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  1. #1
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    Default How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    hi guys, the lake here is frozzzzzzen shut? and I can walk on it. I WANT to walk all the way around it but first I would like to know how thick ice has to be to walk on it? My dad says it has to be 1 and 1/8 inch thick to walk on, the lake is 3 inches thick now! I would like to know the real anwser! -THANKS....IT'S my birthday I can do something stubid if I want to, something if I want to...
    Mes amis nous allons quelque part dont tout
    le monde
    Se rappelle d'un endroit ou l'herbe etait
    toujours verte
    Et la fete ne s'arretait jamais
    A autour du rocher

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Don't be pressen your luck 00-boaty....Mom and Dad brought you into this world....But Mother Nature can take you out!The hole walken on water gimmic is a little spooky and best left to yall Northern folks so when you find out how thick....have fun and please be carful....I don't have room for a Boatypop in my freezer.Motherhenwood.

  3. #3
    Supreme Mariner roscoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    I won't touch it till its 6 inches of clear, solid ice. I have taken that cold splash and believe me, you had better have someone close by to help you get out and someplace real warm to go, if you fall through.The problem is very uneven in its thickness. It all looks the same on the top side, but under water currents caused by tiny springs or water inlets(creeks and ditches), will cause thin ice in that area. In the spring the ice can turn into a big spongy chunk of snow, it just gives way. I went through 10 inches of this stuff.The only way I would take your walk is with a PFD, carrying a 6 foot 1x6 board horizontally, wita rope tied around your chest dragging it behind me, and a friend with a hovercraft following me.Ok, I know, but I have taken that cold swim.BTW, how far south are you? I didn't think you would get that much ice where I thought you were (are).




  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Three inches will support you with out a problem. Make sure you have three inches under foot. The type of lake and area your walking out on can be a factor. Is it a spring fed lake or are there any currents in the area you are about to go out on. What is the snow pack? This slows down the porduction of ice. If you know you really have 3 inches, you are in the clear. Here's a chart I got from my Sparano Outdoor Encyclopedia:2" - one person on foot3" - Group in single file8" - Light truck 2.5 ton10 - Medium truck 3.5 ton12 - Heavey truck 12 tonAnd if your unsure of the thickness, don't be afraid to use a life line tied to a tree when you venture out. Remember the hardest part is getting out of the water with nothing to pull on. If your checking out a tributary, tie yourself off, then venture out. Loosing a little pride is better than loosing your life!

  5. #5
    Moderator OBJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Sloopy....a trick we learned in Ice Rescue school was to take a couple pieces of 1 inch dowel and drill the ends for 16 penny nails. Once in, sharpen the nail head down to a point. Leave about 1 inch of the nail stick out from the end of the dowel. Screw in eyelets on the other end of the dowel for a lanyard and you can hang the picks around your neck and keep them with you when venturing out on the ice. The picks will give you grab on the ice if ya' go through. Very effective device. The safest way to go onto the ice is not go at all unless your certain of the thickness.
    When in doubt...use the manual

    Rayland, Ohio....Along the Muddy Banks of the Mighty Ohio River.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    1 1/8".... is yur Dad mad at you or something?Matt's measurements are perfect, but I always double it 2 b safe.great idea with the dowels OBJim!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    thanks guys! I'll do it on sunday with a life jacket and an ice pick! I will also use the dowel Idea! thanks
    Mes amis nous allons quelque part dont tout
    le monde
    Se rappelle d'un endroit ou l'herbe etait
    toujours verte
    Et la fete ne s'arretait jamais
    A autour du rocher

  8. #8
    Moderator OBJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Sloopy...since yer dead set about going out on the ice, stay close to shore and if ya hear ice cracking, get down on your belly and crawl off. The idea is to spread your weight out over the ice. Do be careful buddy.
    When in doubt...use the manual

    Rayland, Ohio....Along the Muddy Banks of the Mighty Ohio River.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    gee, SLOOP,, your skinny butt ,, you could walk on floatin' leaves..!!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    SLOOPY BE CAREFUL AND MAKE SURE YOU USE THE ROPE TRICK. EITHER TETHER TO SOMETHING ONSHORE OR TRAIL A LONG ONE BEHIND YOU. ALSO MAKE SURE PEOPLE WITH A PHONE HANDY ARE WATCHING YOU. 911 SHOULD BE ON SPEED DIAL AND AS THEY SAID WEAR A PFD. All that said I recall one year soma small ponds down in the swamp about 1 to 3 foot deep froze over one year. The ice was about an inch thick if I recall correctly (we had a darn long cold spell freezing temps for a week or more). Needless to say we got out about far enough to get wet and crack down we went. It is hard to get out of cold water and then break the ice back to shore. Even harder to build a fire while shivering. My friend wanted to walk home about 3 miles while I made him stay and we got a fire going and dried off and warmed up. It was a good thing I did because with what I know now we most likely would not have made the trip home and been overcome by the cold. Of course the reason I did not want to go home before drying out was not fear of hypothermia but fear of dad who had said stay dry and out of the water or off any ice when I told him we were going hunting in the swamp.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Hey Outboard Jim, I thought I was the king of all inventions by tying 2 phillips screwdrivers onto a string, over my neck, stuck in the chest pockets of my carharts. I also keep a 50' chunk of rope with me too in case someone, including myself, needs pulled out. As for the ice, Sloopy, 3" of CLEAR ICE from a hard freeze will support an ATV with no trouble, let alone a person. The problem lies with the "freeze-thaw-freeze" ice. Once ice is "honey-combed" from that, it becomes very unstable. Never go out on ice alone. I ice-fish by myself because my shack isn't comfy for 2, but where and when I fish, there's 15-20 other people out there who don't know me... which means they'd probably rescue me Just got in from ice-fishing this morning - 18" of ice, parked my truck right next to my shack - brought home my limit of Rainbows(7), 4 nice Crappies, and 2 BULL Gills. Tossed back a 28" Gator... he was quite a handfull on a 2-foot rod and 4# test.Happy belated B-day Sloop.

