Author Topic: Ice Thickness and Safety  (Read 780 times)

Offline Hatandboots

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Ice Thickness and Safety
« on: Nov 23, 2021, 10:39 AM »
I'm sure we have all seen the standard ice thickness safety chart, like this:




But how do thickness requirements change when you bring a group of people out? Or pulling a sled (by hand) with a tent and equipment? If 4 inches is safe for a person, does that mean 4 inches would be unsafe for  three people seated inside a hub fishing with all the tools? Not many guides explain this and might give false confidence in ice.

It seems like googling this gives me a variety of answers, which is disconcerting. I did find a couple that said 4" for one person, 6" for a group and that seems ballpark reaonsable. Maybe a more scientific way to go about it is; How much weight can a thickness of ice support?

What do you guys think?

Offline zcm_82

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2021, 10:55 AM »
To me that largely depends on the ice, and the people.

I'm a fairly large guy and I fish out of a portable. I'll go by myself on 3" of new, black, firm ice, but I won't have anyone else with me on less than 4. Generally 4.5+" if that someone else is another large adult. Definitely more if it is crappy ice.

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #2 on: Nov 23, 2021, 12:52 PM »
Almost never out on less than 3.5 inches solid. If I am, I'll make sure whoever I'm with keeps a distance as much as possible, and we try not to drill too many holes too close to each other. I'm in mid 150's and pack very light (manual auger at first ice, no shelter, etc), so not too worried.

If I were to fish with anyone significantly heavier early on in the season, I'd probably have them lead the way  ;D
There's got to be bigger ones in here :)

Offline WARRIOR_ON_ICE

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2021, 07:55 PM »
4 inches of quality ice is safe for multiple people to be standing together closely, regardless of their weight.
The Ultimate Warrior is possessed with great power from the heavens above ! Against the mighty lake trout and pike and schools of crappie, the power of the WARRIOR will always ......... PREVAIL !!!

Offline Walted

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2021, 11:08 PM »
I agree with most previous that say 3 to 4 inches of "New, Black, Firm, Quality", whatever ice is a safe start. However, this can give false confidence as well. Don't ever forget that 4" here can mean 1.5" right over there. Just like a firearm it is your responsibility to check it.

Offline eyeflyer

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #5 on: Nov 23, 2021, 11:48 PM »
4 inches of quality ice is safe for multiple people to be standing together closely, regardless of their weight.

You have no way of knowing this for a fact, how many is multiple people????? Very irresponsible comment.


Offline filetandrelease

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #6 on: Nov 24, 2021, 04:41 AM »

 3-4s here with spud and picks
 
 
 
 
 

Offline Rebelss

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #7 on: Nov 24, 2021, 05:25 AM »
You have no way of knowing this for a fact, how many is multiple people????? Very irresponsible comment.

Beat me to it. I have to second that. No ice is ever totally safe, and certainly not 4" with "multiple people to be standing together closely". That was a reckless statement to make. I cringe everytime I see this yearly thread about safe ice...... at best, follow the basic guidelines. AND, if on a river or stream with current, add at LEAST 1" followed by spudding before you even entertain fishing on it. Just some constructive input that may help save a life.



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Offline WARRIOR_ON_ICE

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #8 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:25 AM »
You have no way of knowing this for a fact, how many is multiple people????? Very irresponsible comment.

OK, I will edit my post and say up to 4 people can safely all stand at a distance of what is considered not to be invading one's personal space, in a group. I would never fish with a group larger than that anyway. Before that happens, the ice has to be confirmed to be a consistent thickness over the entire area to be walked on, of at least 4 inches of quality ice ( black ice of 1 layer, not refrozen slush or white ice ). I should have been more thorough and given this description in the first place. I have been ice fishing for 32 years with a group of four without any incidents of the ice breaking if the minimum described above is met.
The Ultimate Warrior is possessed with great power from the heavens above ! Against the mighty lake trout and pike and schools of crappie, the power of the WARRIOR will always ......... PREVAIL !!!

Offline nindo24

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #9 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:32 AM »
4 inches of quality ice is safe for multiple people to be standing together closely, regardless of their weight.

I use to know a guy that would go out ice fishing, he was pushing 400 lbs. So you mean to tell me that 4, 5, or even 6 of him standing around the same area wouldn't break the ice?? Okie dokie then. Remind me not to go fishing with you.
Keep Your Stick On The Ice!

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #10 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:44 AM »
I use to know a guy that would go out ice fishing, he was pushing 400 lbs. So you mean to tell me that 4, 5, or even 6 of him standing around the same area wouldn't break the ice?? Okie dokie then. Remind me not to go fishing with you.

