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In my last post, “7 Reasons Why Reconyx Hyperfire is the Best Camera Trap,” I hope I convinced you that the Reconyx Hyperfire is really the best camera trap out there! Now that you made a decided on a brand and model, you are going to need to purchase some accessories for your Reconyx camera trap to run. As a researcher writing grants to fund my research, money is always tight, so we try to choose the most affordable and long-lasting products. Here I’ll show everything I personally use in my wildlife research so you’ll know exactly what to buy:
1. Batteries (and Charger)
Reconyx Hyperfire’s requires 12 AA batteries. You can go two different routes: disposable or rechargeable batteries. As a conservationist, I definitely favor the latter. However, the downside of rechargeables is that the do not last as long, so you will need to change out batteries more frequently. Usually this happens over a longer period of time, so they are good to go for the first year or so, but the more you use them, the more easily they drain. I still prefer them over throwing batteries out. Here is the brand our research team has found to work best and last the longest:
24 batteries per camera trap is best. This is so you can have one set fully charged when you need to change out the batteries. That way you can keep your camera trap running nonstop! You will also need a battery charger to charge them:
If you decide to go the disposable route, then I recommend getting lithium batteries as they last the longest. Make sure that you program your Reconyx for the right type of battery.
2. Python Lock
To secure your camera trap to a tree, you will need a lock. Python locks are super easy to use to place and will deter people from stealing your camera trap:
3. SD Cards
For your camera trap to record amazing photos of wildlife, you will need a SD memory card. Better yet, two memory cards! Why two? For the same reason as batteries. To see your photos, you will need to transfer the memory card to a laptop. You could bring your laptop to the field, copy the photos on the laptop, and then clear and replace the memory card. However, it’s much easier just to swap it out with a new, already cleared one. That way you can keep your camera trap up and running and you won’t miss any animals.
Most of the memory cards I use are 4 GB or higher (no more than 32 GB). In forested areas, you won’t need memory cards with a lot of memory. 4 GB is plenty and I’ve even camera trapped with 1 GB. The only place I make sure to have a lot of memory space for is for my camera traps in Kenya. Lots of large mammals, especially herding ungulates, means the camera trap is constantly triggering. There are also A LOT of goats, sheep, and cows (hundreds in a sequence at times).
4. Memory Card Reader
The last of the essential accessories for your Reconyx camera trap is only essential if you have a PC. Apple users (like me!) already have a built in memory card reader. But if you are a PC user, then you need to buy a memory card reader to be able to transport the photos off of the SD card and on to your laptop. There you have it! These are the essential accessories for your Reconyx camera trap. After you purchase these, you can start running your camera trap and capture amazing wildlife photos. To check out some of my favorite camera trap photos, check out “11 Amazing Camera Trap Photos from Mexico Taken By Kids” and “17 of the Coolest Animals on Mount Kenya.”
Stephanie Schuttler is a wildlife biologist with 17 years of experience in mammal ecology and conservation, education, and outreach. Read her inspirational story, “My Unexpected Journey Into Science” to find out how she went from the daughter of a jeweler to a Ph.D. in wildlife biology. Feel free to contact Stephanie here.