The Deciding on My Ice Fishing Shelter
For years I have depended on my fellows to bring a shelter out to the pond I generally ice fish on. As that old, home-made shelter continued to deteriorate, and as my friends and I got older, and our schedules started not matching up more and more often, I decided it was time for me to invest in my own way to stay warm and dry. My thinking is below
There were a few criteria I needed this shelter to meet
I needed a way to get my shelter up to a pond to ice fish at least once a year, which includes a 6-hour drive. It needed to be something I could not only pack into the trunk of a sedan but carry out to the center of a pond (or farther) on my back or in a sled.
Let’s not kid ourselves, the main reason we want a shelter is to stay out of the cold and preserve some warmth. Insulation of the key, and shelters, especially home-made ones, are notorious for letting in that icy breeze.
I wanted multiple entrances, so I could exit the shelter from either side. One reason for this is the weather. If it isn’t all that cold outside, but the wind is murderous, you might want to leave one door open, and the wind-facing door closed, so your shelter becomes more of wind-stop than an insulator.
The second reason is friends. I wanted two exists so we wouldn’t be tripping over each other if we needed to get out and stretch our legs or chase a trip-up flag.
I wanted room for at least one other person, with a bucket/chair. The simple reason, I often have a few friends over, one of which has his own two-person shelter, but we might need room for four.
Darkness and Lighting
I wanted it to be dark inside the shelter, so the ice and snow beneath it would provide the majority of the lighting. Most shelters you purchase will be lined with black fabric on the inside, so this isn’t so much of a concern, but something you may want to check into before you purchase.
The dark lining inside allows you to stare down the hole to sight-fish your jigs inside the shelter. But I love my tip-ups more than sitting in the shelter…so I also needed an abundance of windows to watch flags.
The Final Choice
There were many options that met the above criteria. It really came down to price, which took out the 2-man Frabil or Clam rectangular shelters that include a poly-foam floor with auger holes (look into the styles, you will see what I mean. So I looked into a pop-up style ice fishing shelter.
Once settling on this size, I knew I would need something labeled as at least a 3-man shelter since it is rare that 3 people would actually comfortably fit, but 2 definitely would. Then see reading reviews, and asking friends. Trust me; you should want to go ice fishing.