Subzero temperatures don’t stop Orono couple from sleeping in teepee

Posted Jan. 25, 2013, at 6:06 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 25, 2013, at 2:41 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — James and Laura Winters of Orono sleep in a teepee.

Although the couple and several of their 11 children live in a round house, a wooden dome-shaped home on the property, the two have enjoyed nights in their teepee for the last three and a half years. The Winters get through Maine’s sub-zero temperatures with nothing but several blankets, including one electric blanket that plugs into a powerstrip at their bedside.

According to James, sleeping in the tent is a way to reconnect with nature. So much so that they’ve heard a variety of wildlife outside the tent’s canvas walls including coyotes, a fisher cat and even a black bear that came dangerously close one night.

“The moonlight made a silhouette on the canvas and the bear was standing right by us,” James said.

Although James is now armed with a frying pan he has yet to use it.