Ice fishing heaters can mean the difference between spending enough extra time on the ice to fill your limits and going in early because of being cold. We review a variety of options available and encourage that you explore them all. We hear from a lot of anglers that if their hands and feet are too cold then the outing is over. 'To heat or not to heat that is the question."
Hand and toe warmers, lighter fluid hand warmers, radiant or convection heaters, wall mount, portable, or propane. We review them all and discuss their appropriate use.
These hand and toe warmers are great for ice fishing, snow skiing, deer hunting, and even late season football games. They are simple, cheap, easy to use and yes they are warm and often stay warm for 8-10 hours. For the next level of heat for the hands shown below is a great butane powered heater. This generates a higher temperature and many consider it better for those time when you have to sit in one position for a long period of time. These personal heaters make great ice fishing heaters - used inside gloves, pockets and shoes providing individual users with personal warmth.
There are two basic forms of larger units used as ice fishing heaters: 1) Those that radiate heat including a propane infrared heater and 2) a convection heater - those that rely on air movement passing through or over a heating element to disperse its heat through the room. There are more choices of radiant heaters for an ice fishing heater to choose from, and since most radiant heaters tend to be strong enough for 200-400 square feet they will meet the needs of most ice fishing huts or shelters. The biggest question that must be addressed is if the heater is rated safe for indoor usage, and/or will it need any venting with outside air.
This portable radiant heater by Mr Heater puts out between 3,000 - 8,000 BTU and is a perfectly sized ice fishing heater for most smaller ice fishing shelters up to 200 square feet. Shown below is the Mr Heater Big Buddy that puts out up to 18,000 BTU which will cover up to 400 square feet. The updated version of the Big Buddy can run off of 2 one pound propane canisters up to 12 hours. Or, with the adaptors it can be connected to two 20 pound cylinders and will run for over 200 hours. This unit even has a blower which can run off of "D" cell batteries or 110 volt when you have access to electricity. It can be used as a radiant heater with out the blower being turned on. An excellent ice fishing heater choice for your larger shelters. Please note that California and Canada have local regulations which require different models. Big Buddy has been designed and approved for emergency indoor and outdoor use and has an auto shutoff system for low oxygen and tip over.
This Mr Heater 10,000 wall mount or free standing propane heater is a very efficient radiant blue flame heater. It is vent free, has am automatic low oxygen sensor shutoff system. Also available in a 20,000 btu output which has an optional blower unit available. Good heat for up to 250 sq feet.
There are a variety of heaters made specifically for 20 pound propane tanks. This Mr Heater unit comes in a single, double and triple burner unit. The unit shown above is features an electronic ignition and dual burner. This dual burner unit can put out variable BTU's from 8, 12, 14, 16, 24 to 28,000 BTU/HR. With an adjustable control, the regulator moves from low to high and adds the ability to run one or both burners. This dual burner unit is ready to connect directly to a 20 pound cylinder, and includes an instant ignition switch and an auto shut-off with loss of flame. With both burners on high, you will have a up to 15 hours of heat. Rated for outdoor use care must be exercised to have plenty of ventilation, such as an open wall, or large window open.