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An Area Lake

Portables - What to buy?

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Greetings.

The time is fast approaching - soon we'll awaken to glistening window sills, storm watches, hourly ice reports, and hot baits - I CAN'T WAIT!

In the meantime, need to purchase a replacement portable having sold my Polar sled last summer. Have seen the Frabill 6000 series portable - kinda like what I see, but would really like some input from others. Sleds are nice but heavy - that Polar was a bear - no pun intended. I've 2 boys, but usually bear most of the load.

Thanks for your input and be safe on first ice. Blessings to you all - An Area Lake.

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Hey An Area Lake,

I'm with ya' man. I CAN'T WAIT! Have you looked at the larger eskimo's? I have been a clam guy myself and still rely on my suitcase style portable for most of my fishing. The larger eskimo's have a nice shape and seem very lightweight for such a large shelter. The larger clam's get pretty heavy. Have you thought about getting 2 clams that way if you do just go out alone or with another person you can just bring one....but if the family comes bring two and throw on the trap link. I think the trap link system is great if your looking at staying modular with your setup. Good luck in your purchase, some mighty good deals to be had out there!

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Found myself in the same spot earlier last month.I had a Fish Trap scout for @ 12 years and sold it last spring.The traps look good,and so does Otter.Ended up buying a Otter cottage.Big enough for me and my grandaughter once in awhile and lots of room for me and all my toys the rest of the time.

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The flip overs are really nice for portability, hauling gear, and quick setup/tear down. The suitcases are nice for a base camp/worming shack, not so portable, not as easy to set up and tear down. I think what you are looking for might be an ice tent or "cabin". These would be essentially floorless tents.

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No, stay away from the floorless tents. I had the HT one, and it was horrible. Easy to set up, but impossible to anchor to the ice and keep it in place, blew like crazy and took up my whole sled.

I would get a sled and flip over style. The sled is great for carrying your gear, and just flip it over when you are ready.

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I also walk out from shore and have been through 3 different styles until I finally arrive at an Otter Lodge II flip over. I have a long rope looped through the front and pull it with the rop around my waist. With the hyfax this thing slides very easy and the sled has room for everything you need as well as room for 2 and maybe 3 guys. On the other hand if you have a fishing partner he can help pull the sled so the weight may not be an issue.

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I saw an ad for the new Eskimo floorless shelters. I was intrigued so I went to take a look. Our local Fleet store had some on display and I was pretty impressed. They come with screw style ice anchors that solve the wind issue, they have YKK zippers that are top notch (I've had problems with Clam's zippers...3 different models 2000,5600 & 6800 all [PoorWordUsage]).Since these Eskimos are floorless they are super light, if I remember correctly 23 lbs. for 3 man version. And they are priced right, only a couple hundred instaed of a few hundred!On the down side it looks like it could be kind of a pain to set up, 4 poles per side and top.

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Take a look at what Canvas Craft has to offer, too. They carry flip-overs and fold-out models, in many different sizes. You can purchase the fold-out model in kit form and build the floor yourself to save some money, I believe.

Also, consider an insulated model. One could use a smaller heater to take up less floor space, since there's three of you, and it'd be warmer for your sons and no condensation drips inside. That was a problem for me the last couple of years (room and warmth) so I went with a Canvas Craft insulated double-flip.

You can see CC shelters here

Canvas Craft

PS...for the fold-out shelters, find a pair of old snow or water skies and make a little sled frame to pull the house out on. Works great.

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