Last 2 years during my outdoor/friluftsliv course at Sjöviks folkhögskola we got to practice crossing the ice by the shoreline and get out to the open water with the canoe. We did this by leaning on the canoe with one hand on each gunwhale and pushing it forward. This distributes our weight so we can get out on really thin ice. Here it helps to have chose with a good grip so you don't need to put much weight on the ice. The moment the ice breaks, we jump into the canoe. The ice always breaks under our feet, not under the canoe. And you can feel it starting to break under your feet so you have time to jump into the canoe.
|Two different methods of pushing the canoe. Another one is to go with one leg in the canoe and one on the ice. Photo by Matthias Crommenlinck|
|The pole in action.|
I guess I don't need to say it, but this is dangerous and you should not do it alone. Since your weight is distributed on the whole canoe you can get very far out on thin ice. So it will be hard to get back to shore. Bring ice nails and a waterproof change of clothes.
|When practicing it's a good idea to have a rope in the canoe and a friend on shore who can pull you in if you get stuck. Photo by: Matthias Crommenlinck|
|The hook before and after vinegar treatment.|
And finally, some photos of my latest winter paddling.
|Back on thick ice, you can see the track made by the canoe.|