|Ice Picks- kinda like retractable claws for humans|
Traveling on the frozen lakes means flat and relatively easy travel compared with pulling a toboggan through the woods. Where the bush is full of downed trees, deep pockets of snow, and hills, lakes and frozen marshes/bogs give you a nice flat surface that, if you are lucky, has been scoured by the wind either down to the ice or down to wind packed snow. Of course, spending 3/4 of our time on frozen water brings risk, but knowing a few basic principles of ice and how lakes freeze can mitigate much of that risk. Any place where there is current like at inlets and outlets of lakes or on rivers, where spring water flows into a lake, or in and around pressure cracks all should give you reason to pause and check the ice's thickness. Bottom line is if you are unsure as to the safety of the ice- check it out by chipping a hole and measuring the thickness- 2"at least are needed to safely hold a person.
Along that thought, we are each planning on taking some ice fishing gear. The fishing gear is not only a pleasant distraction from the daily routine of life on trail and a (possible) source of fresh food, but it also represents another level of safety in case there is an accident involving thin ice (i.e. losing a toboggan to Davy Jones' locker) or if the weather (extreme cold or heat, wind, heavy snow and/or wind) delays us and keeps us on trail over the 25 days we have packed food for. Thanks to the nice folks at Anglers All in Ashland Wisconsin for helping us pick out a small and efficient ice fishing kit for this trip.