Safety First – How To Use A Trail Camera for Security

Safety First - How To Use A Trail Camera for Security

Set a trail cam to catch a thief! Yes, you can use a trail camera (game camera) to safeguard your home from trespassers.

While an ordinary trail camera can be used for security purposes, one for surveillance is enhanced with special features that make it more like a CCTV camera rather than a trail camera.

This makes it better suited for security and safeguarding your home.

Speaking of CCTV cameras, why use a trail camera rather than a CCTV camera? Well, for one thing, CCTV cameras don’t come cheap and require more maintenance compared to trail cameras. This makes a security trail camera the next best thing for safeguarding your home.

If you’re interested in how to use a trail camera for security, read on to learn how. Find out more about this and what to look for in a security camera.

Be discreet with the placement of your trail camera

Be discreet with the placement of your trail camera

This time around, you are not capturing animals but rather human beings who are much more intelligent. Obviously, mounting the camera 3 to 5 feet off the ground does not apply here. You have to go above and beyond in placing your camera in a strategic position that will not give any intruders a clue that they are being watched.

Such areas include treetops, rooftops, gutters, light posts and even in the ground (facing upwards).The point is to ensure that your camera is not in the line of sight of any people. While at it, add a little camouflage to help make the trail camera more inconspicuous.

Set it up on your network

Unlike with a hunting trail camera where you have to check your SD card to retrieve footage, a security camera is hooked up to a cellular or wifi network. Wireless cameras are connected to your wifi allowing you to get pictures in real time.

When the camera detects motion, it sends a picture or footage to your email. However, for this to work, the camera must be within the range of your wifi network. If it isn’t, no pictures will be sent to your mail.

Cellular cameras, on the other hand, send pictures to your phone after being connected to your cellular network.

Mount the camera correctly

Mount the camera correctly

Just like a hunting trail camera, proper mounting is vital. When mounting a security camera, other than keeping it out of sight, you ought to ensure it is actually aimed at the target area.

While at it, make sure you set it up in an area that has ample shade to avoid ruining your photos with a glare. Finally, be ready to invest in a security box not only to hold the camera in place but also to ensure that it is not tampered with.

Use the right camera for the job

I mentioned earlier that an ordinary trail camera can serve as a security camera. However, this wouldn’t be much good if someone detects it or it fails to take quality pictures at night.

So what is the best camera for the job? It depends on what you are looking for. The features below should help you in narrowing things down.

Motion Sensor Detection Range and Trigger Speed

It is hard to come by a camera that does not have motion sensors. For this reason, the issue is not whether or not it has motion sensors but rather the range at which your camera can detect motion. When getting one, be sure the range is wide enough to cover the area you plan on monitoring.

Trigger speed helps in capturing moving images with accuracy. This comes in handy, especially when the trespasser is running or walking briskly. Aim for a trigger speed of a second or less.

Connection Strength

Wireless cameras depend on connections to transmit images and video to your phone or computer. This means that you need to keep them within connection range for them to work.  It also helps in conserving power since your camera will not be struggling to get a connection hence draining your battery.


It goes without saying that if your battery is weak, it will most likely run out of juice mid-recording. For this reason, check how long your battery can last and consider buying an extra one for interchanging.

Although you might get a camera with a long life, sometimes eternal factors end up draining your battery faster. For instance, if the network or connection is weak, your camera will consume more power trying to connect. The time lapse feature also drains your battery as it attempts to get a more detailed recording.

If you can't control the features responsible for quickly draining your battery, try connecting your camera to a direct power source if you are set up near the house. This saves you the hassle of constantly charging your battery or changing it.

Timestamp and password lock

In case your camera gets in the wrong hands, have a password lock that will keep its contents locked and safe.

A time stamp gives you a more detailed account of the recording since it has the exact time on the photo or video. You can activate this feature by turning it ‘ON’  in the settings.

No glow feature

The whole point of a security camera is to record trespassers without them noticing. A no glow camera uses Infrared to capture pictures and videos, making it more discrete.

This is opposed to the use of flash which often scares away trespassers or gives you away. It helps in capturing clear photos even at night.

Video feature

Obviously, not all trail cameras have video capabilities. However, since you are getting one for security reasons, it is vital to ensure that yours can record videos as opposed to taking pictures only. An HD video recorder is preferred in this case to enable you to record clear night pictures.


If you’re getting a trail camera for the purpose of surveillance, just make sure it comes with the features for the job. Proper mounting and camouflaging are also quite important. What if you plan on getting a trail camera to serve both the purpose of surveillance and hunting?

Simple, get one with all the features for security surveillance. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds and take your hunting to a whole new level.