When was the last time you saw 4 to 6 400 lbs guys on thin ice  ???
There's got to be bigger ones in here :)

Offline zcm_82

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #11 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:46 AM »
When was the last time you saw 4 to 6 400 lbs guys on thin ice  ???



Offline Rebelss

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #12 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:49 AM »
 :roflmao:
"Seems like time is here and gone".....Doobies

Offline filetandrelease

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #13 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:50 AM »

 Good 1 Reb lol
 

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #14 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:52 AM »
There's got to be bigger ones in here :)

Offline Rebelss

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #15 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:52 AM »
Good 1 Reb lol

Thanks, but zcm gets credit for that pic! Love it!   ;)
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Offline Rebelss

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #16 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:53 AM »
;D ;D ;D

Built in augers too.

I thought those were built in spuds....  ;D
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Offline DR.SPECKLER

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #17 on: Nov 24, 2021, 06:59 AM »
I go by how many whacks with a spud and how hard i have to hit the ice.im not out there measuring ice.4 to 5 hard whacks with my spud and i keep walking.sound also comes in to play.its hard to describe but new hard black ice has a different sound than weak  white air pocket filled ice when the spud hits it.you learn thing with years of spudding ice.

Offline RuttNutt

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #18 on: Nov 24, 2021, 07:15 AM »
A buddy and I were on a lake with early ice- 4 black and we got a little too close at times and heard it crack. Didnt go thru, but it was enough to keep us from getting too close! 😬😬😬
Where's the FISH?!

Offline Mancaveburnett

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #19 on: Nov 24, 2021, 08:20 AM »
Spud and common sense is what guides me.
My backup plan is my Stryker float suit and ice picks.
With unfamiliar water/ice, safe bet is to follow shanty towns.

Offline kpd145

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #20 on: Nov 24, 2021, 11:47 AM »
3 inches with spud and any safety gear needed for thin early season ice. This early, if its not black ice, I'm going home.

I've fished with less ice but I'm not that stupid any more...I think

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, "Wow! What a RIDE!"--Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Hatandboots

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #21 on: Nov 24, 2021, 12:02 PM »
How does this change when you guys go out with full equipment and more people? My tent is 50 lb, heater and tank is another ~20lb, sled, rods, chair etc.. I'm probably carrying 100lb of gear. Looking online it seems 5-6" for more people is safer. Assuming ice is decent of course.

I'm going out with 4 people to sit in a tent and fish for the day. How much ice is safe for four 200lb people?

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #22 on: Nov 24, 2021, 12:08 PM »
If you don't fall thru it's THICKAFUGGINGNUFF! ;D
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Offline Rebelss

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #23 on: Nov 24, 2021, 12:19 PM »
Well, there's always the guy that say he fished safely on 2" new ice. Same guy that played Russian Roulette becuz he was bored.  ::)
"Seems like time is here and gone".....Doobies

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #24 on: Nov 24, 2021, 12:36 PM »
Here's some 2.00001"- 3" ice fishing.   ;D










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Offline missoulafish

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #25 on: Nov 24, 2021, 12:44 PM »
Yup. I will fish 2" of good ice but not  2" of junk ice. Good ice won't just magically fall away below you. Be careful,  be cautious, be prepared.

Offline kpd145

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #26 on: Nov 24, 2021, 02:54 PM »
How does this change when you guys go out with full equipment and more people? My tent is 50 lb, heater and tank is another ~20lb, sled, rods, chair etc.. I'm probably carrying 100lb of gear. Looking online it seems 5-6" for more people is safer. Assuming ice is decent of course.

I'm going out with 4 people to sit in a tent and fish for the day. How much ice is safe for four 200lb people?

l'd wait till you have at least 4 inches of black ice or lose the hub and spread out.

get 4 grown adults around a hole and you will see it flex.

Be careful have safety equipment on standby.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, "Wow! What a RIDE!"--Hunter S. Thompson

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #27 on: Nov 24, 2021, 03:01 PM »
yup, and as it flexes and puts more water and weight on the ice, the more unsafe you become.

Offline WARRIOR_ON_ICE

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #28 on: Nov 24, 2021, 09:26 PM »
Here's some 2.00001"- 3" ice fishing.   ;D

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Love that early black ice at just > 2 inches !  Many a hot bite has happened in that circumstance  ;D
The Ultimate Warrior is possessed with great power from the heavens above ! Against the mighty lake trout and pike and schools of crappie, the power of the WARRIOR will always ......... PREVAIL !!!

Offline Sylvanboat

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Re: Ice Thickness and Safety
« Reply #29 on: Nov 25, 2021, 08:45 AM »
Love that early black ice at just > 2 inches !  Many a hot bite has happened in that circumstance  ;D

Not me. 4 inches minimum or I dont go.

 



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