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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tips for staying safe out on the ice

image credit themadcanudist

Never take ice for granted, at any time it can break. There are under water currents, springs, and other factors that can weaken ice. It’s good practice to always ice fish with someone, but I know it is not always possible. No mater how cold it is snow can act as an insulator to the ice a cause ice to form a lot slower than you think it would. Especially this year with all the snow on the ice and the below zero temps I would caution you not to drive a vehicle on the ice just yet. Here are a few more tips to keep you safe on the ice.

1. When driving your car or truck on the ice go slow. When you drive fast it can cause under-ice wave making the ice crack and possibly break. I would say safe speeds in your car or truck would be 10-15 miles an hour. (not to mention you can stop quickly if you need to) Not as critical with an ATV or Snowmobile.

2. Keep your windows open on your car or truck this way if you do fall through the ice you don’t have to try and break a window in the freezing cold water.

3. Don’t ware your seat belt. I know they keep preaching ware a seat belt when driving, and in some cases it is the law to ware a seat belt. If you fall through it is just one more thing that can inhibit you from getting out of the water.

4. Watch out for muskrat holes typically the ice is very thin around their open breathing holes. This usually is only on lakes that have lots of swamp area, because that is typically where muskrats like to live.

5. Spearing holes that are not properly marked can be very dangerous. You may not even know they are there so be on the look out and careful. For you guys out spearing please remember to mark your holes.

6. On ice with out snow it is a good idea to wear metal cleats. They make them fairly inexpensive, and you can easily slip them over your boots. This way you won’t slip on the ice and crack open your head.

7. Ice picks that you wear around your neck are a good idea in the early season and late season. This way if you do happen to fall in to a hole you can quickly stab them in the ice and pull your self out of the water.

Have fun when your out ice fishing and just remember you can’t be too safe out on the ice.

Here are a few links to help you prepare for safety on the ice.

General ice thickness guidelines

Vehicle escape

Make a set of ice rescue claws.


Anonymous said...

Tip's like these are always good to have. You can never be to safe.

Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

Ben G. said...

Rick- You're right Ice can be very scary

Anonymous said...

Hi BenG- Thanks for the reminders. Yes, it can be very scary. Every year there are stories of some people who didn't practice safety and became a casualty instead.

Jody White said...

Yup, seems like someone goes through on a snowmobile every year in Vermont. People play like the whole lake is the same thickness.

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