Editors note: Drones have become widely popular in the civilian space for both recreational and professional use. Here are some tips for increasing your privacy from overhead drones.

Drones are equipped with extremely powerful camera’s which can detect people and vehicles at an altitude of several miles. Most drones are equipped with night vision, and/or infrared vision camera’s, so-called FLIR sensors. These can see human heat signatures from far away, day or night. However there are ways to help hide from drones…

Regardless of the methods you might use to hide your heat signature from drones, be aware that in many instances you may be only reducing your thermal heat signature – perhaps enough to be ignored – but never assume it.

1. Day camouflage: Hide in the shadows of buildings or trees. Use thick forests as natural camouflage or use camouflage nets. Using netting over vehicles and camo patterns for other objects that confuse vision recognition systems. Currently the best such camo pattern is known as A-TACS.

2. Night camouflage: Hide inside buildings or under protection of trees or foliage. Do not use flashlights or vehicle spot lights, even at long distances. Drones can easily spot this during night missions.

3. Heat camouflage: Emergency blankets (so-called space blankets) made of Mylar can block infrared rays. Wearing a space blanket as a poncho at night will help hide some of your heat signature from infrared detection. Also in summer when the background temperature is between 96°F and 104°F, infrared camera’s have more difficulty distinguishing between body temperature (98.6) and it’s surroundings.

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4. Wait for bad weather. Drones cannot operate in high winds, smoke, rainstorms or heavy weather conditions.

5. No wireless communication. Using mobile phones or GPS based communication will possibly compromise your location.

6. Spreading reflective pieces of glass or mirrored material on a car or on a roof will confuse the drone’s camera.

7. Decoys. Use mannequins or human-sized dolls to mislead the drone’s reconnaissance


Author – Ed is a security specialist and combatives instructor with over 10 years experience in public safety along the northern border area of Mexico. He runs seminars and private training specific to anti-abduction, escapology, free hand and unconventional edged weapons work. He is also director of Libre Fighting Systems in Mexico.

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