Many of you drone flyers out there probably live in geographies where winter still holds strong. Have you been forced to stay indoors and miss out on flying your multicopter because of unfriendly weather? No more, as there are great solutions to keep you flying drones during winter months.
Here are some great accessories to help you get outdoors and catch some great shots. All these are tested solutions that have been on the market for a long time, so they are highly recommended.
During those winter months, there are still plenty of days when the weather is perfect, albeit a little chilly! There is nothing worse than having cold hands! It can really spoil a day’s flying. After lots of research and owning one, the Japanese Peacock Hand Warmer is about as good as hand warmers get! These are also very popular with golfers and fisherman and been around for years.
So how does it work? A chemical reaction generates heat between the lighter fluid and the platinum surface inside. It’s started with a match or cigarette lighter, but there’s no physical flame. Once the reaction starts, you simply put the cap back on, put the warmer in its sleeve and put it in your pocket. If completely filled (50ml), it will give out warmth for up to 24 hours! Amazing! It’s surprisingly safe, clean and environmentally friendly.
If you are not ready to fork out about $30 for the Peacock or just prefer a disposable solution, your best bet is a heat pack like the one from Hothands. It is the best selling disposable hand warmer and comes in different value packs. About $12 will buy you 10 pairs, or about 200 hours of heat so it’s also a good option. They can also come in handy (pun intended) for other occasions like a football game or any outdoor event during the winter time.
To my opinion, a transmitter glove is the best way to keep you flying during the winter months. They are great to keep the wind chill away and fingers warm.
USB External Battery Pack
During winter conditions, your batteries might act differently, so it makes sense to take an external battery pack with you so you are not forced to head back home early. Always handy and fits in your pocket. There are literally hundreds of variants of external battery packs, but the quality varies somewhat so it’s important to filter the good from the bad. A good example is the highly recommended and robust, Lime Fuel Blast L 130X. It is nice to have if you need to top up a phone or GoPro whilst out for the day.
In Case of Truly Horrible Weather
If weather conditions are utterly horrible preventing you from flying outdoors, you still have a couple of options to keep on having fun exercising your hobby and to maintain your flying skills. The solution is to do something indoors. You can either use a simulator that gives you a very similar experience to flying outdoors or just grab a cheap indoor training quad and fly in your home. Both can be tons of fun. I personally prefer the simulator because it also gives you the chance to virtually fly other types of aircraft.
Here are some suggestions.
Flight simulators have come a long way in recent years and if you haven’t already got one, the best one available today, in my opinion, is Real Flight 7. The new updated Phantom 2 and Vision+ transmitter we reported on earlier now has a training port which should give you a great option to test your piloting skills without putting your quad at risk.
You can buy the simulator with a Transmitter in Mode 1 or Mode 2 configuration. If you already have a transmitter, you can just buy the simulator with the interface and plug it into yours. (Check your transmitter’s compatibility first!).
Real Flight has been leading the way for some time and this latest version is more refined than ever. Featuring over 140 models including Multirotors, Aeroplanes, Sailplanes and Helicopters, it is the best way to improve and refine your flying skills before transferring them to the real world.
A small, reasonably priced quadcopter is a great alternative to flying outdoors. According to a review of best indoor drones we ran earlier, the Air Hogs RC Helix X4 Stunt is the best indoor drone (at least according to Gizmodo), so it’s a safe choice for a second quad to use during winter time. Because of the foam frame, it’s also furniture and big screen tv friendly (should you bump into something).
These are just some of our ideas to keep you flying drones during winter time. Of course, there’s plenty more! So please feel free to add comments and suggestions below. But please spare the suggestion of moving to a warmer place :).