Discussions

I’ve had a Mavic Air for a few years and have thought about this use also, though I’ve never tested it specifically for that. I’ll say why my experiences have left me skeptical, though. I had visions of doing some nature videography and possibly using the drone for scouting ahead from a sailboat, but the reality is that it has a pretty short flight time (which has dramatically lessened as the batteries have aged), and controlling it via a phone doesn’t give you the best detail (versus, say, transferring the video to a laptop and viewing it after the fact on a large screen; perhaps it’s possible to use a tablet in real time as well but the controller is not physically designed for that). Also, it’s easy to crash it in windy conditions (I’ve not even bothered with the sailboat, though I have seen some folks doing it on YouTube with some success but also more than one drone lost to the deep), and I’ve had it come crashing down when it runs out of battery even though it’s supposed to return to base before that. Finally, I’ve had the Geofencing stop me more than once, including on our own property at a ski area that’s technically on Forest Service land. So, for real-time reconnaissance I’d say not just that this isn’t the best drone—perhaps there are better choices—but taking into account possibly being shot at during unrest, the possibility of jamming, the geofencing issues, and real-time details being hard to see on a tiny phone screen, perhaps it’s not the most realistic mission. At best, maybe I’d consider it as a Hail Mary pass to assess conditions nearby (and even then, if there were fires or mobs nearby, hopefully I would have bugged out long before). I have successfully used it for inspecting our roof and high-up siding after winter snow and ice, though! (Again, reviewing footage later on the laptop to spot missing shingles, etc., versus trying to spot details while flying with a phone.) It’s a fun toy…maybe someone with a fancier drone will post a different opinion. PS—they’re also the opposite of stealth; noisy, intrusive, and ultimately could lead someone back to you if they observe it returning, unless you sacrifice it landing elsewhere as a diversion.

Love this thread (and many related ones that have come up recently such as estate planning, and backpacking and other activities as practice). I have to make some serious updates and changes this year for several reasons, and things I’ve read here and elsewhere have helped me focus and prioritize. Also, in the past couple of years events here in California have showed me that my preps are not completely up to snuff, nor reliable, nor always relevant (we’ve experienced extensive smoke, short-notice extended power shutoffs by our state monopoly utility company, comms failures rippling through to us due to cable and cell companies not having adequate battery backups for their services during the extended power outages, just to name a few!) I thought I was well prepared, and by some standards I was, but it’s not enough. So, time to address that and more. Over the years I’ve gotten lots of training in various pursuits that have some relevance to bigger-picture prep: to name just a few, I’m an instrument-rated private pilot; I’m certified as a bareboat skipper for sailing; I was certified as a Wilderness First Responder, and I got a HAM license. I’ve done countless backpacking and camping trips, flown and driven across country and into Canada, sailed in many locations, and traveled extensively with the “one bag” philosophy—all good practice for some skills and tools I might choose to avail myself of in various scenarios. In addition to my car, I have a pop-up tent trailer and a sailboat, and I also have a great deal of equipment, gathered over years of outdoor activities, aviation, and beyond, so there’s very little I need to acquire at this point. What I need to do is to go through, winnow, then update and organize the equipment I have (restocking the perishables as needed, including first aid and food supplies). I’m still weighing the idea of dedicated emergency gear, but for now will focus on making sure the camping gear and trailer, and the sailboat and all of its provisioning, are useful both for current recreational use as well as for projected emergency scenarios. I’ve created some modular kits in the past but will update and improve those with all of this in mind. The sailboat needs some repairs that are necessary and prudent if it is to be reliable even for recreation, so I have to weigh doing that versus perhaps selling it to free up capital. Equally urgent, I need to get my finances and estate planning in order (great advice on that in another thread). I have a son who will still be with me at home for several years, and though I plan to be around for many decades more, I need to make sure he’s set up well on multiple fronts. With Covid and all the other insanity in the world, nothing is guaranteed. I additionally intend to focus more on fitness and skills; I’ve let my fitness slide some during Covid and it’s time to reclaim that (I live near easy access to outdoor recreation, and also have exercise equipment at home), plus continue to share those activities—and the importance of keeping in shape—with my son. I also need to set up better comms to assure voice and internet capabilities during failures and outages (I have all the things I need, but they need to be better organized and tested. Slightly longer-term, I’m keeping an eye out for the right place to get a longer-term home, ideally with some land. I enjoy urban and suburban conveniences so I’m not sure yet exactly where and how that plays out, and geopolitics plays a role in that decision as well. Anyway, that’s already a lot of goals for 2022! They’d be easy to postpone, but events over the past few years have really made it clear that these goals are important and timely, and there’s never a good time to postpone things to. Thanks for the great discussions here.

