We all know that ice baths are good for you but we also know they're a pain in the butt. I've tried to find the easiest way to create an ice bath other the years.
Simplistic is Best!
I started with a garbage can from Home Depot, filling it with water from the hose and ice from the icemaker in the freezer. Using the garbage can came from the logic to not mess the bathroom IN the house. After realizing that using the bath wasn't that hard to clean (if you're patient after a workout) using the tub in the bathroom became slightly easier.
The Best Way to Make Ice!
The icemaker in the freezer never gives you enough ice, and when you do use it no one has any ice to use! It could overload the icemakers capacity for work and lead to an expensive fix. Instead I've experimented with different ice making techniques. After using the icemaker, I started filling Gallon Ziplock Freezer Bags. The bags weren't too expensive and were able to create lots of ice.
Unfortunately you had to be careful putting the un-frozen bags in the freezer and couldn't place anything on top of them. Also over time, the money would add up. I started then using Ziplock Containers. I could buy a large variety pack at Sam's Club cheeply. When you fill the containers, they can be stacked neatly in the freezer without worrying about dripping and opening everywhere. Even more important was the fact you could easily 'pop' the ice out of the container without much effort. This allows the container to be used over and over again without paying a lot to make ice.
Do it In a Logical Order!
After working out take a warm shower to wash yourself before the ice bath, for a few reasons. Being warm gives you more confidence to plunge into the cold depths. Also you'll be clean after the bath and you can go about your daily business without worrying about not using all the beneficial but "slow" effects of the ice bath by taking a shower to wash yourself. (For anyone who doesn't know, after icing allow the area to slowly warm up to gain the full benefits of the process.) Some suggest using Hydro-contrast therapy which includes ice-immersion to warm immersion and then back (always ending with ice-immersion) for full benefits. This requires a hotub or 2 bath setup and is obviously more work.
Take a look at http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sampleworkouts/a/Ice-Bath.htm for the scientific reasons behind ice baths.
All you need is a Tub, and Ziplock Containers! Quick recovery and feels great once you get used to it!