How To Walk On Ice Without Breaking Your Bones

Frozen Lake Baikal and human leg
Frozen Lake Baikal and human leg

Canada is experiencing a true winter this year, between the ice storms, the blizzards, the downpours and the frigid temperatures. And though we Canadians like to brag we can handle any weather thrown at us, it seems there's one thing that can thwart even the hardiest of souls: ice.

Thanks to fluctuating temperatures and excretions from the sky, ice is all over the streets and sidewalks, often in places where people can't even see it. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, in 2011-12, more than 7,000 people went to the hospital after falling on ice — and that was during a relatively mild winter.

Injuries from falling on ice can include anything from back pain to concussions, and are particularly serious for those over 50, whose bones are often more brittle and susceptible to breakage. We've amassed some tips from the wisdom of the Internet to give you a hand in getting through this ice safely. Have some solutions of your own? We'd love to hear them.


This graphic, posted on Reddit with the words, "Avoid slipping on ice by walking like a penguin!" speaks volumes. It was created by artist Curtis Whaley from Tablet Infographics:

Through The Centre

In this video, "posturedoc" gives an admittedly wordy demonstration of why a strong core is so important to surviving the ice. Worth watching to see how he steps:

Best Foot Forward

Wear the right shoes, which means shoes with large treads or raised patterns. If you want to be extra cautious, consider getting some traction devices, like these Yaktrax Pro options (available for around $16 at various outdoor retailers). The steel coils on the bottom give some grip with ice and allow for better balance.

Give A Pinch

And if you're really, really worried, there's always the option of carrying your own salt with you. Salt melts ice by lowering the freezing point of water, according to, and so though it may weight you down, you can pull an Arctic Hansel and Gretel to get through the ice.

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