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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I found the limits of tracks over the weekend. After a great day of ice fishing with some friends we packed up and headed for the shore and about 75 feet from the edge the machine broke through a layer of slush on top and that was all she wrote. The ice was was plenty thick but the slush got us. The machine wouldn't budge in any direction, tried shoveling out from underneath, pushing pulling, lifting but nothing worked. We were lucky enough to have a fellow fisherman on snowmobiles come by and ask if we needed a ride back to our truck, which we took him up on. Couple phone calls to some good friends with tracked machines who were willing to drive 2hr's in a snow storm at night and we had it out by midnight.

Many lessons learned here including to trust your gut when you question if you should drive out somewhere. But it got me thinking about what I could have done different or how I could be better prepared if this happens again. I was pretty frustrated as I've never been in any situation that I couldn't get myself out of. We were prepared and had everything we needed to spend the night if we had to, thankfully we didn't. Now I'm scouring the internet looking for the tools that could've helped me out of the situation or assist if I ever find myself in one like it again. I've been looking at new shovels as the "off road recovery collapsible shovel" I had broke from the weight of the slush we were shoveling, luckily I had an extra as I keep one in my ice fishing gear. I've also looked at the Pull Pal & Red Rock ground anchor, one of the biggest problems I had was the lack of anchor points for the winch. Once we had another machine close enough to get the winch cable and snatch block hooked to, the general came right out and was back up on top where it belonged.

I would like to hear any recommendations anyone has that worked or didn't work to get you out of a situation? I'm curious to know if anyone has any personal experience with the land anchors and if/how they worked for you, especially in snow? Is there something else you would recommend? I currently carry a snatch block, straps, extra winch rope, shackles, now a broken shovel, personal safety/survival gear, extra parts, fuses, tools and belt. Anything that you recommend to never leave home without?


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2022 general XP on the way
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They make a folding "T" that you can drill a hole and put it through to the bottom of the ice. There's an anchor point on the top that you can hook a winch or cable to... since you're already fishing you have everything to help yourself. It's a simple/compact/easy to use tool. Heck you could probably build one for $50 if you got the tools...


You'll obviously want to keep a good shovel with you and clean out around the machine before trying it, like you did without the "T" tool....

Another good tool is a chisel to break up the ice. I prefer homemade, store bought ones aren't HD enough for me. I prefer to build it with 1"-1.25" round bar and a cutting edge from a snow plow. Typically, they weigh 50 lbs or so. But it's a chisel/prybar in one...



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2022 General XP 4 Trailhead Edition
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I picked on up this fall at the ice show. Its a 2ft long chunk of extruded aluminum about 2 x 2.5 but has a couple layers to it, pretty heavy duty looking. Has a cable to tip it to get it back out of the hole and a strap in the middle. You drill a hole in the ice drop it through and hook your winch to it. I got stuck a few years ago and did a makeshift one with a board but this will be a lot handier. Here is a video link to a demonstration of it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I picked on up this fall at the ice show. Its a 2ft long chunk of extruded aluminum about 2 x 2.5 but has a couple layers to it, pretty heavy duty looking. Has a cable to tip it to get it back out of the hole and a strap in the middle. You drill a hole in the ice drop it through and hook your winch to it. I got stuck a few years ago and did a makeshift one with a board but this will be a lot handier. Here is a video link to a demonstration of it.

I saw this one last night. I think I could build one pretty easy. Looks like my Saturday project so I can go fishing sunday.
 

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2016 Polaris General Deluxe, 10% OEM
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What? Your General doesn't have a winch?
I'd bet it does, but not enough cable to get to shore. So you need to carry a nylon braided rope, or a snatch strap, or a wire cable long enough, say 50 ft long, to get you out. For ease let's call whichever you choose as a "recovery rope". Thus the length of the winch cable and extras limit how far out on the ice you can go.
Before you go out on the ice, find something you can hook your Tree Saver strap around as an anchor point. If there isn't one, you need to seek out something to use as "deadman". I've used a piece of a 6" log, dug a trench to lay the length of the log two feet deep in the ground. Then bury the deadman, winch cable connected around it and stomp the dirt down good. This you can pull against.
Also, as I was driving out onto the ice I would be laying out my recovery rope from where I have it hooked to my tree saver or deadman. When it's all laid out, you have to do your ice fishing closer than 50 ft from the end.
Also, I would not park my General pointed in any other direction that straight back the line of my recovery rope.

