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Where Can You Go Backpacking With A Drone


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Moria Aitken



Welcome to the exciting world of backpacking with a drone! Gone are the days where you could only capture breathtaking aerial shots with expensive equipment. With the advent of consumer-friendly drones, backpackers now have the opportunity to elevate their travel photography and videography to new heights.


However, backpacking with a drone comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. From understanding drone regulations to finding the best destinations for aerial photography, there is a lot to learn to make the most out of your drone backpacking experience.


In this article, we will delve into the realm of backpacking with a drone, exploring the regulations, tips, and popular destinations that every drone enthusiast should know. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker looking to add a new dimension to your travels or a passionate drone pilot ready to take to the skies, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the knowledge and insights to make your backpacking adventure with a drone a success.


But before we dive into the details, let’s first understand the regulations surrounding drone usage, as it is crucial to ensure both your safety and compliance with local laws.


Understanding Drone Regulations

As a responsible drone pilot, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the regulations of the country or region you plan to backpack with your drone. Each country has its own set of rules and restrictions, and it is important to abide by them to ensure the safety of others and protect yourself from legal repercussions.


Here are some key points to consider when it comes to understanding drone regulations:

  1. Registration: Some countries require you to register your drone before you can fly it. Be sure to check if this is a requirement in the country you are visiting. Failure to register a drone in a country where it is mandatory can lead to hefty fines or legal issues.
  2. Fly Zones: Many countries have designated fly zones where drone flights are either restricted or prohibited entirely. These areas may include airports, military installations, national parks, and sensitive government facilities. Check for any restricted or no-fly zones in the area you plan to visit, and adhere to all regulations to avoid endangering others or violating airspace restrictions.
  3. Altitude and Distance Limits: Most countries have specific altitude and distance limits that drone pilots must adhere to. These limits are in place to ensure the safety of airspace and prevent interference with manned aircraft. Research and understand the maximum altitude and distance you can fly your drone in the country you are visiting.
  4. Drone Permits: In some countries, you may need to obtain a permit or license to fly a drone, especially for commercial purposes. Check if a permit is required and make the necessary arrangements before your trip.
  5. Local Laws and Customs: Apart from national regulations, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with any regional or local laws pertaining to drone usage. Cultural norms and customs may also influence the acceptability of flying drones in certain locations.

Remember, ignorance of drone regulations is not an excuse, and being well-informed will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while backpacking with your drone. Always check the official websites or contact the relevant authorities to get the most up-to-date information on drone regulations in your destination.


Popular Backpacking Destinations for Drone Photography

When it comes to backpacking with a drone, the world is your oyster. There are countless breathtaking destinations that offer unique landscapes and stunning aerial photography opportunities. Here are some popular backpacking destinations that are known for their scenic beauty and are drone-friendly:

  1. Iceland: With its dramatic volcanoes, glacial lagoons, waterfalls, and rugged landscapes, Iceland is a paradise for drone photography. Capture the stunning aerial views of the famous Golden Circle, the otherworldly beauty of the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, or the majestic power of the Gullfoss waterfall.
  2. New Zealand: Known for its diverse and pristine natural landscapes, New Zealand offers incredible opportunities for aerial photography. Explore the fjords of Milford Sound, the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, or the stunning peaks of the Southern Alps.
  3. Norway: The Scandinavian country of Norway boasts magnificent fjords, towering mountains, and picturesque coastal landscapes. Take your drone to the famous Trolltunga, the stunning Geirangerfjord, or the breathtaking Lofoten Islands for some truly mesmerizing shots.
  4. Peru: Home to the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru is a paradise for photographers. Capture the mystical beauty of the Sacred Valley, the rainbow-striped slopes of Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), or the vast expanse of the Colca Canyon.
  5. Australia: From the iconic Great Barrier Reef to the rugged Outback, Australia offers a wide range of stunning landscapes to explore. Fly your drone over the vibrant Whitsunday Islands, the magnificent Uluru (Ayers Rock), or the pristine beaches of the Great Ocean Road.

