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Sauna Talk: Daniel Wilson, recent builder of his own backyard sauna in 20 degrees below zero sauna session

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Welcome to another episode of Sauna Talk.

Today on the bench we have Daniel Wilson. We met in Minneapolis Minnesota in a very cool kind of way.

My wife and I were at a coffee shop and Dan popped up and said: “are you Glenn from Sauna Times?” I felt a bit humbled in a movie star kind of way, but he was very gracious about introducing himself and we talked about what an influence Sauna Times has had on his efforts towards building his own backyard sauna in Minneapolis Minnesota USA.

Dan and his roommate did a lot of research and learned how to build their own sauna. They focused on the elements with in the e-book “Sauna Build from Start to Finnish” and so at the coffee shop, we decided “let’s get together and sauna sometime, so this is the result of this intention.

Dan brought along his girlfriend Omina, and my wife Julia stepped in with us on the bench.

From left,: Omina, Glenn, Julia, and Daniel. Ready for round one.

As the four of us gathered, we were joined by Brian Peterson photographer from the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. Brian, by the way was a previous guest here on Sauna Talk. He is one of the premier Nature photographers alive today. What a pleasure having him back to my backyard sauna. Well dressed to capture photography in 20 below zero weather.

Glenn and Brian Peterson in the sauna changing room, dressed for cold weather photography.

It was -20°F outside, which is pretty damn cold.

Omina, Daniel, Julia and Glenn between sauna rounds (photo: Brian Peterson)

Brian Peterson was out traveling around the Twin Cities area capturing how people were dealing with the bitter cold, an assignment for the team of Star Tribune newspaper photographers. Brian had this realization that most of his photography colleagues from the newspaper would be documenting people in misery, as they trudge along walking their dog, or waiting for the bus to show up. Peterson took a much more positive tone to the project. He knew that I probably would be taking a sauna at some point during this polar vortex, so we could’ve worked out a better time for this episode of Sauna Talk with Brian snapping some photos.

Daniel Wilson celebrating the Polar Vortex between sauna rounds (photo: Brian Peterson).

As Brian shows up, you’ll hear a little chaos but that’s OK. Our chat will venture over towards Wim Hof and we talk about hot and cold and how great it feels to have that kind of extreme temperatures. A lot of this information we share and enjoy. We visit in conversation Dan’s backyard Sauna build project from a millennial wellness perspective: what his sauna means for him, personally, to have his own backyard wood-burning authentic sauna as an enjoyable part of his life, and his roommates life.

Dan and Glenn cheering to a good Sauna Talk on the bench

There is another very cool intertwined way that we connected. Dan was down by the creek in Minneapolis doing some cold plunging, and hooked up with John Pederson who is a close friend and recent guest to Sauna Talk. Dan and John connected, and took a sauna, and now that’s how intertwined Sauna is, especially in Minneapolis/Saint Paul.

We are blessed to have some really cool photos taken from Brian Peterson on this night and we are able to check them out here on So, without further ado, please welcome Daniel Wilson to Sauna Talk.

Here’s the photo from the Star Tribune:

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