Ice fishing is a hobby that’s pretty dangerous if you don’t prepare for it properly. Weather in particular can get very annoying so you need a good shelter to keep you safe from all that. There are two types of ice fishing shelters – portable and permanent. Unlike permanent shanties, portable shelters are supposed to be set up when you start fishing and dismantled once you’re done. Then taken home and set it up again when you need it wherever you go. That allows for more flexibility and comfort. There are few different types of shelters out there, which we’ll discuss in a moment.
My favorite is the hub-style. I like it because it’s the simplest, strongest and cheapest option available. It works very much like camping tents – you set it up with anchors and everything, and once set up, you get in and it’s insulation protects you from outside cold. They come in different sizes and shapes, but mostly they are made for three to four people. There are larger ones available as well, i think the biggest one i saw was designed for eight people. It has it’s drawbacks too, like, for example, setting it up is not as easy as flip-over types and strong winds sometimes can damage or make it obsolete. Overall, unless you want to be moving your shelter frequently, so will need your shelter to have quick set-up system, advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and hub style shelters are definitely the way to go. When setting it up, make sure to read the instructions and follow them closely. If you don’t, you might end up wasting a lot of time like i did.
I’ve mentioned flip-style shelters before, when i was talking about flexibility of moving shanties frequently, and that’s precisely what these things are best at. They’re super simple and super quick to set up, so even if you move your shanty several times, you won’t waste much time. Flip-style shanties are usually smaller and are intended for one or two people at most. They sometimes come with pre-installed chairs for you to sit on, so you should look out for that when choosing one. Their main economic value is ease of transportation and setup, so if you’re looking for something flexible, take a look these type of shelters made by Frabill. Mine is made by them as well and i can’t complain about anything, quality is fantastic.
These two are the main types of ice shanties. There are few others, but they’re not that important. Other than the shelter itself, you will probably want to get portable heater and chairs to sit on and relax as well. If you choose to get a heater, make sure that your ice shanty has good insulation, or you’ll be wasting energy trying to increase temperature in there.