WON Landing Page OCT 2022

RetroWON: Build a DIY Ice Fishing Shelter on a Budget

Keeping warm while ice fishing is next to impossible on some days, unless you have a good shelter. Many “pop-up” tent style shelters are available on the market, all of which have hefty price tags, but none equal the comfort of a home-built wooden shelter. The keys to keeping warm on the ice are getting your feet off the ice, getting out of the wind on sunny days, and using a portable heater on cold, windy, overcast days.

ice-shanty-header-shelter Ice Fishing Shelter

In this article, we’ll show you how to build a light wooden shelter that will comfortably hold 2–3 anglers, that can function as a lean-to on sunny days, and that can close up tight on bitter cold days. This shelter uses an exoskeleton-style frame to give you more room on the inside and provide a smooth, snag-free interior for winter clothing.

Materials (note that lumber prices vary regionally and seasonally):

  • 25 2’ x 4’ x 8’ boards (for the framing)
  • 1 piece of thick 4’ x 8’ plywood for the floor (no thinner than 15/32)
  • 6 sheets of 2.7mm 4’ x 8’ utility panels (for the doors, sides, and roof)
  • 1 box of deck screws (I used a 1-pound box of #9 x 2½” T-25s)
  • 1 box of small finishing nails (to hang the utility panels)
  • 1 bottle of good wood glue
  • 4 hinges


  • Hammer
  • Saw (whichever kind you own)
  • Screw gun
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Protractor

This is a straightforward build that requires no special tools beyond what most people own already. The only complicated tool you’ll need is the protractor since you need a 26.5° angle for your roof pitch.

Interested in the rest of the directions on how to build the best $150 ice shelter ever?

All the materials, tools, and instructions with illustrations can be found at FIX.com

This Retro WON was first published on February 3, 2017.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.