Camping on Ice

Enjoy the best of both fishing & camping from the comfort of your very own ice bungalow!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night on the ice with the warmth of a fire in the middle of the lake? Northeastern Ontario’s ice bungalows are your destination to have this experience firsthand, with a multitude of outfitters awaiting your arrival. Each and every night spent on the hard water goes down as a long-lasting memory for me and the group that took part in all the fun together. Catching fish, sharing stories, and having fresh fish fries over the stove is what winter dreams are made of!

Where to Go

The excitement of this style trip starts a lot longer before you even arrive at your outfitter's location, with the planning, preparation, and anticipation, not to mention the trip lead-up emotions that often resemble a child going to the candy store. Get started with these Northeastern Ontario operators who would be more than happy to book your group and answer any questions you might have:

What to Bring

Packing for these trips may be odd for some, as you are more or less packing up for a camping trip in the middle of the winter to sleep on the ice. Sleeping bags, pillows, toiletries, warm winter clothing, fishing gear, and your choice of food and drink are really all you will require.

Some of the accommodations exceed many guests’ expectations and can include controlled heat sources, satellite television, stoves, and a full supply of cookware. Some even offer Wi-Fi! My recommendation is to contact your outfitter before arriving to ensure you aren’t packing any items you don't need, and even more importantly, not leaving necessary items at home!

What to Expect

Upon arrival at your destination, a pre-heated ice hut with freshly drilled holes and live bait will be waiting for you. Does it get any better than that? Imagine heading camping, only to find that a tent was already set up for you and all you had to do was pull out your personal gear – pretty good, right? This is what you can expect from an ice bungalow outfitter, along with a ride out on an ice road in a pick-up truck, shuttle vehicle, multi-person tow sleigh, or on an ATV or snowmobile.

Kicking Back and enjoying the experience

Now that you have arrived at your home for the weekend, it’s time to get settled in and get your focus geared toward the fish roaming under your feet. Still lines should be set outside of the hut, using live bait and either a split shot weight with a treble hook or a simple lead head jig. Once set up, head back into your ice hut and get those jigging rods deployed through the holes in the floor beneath you. I don't think it gets any better than this—a warm hut and jigging your favourite bait beneath you while keeping an eye on your lines out the window.

Your entire weekend experience should be filled with fish, laughter, and a full belly. The enjoyment of fishing as much or as little as you desire is always a great option to have, but one of the best parts of the adventure is being able to enjoy winter camping in a location that cannot be accessed at any other time of the year. Take it all in while visiting one of Northeastern Ontario’s ice bungalow providers. You may even be lucky enough to be blessed with a sky full of stars, or dancing Northern Lights above!

Prime fishing time is here and safe ice is available across the region where outfitters are located. Do your research and contact one of our great providers for a weekend experience that you will not soon forget! I hope you enjoy this experience as much as I have; it truly is more than "just" fishing.

About Mathew Koprash

Mathew Koprash has been passionate about fishing for his whole life, and is dedicated to sharing his tips and techniques with others who share his passion.

Related Articles

Double Header, Double Season

Wolf Lake and Blue Lagoon

Plan A North Bay Bike Vacation

And follow in the tire tracks of professional cyclist, Emily Batty.

This is the Must-Do Road Trip of Summer!

The Georgian Bay Coastal Route winds through some of Northeastern Ontario's most beautiful landscapes.

Fish for one of the World's Rarest Species of Trout

Found only in 12 remote Ontario lakes–and nowhere else in the world–the aurora trout is a special fish.

Stonehenge of the North

Huge boulders aligned with the setting sun on solstice pose more questions than answers.

Manitoulin Island Camping and RVing Guide

Have you explored the world's largest freshwater island yet?

From Bear Grease to Blackflies

Weird facts about Northern Ontario bugs

The Northern Lights Trip Planner

3 trip ideas for an illuminating experience in Ontario

Lake Nipissing Fishing Hot Spots

Nipissing is one massive lake with plenty of fishing opportunities to keep anglers exploring.

Best Things to Do in Kirkland Lake: The Town that Gold Built

Check out a self-guided gold mine tour, a northern chateau museum, and get some beach time!

5 Fishing Hotspots in Timmins & Area

Target pike, walleye, perch, smallmouth bass, whitefish, and more.

See the Big Summer Meteor Shower The Right Way!

A Guide to Mushroom Hunting

How, when and where to go, and what to look for

The Lake Nipissing Loop

From french bakeries to trading posts, museums to winter hiking—add this epic weekend road trip to your bucket list

Largemouth & Smallmouth: Summer Bass Fishing Technique

Focus on the proper areas, depths, and techniques for success.

The History of the Fire Tower

From World War II to Jack Kerouac to Temagami

Take a Trip Back in Time: The History of Highway 11

How to Properly Hold and Handle Fish

Techniques & Tools

3 Easy Weekend Trips from Brampton

Lighthouses, waterfalls, epic hikes, and the world's biggest nickel await on these easy road trips from Brampton to Ontario's north. Plan your summer vacation today!

The Low-Down on Those Pesky Bugs in the North