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Old 12-19-2014   #1
Sedona, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7
Drones for scouting

With all the talk about drones being considered for commercial and recreational applications, what do buzz members think about using them to scout rapids?

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Old 12-19-2014   #2
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 176
Sounds like a pain in the ass, but then I've never done anything that couldn't be scouted from shore or boat scouted. Still, though, what would you do? Try and pack it in your boat and take it out for the occasional hard to scout drop?

I've seen them used to get some pretty good camera footage though.

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Old 12-19-2014   #3
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
It would spell the end of the Un Un, which I think would suck. Its always good to have a frontier. Realistically, most folk pushing that edge couldn't be bothered to somehow pack an freaking helicopter and camera into their kayak.

There was a big thread about drones on the Rogue a while back and incited a fair bit of vitriol. Much talk of scatterguns in dryboxes and year round hunting season on varmints and such...
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Old 12-19-2014   #4
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Westfield, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 178
Drones, probably not good for scouting purposes.
But drones are great for getting cool aerial shots of your buddies running rapids or getting a beat down in a keeper hole. We are planning to use a drone this spring with a go-pro!
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Old 12-19-2014   #5
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
I want one too. For the footage not the scouting. Expensive toy to loose in the river. Hope to see one on the lochsaa this year.
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Old 12-19-2014   #6
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,929
Beyond my own distaste for them in the backcountry....

I would think it would all depend on the video optics being used and the skill of the operator. Possible option for small parties but no likely large groups as you would be limited by portable screen/viewing size. Not sure you would save much time between setting up, deploying and reviewing footage.

Costly to lose if poorly operated. I know several forums of recent that have posted rewards for crashed quadcopters.

I can imagine them having their place but don't know of any rivers I have rafted that they would be beneficial enough to deploy.

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Old 12-19-2014   #7
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 29
My son uses one for filming long board runs - kinda spendy at $4k

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Old 12-20-2014   #8
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031
June 21, 2014

The National Park Service announced Friday it is prohibiting drones -- properly called unmanned aircraft -- from all NPS-controlled lands and waters. That includes 84 million acres in every state and territory, including monuments, battlefields, historic sites, seashores, rivers and trails.
It all comes down to noise and safety, said Director Jonathan Jarvis in a statement announcing the policy.
"We have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy," Jarvis said.
A lawyer who represents drone enthusiasts called the NPS' temporary ban "overly broad" and said he expects it will be greatly narrowed when it goes through the federal rule-making process.
And volunteers at Zion National Park in Utah witnessed a drone disturb a herd of bighorn sheep.
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Old 12-20-2014   #9
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Good. Ban that stupid crap. Can't people just have fun outside anymore?
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Old 12-20-2014   #10
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I've been seeing signs banning them on the ski hills this season too, and that's cool with me. They are cool for the different perspectives achieved by professional film crews, but they are quickly becoming the new gopro where every idiot has one.

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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