Essential Equipment Every Private Investigator Needs

Private investigators not only have to possess the right attributes and mindset to perform hours and hours of surveillance, but they also need the proper set of tools to get the work done. Not only that, but they also need to stay up to date with new gear and innovations in surveillance technology in order to stay on top of their game. Here is a quick list of essential equipment every private investigator should have on hand.

GPS System

This is probably one of the most important pieces of equipment private investigators should have in their toolbox. While you can also use an app like Google Maps, GPS systems are more reliable and will free up your devices while you perform surveillance jobs. With a GPS system, you won’t have to worry about itineraries when going on assignments and you’ll also be able to clearly see which streets are coming up when following vehicles. This will allow you to anticipate intersections in unfamiliar neighborhoods or dead ends before you get to them. You’ll also be able to find canvassing points quickly like restaurants, stores, and courthouses for instance.

A High-Quality Holster

If you’re going to do a lot of surveillance work, then you’ll probably have to do a lot of conceal carrying. That’s why you need to invest in a good concealment holster, not only so you don’t blow your cover, but for your own safety as well. A good holster will allow you to conceal your weapon while still feeling comfortable. It also will minimize the chances you drop or misfire your weapon and allow you to draw it out with minimal resistance if need be. Companies like Front Line Holsters are specialized in tactical gear and have a huge selection of concealment holsters you can choose from, so don’t be afraid to browse around and look for the perfect one for your needs.

An AC/DC Power Inverter

This one is an absolute essential for any private investigator. A power inverter will allow you to transform your cigarette lighter into a traditional electric outlet. You’ll simply have to plug the inverter into the cigarette lighter and you’ll be able to plug any device, whether it’s a laptop or anything you would need charged, directly into the inverter. New power inverters also come with USB chargers, which is another great addition if you constantly have to charge electronics. Look for inverters with multiple outlets and only buy from high quality manufacturers; a cheaper model might burn out on you or end up draining your battery prematurely.

Good Binoculars

Every PI needs a pair of trusty binoculars when they’re out on the job. But you have to choose the right one for your duties. You’ll have to compromise performance for discreteness in this case. Instead of going for the most powerful model you can find, go for a more compact model that will be strong enough for everyday tasks. After all, you’ll mainly be completing short and mid distance surveillance, so the extra power would be pretty much superfluous.


All these tools will not only facilitate your job as a PI, but most are essential if you want to perform to the best of your abilities. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box either, and bring any additional equipment you feel may help you so you can be prepared for anything.

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