Flir TK Scout

Flir TK Scout  (2019 Update)

THE AMERICAN BACKPACKER

October 2019

It has been over 3 years since I purchased the Flir TK Scout Thermal Imager.  This article is an update on my initial review of this thermal imager, Flir TK Scout.  Since my purchase, I have used this unit countless times on many wilderness adventures.  I have also used this unit in my professional career as a law enforcement officer as well.  This unit has been an invaluable tool for me over the years, especially when I have used it at my nighttime basecamps.  I have not had any issues with the use of this unit. The durability, functions, and features of this unit have allowed me identify objects and wildlife near or around my basecamp. 

A thermal imager is my choice when it comes to spotting and identifying objects in a wilderness area.  It has its advantages over night vision optics, because it detects heat given off by objects and living things. Night vision Optics need ambient light or IR (Infared), light for them to function effectively.  A thermal imager also can be used during the daylight hours to detect and identify heat signatures given off by objects.  This unit is not cheap but affordable.  The cost is much less than other thermal imagers in the market.  The Flir TK Scout is an affordable thermal imager with the necessary features to enhance your safety in a wilderness area. The unit has its limitations on resolution and target detection distance whereas the more expensive units do not.

Applications that a Flir TK Scout can be used for:

  • Wilderness Backpacking
  • Hiking
  • Home or Business security
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Detecting moisture in drywalls or AC leaks
  • Other Applications
Weminuche Wilderness

Basecamp in the Weminuche Wilderness

My use of this unit over the last 3 years has allowed me to test this thermal imager in some very remote and rugged wilderness areas.  My most rugged use came when I was in the Blue Range Primitive located in Arizona.  I was glad I had this unit while I was exploring an area near a habitat of Mexican Gray Wolves.  I was able to make informed decisions while I was at my nighttime basecamps.  The TK Scout has a compact and durable design which allows you to use it in various temperate and wet environments.  The unit allows you to use 8 different color palettes for various applications.  The TK Scout requires no case for you to store it in.  You can throw it in your pocket for quick deployment or in your backpack without worries that it will be damaged.  Below are my pros and cons with this unit.

TK SCOUT PROS:

  • Small and compact
  • Durable (Rubberized external case)
  • Waterproof
  • Various features such as: 
  1. 8 Color Palettes
  2. Ability to record internally photos and videos.
  3. Large eye cup
  4. Built in battery and easily charged using a solar panel or battery pack.
  • Easily stored and packable
  • 5 second start up

TK SCOUT CONS:

  • Affordable but for many still expensive, ($500 to $600 Dollars).
  • Limited range for accurately identifying objects
  • To change out the battery you need to send it back to the manufacturer, (Flir) for replacement.

The  specifications indicate that this unit will reach out and identify objects up to 100 yards.  I have found that I can identify objects between 50 to 75 yards not the 100 yards indicted.  At 100 yards you will see a heat signature of an object, but you will not be able to readily identify what it is.  This unit will reach out past 100 yards which is still good letting you know that something is there.

Conclusion

My personal experience using this unit has been very positive.  The battery has maintained itself over the years with no notable signs of wear. I am guessing that as time goes on that I will eventually need to send it back to the factory to have the battery replaced .  As a solo wilderness backpacker my safety and security is important.  My purchase of this unit was well worth the investment. I am not a payed sponsor nor was I given this unit for free. My intent on providing you this update was to give you my personal opinion on this unit to give you information so you can make an informed decision on buying it. I believe that this thermal imager will enhance your security and safety in a wilderness area without adding bulk to your adventure. 

2019 Flir TK Scout Update

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