How To Program A Trail Camera [Guidelines]

So, you got a new trail camera and decided to throw away the manual & looking for how to program a trail camera! Here you are, don’t worry. I will help you out regarding this matter. Setting up a new trail camera might not be as hard as you are thinking, or is it?

The difficulty level is up to you to judge. Anyway, we are not here to play a game, or are we? Let’s start the setup process, shall we?

Getting Started

Before we start setting up the camera, let’s get familiar with the camera first. 

If you are at this step, that means you got the trail camera that you were planning to buy, congrats. If not, why are you waiting? We got a guide about the best trail cameras if you would like.

Shameless plug aside, try to look at the camera. See how many ports does it have, is there any manufacturing defects on the camera. Make sure all the advertised objects are present in the camera box. If not, rush back to the shop or online seller and ask for immediate replacement.

If all good here, then we are moving on to the next step.

Choose The Right Batteries

Chances are your trail camera didn’t come with a set of batteries. You can call it an educated guess. If you are one of those majority that didn’t get any batteries inside the box, welcome to the club.

Now, you need to buy a set of batteries for your trail camera. But how to choose the right batteries for a trail camera? You can use three types of batteries to power up the camera. Those are,

  • Lithium batteries.
  • Rechargeable batteries.
  • Alkaline batteries.

The best and the safest choice for a trail camera is always lithium. The reason is simple, they offer the best performance, and they cost less to nothing compared to the rest. Trust me. You are going to replace the batteries sooner or later so, stick with lithium.

SD Card

We got a whole guide about choosing the right SD card for your trail camera. Make sure to check that out. Another shameless plug? Really?

Sorry, I got carried away. 

Anyway, as I was saying, choosing the right SD card plays a huge role in the setup of a trail camera. If you want the experience to go as smoothly as possible, get the best SD card you can.

Camera Setup

Took your sweet time before starting the process, didn’t you? Hey man, I think all this information is necessary to know. I think people who found those helpful will be grateful.

Your camera should have three operating modes, photo mode, time-lapse mode, and video mode. Burst mode is part of the photo mode. That’s why I didn’t mention it separately.

Photo Mode

Your camera can only take a specific number of photos in a batter/SD card cycle. That cycle will vary depending on models. In this option, you will also find a mode called burst mode. The specialty of that mode is, it takes like 3-8 pictures on a single trigger.

If you keep that on for a long-time, the battery life will drop drastically. It’s perfect for only when you don’t want to miss a single shot of the deer running away gracefully.

Video Mode

Most cameras can record videos at 720p resolution. It’s not much, but it’s honest work. One of the flaws of a trail camera video mode is the microphone quality. It’s worse than your friend from overseas talking from his mom’s basement.

If you need videos, then activate this mode. For me, photos work just fine. It won’t hurt the batteries that much. The natural cycle will still be plenty enough.


That wasn’t hard, was it? Unless you bought the camera from China and all the settings are in Mandarin, that means friend, you messed up. Worry not friend, I the great TargetChaser came to your rescue. Use the app called Google Translator from the app store. You can take pictures of the setting page, and it will translate that for you. All hail technology.

Before I sign off, I hope you liked this new approach of mine? If you have any suggestions or complaints (sigh), do let me know. I will be happy to fulfill your command.  & that is how I program my trail camera.

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