Taking these steps, you should be able to get back to shore, so long as the ice will support your machine.
Learned this four wheeling about forty years ago...when getting someone else out of a swamp!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What? Your General doesn't have a winch?
Haha, yes the machine has a winch and I carry extra winch rope, shackles, straps and a snatch block. In the night picture you can see where I'm stuck and the other machines are on land. I was facing towards the shore when it got stuck maybe 75 feet, not a tree for 1000 yds.

Hoping someone has some personal experience with land anchors or something else that has worked in snow but could also work for other situations/terrains. I bought the tracks to go through snow and drive on frozen lakes. I have no issues with getting stuck, just want to have as many bullets in my belt for the next time.
 

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I saw this one last night. I think I could build one pretty easy. Looks like my Saturday project so I can go fishing sunday.
Yeah it looks pretty easy. It would be easier to get the strength needed with steel unless you could find a piece of extruded aluminum that looks beefy enough. I don't think aluminum tubing would be strong enough without going ridiculous on the size. I was tempted to make it myself but got caught up in the moment of the ice show and the sale lol. I also made a winch that fits in a receiver hitch to use on the back if ever needed. I also put a receiver tube on the front my tilt deck trailer to help pull a dead piece of equipment up the trailer. It worked pretty to load the general when I broke the front wheel studs and lost the track earlier this winter.
 

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Well I found the limits of tracks over the weekend. After a great day of ice fishing with some friends we packed up and headed for the shore and about 75 feet from the edge the machine broke through a layer of slush on top and that was all she wrote. The ice was was plenty thick but the slush got us. The machine wouldn't budge in any direction, tried shoveling out from underneath, pushing pulling, lifting but nothing worked. We were lucky enough to have a fellow fisherman on snowmobiles come by and ask if we needed a ride back to our truck, which we took him up on. Couple phone calls to some good friends with tracked machines who were willing to drive 2hr's in a snow storm at night and we had it out by midnight.

Many lessons learned here including to trust your gut when you question if you should drive out somewhere. But it got me thinking about what I could have done different or how I could be better prepared if this happens again. I was pretty frustrated as I've never been in any situation that I couldn't get myself out of. We were prepared and had everything we needed to spend the night if we had to, thankfully we didn't. Now I'm scouring the internet looking for the tools that could've helped me out of the situation or assist if I ever find myself in one like it again. I've been looking at new shovels as the "off road recovery collapsible shovel" I had broke from the weight of the slush we were shoveling, luckily I had an extra as I keep one in my ice fishing gear. I've also looked at the Pull Pal & Red Rock ground anchor, one of the biggest problems I had was the lack of anchor points for the winch. Once we had another machine close enough to get the winch cable and snatch block hooked to, the general came right out and was back up on top where it belonged.

I would like to hear any recommendations anyone has that worked or didn't work to get you out of a situation? I'm curious to know if anyone has any personal experience with the land anchors and if/how they worked for you, especially in snow? Is there something else you would recommend? I currently carry a snatch block, straps, extra winch rope, shackles, now a broken shovel, personal safety/survival gear, extra parts, fuses, tools and belt. Anything that you recommend to never leave home without?


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I got hung up in some deep slush last spring and was able to get out by myself with that Arctic Anchor. Have some clamps on the bed to hold my ice auger so its always with when on the ice if not fishing. Couldn't have been more happy how that worked.
 

