will have a built in solar panel on the top of their casing whilst other will have the option to use an external solar panel and coonect via a short cable. Solar panels work in different ways, some will charge their own battery cell, others will charge the batteries inside the camera.
Using Mains Power
In situations where a power source is readily available, using mains power can be a practical choice. By connecting your wildlife camera to a power outlet, you eliminate concerns about battery life, allowing the camera to operate continuously. This option is ideal for long-term research projects and monitoring purposes. It’s not often a possibility due to the remote location of many trail cameras but if it is possible then it can be a great choice.
Ensure you use the correct power voltage and current. Always check with your wildlife camera supplier first if you’re unsure.
Many wildlife cameras are designed to run on AA batteries, which are readily available and easy to replace in the field. Investing in high-quality, long-lasting AA batteries can help ensure uninterrupted camera operation. Consider rechargeable AA batteries and a charger to minimize environmental impact and reduce ongoing costs.
Check to see which type of battery your camera requires. Some require 1.5v lithium batteries whilst others can run off 1.2v rechargeable batteries. mA output current is also very important. For lithium batteries I would only ever use Energizer Ultimate Lithium. For rechargeable batteries I use only Panasonic Eneloop Pro 2500mA.
18650 batteries are another battery option for certain wildlife cameras, known for their high capacity and long life. These rechargeable lithium-ion batteries provide excellent performance and can be a cost-effective choice for extended deployments. Ensure you have a reliable charger suitable for 18650 batteries to keep your camera running smoothly.
USB Memory Card Readers
USB memory card readers are handy accessories for wildlife camera users. They allow you to quickly and easily transfer images and videos from the camera’s memory card to a computer or storage device. This not only frees up space on the memory card but also facilitates the analysis and sharing of your wildlife footage.
Most laptops have an SD card reader slot built in. If yours does not, and you want to take a laptop an check footage at the camera site, then a USB card reader can be invaluable. Most readers are compatible with both SD and micro SD memory cards.
Trail Cam Mounting Straps
Securing your camera to a tree or other fixed objects is essential to capture wildlife in their natural habitats. Camera mounting straps are durable and adjustable, ensuring a secure attachment while minimizing any damage to the environment. Look for straps with camouflage patterns to help your camera blend seamlessly into the surroundings.
Most wildlife cameras will come supplied with a strap but you can always check with your supplier first to double check.
Camera Mounting Brackets
Mounting brackets are versatile accessories that enable you to position your wildlife camera at different angles and heights. They offer flexibility in setting up your camera for optimal viewing angles and coverage. Some mounting brackets also come with swivel heads, allowing for precise adjustments.
Wildlife cameras and trail cameras have revolutionized wildlife observation and research. However, to maximize their effectiveness, it’s essential to equip them with the right accessories. Whether you’re securing your camera with ground spikes, ensuring ample storage with memory cards, or powering it with solar panels or batteries, these accessories enhance the overall experience and make wildlife camera usage more convenient and efficient. By choosing the right combination of accessories, you can capture stunning wildlife footage while minimizing disruption to the natural environment.
If you liked this post and found it helpful you may also be interested in some of my other articles about:
- Trail Camera Placement
- Wildlife Camera – Frequently Asked Questions
- Different Infrared / Night Vision Options
There are many other articles on the Pakatak Blog too so please feel free to have a read!