On giant windswept lakes that are easy to access via ploughed winter roads, such as Simcoe or Manitoba’s vast Lake Winnipeg, you should consider a permanent hut. It can serve as an ideal drive-to base of operations for family and friends who enjoy blending ice fishing with other winter activities, such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and skating. And with a propane lantern and stoked heater full of wood, a hut is perfect on those days—and especially lonely nights—when the north wind howls, blowing whiteouts so wicked you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
Permanent shelters also have many drawbacks, however, not the least of which is you’re stuck on the same spot all winter long. It’s akin to anchoring your boat in one place for the entire summer.