When selecting essential ice fishing clothing, several things must be taken into consideration. The temperature in the environment the ice fishing will take place will help determine the weight or clothing and layers needed to protect yourself from the cold. The role the wearer will play in ice fishing will also help determine the degree to which cold water will come in contact with the person. Additionally, the length of time the wearer is exposed to the elements is also helpful.
- Heavy winter jacket. The colder the environment and the longer the person will be outside without any protection from the elements, the warmer and more protective the jacket needs to be. A jacket protects almost all vital organs within the body and therefore should be chosen carefully for ice fishing.
- Snow pants. Snow pants can be optional for many ice fishers, but if unaccustomed to sitting in the cold for long periods of time and not splurging on extra layers of thermal underwear, snow pants can help trap heat and keep leg muscles and joints warm.
- Boots and thick boot socks. Boots and thick, winter-wear boot socks are essential to ice fishing. Feet and toes are especially susceptible to frostbite. Some wear plastic bread bags or similar waterproofing to keep the feet dry even if the boots get wet.
- Gloves, scarves and headgear. Protecting the hands is as important as protecting the feet when ice fishing as they are equally susceptible to frost bite from exposure. Due to the nature of the sport, however, several pairs of gloves and mittens may be helpful, in case some get wet or to increase the use of hands and fingers. Scarves can be wrapped around the mouth and nose to help warm the air while breathing, protecting the lungs, and headgear keeps the ears warm and helps prevent too much body heat from escaping.
- Ice shelter. Not a clothing essential for ice fishing, but a common essential tool. An ice fishing shelter helps provide a bit of protection from the elements while ice fishing for very long periods of time. This can prove very helpful if bringing children along, too, as children tend to lose interest fast when the “sport” becomes less comfortable.