About Snore Outdoors: Our Role in Caring for Each Other and for Nature

 “One person can make a difference in the world.  In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about.  So be that one person. ”

― Richard Buckminster Fuller

People connect with live birds at Hawk Ridge. They learn about birds first, then bird habitat, followed by the web that connects all of nature, including people. And when they get excited, they act in ways that care for the web of all life -- people and nature.

Helping others is the surest way to warm your heart.  Even the smallest act of kindness can ripple out far beyond one’s imagination.

        June 8, 2014 (server was down yesterday):  Done deal.  Rudy slept in his own bed last night, after moving a year’s worth of stuff from bed to floor.   He hasn’t gotten up yet (10:00 AM), so I’d guess he’s reading.  On Friday, the last night, the press conference was fun, the goofing around even better, and the intense rain?  Well, it was a perfect metaphor for the challenges Rudy — and so many others — have faced over the past year.  
       We will leave the fund raiser open through the end of June, so if you’ve been thinking about donating, there is still time.  Thank you so much for your donations, support, and encouragement.   Hearts of gold, all of you.  Remember that one person can indeed make a difference in the world.  In fact, we all do.  We can’t help it.  The question is, “What is the nature of that difference?”  There are so many ways, both large and small, to be the difference you wish to see in the world.           — Rudy’s Dad
Sleeping in my tree platform at -17 F.

Sleeping in my tree platform at -17 F.

Hello everyone, my name is Rudy Hummel.

I have a personal goal to sleep outside for a year to help make sure people and animals can have the homes they need.

My tree platform under construction

My tree platform under construction

When I started sleeping outside last June, it was because I like challenging myself.   I love camping with my family and Boy Scout Troop (including winter camping), so it seemed natural that I’d want to spend a whole year out there.  I knew I could do it.  I started in a tree platform in the backyard.

Getting out of bed in the morning (pre-quinzhee).

Getting out of bed in the morning (pre-quinzhee).

Temperatures dropped, as did snow, and I built myself a quinzhee (snow cave) to sleep in. In December, an idea struck me.  Would people pledge money for each night I slept outside? Like pledging for miles run, or laps swum?

Moving into the quinzhee

Moving into the quinzhee

I thought about what’s important to me, like the outdoors. I also thought about how many people have to sleep outside all the time, without sleeping bags or warm clothing.  At first glance, these don’t seem very well connected, but to me they are.  Caring for people is important, and so is caring for the environment that sustains us.  Treating nature well is treating each other well, both now, and for generations yet to come.  It’s our habitat, too.   We all live on this planet together. Habitat Button I chose Habitat for Humanity  because it sets a wonderful example of caring for people.  It’s an organization that builds houses for people who are homeless.  (Donations made through this website are tallied under Snore Outdoors.) Hawk Ridge PageI chose Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory because it connects people to nature and helps them understand why we need to care for it.  It’s a local Duluth nonprofit organization that I was introduced to when my mom volunteered there.  She now works as the Education Director, and together we helped raise money for Hawk Ridge at the 2012 Birdathon.  It’s a great organization that focuses on migratory bird research and environmental education. And that’s how Snore Outdoors for a Better World was born.  Some kids from my school’s National Honor Society program stepped up to help, and we’re going to do our best to make a difference in the world.  You can help, too.  To learn more, click the logos or links above.

“One person can make a difference in the world.

So be that one person. ”

        ― Richard Buckminster Fuller


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49 Responses

  1. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to
    say wonderful blog!

  2. Mrs. V. Rama says:

    I am Rama aunty, from India, read your deed. Really you made a difference. Take care

  3. Hi Rudy: We featured your impressive feat/story in UpliftingNews on reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/UpliftingNews/) and a lot of the folks there would love to see you do an AMA. Any interest in answering a few questions from others around the world!?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Rudy! We just read your story on air and would love to get you on our morning show in central Illinois. Please e-mail me laura@wjbc.com. Love to get you more exposure and have you raise more money for a great cause.We have a weekly segment with the Habitat for Humanity manger in our town and always do our part to support the group! Thank you. Once again you can e-mail me at laura@wjbc.com!

