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Falling through the ice....

Discussion in 'Other Locations' started by Northern Dancer, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    :peeking:This is an instructional Post

    upload_2017-11-24_17-54-12.png We make mistakes and if we are lucky we can laugh and learn from the situation. Surprising I can remember details of the first time that I fall through the ice and the aftermath. I was lucky, because all the safety procedures were in place and I was immediately rescued. Embarrassed by it all I took time to relearn what I already knew. What I remembered most was ache I had in my legs - I will not forget that.

    It is winter time and so for the campers, hikers, cross country ski folks, snowmobile enthusiasts, fisher "people" and others who are out in the snow here are some tips/reminders about lakes and streams.

    Some basic Tips
    Pay attention to local warning signs - they are there for a reason. Probably not wise to be alone. When I was younger I did that. Other than my dog there was no one to assist me should I need help. I always carried a screamer whistle and placed where I could easily get to. An organized plan of escape is a good idea for any winter outdoor activity. Check out those phones and make sure they actually work in the area you are in.

    Check the Ice
    In general, blue, clear ice is stronger than milky ice that has been through repeated freeze/thaw cycles.
    Snow is an insulator. Ice covered by snow or slush can be thinner and should be presumed questionable early in the season.
    In general, warm spells and spring are most dangerous times of year. The ice can be brittle and more likely to fracture.

    Check the Thickness

    4 inches or less, stay off ice
    5–7 inches can support an ATV or snowmobile
    8–12 inches can support a car or small pickup
    33+ inches can support a midsize truck

    So what happens if you should fall in?
    The first thing you do is ditch any equipment or prize possessions you are holding onto. You life if more important than things.
    Manage your natural panic.

    Try to get out the way you came in. It’s the most stable ice you can be sure of.
    Place both hands on the ice’s surface. Stretch out and reach over solid ice.

    If you have a knife or keys, use them as mechanical claws to clutch the ice and pull yourself out. Your gloves should be able to provide some traction.

    Kick your legs. Kick your legs up, parallel to the ice. Use your hands and arms to pull up onto the ice. Continue to shimmy onto the ice.
    Stay prone and roll away. When you make it out distribute your weight across the ice as much as possible. Roll out the way you came in. This will continue to distribute your weight and get you out as quick and safely as possible.

    Get inside, get out of your wet clothes, get warmed up, and get medical attention if you feel disoriented or are shivering uncontrollably.

    Review videos about water safety in the winter. If you are going out with a group - have a plan; talk about safety issues. "What happens if?


    Madman4800, killeroy154 and 2sweed like this.
  2. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I only fell through ice once. I was still very young about 12 years old and a friend and I had walked down to a small woodland pond near our home. We had been told to stay off the ice, but we though it would be alright close to the bank. All of a sudden the ice gave way and both of us went through the ice and ended up with our boots filled with very cold water. We climbed out and sat on the bank and dumped out the water then headed home. I was to stay with my friend as my parents were not home but her mother was so mad she sent me home.

    I remember sitting on our back porch waiting for my parent's to come home all the while my feet were freezing. After about an hour they finally arrived and were not happy to find me sitting outside. Ya, I got scolded for getting on the ice and falling through, but at least mom got my feet warm again and I had learned my lesson well. Never ever stand on thin ice no matter how deep you think the water may be as in inches or in feet.
    Madman4800 likes this.
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...great story @2sweed. There are many more out there and I would be interested in hearing from others about their experiences.

    Oh...and another thing! I didn't mention dogs. Though a lot lighter they too can find themselves in danger. What often happens is they go near the shoreline, fall through the weak ice and are thrust into a fast moving stream or river. Not a good thing to do. We have to be the safety agents for our dogs.

    upload_2017-11-25_10-57-39.jpeg It makes me shiver just to think about the possibility.
  4. Madman4800

    Madman4800 Survivalist

    I live in Minnesota and hear stories every year about people falling threw. Lucky for me I was never one of them. A simple thing you can do when you go out on the ice is to take two screwdrivers and a piece of rope tie a screwdriver to each end of the rope and hang them around your neck. Now you have something to pull yourself out with or tighten a screw. Yes I would much rather tighten a screw then fall threw.
    Northern Dancer likes this.
  5. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    I was over at my parents house today, and asked my father what he used to do. He said he would have a couple of big nails tied to a string incase he fell through. He took me ice fishing a couple of times when we lived in Michigan. I was a young pup then. I remember how thick the ice would be. We don't have that here in Tennessee.

    I keep extra clothes in a dry bag for when I take the canoe out in the winter. I have fallen in cold water, a few times, and it doesnt take but a couple of minutes to start shivering.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  6. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Survivalist

    I think I am safe on this one because I live in a tropical country. However I also want to know how campers would deal with such a condition and situation because who knows if I would someday experience a holiday camping in a cold country. At least I had seen snow when we went to the Great Wall of China 2 years ago and I learned that snow on the ground makes for a slippery walkway.
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