Trail Camera Maintenance Tips Beginners Should Know

Trail cameras are a great tool for capturing those precious moments in the wilderness. The thing is that, without regular Trail Camera Maintenance, the device can only last for about two years. Due to the hazardous environment of the wilderness, you need to take care of your camera if you want it to last. Maintaining a camera doesn’t necessarily mean that you must take it to the shop. Once in a while, you can do the trail camera maintenance on your own.

Trail camera maintenance

Similar to normal cameras, trail camera maintenance means that you need to clean and check the parts, replace the batteries. However, performing the cleaning on the trail cameras can be a little trickier. Anyway, keep in mind that due to the environment that your trail camera is used in, it is essential to carry out the cleaning work often.

Making regular rounds

Just like any other electronic appliances, the maintenance work should be carried out often. The best time to maintenance your camera is when you are not in the wilderness (before and after). In extreme cases, it can also be carried out during the day when it’s working.

The best time to maintenance your camera is when you are not in the wilderness

Image source: Bone Collector

Many experts say that trail camera maintenance should be carried out during the middle of the day. This is the time when the amount of activity in the wilderness is low. The peak hour, on the other hand, is at night and early in the morning.

If you choose to do the work during the day, you might want to take it gently so as not to scare off animals. If your camera has a weak battery, it’s also a good idea to take it back to your place, charge the battery while cleaning the camera.

During the season that you use your camera often, the maintenance work should be carried out once every day. Not only this will extend the lifespan of your camera, but the quality of the photos will also be enhanced.

Also, you should use the same path whenever you are going to the location where you set up your camera. Hunters do this to avoid spreading human scent all over the place. You may even consider wearing latex gloves when holding your camera so that it is not contaminated by human scent.

Outside looking in

The maintenance work should be carried from outside to the inside. The first thing you should do is to scan for signs of exterior damage. You can take a picture of the camera right after you have set it up and compare that picture with the moment you retrieve your camera. That shall help the camera maintenance to be quicker.

Outside looking in

Image source: Muddy Outdoors

Animals usually try to sniff, bite or lick your camera. For that reason, your camera should have a camouflaged cover and should be hung up high in the trees. It shouldn’t make too much noise when working. Avoid buying a camera with wires as they can get damaged easily. Some cameras can transmit the photos directly to your computer or tablets. This can prevent the file from getting damaged on the field.

When doing maintenance, check for exterior scratches, bite marks or saliva. Clean the lens if it’s dirty. If your camera is damaged, change the position the next time you set it up. You also need to replace the buckles and straps if they show sign of damage. Using duct tape to wrap the buckles and straps can also reduce the damage. You might even want to consider buying a security box for your camera.

Pest control

Sometimes, they can even cause more damage than larger animals. They may find their way inside of the camera and damage the internal parts or the wires. You can spray a layer of insecticides on your trail camera before bringing it to the field. Try buying insecticides that are odorless so as not to scare off animals. Spray around the area where you install the camera to repel it from insects.

Replenishing camouflage

Most trail cameras will have a natural camouflage cover. But if you find that the camouflage just doesn’t match with the terrain, you might want to consider buying several covers or buy a security box. Some people even add leaves and tree branches around the camera to cover it better.

Battery check

The battery tends to be forgotten although it decides whether if your camera could work. If you are setting up your camera for scientific study and it needs to be there around the clock. The battery is one of the most important features to consider when you buy your camera. After you have retrieved the camera, check the battery percentage and recharge it before carrying on the trail camera maintenance.

Battery check

Image source: The DIY Hunter

It’s also a good idea to carry some extra batteries to replace it in the middle of the session when it runs low. Pay attention when you carry batteries with more than 6V capacity. Contact with metal and combustibles can result in fire or even explosion.

Lens cleaning

Saliva, moisture, dust can affect the quality of the lens. You don’t want to have a series of blur pictures. Pack some microfiber cloths along with proper lens cleaning liquid with you. Clean the lens once every day. The quality of the photos is the most important thing.


If your camera is placed near a lake or a damp area, it can get damaged quicker. To prevent this from happening, select a dry spot to place it. Buy a security case for your camera.

Detection calibration

Animals and insects can damage your camera by stepping, bumping into the camera, biting, licking it. For that reason, when doing your camera maintenance, take some pictures and check the modes thoroughly to make sure that all the internal parts are ok. Test the sensitivity of the motion sensor.

Memory game

Memory game

Image source: Best Trail Camera Reviews 2016

It will be a waste of time and effort if it turns out that all the pictures during the day are not recorded. Invest decently in an SD card when you buy your camera. Unload the SD card by transferring all the pictures into your computer. It is also a good idea to invest in a wireless Wi-Fi trail camera or Sim camera.

One way to reduce the burden from the SD card is to take still photos instead of small videos.


You waste money not by investing in an expensive camera but by breaking it. Trail cameras have a ridiculously short lifespan. Take the camera maintenance seriously and regularly. Don’t hesitate to invest some extra money on good buckles, straps, and a security box.