Thursday, January 09, 2014

Thursday Thirteen 315: Ice Safety Tips



We've already had several situations in this area, so this week I'm borrowing from the Wisconsin DNR's Recreation Safety Chief, Todd Schaller. The DNR has geared these tips primarily towards those who are ice fishing, but many apply to walkers, ice boaters and skaters as well (which is why I've tweaked a few). While this may not be of much interest to those of you in southern or tropical climes, these are important safety tips for anyone venturing out onto frozen waterways in winter weather . . .


• Always remember that ice is unpredictable and never completely safe under any conditions.

• Fish, skate, or walk with a friend – it’s safer and more fun - and do not travel in unfamiliar areas, especially at night. (I'd say, rather than never travel in unfamiliar areas, be careful when doing so.)

• Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish (or skate/ice boat).

• Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.

• Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.

• Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.

• Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.

• Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself – or others – out of the ice.

• Know if the lake has inlets, outlets or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.

• Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.

• Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

• Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair. (Dry socks might not be a bad idea, either, especially for ice fishing.)

• Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives. (My note: We've already had several reports of ATVs, snowmobiles and other vehicles crashing through the ice, some with tragic results. My advice: just. don't. do. it.)



Related post: Winter Weather Preparedness



LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen






28 comments:

jennifer anderson said...

nope, not for me!

sandyland said...

*1 definitely !!

Karen said...

so very cold here this winter! good tips - thanks for posting

Mia Celeste said...

Good advice. We need all the wisdom we can get to survive this recent cold snap. :) My blog's on the freezing weather, too.

http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2014/01/yep-its-freezing-or-revenge-of-polar.html

CountryDew said...

We always carry extra blankets and water in the car when the weather is bad. You just never know. Good tips!

Colleen@Looseleafnotes said...

I always keep a blanket in my car and skip the Blue Ridge Parkway this time of year. I live off it and usually have to use it but they do nothing to it and black ice results.

I hope you're feeling better!

Heather said...

Jennifer: Not a cold weather enthusiast, I take it? :D

Heather said...

Sandy: Number one is so important. It doesn't matter how cold it's been, or how thick you think the ice is, you just never know.

Heather said...

Karen: It has indeed been a cold one, especially with that rare polar vortex. We've come close to record cold temps, but other than a new record for consecutive days below freezing, I'm surprised we've yet to set any new ones.

Heather said...

Mia: Thanks! I can't wait to read your take on our recent cold snap. And they wonder why Green Bay had trouble selling out the playoff game, right?

Alice Audrey said...

I thought I knew more than enough about ice, but I learned a thing or two. Mind you, the kind I generally walk on isn't deep enough to merit rope, but still.

Heather said...

Anita: Also good tips, harking back to my Nov 6th post, Winter Weather preparedness.

Heather said...

Colleen: Icy roadways is another winter weather hazard. The problem with extreme cold such as we've had this past week is that road salt won't work. They sanded our most-used roadways, but side streets were especially dangerous. They also use a solution of pickle juice when it gets this cold.

Heather said...

Alice: Yeah, I don't usually venture out on ice deep enough to merit stakes and rope, either. It's funny, when we were kids we used to practically live on a pond behind where we lived. We went ice skating almost every day, and if we weren't skating, we were sledding on a really steep hill next to the pond. Now I hate going out in the cold.

Norma said...

All great points. We have a summer home on Lake Erie, and it seems we often hear about people getting stranded on the ice in the winter. http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/01/thursday-thirteenwhere-our-friends-are.html

Stephanie Sullivan said...

Great tips, Heather. We don't get much ice or snow here in MS, but the temps dropped in the teens earlier this week, which is something we don't get very often. We definitely aren't used to cold weather. LOL. Happy Thursday! Stay safe!

Heather said...

Norma: Yes, we often hear stories of people (or animals) getting stranded out on the ice, though more often in spring than winter months. Still, as tip number one says, you never know since ice can be so unpredicatable.

Heather said...

Stephanie: I've been thinking of my southern friends this past week who don't usually see temps as cold as those we've had this past week. At least your teens were on the postive side! :D

cookiebooklover said...

There is always the important rule when going out in winter weather that people tend to ignore: if you don't have to go on the roads, JUST STAY HOME! The weather will improve soon enough.

Good winter tips though :)

Heather said...

Cookie: Always good advice, though this is about ice safety, not weather safety. That was an earlier T13 post. ;)

Thanks for visiting!

Amy said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Great winter advice!

Heather said...

Thanks, Amy! :)

Pearl said...

good plan. I stay way back on shore. I can live with never experiencing ice fishing.

Heather said...

Pearl: I too can live without ever having ever ice fished, though I did see a demonstration at a winter festival many years ago.

Shelley Munro said...

Sounds like excellent advice to me. You should always prepare properly when visiting the great outdoors.

Heather said...

Shelley: You're right, people should properly prepare for outdoor adventures, yet so few do. Kind of makes you wonder sometimes, lol.

Jennifer Leeland said...

These are great! We're going on a Snow Campout this weekend and these are very timely!

Heather said...

Jennifer: A snow campout? You're far more adventurous than I am, LOL. Glad the tips are timely ones for you!