A Portable Pop-Up Ice-Fishing Shelter

This pop-up structure can double as a cozy ice-fishing shelter, a secure hunting shack or a DIY Playhouse.

| January/February 1986

Northern anglers can enjoy a special brand of sport fishing that those in warmer climates can't experience close to home. The lure of a frozen lake's wintry solitude draws untold people away from their hearths and onto the solid surfaces of countless bodies of water across the land to participate in the popular pastime of ice fishing.

Now, the old regulars know that being comfortable while hunkering over a hole in the ice is tantamount to being successful, simply because an alert angler is less likely to miss a strike. It follows, then, that a completely enclosed, weathertight structure equipped with a convenient and safe form of heat would make for more successful outings than would the open-faced windbreaks that many fisher-folk pit against winter's cruelty.

With that in mind, our research staffers set their sights on designing and building the best ice-fishing shelter imaginable without going overboard on materials costs... and until it was completed they didn't realize that they'd incidentally created an excellent pop-up camper, hunting shack, playhouse, and emergency shelter!

Let's look at some of the benefits of this utilitarian design. To begin, at 4 feet wide, 6 feet long, and nearly 6 1/2 feet tall, the structure is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate even two large adults for the 8- to10-hour stints expected of it. Yet in three minutes' time it can be folded up into a 9-inch-high, 4 x 8-foot self-contained package that can be pulled along the ice on built-in runners, or lifted into the back of a pickup truck.

Inside, the shelter sports two sizable fold-down seats, removable floor hatch covers, armrests, coat hooks, and a window with a sliding shade. Furthermore, it's designed to incorporate a homebuilt kerosene heater. Finally, the hut's polyethylene tarp skin (which allows the shack to fold and reduces its weight and expense) is lined with a reflective plastic which helps insulate the shelter and retain interior warmth.

Ice Fishing Shelter Plans

A look at the accompanying illustrations will reveal that the structure is, in the main, made of 1/4-inch and 5/8-inch plywood sheathing (AB or AC grade), 1 x 3 and 1 x 4 furring strips, a couple of 4-foot-long 1 x 5s, 1/8-inch metal stock, and hinges and other assorted hardware.

2/8/2015 12:31:21 PM

any pictures of this shelter

1/18/2015 12:11:18 PM

Is there any pics of the finished product? Does this really weigh 245 lbs?

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