Perhaps I will be the only one who will be able to relate to this, and it might have more to do with a willingness to take chances or try things out but, when I was a kid, we always knew when the ice was thick enough to walk on, or skate on, yet as far as I am aware no one cut a hole in the ice in order to check the thickness of the ice. My dad had an ice augur that he used to drill holes in the ice for ice fishing, but we never used that to check the thickness of the ice, as they recommend today. Were we really that smart or were we really so careless? Yet no one that I was aware of ever fell through the ice, at least not at the beginning of the season. In the spring, we would intentionally walk on the ice on the (very small) river behind our house, practicing our ability to walk on ice that cracks beneath our feet. We would sometimes break through then, but the water was only a couple of feet deep in most places. But we seemed to know when the ice on the lakes was thick enough to hold our weight, and I don't recall anyone ever telling us when it was time. Yes, there was also such a thing as the recklessness of youth, I suppose. In one place, there was a hill alongside a lake. The lake had a stream flowing through it that was slow to freeze in the winter. We would sometimes toboggan off of the hill, gaining enough momentum to propel the toboggan across the open stream. That was scary, which is also why it was fun. If the head of the toboggan were to go into the open water rather than onto the ice on the other side of the stream, we would be under the ice, and the lake was more than a couple of feet deep. But that never happened. Of course, a toboggan is long, so as long as we kept our weight to the rear of the toboggan, the head would be up and, since the open stream was narrow, it wouldn't have to stay up long in order to be over, as long as we were going fast enough. People do much the same with snowmobiles, I think, but it doesn't always work out for them. Back on subject, today, at sixty-seven, I wouldn't know when the ice was thick enough for me to walk on it without checking first, or observing that other people were driving their snowmobiles on it.