Every fall leading into winter this same question pops up a number of times. What's the easy answer?
- 4" of ice to skate, or do anything else on foot.
It is highly recommended you stay off the ice if it is 3" even though this will technically hold most body weights. So how do you test this?
- Pretty simple options include a drill, an ice auger, or an ice pick combined with a tape measure.
Finally, where is it best to test this?
Test this near the edge of the pond. Ice in the middle of the pond tends to be thicker because this is where the colder and often deeper water is located. Also it's not the smartest idea to hike your way out to the middle of the pond when you don't know the thickness of the ice to begin with.
And since we're talking about questionable smart actions, it's great to have a rope and/or extension ladder nearby just in case. We've never had to use either, but there's plenty of YouTube videos showing people who wished they had one.
Stay safe and go play some pond.