One of the true pleasures of going for a run or hike outdoors is being surrounded by the beauty of the nature world. While having options for getting in your workout inside is important, especially when the weather fails to cooperate, we really prefer the clean air and wonderful scenery of the one of the area trails to jogging on a treadmill while staring at the TV.
Of course, if you spend any amount of time in parks or other natural settings, you’ll likely want to share your experiences with friends and family through photography. Today’s smartphones take quite good pictures, but the fact that you’re supposed to be getting exercise as well as enjoying nature means you’d probably prefer not to be stopping and snapping photos all the time.
Also, if you want to capture images of the local wildlife, they aren’t likely to make an appearance when you go pounding by on your run. In fact, they’ll probably be attempting to increase the distance from you or hide. I mean, who knows what those humans are up to, right?
Recently, we’ve found quite a fun and easy solution to the wildlife photography problem: the so-called deer cam. Also known as trail cameras, these devices can be set up and left to take pictures of passing animals, being triggered by an infrared sensor.
Here’s a nice little video showing the basics of how to use one:
These cameras are typically used by hunters for scouting areas that game frequent, but have also been utilized by conservation groups and in wildlife studies. If you are against hunting, then, you may find a lot of the marketing for trail cameras disturbing, but just remember that they can be used for more than stalking deer.
As you can see, these cameras take photos, and even video, completed automatically, so no one has to be anywhere near them and potentially frighten or disturb the wildlife. They can also take night time pictures as well as in daylight. Since many animals are more active after dark, this can be a great advantage.
From what you’ve just seen, it’s likely apparent that trail cams do not necessarily take the most beautiful of pictures, but they are a simple way to enjoy your local fauna without spending hours in a hide or blind waiting for the perfect shot.
So, how do we combine this with fitness? We position the cameras at appropriate distances, and make them scheduled stops along our route so it’s easy to check the memory card, then maybe do some stretching or other stationary exercises before resuming our run. This has added some extra pleasure to our routine that wasn’t there before.
A few cautionary notes before trying this yourself, however. The main one is making sure you are permitted to place trail cameras on the properties you visit. Since they will capture any movement, that also includes other people, so many public areas prohibit them as an invasion of privacy. Check with local authorities or the land owners before setting up these devices.
Also, deer cams can be rather expensive, so it’s worth learning more about what you need. We found this guide to be especially helpful.
Anyway, we hope you find this a great way to combine nature with fitness. Enjoy!