These are just a few examples of the many incredible backpacking destinations that are perfect for drone photography. Remember, always research the specific drone regulations and guidelines in each country you plan to visit to ensure that drone usage is allowed and to avoid any legal issues. Respecting the local environment and being mindful of others while flying your drone will help preserve the beauty of these destinations for future generations to enjoy.


Backpacking with a Drone: Tips and Considerations

Backpacking with a drone can provide you with incredible photo and video opportunities, but it also requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind when embarking on your drone backpacking adventure:

  1. Choose a Portable Drone: Opt for a compact and lightweight drone that is easy to carry during your backpacking journey. Look for models that fold up or have removable propellers to save space in your backpack.
  2. Pack Extra Batteries and Chargers: Flying a drone consumes a lot of battery power. Make sure to pack extra batteries and a portable charger to keep your drone up and running throughout your trip.
  3. Use ND Filters: Neutral Density (ND) filters help to reduce the amount of light entering the camera sensor, allowing you to capture better-balanced and more cinematic footage. Invest in a set of ND filters suitable for your drone and the environmental conditions you’ll encounter.
  4. Plan Your Flights: Before taking off, scout the area and plan your flights to maximize the potential for stunning aerial shots. Research viewpoints, landmarks, and natural features that will enhance your compositions.
  5. Be Mindful of Wildlife and People: Respect the environment and wildlife by flying your drone responsibly. Keep a safe distance from animals and avoid disturbing their habitats. Also, be mindful of people around you and follow any guidelines or restrictions in place for drone usage in crowded areas.
  6. Check Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and avoid flying in strong winds, rain, or extreme weather conditions that could jeopardize the safety of your drone. Windy conditions can make it difficult to control your drone or capture stable footage.
  7. Practice Flight Skills Before You Go: If you’re new to flying a drone, take the time to practice your flight skills before your trip. Familiarize yourself with the controls, understand the flight modes, and practice maneuvers to build confidence and ensure smooth flights.
  8. Respect Privacy: Always respect the privacy of others when operating your drone. Do not invade people’s personal space or fly over private property without permission.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when backpacking with a drone. Be aware of your surroundings, follow the rules and regulations, and exercise caution to ensure a positive and responsible drone backpacking experience.


Best Drones for Backpacking

Choosing the right drone for backpacking is crucial to ensure a lightweight and portable setup without sacrificing image quality and features. Here are some top drone options that are well-suited for backpacking:

  1. DJI Mavic Air 2: The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a compact and capable drone that offers outstanding image quality and flight performance. With its 48-megapixel camera and 4K video capabilities, it allows you to capture stunning aerial shots. It also boasts a long flight time of up to 34 minutes and a range of up to 10 kilometers.
  2. DJI Mini 2: The DJI Mini 2 is one of the smallest and lightest drones on the market, making it ideal for backpacking. Despite its small size, it still delivers excellent image quality with its 12-megapixel camera and 4K video recording. It also offers a flight time of up to 31 minutes and a range of up to 10 kilometers.
  3. Autel Robotics EVO: The Autel Robotics EVO is a foldable drone that combines portability with professional-grade features. It has a 12-megapixel camera capable of shooting 4K video, as well as a flight time of up to 30 minutes and a range of up to 7 kilometers. The EVO also offers obstacle detection and avoidance for added safety while flying.
  4. Parrot Anafi: The Parrot Anafi is a lightweight and compact drone that delivers impressive image quality with its 21-megapixel camera and 4K HDR video capabilities. It also boasts a flight time of up to 25 minutes and a range of up to 4 kilometers. The Anafi is designed with a 180-degree vertical tilt gimbal, allowing you to capture unique angles and perspectives.
  5. GoPro Karma: The GoPro Karma is a versatile drone that can easily be integrated with your existing GoPro camera. It offers smooth and stable footage with its stabilizing gimbal system and allows you to capture high-quality aerial shots. The Karma also features a compact and foldable design, making it convenient for backpacking adventures.

