Neat and Tidy Tips
By: Tim Allard
Like a boat, a tidy portable ice hut fishes better than a cluttered one. Stay focused on catching fish, not cleaning up, this winter.
- Low in cost, hangers help keep your gear off the ice, out of your sled, and easily within reach. They fit over the shelter's frame on the inside. Use them to dry a pair of gloves, hold a hat, or hang a fleece vest.
- Clip a fishing towel to the inside of your hut for drying hands. Bring a spare and store it in a sealable plastic bag to keep it dry.
- Install a rod holder. Inexpensive, it will keep your rod secure and out of harm's way when you're busy with other tasks or positioned perfectly when deadsticking. Products are available or you can make your own out of PVC pipe.
- Line your shelter's tub with flexible closed-cell foam. It reduces how much items will slide around during travel and dampens noise better than hard plastic.
- Use plastic milk crates and a cooler to create extra storage space and compartmentalize your shelter. Coolers provide dry storage, but also serve double duty as a second seat.
- Screw-eye hooks installed on the inside of your shelter's tub, combined with bungee cords, are great for securing items such as heaters, milk crates, and sonar units.
- Install permanent lights for better visibility inside. Several companies make long, flexible tubes filled with LED lights that mount on a shelter's poles. This includes the Deluxe LED Shelter Lighting System by Clam Corporation. Lights run on stand-alone batteries or the 12-volt source used in a portable sonar. Bicycle lights that mount on handlebars are another alternative and can be fastened to shelter tent poles.
- Buy a cover for sled-based shelters. It keeps snow and slush out and also secures items inside and prevents them from falling out during travel.
This article is exclusive to the Ontario OUT OF DOORS website and is not available in the magazine.