excellent to find Alasdair and company here :-)
a few things - while the hardware is cheap, official LORA protocol is non-trivial to actually implement; one needs to build and configure nodes, gateways, and servers, as per: https://docs.loraserver.io/overview/architecture/ ... but the hardware is getting super-cheap...given some level of peer-peer comm, an alternative approach might be to just run a lightweight mesh library, like 'Radiohead' (http://www.airspayce.com/mikem/arduino/RadioHead/) on the LORA modules, like: http://www.hoperf.com/rf_transceiver/Enhanced_Power/RFM95PW.html .
The "concentrator" approach, with a companion Ubiquiti link is indeed interesting; lots of interesting DIY parabolic reflectors can get things a long way with cheap WiFI:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/217298750746671885/ , etc
I've personally been working towards LONG range signalling, with a companion long-range, fixed-wing drone "harvesting" approach, as per: http://www.wadi.io . Rather than 100mw ISM band LORA, I'm thinking repurposed 5W commodity ~$40 Yaesu walkie-talkie radios with an Arduino controling the "push-to-talk" and doing old-skool FSK, as per: http://www.mobilinkd.com/2014/09/11/arduino-kiss-tnc/ . Of course more power-hungry, etc.
While on this thread, one other thought I've had is how to retrofit a StealthCam to enable automated harvesting harvesting of its SD card by a companion RPI Zero or sometihng by "faking it out" to think the user has put it in USB slave mode. as per page 22 of
"By simply turning the unit to the OFF position, and plugging the USB mini end into the camera and the standard USB end into the computer, the computer will register the camera as a card reading device."
I was thinking was to open it up and connect some GPIO wires with conductive glue to the contacts that the little slider switch goes across on the front panel, and somehow electrically isolate it so the camera can draw power from the USB cable as well when it was back in the 'ON' position...
lots to do!