The very nature of fishing through a hole in the ice points to the obvious fact that temperatures had to have been freezing or below freezing to create the ice in the first place. Lets take a look at some ways to stay comfortable on the ice and how we deal with both a wet cold and a dry cold.
The very nature of fishing through a hole in the ice points to the obvious fact that temperatures had to have been freezing or below freezing to create the ice in the first place. Lets take a look at some ways to stay comfortable on the ice and how we deal with both a wet cold and a dry cold.Cold #1 - the Wet Cold - Whether this comes from getting wet by falling through, by sweating too much, by unusual weather like a winter rain or by laying down on the ice to look down the ice fishing hole and getting soaked, nothing is more critical than a wet cold. Wet colds sap the energy out of you in a heartbeat and a wet cold must be dealt with. Regardless of reason, the number one priority is to dry off. Once that's done, you need to stay dry. The way to stay dry is by wearing suitable clothing and/or getting off the ice. Lying on a mat provides a barrier to the ice and protects you from getting wet. Getting inside an icefishing tent does the same job and is even more comfortable.
The Effects of Wind - Wind is as nasty in the winter as in the summer, especially if I'm cold. To protect myself, I'll wear multiple layers of clothing and the outer most layer will be a wind barrier. That way the inner layers give me a place to trap and retain warm air heated by my body while the outer layer does the job of shedding the wind and keeping the cold air out.
Shelter - On cold days, this neat little invention is perhaps my best friend and that is that one-man pop up tent accompanied by a catalytic heater. Together they create the perfect ice fishing shelter. The tent blocks the wind and because the tent is black, it absorbs heat from the winter sun and the catalytic heater provides enough additional heat to keep the place cozy and warm. The hard part about this style of fishing is that it is simply can get too cozy, often resulting in noon hour naps.
Staying warm and comfortable makes for a better outing and if you're bringing someone that has not been on the ice, bring along a little extra to keep them comfortable. That, plus a mug of hot chocolate is always a winner and is sure to make the trip fun for everyone.