"When the warm days do arrive, though, the taiga blooms, and for a few short months it can seem almost welcoming."
Hahaha. This guy has no idea what he's talking about. As someone who has been in the taiga in the summer, it's absolutely horrible. The air is alive with mosquitoes. There are clouds of them around you 24/7. The place is just permafrost and swamps. It's really pretty, but a miserable place to live. That's why there is no on there.
With a reading of -40, I'm fairly certain* he's not using Kelvins.
[*] Sometimes negative temperatures are used to represent temperatures ABOVE infinity. That's when high-energy quantum states are MORE populated than low-energy quantum states... it's useful for things like making a laser. But I still think it's unreasonable to believe that the temperature outside is -40 kelvin.
In a nutshell, if you put a negative temperature object A in contact with any object B with a positive temperature, energy will flow from A -> B, regardless of how high B's temperature is. This is the opposite of everyday positive temperatures, where energy will flow from the high-temperature object to the low-temperature one. So in a sense you could say that the temperature of A is "above infinity".
Someone else just mentioned it, but I used to live in northern BC and our "red liquid" thermometers recorded temps down to about -60C or so. Coldest I can recall as a kid was -54C. We still walked to school.
I have no experience of camping in temperatures as low as -35C. However, I have found that camping in Scottish mountains it is much more pleasant when it is in the range 0 to -10C than just above freezing.
I lived in Sukhbaatar in Mongolia for a year and though the summers were great. Winter, on the other hand, freezes the condensation on your eye lashes so that when you blink you can't open your eyes without effort.