When choosing a drone for backpacking, consider the size, weight, flight time, camera capabilities, and overall durability. It’s also important to invest in a reliable carrying case or backpack specifically designed for drones to protect your equipment during travel.


Before purchasing a drone, always check the local regulations and restrictions for drone usage in the areas you plan to visit. Ensuring that your chosen drone complies with the regulations and obtaining any necessary permits will help you avoid any legal issues and enable you to fully enjoy your drone-enabled backpacking adventures.


Safety and Etiquette for Using Drones while Backpacking

While backpacking with a drone provides incredible opportunities for capturing stunning aerial shots, it is essential to prioritize safety and practice drone etiquette to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved. Here are some key safety guidelines and etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  1. Follow Local Drone Regulations: Research and comply with the drone regulations of the country or region you plan to visit. Ensure you have the necessary permits, registrations, and clear understanding of any restricted fly zones or altitude limits.
  2. Respect the Environment: Always prioritize the well-being of the environment you are in. Be mindful of wildlife and their habitats, avoid flying over protected areas or sensitive ecosystems, and refrain from disturbing the peace and tranquility of nature.
  3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Before taking off, assess your surroundings for any potential hazards, including people, trees, power lines, or other obstacles. Maintain a clear line of sight with your drone at all times to avoid accidents.
  4. Fly in Appropriate Weather Conditions: Avoid flying your drone in adverse weather conditions such as strong winds, rain, or fog. Unfavorable weather can affect your drone’s stability and compromise the safety of your flight.
  5. Give Way to Others: Be considerate of other backpackers, hikers, or visitors in the area. If there are people enjoying the scenery, maintain a safe distance, and avoid flying your drone directly above or near them.
  6. Practice Good Battery Management: Ensure that your drone batteries are fully charged before each flight and monitor their power levels during your backpacking trips. Be aware of flight time limitations and return your drone to a safe location well before the battery is depleted.
  7. Avoid Intrusive or Privacy Violations: Respect the privacy of others when operating your drone. Do not fly over private property without permission, and refrain from capturing images or recordings that may violate someone’s personal space or privacy.
  8. Stay Alert and Ready to Land: Keep a close eye on your drone during flight and pay attention to any warning signals or low battery notifications. Always be prepared to land your drone safely to avoid crashes or accidental loss.
  9. Continuously Improve Your Flying Skills: Regularly practice and enhance your drone piloting skills to ensure confidence and control during your flights. Familiarize yourself with the flight modes, controls, and safety features of your drone.

By adhering to these safety guidelines and showing respect for your surroundings and fellow travelers, you can enjoy the incredible experience of backpacking with a drone while minimizing any potential negative impacts. Remember, responsible drone usage not only preserves the beauty of the destinations but also favors the acceptance and continued access for drone enthusiasts worldwide.



Backpacking with a drone opens up a whole new world of possibilities for capturing breathtaking aerial photographs and videos while immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. It allows you to see your favorite backpacking destinations from a unique perspective and adds an exciting element to your travel photography.


However, it is essential to approach drone backpacking with responsibility and respect. Understanding and adhering to drone regulations, prioritizing safety, and showing consideration for the environment and others are crucial aspects of this experience. By following these guidelines and being mindful of the impact of your drone usage, you can ensure a positive and sustainable drone backpacking adventure.


As you embark on your drone backpacking journey, choose a drone that is portable and suited to your needs, follow local regulations, and always prioritize safety. Respect the environment, wildlife, and people around you, and practice good drone etiquette. Remember, preserving the natural landscapes and cultural heritage of your destinations is paramount.


Through careful planning, research, and continuous improvement of your drone flying skills, you can enhance your backpacking experience and create stunning visual memories that will last a lifetime. So go ahead and explore the world through the eyes of your drone, capturing unique perspectives and sharing the beauty of the places you visit with the world.


As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for drone photography and videography will only grow. Embrace this exciting opportunity and enjoy the incredible fusion of drone technology and backpacking adventures.