Ice fishing, skating, hockey tournaments. Northlanders use the ice for many different reasons. Even driving on the ice with a car or snowmobile.

The thickness has to be pretty thick to drive your car or put your ice house on the ice. Here's what is recommended. According to the Canadian Red Cross, it has to be at least 20 cm, which is about 8 inches. If the ice is gray, it is not safe. The ice has to be blue to be safe if there is no snow over it. When it snows that's when it becomes hard to tell.

WCCO reports that the MN DNR says the ice has to be 8 inches just to drive on it with a large truck or other vehicles. If you want to walk out on the ice, it has to be 3 to 4 inches. When I was a kid, we would go on the ice and drill a small hole to see how thick it was then decide how far out we were going. By that time, it was usually January or February and it was really cold so we didn't worry much.

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The ice has been thin because we have had such warm temperatures. Most people in the area understand how thick the ice needs to be and know not to go out on the ice when it has been so warm. Just exercise caution! Cold temps are coming so we should be back to normal but a good rule of thumb is to follow those measurements up above.

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