/About My Self Reliance
About My Self Reliance2018-04-28T09:14:54-04:00

About Me

Hi, Thanks for visiting my website.  My name is Shawn James, and this is my story.

From an early age, I had a love for the outdoors that distracted me from just about everything else in life. Because I was so passionate about fishing, canoeing, hiking, bird-watching, archery, hockey and soccer, I had little interest in school or work. I was a dirt-bag wannabe, but I kept one foot in middle class society, trying to figure out where I fit in.  Really, like most people, I desired the comfort and trappings of wealth, but did not want to sacrifice my passion to acquire them.   It took me many years of trial and error, but I soon realized that I could earn more than enough money during short bursts of high intensity and focus. Working less than 40 hours per week but earning twice what my friends did, legally, allowed my to focus on my love of the outdoors. This discovery turned into a lifelong obsession with self-reliance, independence and freedom.

Growing up in suburban Ontario, Canada, I was fortunate to be surrounded by farmland and a navigable river where as a young boy, I could wander endlessly, fishing, paddling and skating on the river, bird watching, foraging wild edibles, building outdoor shelters for overnight forays and playing native with my primitive archery equipment.

When I was in my teens, my summers were spent working hard at a construction job where I earned excellent wages, so at the age of seventeen, I purchased a couple of acres on an island in a small lake north of Parry Sound, preparing for a life focused on the outdoors.

At twenty years of age, I sold that property for more than double what I paid for it and invested the profit in five and a half acres on the mainland of the same lake.  This experience was my first lesson in leveraging and passive income, and I liked it!  By the age of twenty-one, I decided school and work were not that interesting and I prepared myself to spend twelve months building and living in a small log cabin on that property. It was my first mini-retirement, a sabbatical of sorts, and it set the stage for a lifetime of self gratifying living.  It was the fulfilment of a childhood dream and it was extremely rewarding, but, once again, middle-class society sucked me back in.

Back to reality, my focus turned to starting a family of my own.  Fortunately, the lessons I learned during this time prepared me for my current life of passion, prosperity and self reliance.

Now in my mid-forties, I’m living the life of my dreams. I’ve had expensive cars and boats and I’ve travelled the world, but I always come back to what truly makes me happy – the outdoors.  For that reason, I’ve opted out of commercial society, stepping down from the corporate ladder, and regularly turn down opportunities for increasing my wealth.  Instead, I choose to live simply and free.  For many others, a dream life includes the typical status symbols – the big house, lavish lifestyle, expensive toys.  That’s fine if that’s your dream, and I’ve been there and enjoyed that too.  But now that I’m middle-aged, I realize that I’m much happier to live free, without the stress that accompanies attachment to material things.  And, without the need to sacrifice my freedom in exchange for the hard work and time required to increase my wealth or maintain that expensive lifestyle.

I’m constantly asked how I was able to retire so young, working no harder than average while spending most of my time with family and pursuing my passions over the years.  Efficiency, focus and strict adherence to wealth principles are the short answer. This website, along with my social media channels, provide the long answer, in great detail.  I’ll show you exactly how I designed my self reliant life. In the meantime, myselfreliance.com is a platform for me to explore and reveal my passion for the outdoors, and why I believe focusing on nature has provided me with the tools to succeed in life. As one of my success habits,  I’ve kept detailed journals of many of my exploits, business ventures and relationships over the last thirty years.  I refer to these journals while I chronicle my life, detailing how I got to where I am today; economically, physically, emotionally and intellectually self reliant, free to live life to the fullest.

Shawn James


  1. Jonathan Greenwood October 12, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn, I have been trying to contact you without success! You are a hard man to get hold of. I am an Irish male 53 years old and fit, looking to come to Canada very soon and would like to know if you would like some free help. I am a classic yacht captain and have a lot of experience with wood and all other materials. It has been a dream of mine to spend time in the Canadien wilderness and now my life has taken a turn. I would really appreciate a reply even if you dont really need anyone. I am a huge fan of you and Joe and would love the opportunity to share our lives by the camp fire and i would hope to be useful too. Please reply soon as I need to start to plan my trip. If you would like some background before replying, please check out our Facebook page “NY48 Chinook” and the blog of the restoration of our 101 year old gaff cutter Chinook on “sailblogs using the same NY48 Chinook. My best to you and keep up the good work.


