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snow safety

Readers — This mom’s Facebook post about preparing her child for an unlikely but not unthinkable problem — being locked outside in the freezing cold — made sense to me:

…Most of us are aware of the tragedy that occurred yesterday in Bemidji, MN where a 6 year old girl died from exposure to the extremes cold. This led my husband and I to wonder, what would our 6 year old little girl do if she, for any reason, ever found herself stuck outside. So we decided to ask, well, we were shocked at what we heard….she had answers, but I can tell you not one of them would have kept her alive for long in the temperatures we have been experiencing this winter. Among her responses were, I would try to break a window, I would yell for you, I would see if the car was unlocked and go in there. We kept asking, what else could you do..hoping to hear the answer we were looking for…I would go to a neighbor’s house and tell them I was locked out…we never got it. We had a talk about how dangerous this cold weather is and explained that she should go to a neighbor’s house, to which she relied “but you don’t like me to cross the street without telling you, especially if it was dark.” She then said if it was dark out, I would be scared to have to go down the street in the dark alone. We talked about emergencies and that sometimes in an emergency we can’t follow all the rules we are normally expected to and we just have to be careful and do the best we can…

Read the rest here. As you know, Free-Range Kids believes that since we can’t “child proof” the world, we must try to world-proof our children. Preparing them for the times we’re not with them is part of that, as is encouraging flexibility in the face of the unknown. This is not to blame anyone, just to spread the word. – L.

Prepare kids for the world.

Free-Range believes in trying to prepare kids to fend for themselves if and when we’re not around.

Readers — Here’s a story from the Star Tribune to warm you heart! Free-Range-wise, one of the things we like to remind folks is that THIS generation of kids is not suddenly the most delicate in history! They come fully equipped to handle the same challenges kids did for generations. (Though personally I am a fan of central heating.) – L

North Shore teen more than halfway to sleeping outside for a whole year

  • by: SAM COOK , Associated Press

HERMANTOWN, Minn. — It was bedtime for Rudy Hummel. He pulled on three pairs of pants and four shirts. He slipped into a pair of boots. He walked out into the starry December night and headed for his snow house.

The temperature was 8 degrees.

For Hummel, 17, this would be his 193rd night in a row sleeping outdoors. He started June 7, sleeping on an elevated platform in a copse of balsam fir in his backyard.

“Originally, it was just going to be for the summer,” he said. “I thought it would be cool to spend the whole summer sleeping outside.”

An outdoorsy kid in an outdoorsy family, he enjoyed dropping off to sleep listening to the owls. He liked waking up to the sound of birdsong and to shafts of sunlight slanting through the balsam boughs. September came, and he wasn’t ready to come inside.

“I thought, ‘I need something more fun,’ ” he told the Duluth News Tribune (http://bit.ly/JorTNC).

So, he decided to shoot for a full year of sleeping outdoors. When winter came on, he built the snow house. He piled up a mountain of snow, let it set up and then hollowed it out. He finished building his snow house on Dec. 10 and has been sleeping there every night since.

Read more here!

It's 8 degrees and Rudy Hummel is snuggling into bed...outside.

It’s 8 degrees F. and Rudy Hummel is snuggling into bed…outside.