How Many Consecutive Nights Outdoors Would You Last?

tent-domeI’m a wimpy outdoorsman. I do love to walk and hike, but at night I like a bed and a roof. Not so my friends Josh and Terri Shortlidge. They participated in the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Backyard Campout, which suggests going outdoors for one night. They kind of missed that “one night” part. Their nine months (and going) outdoor sleeping adventure was chronicled by Sandra Miller in the Boston Globe yesterday (see also the photo slide show).

The snow came roughly six months into an outdoor sleeping adventure that began June 27 with the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Backyard Campout, an annual campaign, now in its sixth year, meant to get families unplugged and outdoors for a night. Last year 90,000 people in the United States participated.

On their third year taking part at Terri’s urging, the Shortlidges, empty-nesters who were already devoted nature lovers, couldn’t resist going out for a second night, a third and, well, almost 275 more and counting. “It’s just so much fun,’’ said Josh.

The snow was handled with a little ingenuity: a friend helped erect a geodesic dome over their tent. But there were other challenges. We also had torrential rain and high winds in the region this spring. Nevertheless, they contend it has been nothing but fun. I don’t doubt it, for them.

Inspired by their adventure, I’d be willing to attempt a night outdoors, which is the National Wildlife Federation’s challenge. I don’t think months of it is for me though. How about you?

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