  2. Doris Long December 23, 2017 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Mr James! Hello! My son age 22 is a smart, introspective man. He has expressed some of your views about middle class/wealth, etc. I am messaging him your story in hopes he will be inspired. Thank you.

  3. Shane W Taylor December 30, 2017 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn, i’ve been following your cabin build and outdoor adventures with Joe Robinet. Great fun! I’m around your age and a resident of ontario. Had the past year off to pursue my own personal self reliance. I’m not as far as yourself but working towards it. I did take a job last month and i’m back to the rat race to make some cash to purchase another property to be my mental meca. I intend to build a straw bale house ,off grid setup in a unorganized township. Not far from your cabin area. I’ve spent my youth/summers fishing/camping/canoeing the area i have in mind. A good portion of my family make up the village. I currently live north of GTA and my small town is becoming not so small and crowded. So moving north with my wife and trying my hand at homesteading is a dream i’m striving for.
    I enjoy your videos of your build and bushcraft skills.As well as your self reflections. You are the Buddha of the bush! Lol Keep up the goodwork and goodluck to you and your family.

  4. Mark Lindenberg December 31, 2017 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Wow! I love your YouTube page. I am very impressed with the cabin and the film work (editing) your doing. Nice job!

  5. Martha Nord January 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn, I discovered your wonderful videos recently. I’m 76 so probably past my time to create a log home and/or to be completely self reliant but still young enough to learn! A few things have been sticking in my mind so I thought I’d share for what it’s worth. Since listening to your talk about toxic people, I’m reminded of what someone told me once. If you let go of the people you don’t relate to or enjoy, you are actually giving them the gift of searching out those on their wave length. This has given me courage to back away when things weren’t right for me. That took me to thinking about gifts and I listened to your comments about the employee you and your wife had helped only to find he quit working for you and went to another place for more money. I am a recovering alcoholic of 38 yrs and am still grateful for the gifts people gave me. I’m sure that family remembers you and always will. You gave the gift and it is their job to “pass it on” as my mom taught me. So, all of this brought me to the thought of separating the idea of “gifting” vs “exchange” i.e. taking help and then feeling obligated. And one more tidbit. I don’t know where you live nor do I care (privacy!) but you mentioned Georgian Bay. I had a friend who lived in Perkinsfield Ontario most of her adult life. She was a teacher and painter and I have several of her works including one of Georgian Bay. It’s a treasure. Thanks for your continued sharing of your sane voice and thoughts.

  6. Derek M. Lacey January 24, 2018 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Happened upon one of your videos via Digg.com and happy I did. Thanks for sharing your tiny home and all the work you have put into it. Thank you also for your closing thoughts, your reflections, at video end

  7. Michael Fisch January 28, 2018 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Dear Shawn,
    I want to thank you for being a real trailblazer. After watching your log cabin build go viral on youtube (past 1 million views congrats!), I was really inspired and am considering creating my own self reliance. On a side note, apparel is a great way to brand your self and your logo (hats, checkered shirts, the whole getup you have). I am from Massachusetts, USA and grew up in the suburbs around Boston. After college, when I was 25, I moved lived in Israel for 3 years, out of the same instinct of wanting to be independent, self reliant and really just prove to myself that I can make it in the real world on my own. Long story short, I came back because I wasn’t successful. As a result, I took that experience with a grain of salt, so to speak, but felt really down about myself. Nobody wants to fail, and no one wants to “learn” after failing. I keep hearing these days about “how it’s important to fail” and it just makes me angry, frankly. I think that you should be ok with making mistakes, but not ok with failing. I think that getting it right on the second go is good, but failing should be unacceptable. In a few months, I will be turning 30 and I’m not happy, but hopeful that I have a few years before it’s too late to gain some of the skills you’ve acquired. Maybe one day, I’ll build my own log cabin in Maine or someplace nice. The main reason, I am writing you is that I agree that planning is essential to getting self reliance off the ground. And I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction for how to make that 10 year plan you mentioned in your about video. I think if I had a mentor 10 years ago, I’d probably be in a cabin by now. If I don’t hear back, I wish you and yours the best of luck in your cabin adventures…now that I think about it, you don’t need luck if you have SELF-RELIANCE! lol
    Best regards,

  8. Taylor February 2, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn,

    Wow, what an incredible series of videos! I hope you put your ideas and stories into a book someday as I was really hoping you had published one I could read, haha. Take care and well done! Very inspiring. Cheers from Northern, Alberta.

