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Trail Camera

What is the Best Trail Camera to Re-purpose for Security

If you have an intruder problem on your property, you might have thought about security cameras of some kind. One of the issues with security cameras is their expense, but there is an effective alternative. Trail cameras work very well as a substitute. 

In this article, we look at trail cameras and how they can be effectively re-purposed and turned into security cameras. Trail cameras are already discreet and silent – they are designed for capturing photos and videos of animals in their natural habitat. There’s no reason why the same technology can’t be used for keeping your property safe. 

Here are some of the most important things to consider if you are buying or repurposing trail cameras, so you can get the best trail cameras and be confident in your security systems. 

Trail Camera on tree

Consider the Problem 

Maybe you have some private property, or you need security for a farm you need to protect it from trespassers or vandals. You might even want to protect your property when you leave for a few weeks. If it doesn’t warrant an investment in a full security system, consider trail cameras. 

Unlike standard CCTV cameras, Trail cameras are completely free from glow from the infrared LEDs on the front and can be positioned discreetly in various places. You need trespassers to be completely unaware of the existence of the camera, so make sure it’s set high up, avoiding the line of sight, with camouflage. 

The best place to position a trail camera for security is on a telegraph pole or a tree. Remember that some savvy trespassers may be on the lookout for security cameras, so they should also be covered or disguised in some way. 

This metal lockable trail camera security box can help disguise and protect your security cameras. 

Trail camera lockbox

Choose Your Equipment 

When it comes to choosing a trail camera for security purposes, you have two main ones to consider. These are standard no-glow cameras and cellular trail cameras. The camera you choose will depend on what type of security you need. For most people, a basic no-glow trail camera works well. 

A no-glow camera gets its name because there is no sign that it is recording or taking pictures. The internal LEDs don’t flash, making it extremely discreet for capturing wildlife footage and intruders. These cameras take pictures and video; they can be easily set up and disguised with branches. They can also run on standard AA batteries that can last up to months on stand-by mode.  

SpyPoint Solar Trail Camera

The other option you have for a re-purposed trail camera is the cellular trail camera. These provide a truly remote operation as rather than just simply recording to a microSD card for later review, they can send images instantly via a 4G network, the same type that you use for data on your phone. Many models also have solar power as a supplement to batteries so that the camera can stay powered for longer simply using the sun (or even overcast days). This has a major advantage of not having to return the camera as often to swap batteries.

Tips for Installing Your Trail Camera 

When you set up your trail camera you need to make sure it is out of the line of sight of trespassers and intruders. Some intruders might be able to recognize a camera if it’s low to the ground and interfere with it. This will compromise the camera’s purpose and cost you money at the same time.  

One easy solution is to elevate your trail camera. Most people don’t look up when they walk, especially if they’re walking through a wooded area. But even in your yard or industrial site with the pressure of trespassing on them, an intruder is less likely to see devices out of their line of sight. 

It’s recommended that a trail camera for security purposes should be located at least 3 metres (10 feet) off the ground. This puts it out of the line of sight and above the heads of intruders. Find a telegraph pole or a tree to fix the trail camera, too; this will give it height and offer a little camouflage as well. Which brings us onto our next point...

Camouflaging Your Trail Camera

Naturally, you will want to make your trail camera hard to spot. If a thief or an intruder sees the camera, they might interfere with it or avoid it. However, if your camera is positioned in a high place and surrounded by foliage, there’s a good chance it will be discreetly hidden. 

Virtually all models of trail camera have camouflage patterns on them to blend in with foliage. Despite this, we still recommend going the extra mile to make sure the camera is properly hard to see! It’s a good idea to camouflage your camera with some of the foliage that surrounds it; this way, it fits in with the natural environment. The trouble is that foliage will disappear in the autumn and leave your camera exposed. You could also acquire some artificial foliage from a craft shop. This will do the same job but won’t disappear when autumn comes!

One further way to camouflage and protect your camera, especially from adverse weather, is to invest in a camera mounting box. These will surround your camera perfectly, protect it from harsh conditions and make it look like a telecom device if it’s spotted at all. 

Buy a waterproof trail camera HD bundle pack.

Install the camera where it's hard for intruders to reach

Humans tend to take the path of least resistance, so it’s unlikely that your camera will be spotted if you place it in a low-traffic area. This could be a piece of barren ground, some bramble bushes, or some area of your land that is less inviting. 

The advantage of putting your camera in one of these areas is twofold. It protects it from the line of sight vandals, and it gives you some extra purchase for monitoring. A camera placed in a low-traffic area tends to point at the high-traffic area.  

The great thing about trail cameras is that they are designed to fix awkward places in low-traffic areas. This is what they do best in the wilderness while they capture silent and discrete photos of wildlife. This is also why they make such excellent security cameras for your property. 

Camouflaged trail camera secured to tree

Summary: Why You Should Consider Trail Cameras for Security

Benefits of Trail Cameras:

  • Trail cameras are often a cheaper alternative to standard CCTV system
  • They can be just as effective as more costly security systems.
  • By design, they are made to blend in rather than be an overt deterrent 
  • Lots of different models on offer: microSD recording, 4G, solar and different triggering modes
  • Practical to mount up to a variety of locations such as trees, poles, walls and up high!
  • Easy to use and setup: plus no cumbersome cabling!
  • Designed for long-term usage: long battery life and power saving modes
  • Lightweight, adaptable: can be moved between locations

Types of Trail Camera
There are two types of trail cameras you can use for security purposes - no-glow cameras; these are some of the best cameras for security because they emit no glaring security light and therefore are more difficult for intruders to spot. 

The alternative are cellular trail cameras. Both of these cameras have silent flashes and can be mounted in discrete places around your property. 

Remember our camera installation top tips:

  • It’s always best to camouflage your trail camera 
  • Mount your trail camera in a high place to hide it from thieves
  • Choose artificial camouflage if you can to help disguise it all year round. 
  • Mount your camera in places that thieves or intruders would find difficult to reach but make sure you have a natural line of sight to the property you are protecting.
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