Enjoy the outdoors safely this winter

Remember these tips for ice and snowmobile safety

Winter is in full swing. Anglers are enjoying ice fishing throughout the state and hikers, skiers and snowmobilers are traveling across frozen surfaces.

Remember – no ice is safe ice. The DNR does not monitor ice conditions and we suggest contacting local snowmobile clubs, bait shops, fishing clubs or resorts to ask about ice conditions in your area.

Follow these safety tips when heading out on ice:

  • Dress in warm, water-resistant layers and pack an extra hat and gloves.
  • Stay safely on shore if ice conditions are questionable and if open water is within casting distance.
  • Use sturdy waterproof boots with spike-style creepers for traction.
  • Carry some basic safety gear: ice claws or picks, a cellphone in a waterproof bag or case and rope.
  • Wear a life jacket or a float coat to help stay afloat and slow body heat loss.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are and when you are expected to return.
  • Don’t travel in areas you are not familiar with and don’t travel at night or during reduced visibility.
  • Avoid inlets, outlets or narrows with currents that can thin the ice.
  • Look for clear ice, which is generally stronger than ice with snow on it or bubbles in it.
  • Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

Snowmobilers, be sure to review Wisconsin’s snowmobile safety rules before heading out this winter. And, click here for more snowmobile safety tips.

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