  9. Bill Beavers February 2, 2018 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Shawn –

    I truly enjoy your videos. To simply live…to live simply. Looks like you are doing it!

    I recently watched your ice fishing video. Please invest in some cleats or ice creepers!
    I have learned this lesson the hard way, especially when walking on wet ice.
    Also, add a skimmer to you ice fishing gear. Saves the hands from freezing somewhat.
    And remember to carry along a rag or old towel to dry your hands if they get wet.

    Beautiful fish you caught.

    After watching you talk about and demonstrate the Chopper Axe, I had to
    get one for my camp. Awesome axe!

    Keep up your videos!

    Bill Beavers

  10. Louise Gauld February 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn,
    Enjoy your videos down here in NZ. Wonder if you’ve heard of Gravity Lights? Use gravity to run LED lights. Developed in UK especially for use in countries using expensive-t-run, unhealthy kerosene lamps. Google gravitylights.org. They were first (still?) produced in China but are now made in Kenya. They also have “satellite “ lights. Need 12kg weight or about that, lifted every 20 minutes. Bought an early model but no real use in a modern house unless we get a big earthquake or volcano… a bag of rocks or iron bars doesn’t go with my decor! I guess gold would be nice and dense and not so bulky. A specially—cast weight would be pretty. Done any gold panning?

  11. Yvonne Williams February 7, 2018 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Hello Shawn,
    I am interested in learning how to build a log home. I am a healthy and strong 56 yr old woman. I have a 10 acre property off of Lake Kushog just north of Minden .
    I am interested in knowing if you have set up a course for going through the whole process of how to fell trees, peel them and cut them to build a log cabin. I want
    to make use of my land and the trees on it. I am not interested in buying a kit ,but have the experience of doing everything from what is on the property.
    I am interested in starting this spring and was wondering if you offered service. Could you let me know and if you don’t what company do you know that teach this
    in Ontario?

  12. Grace Pangan February 8, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Hi my name is Grace I really admired your skills and I continued watching you’re show I really loved you’re show. how can I get in touch with you I want to learn more and how to have a nice cabin without a permit.

  13. Leon van Kessel February 9, 2018 at 3:10 pm - Reply


    You are a unrelenting source of inspiration for me.
    thank you so much for that.

    Greetings from the Netherlands.

  14. Joshua February 12, 2018 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Love your You tube series on the cabin build. I almost have enough money saved to buy my property here in Virginia. I hope you continue to show us your techniques and failures along the way to help us grow towards living our dream to be off grid. The way you have documented your journey probably helps so many get started and shows what hard work and dedication get you in life. Thanks again for all that you do and I hope to keep learning and watching your extremely helpful videos.

  15. Roy Pettis February 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    the Vermont Casting Stoves sales rebuild kits for their stoves with all new seals, you can also replace the gas combustion chamber which is behind the back plate of the inter box.



  16. Sean Murray February 21, 2018 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Shawn. I was in search of videos on how to construct a hewn log home and ran across your videos. I thoroughly enjoyed your wisdom, insight, and reflections. Thank you for that. I have been searching for property myself a lot lately and have similar key points I am looking for in a property which brought me to the same area I believe you are in. I currently live in Oshawa, but I would like to find some land that is in an unorganized township, access to a stream/pond, far away from the crowds but close enough to a road to drive in, and also abutting crown land that I can enjoy for hunting and other recreational activities. The area between Sundridge/South River and Algonquin seems perfect. Realtor.ca has not had anything on there that I am looking for and I’ve been having trouble locating a property. Should you run across one in your travels that may meet these requirements (similar to yours, even more acres if available) please shoot me an e-mail with the details and contacts. Be well, and thank you again.

