Securing Your Camera Trap
Top Tips
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20/03/21

Tips To Keep Your Camera Secure


Keeping your camera safe and secure from people and wildlife alike can be one of the trickiest considerations when setting out your kit. Spending hard earned money on an expensive piece of equipment only to leave it unattended for often months at a time can seem a bit counter intuitive, so we’re sharing our top suggestions to help keep your camera as safe as possible.

 

NatureSpy Browning Camera Trap Set-up with Security Cable
A NatureSpy Browning trail camera set-up with a lock

 

What We Would Recommend

1. Go For No Glow

No glow cameras won’t give off the faint red glow when they’re triggered, which does have the potential to alert people to the cameras presence. These might be the safest option to go for if you have worries about security. However, keep in mind that there is a trade-off of having a more discreet camera and you’ll have to sacrifice some quality…

Low glow cameras use a spectrum of light that has much longer wavelengths so the light travels further and gives you approximately 30% more light than a no glow camera. This means that the flash range is much better and enables wildlife to be spotted easier and at greater distances compared to a no glow camera. They also typically have faster shutter speeds in photo mode so they have minimal blur on moving animals and the definition, particularly of night videos, is much better.

Ultimately, you’ll get better results with low glow cameras but for security purposes no glow cameras would be preferable.

It’s probably also worth mentioning here that in terms of wildlife spotting the red light glow, research has shown that there is strong evidence that the majority of mammal species see low-glow and no-glow LEDs in the same way. In other words, they see a red glow regardless of the LED type used so you’ll probably get some animals glancing at your camera no matter what type of LED you choose!

(Bird species are a bit of an exception to the rule here as they have similar sensitivity to IR light as humans so they can see the low-glow but not the no-glow).

 

NatureSpy Low Glow Bushnell Triggered Trail Camera
A Bushnell low-glow when triggered giving off a faint red glow

 

2. Provide Contact Details

It’s a sad fact that some people use trail cameras for not so good intentions and that makes other’s a little suspicious when they see cameras out and about, especially in remote locations. People meaning well can think the camera owner is up to no good and take matters in to their own hands.

In other instances, people have actually been up to no good and realised they’ve probably been caught on the camera and want to destroy the evidence!

If cameras are not in security boxes, the SD cards can often be stolen, if not the entire camera. We have known of individuals trekking out miles to cameras with bolt cutters to remove boxes and locks!

 

NatureSpy Yorkshire Pine Marten Camera Trap - Forest Fire
A NatureSpy project trail camera caught in a forest fire by arson

 

To give potential passers-by some peace of mind, its useful to leave some contact details somewhere on the camera or security box to explain its for wildlife monitoring purposes etc. and maybe an email or phone number to get hold of you.

 

NatureSpy Pine Marten Camera Trap Set-up with Security Cable
A NatureSpy project camera with a discreet contact label on the front

 

3. Note Down Serial Numbers

Knowing your cameras serial numbers can come in quite useful if your camera does get stolen. Police will be able to use this information to potentially track down your kit, especially if it ends up on a popular second-hand auction website…

 

4. Use Masterlocks, Padlocks & Boxes

Obviously, your camera will be a lot safer if it’s secured with a Masterlock and security box. Using these can give you a bit more piece of mind, but in some scenarios they may actually become a bit of a drawback, which brings us on to…

 

What We Would Advise Against

1. Using Elaborate Camouflage

The use of boxes, padlocks and Masterlocks will secure your camera but in some situations can also draw more attention to it depending on the environment. Excessive attempts at camouflaging your camera can also have the same effect and from experience, the more twigs, grass, moss and mud you plaster on your camera the more it can stand out!

 

2. Placing on Busy Roads/Public Trails etc

Great trails and perfect places to set-out your camera will often have to be abandoned in favour of a more discreet location. Always check how busy the roads and public trails can get before you site out your camera.

 

3. Face Towards Landmarks/Well Known Local Spots

If you enjoy sharing your captures, especially online, it’s always safer to keep in mind what your camera is looking at and likely to get on film. It has been known for eagle eyes to recognize camera locations from images and videos.

 

4. Publicise Locations

As above, disclosing where you’ve left your trail camera, especially on social media, is probably not a great idea. You never know who might find out and take advantage.

 

Hopefully some of these tips can help keep your camera safe and ensure you’re happy leaving it out to do its thing! You can also find lots more advice and tips in our Support Hub including more hints and guidance on perfecting your camera placement.

 

Happy Camera Trapping! 

 

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