How Well Do You Know That Ice?

With the warmer temperatures arriving sometime soon(hopefully), many ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.. begin to thaw out. This creates not only a mess but unsafe conditions. Before setting out on your hiking or biking trail make sure you know that ice covered body of water. Also being well informed about ice safety can save your life or someone else’s.

Ice Safety

Ice Safety

Most likely when you head out for you winter hike you pass one or several creeks or streams. Perhaps you’re into ice fishing at the local lake. As the weather warms up the ice begins to break away and becomes weak in certain areas.

Ice Fishing Hole

Ice Fishing Hole

The best knowledge you can have is knowing that the ice is never completely safe. Having a safety plan established for accidents is key. If heading out for the day try to tell someone where you are traveling to or take a buddy with you on your adventure.

Have a spare outfit with you in your travels. If you fall through ice and are able to get onto dry land, changing immediately will prevent hypothermia. Pack a warm wool blanket, and an extra base layer. Base Layers made of merino wool is top rated for warmth. Add an extra pair of wool socks to your hiking bag too.

Recognizing weather fluctuations can help to determine whether the ice is a certain thickness for your activities. A few warmer days can create a difference in various parts of the ice. Notice the appearance of the ice to determine weak spots. Cracking or flowing water can be a sign that the ice is weak. Certain colors of the ice also can be an indication of thickness.

River Thawing

River Thawing

When in doubt sticking to local parks or rinks for your ice skating or ice fishing are a much safer way. These bodies of water are tested by officials. If walking or hiking pick trails you know are safe with no ice to cross. In circumstances that you must cross the ice, crawling on your hands and knees is a safer way. Carry a long pole or board with you. If cracking occurs use that board or pole to distribute your weight.

Jumping on the ice, or driving across the ice is unsafe. Try to enjoy recreational snowmobiles on land. Even if you know the thickness, it’s better to prevent then have to survive an emergency.

For any outdoor winter adventure which involves ice there are many steps to take and information to teach yourself. Knowledge can save your life.  http://www.wikihow.com/Know-When-Ice-is-Safe.