  17. Mary Cleary Lewis, Psya.D. February 25, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Dear Mr. James,
    I have found your videos to be inspirational.
    I moved from New York City to rural Vermont for many of the same reasons you talk about in your videos, i.e. the need to be surrounded by nature
    Ultimately, I think you address psychic and emotional survival, along with the skills that enable someone to ensure their own physical survival.

    Personally, that is why I think your videos have such an impact.
    You really address survival on many levels.

    Thank you for sharing you skills and reflections with us.
    I have been very moved by them.


    Dr. Mary Cleary Lewis

  18. Patrick Monk RN February 27, 2018 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Greetings compadre.
    Just stumbled on your site. What a trip. Way back in the ’70’s I lived in the San Juans on Orcas Island. Along with two buddies, Steve Kennedy and Lance Joyner, we formed “The Real Log Cabin Company” and built cabins on the islands, from felling to finish. Wonderful times.
    Patrick Monk. RN Hospice Case Manager. (‘retired’).SF. Ca.

  19. Velia Gutierrez Lauerman March 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Good for You Shawn James !

  20. Ebrahim Murchie March 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Greetings Mr SJ from South Africa.

    Top stuff..

    Love it ….

    Keep it up. Awsum….


  21. Christoph Staudigl March 4, 2018 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Dear Shawn,

    I can only add to to the many positive reactions on Your site. I think You’re right in Your observation that many people don’t live life according to their potentials and to what it has to offer. Even those who would have the means to do so and find themselves trapped in a race for money and power. So Your message doesn’t appear to be a political if not a spiritual or philosophical one. I do think though that there are many nuances in between the two catogories of people You distinguish. You for one use the net and social media which means You don’t step out of contempioran life conditions. I would like to say that for those who are not finding themselves in the right conditions to live the style of life You are following and promoting might still be able to keep in touch with nature and all the healing and healthy aspects coming along with it as far as possible. That might already be enough for a meaningful life. But I do thorouhgly agree that regarding a meaningful and fullfilled life might be more in danger nowadays that we have all the comforts at our desposal. Anyway You’re giving us a strong intuitive instruction to ways of psychological and physical selfhealing and well being in the sense of resilience.

    Greetings from Bavaria


  22. KD March 5, 2018 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Hi Shawn
    I guess I feel we should be on a first name basis after the hours of your videos that I have watched ;-). I am encouraged to know that you actually read your emails because I wanted to tell you how your work has inspired me. I am 58 years old and recently moved into a log cabin that is a quintessential fixer upper. It was part of a retirement plan that my husband and I dreamt about from the time we first married 30 years ago. My husband grew up on a 300 acre farm and had wonderful stories to tell of his childhood as one of 9 children raised in the most wholesome environment of hard work and love. My childhood was very different, but I too had exposure to the wholesome outdoors during the summer months where my family enjoyed living on a Lake in a small rustic cabin built by my Grandfather. In my early childhood, the cabin environment was as close to off grid as I could imagine with no access to phones, television, or other distractions. I spent the entire summer playing in the woods and living on the Lake. The experience shaped who I am today and became the focus of my hopes and dreams. So, when I met my husband, it was like a match made in heaven. But, fast forward to today, and here we are trying to live out our dreams with the purchase of 18 acres and a run down Log Cabin that has turned into a never ending list of projects to complete. And, what we did not take into consideration was HOW MUCH work it was going to be and how much OLDER we both are….my husband is 64. Anyway, watching you take on the personal challenge of building your log cabin by yourself has given me a lot of hope.. Your calm patience and perseverance are an inspiration and help me not to get too discouraged. I watch your videos as therapy for my soul. I find myself relaxing and enjoying every aspect of your outdoor adventure from the carpentry and hard work to the cooking and the segments of outdoor relaxation with Cali ( I just love animals).I am also particularly moved by your personal self reflections. You are living your life as your authentic self and nothing can be more real and gratifying. I am grateful for the fact that you have decided to share it all with the rest of us (ironic given your inherent shyness).I hope you find satisfaction in knowing that you are helping so may others strive for there dreams too. God Bless both you and your wife, and Cali.

  23. Stefanos Koropoulis March 15, 2018 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Hello from sunny Athens !

    Lets do an episode in Mt Olympus, the home of Greek gods! Just a thought away…

    Thumbs up!

