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I use my ice auger to drill a hole near the bank so I can measure it. Three is minimum mainly because there is no guarantee its that thick every where. Springs or wind on the water can make thinner ice in places. When doubt dont go alone and I take a float able boat cushion with around 30ft of nylon rope on it. Some carry punches where they can get at them to stab into the ice to pull your self out. Your partner can pull you out with the rope or you can tie the rope to the bank some where before you go out. I would reccomend four or five inches of solid ice.

 

2" or less - STAY OFF

 

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

 

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

 

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

 

12" - 15" - Medium truck

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If on foot, we carry saplings 8-10', like the high wire walkers. The reasoning is that the sapling will bridge accross the hole that you fell into and give you a brace point to help get you out. I like the 3`idea myself.

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If on foot, we carry saplings 8-10', like the high wire walkers. The reasoning is that the sapling will bridge accross the hole that you fell into and give you a brace point to help get you out. I like the 3`idea myself.

that's a good idea I might try that.

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If on foot, we carry saplings 8-10', like the high wire walkers. The reasoning is that the sapling will bridge accross the hole that you fell into and give you a brace point to help get you out. I like the 3`idea myself.

 

I've never heard of that, but you can be sure that I'll remember it!  Thanks!

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Make sure that the sapling has a dia. strong enough to bear your weight if you do fall through.

We also make ice grips/picks that are connected by a lace around/inside your coat, passing through your sleeves.

you can buy them or make some at home. I take a wooden dowel (1+" dia, about 7" long) drill a cross hole at one end to pass the lace, and insert snugly in a nail at the other end length wise. Clip off the head of the nail, and grind to a point, leaving 2+ inches expose to stab into the ice. I cover the exposed sharp end with a thin drinking Saw trimmed to length  filled with silicone to act as a protective cap. It will shear off when you drive the nail into the ice.

But being aware of the ice conditions is way better than having to use any of the above. :)

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The saplings are a good idea. I have not tried them though, I am normally on a ski doo, so I carry ice picks around my neck. Mine are not homemade. For me 3" is not enough, minimum 5" and then I am still very carefull. No fish is worth risking your life for. I was out last weekend ice fishing sadly didn't get any through the hole, there was 10" of ice. Stay safe.

 

NR

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