Simple, easy-to-use gear to help you survive—or avoid—a plunge into icy water
Most outdoorsfolk are savvy enough to carry a small emergency kit in their vehicles and boats, or when heading into the backcountry. But how many of us bring one along when we go ice fishing? The answer, most likely, is not enough. But if you can be unexpectedly stranded during a spring, summer or fall outing, you can certainly be stranded in the winter, too.
A few simple items—no more than would fit into a lunch bag—are generally all you need to get home safely or wait for help to arrive. The contents may vary depending on when and where you head out, but an ice safety kit should at least include a flashlight or headlamp, whistle, survival blanket, waterproof matches, candles and hand-warmer packs. But once again, always remember that the most important piece of safety equipment is that grey matter between your ears.