  5. Britt says:

    Hi Rudy! Writing from SiriusXM Radio in Nashville. We told your story yesterday and would love to have you call in. Will you please contact me?

  6. Robin says:

    Old Brewery Mission of Canada shelter staff salutes you, son. We need more people like you, keep on going with your fate in humanity. You’re not alone.

  7. mo says:

    A good thing to publicize too is that it isn’t even the weather so much as the persecution, resulting requirement to stay on the move with make shift perpetually shifting “enclosures” if any, lack of protection due to hiding out and lack of showers or bathrooms that make homelessness a horrendous experience for most.

  8. Carla Cooper says:

    Congrats! Really inspiring. Been randomly keeping track of you all year, but this is BIG! Well done at sticking with something you started and great idea to fund raise at the same time. The world is waiting to see what you do next. Good luck with everything you wish for!!! MamaCoop

  9. kory says:

    how fortunate we are! I would love to hear you describe your journey over the last year. Inspiring.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your decision to use your experience to help other people and our world is inspiring. Way to go! Another $.10 for every night you spent outdoors. : )

  11. Deb Arnold says:

    Excellent work Rudy!!!! How can I make a donation to your causes?

  12. Anonymous says:

    You are so awesome! The donation made tonight was from the Hermantown Nerf Wars, we are very proud of you!

  13. Sarah Wilcox says:

    Congratulations on 365 days, Rudy, and for this creative effort to support important causes! I will be spending the night outside on June 6!

  14. Lori Westlund says:

    Rudy, you are awesome! I have wanted to contact you since the 1st article in DNT, but didn’t know how. I’m a 51 year old woman who sleeps out at least once a month (every full moon) and also on my 3rd year of doing a full month out. There are people who don’t get this, but I do! … would like to contribute to your causes.

  15. Well done – this is a fantastic effort! Well done indeed.
    Best Wishes from England.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Great Job Rudy!! I just donated $2/night to Habitat for Humanity because of your drive and commitment. So glad you came down to Milwaukee to celebrate your Grandpa’s birthday and there was news coverage of your efforts, otherwise I never would have known. Your efforts are paying off. Good Luck

    • Rudy Hummel says:

      Wow! So many people have made contributions. Without people like you, I wouldn’t be making any sort of difference! Thank you so much!

  17. Cindy Hollingsworth says:

    That saying “walk a mile in another man’s shoes….” is what you are doing on a larger scale. You are subjecting yourself to such an extreme at such a young age with such an incredible connection to the bigger picture of compassion. I can only imagine the great things you will continue to do throughout your life. Way to go! I will proudly send support to the organizations you have chosen and make sure they know it’s all because of you that I’m giving more from now on. Thank you for your inspiration and ambition.

  18. Cat says:

    It is so awesome and inspiring what you are doing! I am curious about what this journey is teaching you… while sleeping outside yourself, have you found that what you need from a home is different then what you thought before you began this mission?

  19. Daryl says:

    Rudy, we are honored to be part of your journey. Prayers for a safe and wonderful experience. We’re looking forward to having you join us this summer on a Green Build project using funds you raised to make safe decent shelter a reality!

  20. John says:

    Rudy, you are a courageous, caring and generous young man! You are the type of person our community should be looking up to and supporting! know that I will be! You are one “cool” dude! God Bless you!

  21. BRIGET says:

    wow’ that is so amazing to me, if we could get more teens to be on a level like that! I will be making a donation to this charity’ and I am poor………you are an amazing young man….. I drove thru Washington DC the weekend of 1/24/2014 and broke my heart to see so many homeless people sitting on corners and bus stops, just trying to be warm and catch a nap anywhere! How can anyone not give them a dollar or two every now and then” Rudy’ keep up the Great thing that you have been chose to do!

  22. Anne says:

    It would be nice if you would add a way for us to be able to donate in the name of Snoreoutdoors because you are the reason we are willing to make an extra donation to the causes you are supporting. Well done young man. You are an example for the rest of us.

