Nothing is more annoying and hard to withstand than being stranded on frozen lake in extremely cold weather. Things can get even worse though – you might not catch any fish. Still, there are things you can do to ensure your well-being under any circumstances. You should be prepared for even the worst. There are few ice fishing gadgets and other equipment you can get to ensure your survival in even the harshest weather. That list includes : ice fishing shelter, boots, gloves, bibs and portable heaters for your shelters.
First and most important are ice fishing shelters. There are two major types of shelters – hub style and flip over shelters. Hub style shelters are generally larger – usually intended for 3 or more people. They aren’t that expensive. In fact, if you count by per-person capacity basis, hub style shelters are one of the cheapest options. On the other hand, flip over style shelters are usually rather small – for one or two persons. They are much quicker to set up as well. They are also easier to transport and carry on the lake. So if you’re into changing locations frequently, and don’t have that many people to go on ice fishing trips with, flip style shelters might be your best bet. Still, if you know three or more people who like to go ice fishing, you can all pool your money and buy one large hub style shelter to go on fishing trips together.
Ice fishing boots are rather important part of your ice fishing gear as well. So you shouldn’t buy one without doing proper research. Any boot you buy must be warm and waterproof before anything else. Whether your pair of ice fishing boots (or any other piece of ice fishing apparel) is waterproof or not can be found out by reading the description and reviews by customers and ice fishing experts. There are certain materials that are waterproof, while others aren’t. I’m not going to get into details on which materials are good and which aren’t. It’s easy to find that information if you want to. It also doesn’t hurt for your boots to be stylish.
Good mittens for ice fishing aren’t hard to come by. There are lots of winter sports, most of which require protection for your hands. For that reason, technologies for manufacturing warm, waterproof gloves have been developing and there are excellent products available to be purchased right now. Some people do use skiing mittens for ice fishing, but i don’t recommend going down that route. They are super warm, but mittens don’t offer enough flexibility for your hand to be as functional as it can be. Plus, skiing mittens are very expensive compared to good ice fishing gloves, which will cost you around fifty bucks. If you already have general-purpose glove for keeping your hands warm and dry in extremely cold weather, you might get away with just using that. If thats the case, there’s no point in spending more money on ice fishing gloves.
Bibs, just like ice fishing boots, must be warm and waterproof. Being windproof is also a plus. Main point of wearing ice fishing bibs is to keep yourself warm and dry, therefore materials used in manufacturing it are also very important. I think reading about materials and details like that can be boring, so i’d advise against it. Reading reviews, both by experts and customers, can be helpful in deciding which one to choose. Another major reason for why people choose to wear ice fishing bibs is the convenience. So i’d recommend getting a bib that has large, convenient pockets for storing your ice fishing-related or just any type of gadgets. I like Frabill ice fishing bibs the most. I think being made domestically is major factor in measuring quality of a product. I personally wouldn’t trust ice fishing bib if it was imported. Quality of craftsmanship and materials is significantly better in here. Last, but not least, ice fishing bibs should be breathable. That is kind of hard to achieve when you have so much layers of insulation, but some manufacturers still pull it off.
If weather ever gets to extreme lows, shelter alone won’t do much to keep you warm. You’ll also need heater, preferably one that is portable and easy to transport. Heaters are able to keep the weather inside shelters so warm that some people manage to fish without wearing t-shirts while it’s freezing outside! These heaters usually run on electricity. If you want top notch comfort on your ice fishing trips, get one of these along with nice shelter, but if you’re on tight budget, unfortunately you can’t afford it.
When choosing any of these equipment, it’s important to pay attention to brand names. Some brand names are associated with high quality and for a good reason. Picking a product by excellent brand facilitates choosing high quality product. My favorite brand is Frabill and i have shelters, gloves and bibs made by them.