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I picked on up this fall at the ice show. Its a 2ft long chunk of extruded aluminum about 2 x 2.5 but has a couple layers to it, pretty heavy duty looking. Has a cable to tip it to get it back out of the hole and a strap in the middle. You drill a hole in the ice drop it through and hook your winch to it. I got stuck a few years ago and did a makeshift one with a board but this will be a lot handier. Here is a video link to a demonstration of it.
In MN, that's the type of device we all use. There has never been a time that we have fished within winching distance of anything. And most times we are a minimum of a half mile from shore. So there is no tow rope long enough to leave just in case.

This is a super simple design to replicate. And worth having for sure. That being said, once tracks hit slush, it's nearly game over too. A person gets a real feeling of over confidence as amazing as they are. But slush is the kryptonite, especially if it starts to freeze.
 

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Since your driving a tracked vehicle, use an old army trick get a small log maybe 3 to 5 inch in dia, lash it to the front or rear track just above the snow line, once both sides are firmly lashed then slowly move your machine forward...the log should float your machine out of your hole or atleast lift it so you can fill the hole or use traction device. once the log gets to the end of your track, unlash the log re attach to front until your out...it works in snow and mud...I've seen it done on a 70 ton Leopard II A6M tank should work on your machine.. I'd use your rear track since it is the longest...and take it out backyards.

NOTE, you need to unlash the log once it gets to the end of your track...if you don't it will rip your track clean off, and do some ungodly damage to your machine...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A person gets a real feeling of over confidence as amazing as they are. But slush is the kryptonite, especially if it starts to freeze
I have over confidence issues without tracks, lol. The slush is rough, been stuck before with fourwheelers. We were out all day with no issues. Only when we were headed back and almost to shore. I figure if your going to do this your going to have these types of situations. I just like to be as prepared as possible to handle it when it happens. I'm only kicking myself because I felt unprepared, not because I got stuck. I watched a video with the arctic anchor pulling out a side by side. My concern is the direction in which it's pulling, down. It helped move it forward but was pulling down the entire time. Pretty tough to get back on top of the slush layer when the front is being pulled down. I do still like it though, small, compact and simple. It's better to have something rather than nothing.
 

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I have over confidence issues without tracks, lol. The slush is rough, been stuck before with fourwheelers. We were out all day with no issues. Only when we were headed back and almost to shore. I figure if your going to do this your going to have these types of situations. I just like to be as prepared as possible to handle it when it happens. I'm only kicking myself because I felt unprepared, not because I got stuck. I watched a video with the arctic anchor pulling out a side by side. My concern is the direction in which it's pulling, down. It helped move it forward but was pulling down the entire time. Pretty tough to get back on top of the slush layer when the front is being pulled down. I do still like it though, small, compact and simple. It's better to have something rather than nothing.
Amen, slush is the inevitable worst when fishing. We had it after heavy snow back in December, but at least we got a week of -20 to freeze it up, or it would have been around till spring. Now Southern MN has it after a foot of snow. I have seen pics of wheel houses sunk in a foot. They may have to use chainsaws to get them free!

I don't like the low winch point either, but we have few options when out. I winched my skid house for the first time this past weekend, as I just could not get traction to move it, but I could get traction to hold my General while winching. So I winched the skid house to fresh snow, then it would slide properly. **** 33 degree weather makes skid houses stick so quickly. I'm happy we have dropped back down in the teens, as I can go move my house now with ease!

We have great snow now, but these pics were from our battle with rising water and slush back in December. Glad that's over!

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Well I found the limits of tracks over the weekend. After a great day of ice fishing with some friends we packed up and headed for the shore and about 75 feet from the edge the machine broke through a layer of slush on top and that was all she wrote. The ice was was plenty thick but the slush got us. The machine wouldn't budge in any direction, tried shoveling out from underneath, pushing pulling, lifting but nothing worked. We were lucky enough to have a fellow fisherman on snowmobiles come by and ask if we needed a ride back to our truck, which we took him up on. Couple phone calls to some good friends with tracked machines who were willing to drive 2hr's in a snow storm at night and we had it out by midnight.