  12. #12
    Moderator OBJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Good idea moose....just make sure they are sharp enough to penitrate the ice. Your strength goes pretty fast when your in freezing water. The rope ID is good to. Never thought of that one. One of these days I'm gonna try ice fishin'. Guys come into the shop and brag about fish they catch at the lake ice fishing. That's on my list of things to do right below all the stuff I got to do for her herself.
    When in doubt...use the manual

    Rayland, Ohio....Along the Muddy Banks of the Mighty Ohio River.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    There's this drunk guy who decides that he wants to go fishing. He packs up all his tackle and sets out in search of a suitable spot.Eventually, he stumbles across a huge area of ice and decides that he'll give it a go. Taking out a saw from his tackle box, he starts to saw a whole.Suddenly, a loud voice booms out at him, "There's no fish in here." The drunk looks all around him but can't see anyone. He decides to ignore the voice and carries on sawing. Again, the voice booms out, "I've told you once, there's no fish in here!" He looks up again but there's still no sign of anyone so he returns to his task."Stop it!" shouts the now very angry sounding voice, "You'd better pack up your stuff and get out of here or there'll be trouble.""Who are you" shouts the drunk guy, "you don't scare me!""Look," replies the voice, "I'm the manager of this Ice Rink!"

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Stay with my rope trick Sloopy. Remember you only have a few minutes in that ice cold water before you start loosing fine motor control. And I'm not talking about your outboard! Sometimes my men tell me I'm the luckiest guy around. I tell them it's my years of experience that make me so lucky. Let's make sure you have plenty of those years headed your way. God bless and good luck on the walk!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    To answer the original post, thicker than that.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    i saw a 'snippet' on the news lasts week about a lake in BRAINERD minnisota .. this frozen lake has a 'bald' spot in the middle of it.. scientist & scuba drivers can't figure out why it's not frozen there..it only froze one time in the center ,creating a total froze lake... one time only,, and the temperture was 40 deg f..!!an,, in keepin' with the AMERICAN way,, there are tour wagon tourist rides to the lake.. an a 'center thaw ' diner & motel..gotta luv it..!!

  17. #17
    Fleet Admiral 12Footer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Sloopy, down here in Florida, we try not to walk on the ice, no matter how thick it is....It makes the drinks taste funky.
    "Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all
    right now."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    hey guys I went out today, and got 3/4 the way acros, I noticed that some ice is black and over 4 inches thick what does that mean?thanks!PS! I used the rope trick and I had my ice axe (I knew when I brought that from a climbing shop 5 years ago for no reason I would find a use for it!)
    Mes amis nous allons quelque part dont tout
    le monde
    Se rappelle d'un endroit ou l'herbe etait
    toujours verte
    Et la fete ne s'arretait jamais
    A autour du rocher

  19. #19
    Supreme Mariner roscoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Black "looking" means it is clear and solid and you are looking right thru it without any snow or crystals in the way. It was probably formed when there was no wind to cause ripples and slush.




  20. #20
    Lieutenant Junior Grade Scoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Sloop, a lot of good ice. Roscoe knows what he is talking about. The older the ice is, the more dangerous it is. This is due to the honey-combing that Moose was talking about. The ice picks aroudn the neck are good, the rope is good advice. Be careful, if you go through, you will be suprised at how fast you lose not only your fine motor skills, but your muscles weaken. Even people that know what they are doing make mistakes or run into areas that are weak. A good example of this is my friend's Dad. He knew the lake, he went ice skating there all the time. He hit a honeycombed spot and went through. He never made it out of the water. It is an unforgiving environment.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    This morning, two guys near here were found under the ice in a quarry where they had been scuba diving yesterday.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Well I did it and was fine! although I fell in in both ends (it was only 2 feet deep) because the ice is thin near the shore (why?) but in the middle of the lake were it is 120 feet deep it was 4 inches thick! legs are still cold...THANKS!
    Mes amis nous allons quelque part dont tout
    le monde
    Se rappelle d'un endroit ou l'herbe etait
    toujours verte
    Et la fete ne s'arretait jamais
    A autour du rocher

  23. #23
    Fleet Admiral 12Footer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    I warned ya, Sloopy! Didn't I warn ya, boy?I done told you ice aint for walkin on. It makes the Jack Daniels taste like parmesian cheese! Now don't be walkin on the ice no more :o .
    "Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all
    right now."

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    The ice gets weak near the shore because of the ground temp is warmer than 32 degrees. The ground thaws the ice. Late in the winter when it starts warming up, we lay out a plank across the "moat" to go ice fishing.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: How Thick does Ice have to be to walk on it?

    Good jod Sloopy. The guys on this post gave you alot of good advice. I especially liked the warning about weakness, having a buddy and crawling flat if you think you are in trouble. But even the best of men get in trouble! Always ice fish or walk with a buddy!

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