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Boreal Community Media

Ice safety

Feb 25, 2024 06:13AM ● By Editor
Image:  MN DNR

When is ice safe?

There really is no sure answer. You can't judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions.

snow machine on ice

There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice.

The DNR does not measure ice thickness on Minnesota lakes. Your safety is your responsibility. Check ice thickness frequently.

General ice thickness guidelines »
Traveling on ice »

Be prepared with a survival plan

Steps for surviving immersion »
Vehicle escape »
Helping someone else »

two men boating in cold weather wearing winter clothes and life vests

Cold facts about ice safety

Cold Water Kills (PDF)  »

Ice Safety Tips

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here