Many lessons learned here including to trust your gut when you question if you should drive out somewhere. But it got me thinking about what I could have done different or how I could be better prepared if this happens again. I was pretty frustrated as I've never been in any situation that I couldn't get myself out of. We were prepared and had everything we needed to spend the night if we had to, thankfully we didn't. Now I'm scouring the internet looking for the tools that could've helped me out of the situation or assist if I ever find myself in one like it again. I've been looking at new shovels as the "off road recovery collapsible shovel" I had broke from the weight of the slush we were shoveling, luckily I had an extra as I keep one in my ice fishing gear. I've also looked at the Pull Pal & Red Rock ground anchor, one of the biggest problems I had was the lack of anchor points for the winch. Once we had another machine close enough to get the winch cable and snatch block hooked to, the general came right out and was back up on top where it belonged.

I would like to hear any recommendations anyone has that worked or didn't work to get you out of a situation? I'm curious to know if anyone has any personal experience with the land anchors and if/how they worked for you, especially in snow? Is there something else you would recommend? I currently carry a snatch block, straps, extra winch rope, shackles, now a broken shovel, personal safety/survival gear, extra parts, fuses, tools and belt. Anything that you recommend to never leave home without?


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well, I can't tell if your General has a winch on the front or not but if it does, you obviously had a way to drill through the ice since you were ice fishing. Assuming you have a tow strap or rope or both (I keep plenty of towline in my machine) you could have drilled a hole in the ice, ahead of the machine and tied the towline to a large stick or piece of wood and used as an anchoring point to winch against. you could also drill two holes that were close enough together that you could snake the towline down through one and up through the other and tied off the towline and winched against that. May have to do this multiple times until you've cleared the slush hole. if you don't have a winch, carry a come along and could do the same thing, it's just much slower and harder to do alone.
 

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well, I can't tell if your General has a winch on the front or not but if it does, you obviously had a way to drill through the ice since you were ice fishing. Assuming you have a tow strap or rope or both (I keep plenty of towline in my machine) you could have drilled a hole in the ice, ahead of the machine and tied the towline to a large stick or piece of wood and used as an anchoring point to winch against. you could also drill two holes that were close enough together that you could snake the towline down through one and up through the other and tied off the towline and winched against that. May have to do this multiple times until you've cleared the slush hole. if you don't have a winch, carry a come along and could do the same thing, it's just much slower and harder to do alone.
See posts 3, 4, and 5. Welcome to the conversation. Btw, most of us are on 2-3’ of ice so “snaking” can be quite difficult. Although I do just that with a very long piece of wire for my minnow keeper, so it’s not out of the question
 

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See posts 3, 4, and 5. Welcome to the conversation. Btw, most of us are on 2-3’ of ice so “snaking” can be quite difficult. Although I do just that with a very long piece of wire for my minnow keeper, so it’s not out of the question
ok. didn't read the other posts or see the metal "tee" anchor but the piece of wood with rope tied in the middle and then pushed down the ice hole and it would float up against the ice making a "tee" under the ice would do the same thing and you don't have to buy the metal one and lug it around in your machine. How deep was the slush?
I do a lot of ice fishing too and often on 2' of ice. with that much ice the auger holes could be pretty close together and still hold the force. i'm betting the rope would break before the ice would rip out. just suggestions.
 

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All good options. For those worried about the "down" force that using ice as a winch anchor, we could take a trick out of our tree clearing play book.

When pulling small trees, we used to run our winch line over a spare tire set on it's edge. That allowed the winch force to lift on the tree trunk, rather than drag it out of the ground at an angle. For those carrying a spare tire, they could run their recovery line over the spare and to an ice anchor, or double holes to get the anchor point up a couple feet off the surface of the ice. I would bet any angle adjustment would be helpful.

I am currently making an ice anchor like the $130 ones out of scrap metal, as my buddy had the other one. I am out on the lake alone too often to not have an ice anchor if I get stuck. There are no spare pieces of wood anywhere near me, so carrying a 16" piece of scrap metal and a recovery strap will be worth it. Heck, I'm usually dragging an 8x14 skid house!
 
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