Not really. I was referring to your statements regarding the increase in fungal infections being for “two things, neither being global warming”. The two reasons you propose don’t seem backed by evidence (though I’d love to see evidence if it exists; I’m here to learn). The scientific paper I linked to states, for a range of classes of fungal disease, what the prevalence is and what the likely causes are, which aren’t the ones you’ve cited (and your quote simply states that fungi are ubiquitous, a point we all agree on, but which is different than the question of whether fungal disease prevalence is increasing and what is causing it. Regarding hospitals, most in developed countries have high-end filtration systems (HEPA or MERV 13+) so if “someone sneezes in the basement” it does not, in fact, lead to a fungal infection. On the subject of homes, modern designs are actually improving the situation (see for example the Passive House standards that require air exchange (with heat recovery for efficiency) and filtration systems. If UK standards are 30 years behind, it only reinforces the point that modern standards are actually improving the health of interior environments, and that an increase in prevalence of fungal infections is likely due to something else. Do you accept global warming as evidence-backed science? If you have evidence to the contrary, or to refute the findings in the research that Camille linked to, I’d love to see it, but my bets are on the scientists, not on more general TV programs and articles.


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I’ve had a Mavic Air for a few years and have thought about this use also, though I’ve never tested it specifically for that. I’ll say why my experiences have left me skeptical, though. I had visions of doing some nature videography and possibly using the drone for scouting ahead from a sailboat, but the reality is that it has a pretty short flight time (which has dramatically lessened as the batteries have aged), and controlling it via a phone doesn’t give you the best detail (versus, say, transferring the video to a laptop and viewing it after the fact on a large screen; perhaps it’s possible to use a tablet in real time as well but the controller is not physically designed for that). Also, it’s easy to crash it in windy conditions (I’ve not even bothered with the sailboat, though I have seen some folks doing it on YouTube with some success but also more than one drone lost to the deep), and I’ve had it come crashing down when it runs out of battery even though it’s supposed to return to base before that. Finally, I’ve had the Geofencing stop me more than once, including on our own property at a ski area that’s technically on Forest Service land. So, for real-time reconnaissance I’d say not just that this isn’t the best drone—perhaps there are better choices—but taking into account possibly being shot at during unrest, the possibility of jamming, the geofencing issues, and real-time details being hard to see on a tiny phone screen, perhaps it’s not the most realistic mission. At best, maybe I’d consider it as a Hail Mary pass to assess conditions nearby (and even then, if there were fires or mobs nearby, hopefully I would have bugged out long before). I have successfully used it for inspecting our roof and high-up siding after winter snow and ice, though! (Again, reviewing footage later on the laptop to spot missing shingles, etc., versus trying to spot details while flying with a phone.) It’s a fun toy…maybe someone with a fancier drone will post a different opinion. PS—they’re also the opposite of stealth; noisy, intrusive, and ultimately could lead someone back to you if they observe it returning, unless you sacrifice it landing elsewhere as a diversion.

