By Kate Raddatz

HERMANTOWN, Minn. (WCCO) — A teen from Hermantown, Minn. is braving the arctic blast that’s enveloped the Midwest by sleeping outside.

Seventeen-year old Rudy Hummel has been sleeping in the backyard of his family’s home for seven months.

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To stay warm at night, he recently built a snow cave called a quinzhee, which is large enough to fit three people.

“It’s cozy. It’s pretty warm,” Rudy said. “People call me crazy or commend me. The same ones who commend me often call me crazy, but in a good way.”

Rudy wears six layers at night to keep him warm, along with a wool blanket and several sleeping bags on top.

During the day, he spends time with his family inside. But he always returns to the snow cave at night.

Rudy’s mom, Gail, says Sunday night was the first time she ever checked on him due to the frozen temperatures.

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“I don’t ever feel like I want to call him in, I really don’t,” Gail said. “I want him to succeed.”

As for why he’s doing it?

“I thought it would be fun to sleep outside all summer, and halfway through the summer it just blossomed into this,” Rudy said.

Hes says life in the cave is quite peaceful. He’s only been woken up a few times by the sound of rabbits on top of the quinzhee.

He doesn’t even miss warmer days.

“Not yet, nope” he said.

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Rudy plans to try to make it a full year of sleeping outside. He’s working on turning his experience into a charitable cause.

Kate Raddatz