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Uncle Grump

Heating and cooking on the ice....

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When I started ice fishing again 6 years ago, the mere concept of a shelter and heat was a blessing all by itself - my Coleman
heater from camping was pressed back in to service.

After a few years, and some afternoons that stretched well into the evening, hot food started to sound really good. One night, a kind hearted fisherman on Cedar Lk treated me to brats cooked out on the ice. With buns and ketchup - they slid down real
easy on that cold, windy February night, espec. since my planned supper was a couple of candy bars. I know that the hot food that night allowed me to stay on the ice longer, and as a result, I iced some nice crappies.

Two years ago, I bought a Mr Heater/Cooker, and it does the job, but you can’t cook on it when used as a heater connected to a refillable cylinder, and it’s a little bulky in its cooker configuration, since you need to tote the stand and a hose (to run off your refillable cylinder), or else
use disposable cylinders - and it chews those up in a hurry.... But it does do the job of cooking - weenies, chili, etc - just about anything you can put in a pan.

A couple weeks ago, I watched Catch'n (Dave
Hoggard) demo a unit called the Sportsman’s Multi-Heater at a LETS event. Its a heater/cooker, in the footprint of a 5 gallon pail, and not much heavier either.

You can see these units on his "special and rigging page" (click on the yellow button in the center of his "index" page at catchn.com).

They use fuel called diethylene-glycol, not sterno. Dave has the fuel available as well. The level of heat is adjustable - because the fuel cans have a wick. Spread the wick out, so its wider, and you get more heat. To shut them off - just put the cap on the can. The fuel cans themselves don't get hot.

The really neat thing about these is that you can cook your food and warm yourself at the same time, while you are seated - great for open air fishing. It has a cushion seat top, and a "rubber hose" chimney. Sit on the seat, slip the chimney up under your coat, and feel the heat. The fumes are non toxic - as compared to propane or other fuels.

It’s not a speed demon when it comes to cooking - but you can cook food for one or two, and when you're out on the ice,
do you care about fast?

You could easily start food cooking when you
first get on the ice, and have hot food when you're ready to eat later. You can boil water easily with these - so soup, chili, brats and beans, hot dish - all kind of epicurean delights are possible. Dave told me that it will cook TV dinners, and I think you could do burgers with potatoes and onions wrapped in aluminum foil.

I've not had a chance to use mine yet, but when I watched Dave put one through its paces – I was sold. I intend to try some things next week when I take it along on a long weekend fishing. Going to have it cook my lunch while I'm on the road, and also put it in the boat and have hot lunch out on the water.

I'm thinking that I can probably get by with only having this heater along on the
ice (when fishing alone), espec. if there is a long walk or when the ice won't support a heavy outfit (truck, snowmobile), like at first or late ice.

Sit in the open, or in the shelter, and keep warm, with out heating all the air in the shelter, and lugging the weight of a refillable cylinder.

This unit would easily work in a duck blind/boat, or deer hunting, for example - in some the elevated blind type stands. I don’t know if you could get past a whitetails nose if it was in really close by, but if its a cold and nasty deer opener, I just might find out.

Come on Ice!


[This message has been edited by Uncle Grump (edited 09-02-2004).]

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