Ice Thickness Guide

If you've ever wanted to walk out onto a frozen pond, but you weren't sure if it was thick enough, here's what you need to know.

Posted: Dec 18, 2018 6:03 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Being well into the cold season here in the valley, less and less people are doing activities outside.

If you're one of the people who doesn't mind the cold, you may be doing activities in the snow, or on frozen ponds and lakes.

This is how to be safe before making the trek outside.

The first thing you need to remember is ice that's 2 inches or less in thickness is not safe to be on for anyone.

An easy way to tell if the ice is too thin is to look for holes, cracks, or water flowing around the edges.

For ice to be safe to be out on, it needs to be at least 4 inches in thickness.

At this point, it's safe to walk on, ice fish, or even ice skate.

Many people around here also have ATV's or snowmobiles.

For the ice to be thick enough to ride these across, it needs to be 5 to 6 inches thick.

Getting to the bigger stuff, cars and small trucks can drive across the ice, but only if it's 8 to 12 inches thick.

Finally, the thickest ice on our list is 12 to 15 inches thick, and this can hold a medium sized truck.

For this to happen, we need to have multiple consecutive cold days where we're well below freezing.

The best way to check for ice thickness is to drill a hole into the ice from the shore, or a dock.

Make sure it's big enough to put a measuring tape into.

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