Skip to main content

Blanket of snow: Minnesota teen sleeping outside for a year

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It's been dipping below zero for several weeks in Hermantown, just west of Duluth, where 17-year-old Rudy Hummel has been dozing peacefully at night ... outdoors.

The teen is on a personal quest to sleep outside for a year, which wasn't so bad when he started June 7. “Originally, it was just going to be for the summer,” Hummel told the Duluth News Tribune. Then September arrived, and Hummel set his goal a little higher – by staying outdoors as the mercury dropped lower.

Hummel shows the News Tribune around his snow house, which he carved out of a mound of snow in his yard. Inside, he laid layers of bedding – two foam pads, 3 inches of straw, a Therma-Rest foam pad, a foam pad and an empty sleeping bag – on a snow shelf, the News Tribune reports. He sleeps in three pairs of pants, four shirts and four sleeping bags.

Hummel snoozes blissfully, even weathering a night of minus-17 degrees. He's in for another chilly evening Monday night: minus-16 degrees. Hummel's parents support his year-long pursuit. They are an outdoorsy family, and they've checked his snow house to make sure it is safe, the News Tribune reports.

“I’ve always liked setting goals and making them, challenging myself,” Hummel told the newspaper. The teen is working toward earning his rank as Eagle Scout. “Another part is, I really like sunrises.”

Want to give it a try? Winter camping enthusiasts say sleeping outside in cold weather is just a matter of the right equipment – a high-tech winter sleeping bag with a liner, good padding, the right clothes, a hot water bottle, a warm pre-slumber meal, a protected camping site – and warm thoughts.

Does the whole thing seem crazy? It's actually not unheard of for kids to snooze outside in winter. In Stockholm, some parents even let their warmly-wrapped babies nap outside in strollers – even as mom ducks into the coffee shop – the BBC reported earlier this year.

Next Up

image

Abogados Café in St. Paul is the first law-themed coffee shop in America

The new business is Minnesota's first Latina-owned coffee shop.

Clydesdale

Man dies after being run over by his Clydesdale in St. Cloud

The accident happened Sunday afternoon at the St. Cloud MAC.

Brandon Gardas

St. Michael standoff suspect charged, bail set at $10 million

A judge on Monday set the high bail due to "very significant concerns of public safety" regarding Brandon Gardas.

20210722_hhc_570

Minnesota's premier trauma center housed at HCMC

The Minneapolis center is nationally recognized in pediatric trauma

Crisp & Green

Crisp & Green opening 13th store in Twin Cities in July

The fast-casual salad and grains restaurant has exploded onto the food scene.

FLickr - Target Field 2019 - mark grabe

Twins to host post-game concert with country star at Target Field

Country singer Cole Swindell is expected to perform for up to 75 minutes after the conclusion of the Blue Jays-Twins contest.

10974344_886755688011981_7448860726679919201_o

Canton Restaurant closes after nearly 40 years in Burnsville

It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities restaurant world.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 12.47.20 PM

Luck strikes in Minnesota: lottery winners in Duluth, Grand Marais

The North Shore just so happened to be a lucky place to be this past weekend.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, June 27

BA.5 is expected to become the dominant subvariant in Minnesota.

police lights squad car

60-year-old woman arrested after firing shots inside Spicer home

SWAT evacuated nearby residents during the incident.

Related