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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Posted: January 8, 2015

14 ways to stay warm while ice fishing in Maine

Written by: Rhon Bell

Okay, so I ice fish often, and the first excuse I hear from friends and coworkers as to why they haven’t experienced the joys of being on the hard ice is that it’s “too cold.” My responses range from “Well, obviously, it’s winter!” to “Well, you’re just not drinking enough.”

In all reality, there truly are a lot of ways to keep your friends, guests and coworkers warm while on the ice. Whether they are first-timers or seasoned veterans, it truly is important to keep the comfort level high. I’ve done a lot of things to stay warm, but the most important is dressing appropriately in moisture-wicking layers. Otherwise, I’ve had a wood fire directly on the ice, warmed myself by a portable heater, sparked a wood stove on the lake, and used those eight-hour hand warmer packets. I’ve also resorted to whiskey. Here are 14 other ways to stay warm:

 

Front-side propane tanks will help provide an adequate level of warmth. If you can't find such a heating method, I'm sure you'll find a way to "Git-R-Done".

Front-side propane tanks will help provide an adequate level of warmth. If you can’t find such a heating method, I’m sure you’ll find a way to “Get-R-Done”.

When the air is too cold, make sure you go home and leave you shack until it begins sinking through the ice. This is your sign it's warm enough to return to ice fishing.

When the air is too cold, make sure you go home and leave your shack until it begins sinking through the ice. This is your sign it’s warm enough to return to ice fishing.

Keep it small. The smaller the structure, the easier it is to heat - whether it's a small heater or the hot air from your inflated fishing stories.

Keep it small. The smaller the structure, the easier it is to heat – whether it’s a small heater or the hot air from your inflated fishing stories.

If you’re not lucky enough to find a used spsaceship, you should form a structure that looks like one. Everyone knows that a shack without a 90-degree angle stays warmer.

Have a friend pull you around the lake on his snowsled. Hopefully, you’ll absorb some of the warm fumes. If nothing else, you’ll find a better spot to fish.

Clear roofing panels will help let in sunshine, but the optional pirate flag will also help draw in the UV light. Fact.

Let in that sunshine with lots of windows! Patriotic images help, but you could also put your shack on skis, to give it clearance from the frigid ice.

Let in that sunshine with lots of windows! Patriotic images help, but you could also put your shack on skis and large rubber tires to give it clearance from the frigid ice.

Woodstoves will keep you toasty on the ice, you’ll almost want to prop open your door!

Keep your doors zipped up. Make sure you have what you need and stay inside. Even your body heat will help to quickly warm a small shack in a blizzard.

Place your shack where the sun is shining. It seems simple, but if you're fishing along the wrong shore, the sun won't work in your favor.

Place your shack where the sun is shining. It seems simple, but if you’re fishing along the wrong shore, the sun won’t work in your favor.

Anyone can burn wood on the ice, but splitting your wood on the ice will warm you twice.

Pretend you're a real outdoorsman for an afternoon, throw on some layers and sit on a bucket (like your forefathers used to do).

Pretend you’re a real outdoorsman for an afternoon, throw on some layers and sit on a bucket (like your forefathers used to do).

A pop-up ice shack with a black roof will pull in the sunlight and help keep your shack the center of the party.

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