Power for Our Ice Fishing Cabin Without the Fumes and Noise
“Winters in Minnesota may be frigid cold, but that doesn’t stop the fish from biting. Our ice-fishing cabin has been in our family for 35 years. Getting out there lets you get away from it all, which is incredible … as long as the cabin stays warm and the Minnesota Wild games play on the TV.”
-Matt S., Mahnomen, Minnesota
Our ice-fishing cabin is located on the west side of the Lake of the Woods, between Long Point—in the United States—and Buffalo Point—in Canada. During the summer the lake melts and we drag the cabin on “skis” back to dry land until the next deep freeze hits. My father and grandfather built the cabin 35 years ago and it remains in great shape. The insulation is top notch and the small upgrades we’ve made over the years continue to make it a more enjoyable getaway. We have a wood-block table for setting up a small stove to heat coffee, a few chairs that stack up out of the way if no one is using them and there’s even a small cot that folds down from one of the walls if you need to lie down.
For years everyone was content with listening to a battery-powered radio, talking, playing cards and having a couple drinks while we fished. However, the nonstop shivering made the experience less tolerable, especially if you wanted to stay more than a couple hours. My dad used a kerosene heater, which worked fine for a while, but it acted up quite a bit and the odor of kerosene keeps fish away (if you get it on your hands and then tie your bait on). When that heater finally blew its last flame, we looked into other options, namely electric heaters. Knowing we didn’t want a rattling, fume-y, gasoline-powered generator, we looked into battery power. It made complete sense to pull power from a deep-cycle battery that could perform in cold temperatures, and to do so all we needed was a power inverter, to convert the DC battery power into AC power for using various electronics, like space heaters and lights. We bought our power inverter from Inverters R Us, they had a ton of different options.
Since our inverter had plenty of power, I started bringing other electronic devices and more batteries with me when I’d visit the cabin. During hockey season, I now bring a small TV with a satellite dish and receiver so I can watch the Minnesota Wild games. These days, when I go out to the cabin with my son, we are warm, we have hockey, we can cook lunch on a hot plate and drink coffee and hot chocolate while we fish. So, as long as the fish are biting, we’re staying put. Plus, mom doesn’t really want us home unless we’re bringing a catch of walleye or sauger for frying.