The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway: Expert Ice Camping Strategies

Emergency Planning

Abbot Ace
Mind Talk


Photo by Daniel Bowman on Unsplash


Ice camping can be a thrilling and unique outdoor experience, allowing you to fully embrace the beauty and challenges of winter. Whether you’re seeking solitude in the wilderness or seeking new adventures with friends, ice camping offers something for everyone.

Not only does ice camping provide the opportunity to explore new areas and try out winter sports, it also allows you to reconnect with nature and disconnect from the distractions of daily life. The serene beauty of a frozen landscape, combined with the sense of accomplishment that comes from braving the cold, can make for a truly memorable and fulfilling experience.

So why wait? Pack your gear and head out to the great white north for an ice camping adventure that you’ll never forget!

What is Ice Camping? A detailed explanation of what ice camping is, including the types of shelters, clothing, and equipment needed.

Ice camping is a type of camping that takes place on a frozen body of water, such as a lake or river. It typically involves setting up a temporary shelter on the ice, either in the form of a tent or a more specialized ice fishing hut.

When it comes to choosing a shelter for ice camping, it’s important to select one that is designed specifically for cold weather use. This might include a four-season tent with a sturdy frame and a thick, insulated floor, or a portable ice fishing hut that can be easily transported and set up on the ice.

In terms of clothing and equipment, layering is key for ice camping. It’s important to dress in layers of moisture-wicking and insulating materials, such as wool or synthetic fibers, in order to keep warm and dry. Other essential items to bring along on an ice camping trip might include a winter sleeping bag, a portable stove for cooking and melting snow, and ice cleats for added traction on slippery surfaces.

The key to successful ice camping is proper preparation and the use of appropriate gear. By taking the time to properly plan and pack, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ice camping experience.

Finding the Perfect Location

When it comes to finding the perfect location for your ice camping adventure, there are a few key factors to consider. These might include:


Is the location easily accessible by car, or will you need to travel by snowmobile or other off-road vehicle? Are there any potential hazards or obstacles that you might encounter on your way to the campsite, such as rough terrain or deep snow?


Is the ice thick and stable enough to support your weight and the weight of your gear? It’s important to check with local authorities or experienced ice fishermen to determine the current ice conditions before setting out.

Proximity to amenities:

If you’re planning on spending multiple day’s ice camping, you’ll want to choose a location that is close to amenities such as bathrooms, warm shelters, and potable water.

Scenic beauty:

Don’t forget to consider the natural beauty of the location! Look for a spot with picturesque views of the surrounding landscape, whether it’s a frozen lake nestled in the mountains or a frozen river winding through the forest.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can choose a location that is both safe and enjoyable for your ice camping adventure.

Setting Up Camp

Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up your ice camping shelter:

Choose a flat, stable location: Look for a spot on the ice that is flat and free of cracks or other hazards. If you’re using a tent, try to find a location that is sheltered from the wind, such as behind a snowdrift or near a group of trees.

Clear the snow:

Use a snow shovel or other tool to clear away any excess snow from the area where you plan to set up your shelter. This will make it easier to pitch your tent or set up your ice fishing hut.

Set up your shelter:

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up your tent or ice fishing hut. Make sure to secure the structure firmly to the ice using stakes or other anchors.

Insulate the floor:

To keep your feet warm and dry, consider laying down a layer of insulating material, such as a foam pad or a tarp, on the floor of your shelter.

Stay dry:

To avoid getting your gear wet, consider using a tarp or other waterproof material to create a “mudroom” area outside the entrance to your shelter. This can be a convenient place to store wet boots and other gear, and will help keep the inside of your shelter dry.

Stay warm:

To keep warm while inside your shelter, use a sleeping bag or blankets to insulate yourself from the cold ground, and consider bringing along a portable heating source such as a small propane heater or a candle lantern.

By following these steps, you can set up a comfortable and cozy ice camping shelter that will keep you warm and dry throughout your adventure.

Winter Camping Activities

There are plenty of fun and exciting activities to enjoy while ice camping, including:

Skiing or snowboarding:

If you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder, bring your gear and hit the slopes! Many ice camping locations offer great opportunities for backcountry skiing or snowboarding on nearby trails or hills.


If you prefer a more leisurely pace, consider snowshoeing through the winter landscape. This is a great way to explore the area and enjoy the beauty of the winter wilderness.

Ice fishing:

Ice fishing is a popular pastime in many ice camping locations, and can be a fun and rewarding activity for both seasoned anglers and first-timers. Don’t forget to bring along your ice auger, rod, and tackle box!

Snow sculpting:

Get creative and try your hand at building a snowman, igloo, or other snow sculpture. This is a great activity for both kids and adults, and can be a fun way to pass the time on a cold winter day.


The winter landscape can be a stunningly beautiful setting for photography. Bring your camera and capture the gorgeous scenery, wildlife, and other memorable moments of your ice camping adventure.


On a clear winter night, the stars can be particularly bright and spectacular. Bundle up and head outside to enjoy the celestial show, or try your hand at astrophotography.

Tips from the Pros

Some insider tips and tricks from experienced ice campers to help you make the most of your winter camping adventure:

Dress in layers:

Layering is key for staying warm and comfortable while ice camping. Make sure to dress in multiple layers of moisture-wicking and insulating materials, such as wool or synthetic fibers, and don’t forget to pack a warm hat, gloves, and socks.

Bring a portable heating source:

A small propane heater or candle lantern can be a lifesaver on a cold winter night. These portable heating sources can help keep your shelter warm and cozy, and can also be used to melt snow for drinking water.

Pack plenty of food and water:

In the winter, it’s important to bring along enough food and water to sustain you throughout your trip. Pack high-energy snacks and meals, and consider bringing along a water filter or water purification tablets to ensure that you have access to clean drinking water.

Stay active:

To stay warm and avoid getting chilled, it’s important to stay active while ice camping. Take breaks to do some stretching or light exercise, and consider participating in winter sports such as skiing or snowshoeing to keep your blood pumping.

Stay vigilant about safety:

Ice camping can be a fun and exciting activity, but it’s important to always stay vigilant about safety. Check the ice conditions regularly, and be prepared for emergencies with a well-stocked first aid kit and a reliable communication device.

By following these tips from the pros, you can have a fun and enjoyable ice camping experience that is both safe and rewarding.


In conclusion, ice camping can be a fun and exciting outdoor activity that allows you to fully embrace the beauty and challenges of winter. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this blog, you can prepare for a successful ice camping adventure.

From choosing the right location and setting up a comfortable and cozy shelter, to staying warm and safe throughout your trip, there are many considerations to keep in mind when it comes to ice camping. But with proper preparation and the right gear, you can enjoy all the benefits of this unique outdoor experience.

So why wait? Gather your gear and head out to the great white north for an ice camping adventure that you’ll never forget. With a little bit of planning and a lot of enthusiasm, you can brave the cold and create memories that will last a lifetime.



Abbot Ace
Mind Talk

Editor & Owner at Abbot loves all things travel and outdoors and is a nature-loving, comfy-camping kinda guy. He loves winter camping.