Minnesota teen reaches goal of sleeping outdoors every night for a year


On Saturday night Rudy Hummel can stay inside at bedtime. If he wants to.

But the Hermantown 17-year-old has demonstrated beyond any doubt that sleeping outdoors is not a problem for him. He's done it every night for a year.

His father added a note to Hummel's blog at Snore Outdoors.com, saying friends would help Rudy mark the occasion by pitching tents in the yard as Rudy slept outside for the 365th straight night.

Rudy Hummel writes in his blog that he started his quest last year because he likes challenging himself. But along the way he has also raised more than $5,000 in donations to two groups, Habitat for Humanity and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.

Hummel tells the Associated Press he slept in 30 different places during the year. They ranged from the treehouse in the family's yard to tents, a hotel balcony, and a snow cave he built for the cold winter nights.

The AP says there were 76 nights when the temperature was below zero and on the coldest night it reached 27 below. Hummel relied on layers – wearing as many as three pairs of pants and up to seven shirts while tucked into three sleeping bags with a few quilts over him.

But the most difficult nights, he tells the AP were actually during the summer when it was hot and humid with mosquitoes and thunderstorms adding to his discomfort.

Northland's News Center reports his parents did insist on some ground rules for Rudy's year-long adventure. One was that he keep a telephone with him. Another involved the cold: "We had a deal where if he ever started shivering he would need to come in, but he never did. He managed it," said Rudy's mom, Gail Johnejack.

His father, Mark Hummel, tells the station: "He's got more together at 17 than I do right now really, in many ways."

Over the course of the year Rudy has garnered media attention from all over the world. It was during the cold winter nights that the story was repeated most often.

As he prepares to return to the world of indoor slumber, Hummel says he has some work to do. It seems the bedroom has become somewhat cluttered while he's been sleeping al fresco. "I will have to do a significant amount of cleaning before I can lay in my bed," he told the AP.

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