Friday, January 8, 2016

Off-Grid Security & Surveillance

Security is the #1 concern for many of us who put our time, effort and attention into our secluded projects. Whether it’s our off-grid homestead, or recreational cabin, weekend getaway, private campsite, or even our backwoods toolshed – many of us face that lingering fear of one day coming to our site to find the windows smashed in and our furnishings gone. And since our facilities are without a consistent power source, we lack an “affordable” way to keep an eye on what’s happening when we’re around.

 This was a concern for us for years, until the day we came up to our cabin to find the locks on the doors broken and the place ransacked. Now, something’s been done.

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Relatively affordable, easy to maintain, easy to conceal, and easy on batteries – is the Moultrie M-880 Game Camera. 

Pros:
-cheap (for a good game camera)
-small & easy to conceal 
-holds up well against the elements
-takes standard SD card 
-good battery life (we change ours twice per year)

Cons: 
 -Nighttime Infrared can give the camera’s presence away. 
 (We covered ours with electrical tape and use landscape lighting to aid in night photos) 
-Sensitive to leaf/wind movements (like branches) 
-not black-bear tamper proof! 

We purchased and installed 3 of these M-880’s around our main site. This model is small enough to give you some wiggle-room for creativity in its concealment. We buried two into the surrounding landscape (nearly invisible unless you know what to look for) and one is hidden within one of the several massive sandstone piles (in the natural landscape). 

While these cameras are fully capable of taking decent video (with audio) recordings; we have ours set to 3 photos (5 seconds apart) for every 30 seconds of activity detected. This present setting allows our cameras to record about 3 months at a time on the 16GB SD cards – without needing cleaned off every week. Otherwise, we only check and clear the cards when we notice that someone’s been on the property (a few hidden trip wires we have set). 


Some photos from one of my 3 hidden cameras of the past 2 years: (note, the time-stamps on most of these were in reverse - A.M. instead of P.M.)


Me


Neighbors (un-beknownst to us)

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vagabond?

passerby



Grandpa & Uncle


( SPOTTED! ... the cam has since been re-hidden)


Mama bear
bob cat

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