Off-Grid and Free: The Dangers of a Slush-Covered Lake

| 4/20/2016 10:06:00 AM

Lake slush

Good day to all! Picking up from where we left off in my post from last week, I was lamenting the fact that I had inadvertently flooded our bay with water when I bored a hole through the ice. I wanted to assess how thick the ice was and, as it turned out, we had 22 inches.

In this particular case, the water had come from the hole I drilled. But, in my experience, there is always some spot on a frozen lake where water has seeped through to the frozen lake surface. Generally, these spots occur in bays but that's not always true. So, when I'm out on the lake and either start walking or snowmobiling in an area showing signs of slush, I become concerned. Where's the hole? Where's the water coming from?

Dangers of a Slush-Covered Lake

Water seeping onto the lake surface mixes with the snow layer, forming slush. Slush is bad for a number of reasons. When snowmobiling, it's generally impossible to see slush until you get into it. The snow-covered surface of a lake all looks the same. The first clue that you're in trouble is when you notice the sled bogging down and then you realize — oops, you're mired in a soupy mess.

While a light, speedy sled, and a quick reaction to the throttle may allow you to accelerate out of the area, for us, our heavy work snowmobile precludes such a maneuver, so it's generally all over at that point. Our sled is dead in it's tracks. Not only is the sled stuck, but if I'm far from home, I have a long slog home to fetch equipment which will allow me to get unstuck.

4/26/2016 8:35:44 AM

Hello JV, Great Questions! Thank you for taking time to write me. I have my next post ready which should be available by the end of this week. Please stay tuned for next week's post. That post will be dedicated to answering your questions. Have a good day! Ron

4/25/2016 12:05:29 PM

Ron, I'm not sure I fully understand what "off the grid" means. How do you define it? I thought I understood that it means that you do not subscribe to local utilities like water and electricity, which appears to be correct from your article, but if you are in a remote location and basically see other humans rarely (every six months or so, I believe), I'm curious about how you are uploading your blog posts. I'm sure you could store solar, wind, or hydro power in an energy cell to write the article, but without being hooked up to internet, I cannot understand how you are accessing the site to upload blog posts approximately weekly. Can you elaborate on your connection and how you hook into it in one of your future posts, please? I'm fascinated by homesteading self-sufficiency, and it appears that you and your wife practically have it down to a science. That lifestyle is not one that I could live in full, but I do want to learn about it to incorporate pieces that are workable for us into our lives.

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