Final Night for Northern Minnesota Teen Sleeping Outside for a Year

Updated: 06/06/2014 12:54 PM
Created: 06/06/2014 11:42 AM
By: Megan Stewart

Most high school juniors would spend their first Friday of summer out with friends.

But 17-year-old Rudy Hummel from northern Minnesota is celebrating a bigger feat. Friday night marks the 365th day the teen has slept outside.

Hummel started sleeping in a tree house in his backyard on June 7, 2013. He had built the tree house, which is more of a wooden platform, with his dad and felt bad he hardly ever used it.

The Hermantown High School student pushed himself to spend the summer before his junior year sleeping outside.

As the fall approached, Hummel decided to keep going with his quest. He thought about those who didn't have the option of sleeping indoors and wanted to bring awareness to their daily struggles.

Hummel made it through the summer and fall. Then came the coldest winter in 139 years. Northern Minnesota was recording below-zero temperatures daily, with Duluth recording 23 consecutive days below zero, according to the National Weather Service.

Hummel switched from sleeping on the platform to sleeping in a snow hut to keep warm. Duluth also recorded one of its snowiest winters on record.

Hummel chronicled his journey on his website. He used the site, Snore Outdoors for a Better World, to collect donations for Habitat for Humanity and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, located in the northern part of Hermantown.

While the final dollar amounts aren't available yet, so far Hummel was able to raise thousands of dollars towards his cause, according to his spokesperson.

Friends and family are gathering for Hummel's last night Friday at his home at 5195 Lavaque Junction Road.

Rudy Hummel sleeping outside during the winter.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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