As a private investigator, you will need a wide range of equipment to deal with unpredictable situations. You don’t necessarily know whether a target entering a nightclub might spend five minutes there or five hours, or when they might decide to take an overnight trip. When out in the field, you need to be able to follow a target wherever they go – and to do the best job possible while doing so. Here are ten essential pieces of private investigator equipment that will help ensure you are as prepared as can be to deal with any situation that might arise in the field.

1. Power inverter

Buy a Power Inverter at Amazon.com

power inverter

power inverter

As a PI, it is absolutely essential to charge your phone and camera on the go. You should have an AC/DC power inverter for your car that will enable you to charge these devices using your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.

2. GPS

Buy a GPS at Amazon.com

GPS Navigation Private Investigator

GPS Navigation Private Investigator

While people who do not have experience in the security and investigation industries might believe that GPS devices are antiquated after the advent of Google Maps on smartphones, a good PI knows that a GPS is essential to have in one’s pi equipment arsenal. You need to be able to use your phone and navigate at the same time. When taking a route that may prove unpredictable, you need to have a device that won’t lose signal like phones sometimes do; you also need one that has a large screen, enabling you to see routes ahead of time and adjust to them.

3. Binoculars

Buy Binoculars at Amazon.com

Binoculars Private Investigator

Binoculars Private Investigator

You need to be close enough to see what’s going on in real time, but far enough away that your target won’t detect you. The catch-all solution? A pair of good binoculars.

4. Power bank

Buy a Power Bank at Amazon.com

Power Bank for Private Investigators

Power Bank for Private Investigators

You will often follow people on foot, or not want to keep your car engine running and drain the battery. Since a phone and camera are necessary for a PI at all times, you need to be able to charge them on the go. A power bank with a capacity of at least 20,000 mAh can be both relatively inexpensive and easy to fit into a pocket.

5. Overnight bag

Buy an Overnight Bag at Amazon.com

Overnight bag for private investigators

Overnight bag for private investigators

You never know where your target might choose to go, or how long you might have to wait. Make sure you have an overnight bag that contains your passport, flashlight, toiletries and additional sets of clothes.

6. Receptacle for waste

Buy a Portable Camping Toilet at Amazon.com

Toilet Paper on the Go for Private Investigators

Toilet Paper on the Go for Private Investigators

Male investigators can use a simple large bottle with a screw cap. Female investigators may have to secure a portable camping toilet. You should also make sure you have toilet paper available in your assortment of private investigation equipment.

7. Cash

Cash on Hand Private Investigators

Parking meters can be the bane of an investigator’s existence. You will need to have a great deal of spare change available to deal with them. Cash is also useful because it doesn’t generate a paper trail.

8. Tripod

Buy a Small Tripod at Amazon.com

Camera Tripod for Private Investigators

Camera Tripod for Private Investigators

It can be very tiring to hold a camera at precisely the right angle for hours at a time. You might also draw unwanted attention to yourself as well that way. Make sure you keep a small tripod in your jacket pocket.

9. Covert cameras

Buy a Covert Camera at Amazon.com

Private Investigator Covert Cameras

Private Investigator Covert Cameras

Unfortunately you won’t be able to cover every angle, all the time with your fancy hand-held camera(s). Covert cameras on your person are essential for situations where a hand-held camera might attract attention, and they are very helpful for counter surveillance as well.

10. Tire repair

Buy a Tire Repair Kit at Amazon.com

Universal Tire Repair Kit

Universal Tire Repair Kit

You never know when your long-suffering tires might throw a puncture. A can of special tire sealant can provide a temporary fix that gives you enough time to continue your work and get to the nearest mechanic.

Every investigator working in the field would benefit from having the ten items on this detective equipment list in hand. It is the nature of the job that an investigator can’t foresee every eventuality; the best advice we could give you is to get hold of essentials such as these to help you deal with whatever the job throws at you.

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