A BOY, A GOAL, AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
One of the best gifts we can give our children is a love of the outdoors.
Spending time outside, whether for a family day hike or a fun weekend campout, encourages kids to be respectful of the extraordinary power of nature, resourceful in ways they may not have believed possible, and imaginative beyond the boundaries of any book or video game.
But sleeping outside every night for a whole year? That's some next-level outdoor love right there—and a feat many adults wouldn't even attempt. It's also exactly what now 11-year-old McKay Anthony from Heber, Utah did from May 18, 2021 through May 23, 2022.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Believe it or not, this wasn't McKay's first rodeo. He had previously slept outside for 30 consecutive nights and, after reading the Bear Grylls Adventures series during the early days of the pandemic, successfully completed a 100-night stint in March of 2021.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURERS STICK TOGETHER
McKay's story made the local news and caught the attention of TETON Sports Director of Sales & Marketing Josh Paulsen (JP)—who would embark on an identical journey just a few short weeks later. Inspired by TETON Sports' #OutdoorsEveryDay challenge, JP reached out to McKay and suggested they take on the challenge together. He then outfitted the young adventurer with some must-have TETON gear, including a Mountain Ultra tent, a Vista Quick Tent and cot set, two different canvas sleeping bags, and a sleeping pad.
JP and McKay kept in touch during the entire 365-day outdoor experience, with McKay sending updates and pictures every week. (JP also taught him the trick of boiling water, putting it into Nalgene bottles, and tucking them into his sleeping bag to keep him warm at night during the winter months.)
A BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST TO REMEMBER
McKay ultimately completed his yearlong sleep-outside challenge in the spring of 2022, bunking down everywhere from the front porch of his home to the balcony of a ski resort where his family stayed over the holidays. He even enjoyed breakfast in "bed" while celebrating his birthday in November of last year.
McKay's mom, Jenni, says there were only a few days during the year when McKay was unable to sleep outside (while the family was traveling together in Ecuador), but that he made sure to add those days at the end so it would be a full year.
DO YOU HAVE AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE GOAL?
It may not be sleeping outside for a whole year, but most of us have that "big goal" we want to accomplish in the Great Outdoors. Whether yours is ice climbing in Telluride or finally tackling that stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, you can count on TETON Sports to make high-quality, hardworking gear that will get you there (and back) in ultimate comfort.