Love this thread (and many related ones that have come up recently such as estate planning, and backpacking and other activities as practice). I have to make some serious updates and changes this year for several reasons, and things I’ve read here and elsewhere have helped me focus and prioritize. Also, in the past couple of years events here in California have showed me that my preps are not completely up to snuff, nor reliable, nor always relevant (we’ve experienced extensive smoke, short-notice extended power shutoffs by our state monopoly utility company, comms failures rippling through to us due to cable and cell companies not having adequate battery backups for their services during the extended power outages, just to name a few!) I thought I was well prepared, and by some standards I was, but it’s not enough. So, time to address that and more. Over the years I’ve gotten lots of training in various pursuits that have some relevance to bigger-picture prep: to name just a few, I’m an instrument-rated private pilot; I’m certified as a bareboat skipper for sailing; I was certified as a Wilderness First Responder, and I got a HAM license. I’ve done countless backpacking and camping trips, flown and driven across country and into Canada, sailed in many locations, and traveled extensively with the “one bag” philosophy—all good practice for some skills and tools I might choose to avail myself of in various scenarios. In addition to my car, I have a pop-up tent trailer and a sailboat, and I also have a great deal of equipment, gathered over years of outdoor activities, aviation, and beyond, so there’s very little I need to acquire at this point. What I need to do is to go through, winnow, then update and organize the equipment I have (restocking the perishables as needed, including first aid and food supplies). I’m still weighing the idea of dedicated emergency gear, but for now will focus on making sure the camping gear and trailer, and the sailboat and all of its provisioning, are useful both for current recreational use as well as for projected emergency scenarios. I’ve created some modular kits in the past but will update and improve those with all of this in mind. The sailboat needs some repairs that are necessary and prudent if it is to be reliable even for recreation, so I have to weigh doing that versus perhaps selling it to free up capital. Equally urgent, I need to get my finances and estate planning in order (great advice on that in another thread). I have a son who will still be with me at home for several years, and though I plan to be around for many decades more, I need to make sure he’s set up well on multiple fronts. With Covid and all the other insanity in the world, nothing is guaranteed. I additionally intend to focus more on fitness and skills; I’ve let my fitness slide some during Covid and it’s time to reclaim that (I live near easy access to outdoor recreation, and also have exercise equipment at home), plus continue to share those activities—and the importance of keeping in shape—with my son. I also need to set up better comms to assure voice and internet capabilities during failures and outages (I have all the things I need, but they need to be better organized and tested. Slightly longer-term, I’m keeping an eye out for the right place to get a longer-term home, ideally with some land. I enjoy urban and suburban conveniences so I’m not sure yet exactly where and how that plays out, and geopolitics plays a role in that decision as well. Anyway, that’s already a lot of goals for 2022! They’d be easy to postpone, but events over the past few years have really made it clear that these goals are important and timely, and there’s never a good time to postpone things to. Thanks for the great discussions here.

Not really. I was referring to your statements regarding the increase in fungal infections being for “two things, neither being global warming”. The two reasons you propose don’t seem backed by evidence (though I’d love to see evidence if it exists; I’m here to learn). The scientific paper I linked to states, for a range of classes of fungal disease, what the prevalence is and what the likely causes are, which aren’t the ones you’ve cited (and your quote simply states that fungi are ubiquitous, a point we all agree on, but which is different than the question of whether fungal disease prevalence is increasing and what is causing it. Regarding hospitals, most in developed countries have high-end filtration systems (HEPA or MERV 13+) so if “someone sneezes in the basement” it does not, in fact, lead to a fungal infection. On the subject of homes, modern designs are actually improving the situation (see for example the Passive House standards that require air exchange (with heat recovery for efficiency) and filtration systems. If UK standards are 30 years behind, it only reinforces the point that modern standards are actually improving the health of interior environments, and that an increase in prevalence of fungal infections is likely due to something else. Do you accept global warming as evidence-backed science? If you have evidence to the contrary, or to refute the findings in the research that Camille linked to, I’d love to see it, but my bets are on the scientists, not on more general TV programs and articles.


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