Ice Fishing Basic Clothing Advice with Daryl Bauer
Ice Fishing Creepers with Daryl Bauer
The only equipment about which most anglers agree is clothing and
boots, and anyone out on the ice in the wrong attire pays dearly in discomfort
Perhaps the single most important item in ice fishing wardrobe is footwear.
Poorly shod feet pressed onto the ice will soon chill, and insulated rubber
boots, or pac boots with separate, thick felt liners, are the best insurance against
Daintiness is not required in good ice-fishing boots, and they should
fit loose enough to accommodate extra socks and to allow maximum blood
Most insulated hiking, hunting or work boots will not do the job for most
people. Neither will inexpensive nylon or plastic boots lined with synthetic fur.
Gimmicks, such as battery-powered electric socks, can be a big disappointment
in cold weather.
For most anglers, rubber or rubber and leather boots with heavy felt liners,
good quality insulated rubber boots designed for extreme cold or government
surplus arctic boots with air chambers for insulation are best.
Snowmobile boots with felt liners are often adequate, as are lightweight,
inexpensive "moon boots."
Above the boots, several layers of comparatively light clothing are
warmer than just one or two bulky garments. The layers trap air for maximum
warmth and also allow the angler to add or remove layers to match changes in
temperature or level of activity.
At moments of heavy exertion-dragging
equipment across the ice or auguring holes-an angler can shed some clothing
and avoid breaking into a sweat. Perspiring should be avoided since the
body will later use considerable heat to dry out damp inner clothing. Good headgear is particularly important. Up to 75 percent of the heat lost
on a cold day leaves the body from the head and neck. A wool cap or parka
hood can provide comfort when you feel a chill, and if you are on the verge
of breaking into a sweat you can cool off merely by exposing your head.
Comfortable long underwear worn next to the skin topped by insulated
coveralls or a wool, down or fiberfill insulated snowmobile suit for a middle
layer and a windproof, moisture repellent outer layer make a good combination.
Many anglers also wear a heavy parka for added warmth and as a barrier against
Gloves are also needed, although the importance placed on them varies
among anglers. Some wear light gloves inside mittens and do all but the most
delicate knot tying and hook baiting with the gloves on. Others wear bulky,
loose-fitting mittens and put them aside to do most tasks. Some anglers use
gloves only when lugging gear long distances, keeping their hands stuffed deep
inside warm pockets the rest of the time. If you need gloves on the ice, take
two pairs in case the first pair gets lost