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Ice Fishing Equipment: 5 Handy Items to Take onto the Ice

Yahoo Contributor Network

Are you planning on going ice fishing for the first time this winter? If so, there are a few things that you'll want to consider bringing with you besides your basic fishing equipment. Here's a quick look at a few of them:

Traction Aids

It is no secret that ice is slippery. Therefore, you may want to consider bringing a few items along that will help you "get a grip" on things. Items that I would recommend include a pair of Yaktrax and a bag of walnut shell grit. If you can't purchase bags of walnut shell grit in your area, a bag of BLUE Cat Litter will do. It's made from crushed walnut shells. Utilizing both while on the ice will help to reduce incidents of slipping.

Ice Rescue Gear

You'll also want to make it a point to pack ice rescue gear. After all, there is a chance that an ice emergency may occur. Items that I would recommend packing include ice awls, water rescue throw bags, insulating blankets and a seat cushion that doubles as a personal flotation device. It is also a good idea to pack an extra pair of clothes and body warmers.

Fire Making Supplies

If you want to be able to heat up a pot of joe or enjoy a hot snack while on the ice, you may want to consider tucking storm-proof, fire making supplies into your tackle box. Excellent options include storm-proof lighters and wax coated matches. Of course you could also opt to bring a portable heater along that doubles as an impromptu cook stove. Gear options to consider include the Windmill Delta Stormproof Lighter and the Texas Propane Heater/Cooker.

Coffee Can Meals

In my experience, coffee can meals are also great to have on hand during ice fishing trips. Coffee can meals are foods that may be prepared ahead of time and placed inside a resealable coffee can. They can be placed onto your portable cook stove or warming fire and reheated fairly easily. Examples of excellent coffee can meals include chili, stew and soups.

Portable Shelters

Portable, ice fishing shelters are also worth packing. There are many different ice fishing shelters to choose from. Most tend to retail for $150 or more. I'd recommend that ice anglers consider selecting a fold-over style shelter that is made from a durable, thick material. The material should also be water resistant, wind resistant and fire retardant. In my opinion, fold-over style shelters are easy to use and comfortable. Some of the shelters even come with built-in seats, rod holders, windows, sleds and tackle trays. I'd also recommend investing in a sled pulling harness. I have found that using a harness is helpful if you have to pull the sled long distances or want to keep your hands free.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family. She has also traveled extensively.

More from this contributor:

10 Ice Anglers Win Coveted Spot on 2013 USA Ice Team

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Top 5 Ice Fishing Lines

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