    • Rudy Hummel says:

      I know, right? But actually, that’s already the case. The donations that come from the page linked to this website are coded to Snore Outdoors. We are working with Habitat, International to get donation updates to post. Thank you for the kind words!

  23. Ahna says:

    Rudy!!! Seriously you are the coolest teen at Hermantown!!! It’s super cool that your doing this! I would NEVER do that. It’s too cold outside. And now your helping out charities? That’s awesome! The world need more people like you! Stay warm!

  24. judy says:

    kudos to you for helping others!!! you’re a great example of compassion!!! however don’t feel bad if you have to come in for one night when we get this 50 below weather too, ok? we want you to be safe!!! do you have a facebook site for this?

  25. Jim Brown says:

    WAY TO GO, RUDY! I’m going to add your page to my Facebook time line and will write a story about this for Examiner.com! Success to you and your very honorable efforts!

  26. John and Colleen Cuntz says:

    You are a hero. We love that you are so concerned for the homeless. We will do something to help you make a difference. We are not sure what, but maybe work for Habitat, we have to think about this. I just read your story, so I just found out what you are doing. I saw this on AOL. I think you are going to inspire a lot of people. I am so worried about you, though. That’s the mom in me, but be safe, above all else. It won’t be wrong to seek more shelter when it makes sense to. You would still be sleeping outside most of the time, and even homeless people get to go to shelters from time to time. Take care, Rudy. Thanks for waking up some of us old folks! I am not going to put it off any longer. Even my sister who is an elderly widow with Alzheimer’s goes once a month to the shelter and washes the clothes of the homeless as they sleep. Stay Strong! We LOVE YOU!

    • Rudy Hummel says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement! My mom and I have a deal where I have to go inside if I start to shiver, which I haven’t come close to. Plus, I have a phone with me in the quinzhee. Inspiring people wasn’t on mind when I started sleeping outside, but I’m glad it’s becoming a part of this. I hope you find a satisfying way to help others!

  27. Gladys Aranez says:

    Great job, Rudy! Such an inspiration to young people. Keep up the good work and more blessings your way! 🙂

  28. Anonymous says:

    You are a real hero !

  29. Rod says:

    Congratulations for help making a difference in the world and making it a safer, warmer place to be!

  30. Chad says:

    Wow, Rudy! Seen your story on Huffington Post! You’re gonna touch a lot of people with this. I just wanted to say you’re an amazing guy with an impressive commitment and courage and that raises the bar for all of us a little bit higher. Thanks for doing this, and for doing you, some serious donations will be on the way. 🙂

  31. Brent says:

    Your efforts help focus attention on a huge need in our society. Nice going!

  32. Lisa says:

    God bless you for your very admirable deed. Take care and stay warm!

  33. Julie O'Connor says:

    Hey Rudy,
    Thanks for your willingness to march to a different drummer!! The world needs people like you. I’m so proud of you for recognizing the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for good, solid causes. Have fun, find something to enjoy about EVERY night, and start (today) thinking about the season between the comfortable quinzhee and comfortable tenting!!

  34. Patrick says:

    Rudy, I just read about you on HuffingtonPost. Great job!! I am going to your chosen organizations to make a donation in your name. Thank you for putting yourself out there to help people, animals and the world!

  35. Ren says:

    Wow you are inspirational! You are doing a great job!

  36. Coby Fahleen says:

    I just wanted to say what your doing Is amazing. I’ve always wanted to o something for the world but nothing like this! Good Job and of course Good Luck!

  37. Shari says:

    Just watched your segment on UpNorth. I think that what you are doing is GREAT! What a unique idea and Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful organization to get on board with. Stay focused and stay warm!!

  38. Sandy Skrien says:

    Way to go Rudy! Love what you’re doing here. What is your total night goal? One year or more?

  39. Douglas says:

    Nice work. Sleeping on the job. Haha

  40. Mark says:

    Well done young man

  41. Laura Edeburn says:

    I love it! Well done! Hang in there! YOU can make a difference!!!!!!!

  42. Hey hey Rudy! Man a website, that about proves it to me. Good luck out there. You have done more than enough to show me that just by sleeping outside, you can make a difference.

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