Duluth Boy Scout sleeps 1,000 nights outdoors, and he’s not done yet

Duluth Boy Scout Isaac Ortman marked his 1,000th night sleeping outdoors Friday.
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 12:06 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Duluth Boy Scout Isaac Ortman marked his 1,000th night sleeping outdoors Friday.

The 14-year-old began his sleeping journey back when he was 11, making it about 2-and-a-half years of getting shut-eye in the great outdoors.

Ortman has slept outside his family’s cabin, his backyard, and for his biggest milestone yet, Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Duluth.

“It feels pretty great right now,” Ortman said, just after waking up.

He didn’t really have a unique reason for wanting to sleep among the snow and trees.

“I just slept outside for no apparent reason,” he said.

He slept outdoors for five days back when he was 11, outside his family’s cabin.

From there, he dared his fellow boy scouts to sleep outdoors.

“I challenged my scout group to sleep outside longer than me,” Ortman said.

On Friday, he woke up in what is called a quinzee, a Canadian version of an igloo.

Quinzees are different from igloos, using softer snow to build a dome.

I don’t think it got below 20 degrees in here,” he continued, “It’s quiet.”

The small shelter fit him, a sleeping pad and a few blankets and pillows.

“It’s warm enough where you don’t get super cold at night, you don’t need a lot of layers,” he said.

Ortman has braved the elements sleeping in negative temperatures, snowfalls, heatwaves and even in rain, but he said he just enjoys being in nature.

“I am going to keep it going,” he said.

Ortman doesn’t have a timeline of when he’ll finally go back inside to sleep, but he wants to get to mid-April, which would be three straight years of sleeping outside.