How To Camp on A Frozen Lake & Catch & Cook Lake Trout

Camping on a frozen lake during winter can be a thrilling and rewarding adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. Imagine setting up your tent on a pristine icy surface surrounded by snow-capped mountains, with the opportunity to catch and cook fresh lake trout right from beneath the frozen depths. In this guide, we'll explore how to safely camp on a frozen lake and master the art of ice fishing for lake trout.

Preparing for Your Frozen Lake Adventure

Before embarking on your frozen lake camping trip, thorough preparation is essential:

  1. Check Ice Conditions: Verify that the ice is thick and safe for camping. Ice thickness of at least 4 inches is generally recommended for walking and setting up a tent, while 8-12 inches is safer for vehicles.

  2. Gather Proper Gear: Dress in warm, moisture-wicking layers and bring high-quality cold-weather camping gear, including a four-season tent, warm sleeping bags, insulated sleeping pads, and a reliable stove for cooking.

  3. Pack Essential Supplies: Carry sufficient food, water, and emergency supplies. Don't forget ice picks, a first aid kit, and a GPS device or map.

Setting Up Camp

Choose a flat and open area on the frozen lake away from cracks or other potential hazards. Follow these steps:

  1. Clear the Snow: Use a snow shovel to clear the snow and create a flat surface for pitching your tent.

  2. Anchor Your Tent: Use ice screws or heavy objects (like ice-filled buckets) to secure your tent to the ice.

  3. Create Wind Barriers: Build snow walls around your tent to shield it from wind and blowing snow.

  4. Set Up Cooking Area: Keep your stove on a stable surface outside the tent for cooking.

Ice Fishing for Lake Trout

Ice fishing for lake trout can be incredibly rewarding if done correctly. Here's how to do it:

  1. Drill Holes: Use an ice auger to drill a hole through the ice. Start with one hole and gradually expand to multiple spots if needed.

  2. Use Quality Fishing Gear: Invest in a sturdy ice fishing rod and reel, along with appropriate bait (such as minnows or artificial lures).

  3. Stay Patient: Lake trout can be found at various depths depending on the lake. Experiment with different depths until you find success.

  4. Handle Trout Carefully: When you catch a lake trout, handle it gently to minimize stress. If you plan to keep and cook the trout, ensure it's legal to do so and follow local regulations.

Cooking Your Catch

After a successful ice fishing session, it's time to enjoy a delicious meal:

  1. Clean the Trout: Gut and clean the trout near your fishing spot.

  2. Prepare a Simple Recipe: Keep it straightforward. Season the trout with salt, pepper, and lemon, and cook it over your camp stove or a portable grill.

  3. Enjoy Your Meal: There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of eating freshly caught fish in the midst of a frozen wilderness.


Camping on a frozen lake and catching and cooking lake trout is an adventure that combines outdoor skills with the serenity of nature. Remember to prioritize safety and preparation at every step, and always adhere to local regulations for ice fishing. With the right gear and mindset, this winter camping experience can become one of your most cherished outdoor memories. So, plan your trip, embrace the cold, and savor the joys of camping on a frozen lake!