  24. Wayne Howard March 22, 2018 at 11:13 am - Reply

    I enjoy your videos and I wonder about some of the overhead views of the cabin,etc. Apparently, you have a drone with a video camera. Also, just curious, do you have solar power to charge your batteries for your phone and led lights.
    Thank you, Wayne Howard

  25. Tim March 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Well done Mr. James. Great cinematography. Drone shots are fantastic. Good choice of subject mater for your videos. I enjoy watching that dog.

  26. Kevin Wooten March 28, 2018 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Shawn, I am from northwest Florida about to move to Fairbanks Ak. As you might guess I really don’t have the proper clothing nor know exactly what to expect for living daily life there. My wife is in the USAF we have spent the better part of the last 2 years not really getting to spend much time together so I am walking away from a highly stressful job as a contractor for the USAF to be with her. WE are both really exited. WE will be there for about 4 years and will live in some type of a rural suburban area. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Kevin

  27. Brenda St Denis March 30, 2018 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your gift with us, my son is 20 years old with property on Christian Island, Georgian Bay and wants to build a cabin and do what you are doing. I just shared your site with him. Great work!

  28. Rick Norris April 2, 2018 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn ,I believe you are using a Berkey water system at the cabin ,Can I get your opinion of it and do you use one at home?Do you haul water in with you or use lake water.Not sure if you have talked about your water situation at the cabin in one of the videos.Anyways I really enjoy your videos.Thanks Rick

  29. Romuald ROUSSEAU April 3, 2018 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Bonjour Shawn! Merci pour toutes tes vidéos. Je rêve de vivre la même expérience que toi ici en France dans les forêts du Périgord Noir (en Dordogne). Tu me donnes beaucoup d’inspiration et d’espoir dans cette initiative. J’attends que mes enfants soient plus grands pour peut-être leur faire profiter d’expériences en pleine nature. Nous aimons notre confort dans notre région très touristique mais je fuis la foule et je préfère la vie au calme. Un jour, moi aussi, j’aurais un morceau de forêt et j’y construirai ma cabane. Bonne continuation et une caresse à Cali qui a vite grandi dans tes vidéos!…

  30. Jack Coulson April 5, 2018 at 12:22 am - Reply

    I recently saw an article in an on-line Paddler magazine that you contributed, regarding solo canoe trips. In the article there are a couple pictures of you with a green wood and fiberglass canoe. Might that be a Gates canoe? A couple years ago, through way more luck than brains, I got the opportunity to purchase a Gates 16′ beauty.

  31. Laszlo Mozes April 6, 2018 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn,
    I’ve been watching the cabin progress since you started building. I look forward to the videos you post on u-tube. Watching you and Cali enjoying the life you have chosen is very relaxing to me. It reminds me of when I was much younger, and times were much simpler. I grew up on a farm in northwestern Pennsylvania. If we needed something, we usually had to figure out how to make it or fix what was broken. I have made maple syrup from sap as well.
    You are gifted craftsman, and I appreciate you sharing your skills with me.
    Looking forward to more quiet, man within nature videos.
    Your Friend,

  32. James Kang April 7, 2018 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Hi Shawn,

    Yesterday morning, I happened to watch your YouTube video by chance and it continued till late night. I loved seeing the the way how you showed (without talking but showing details ) your works as well as scenary of the beautiful winter of the area. I was touched by the self reliance and motivated. You showed we can be happy, live healthy and be free if we want. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your life and journey. I am a lecturer and believe that your story will inspire our students when I share.
    I look forward every friday.


  33. stafford April 24, 2018 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    good afternoon Shawn thank you for all the information finding others like myself and wife makes me think ,,,,,,ya not crazy yet,,,, lol take care

  34. Dan S. April 30, 2018 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Hey Shawn, your channel is awesome and educational and inspiring. I’m just a little curious about what you think about the crap that’s going on in the world and wondered if that’s partly why you decided to move out into the bush so to speak things like the GMOs in our foods and contaminated water and things like that do you have any spin or anything to say about that or what you feel about that …. I will admit I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist but when you get right down to it a lot of these so-called conspiracies hold a lot of Truth. and you seem like a pretty smart man in a pretty down-to-earth guy just wondering if you had any feelings or thoughts on that that maybe you’d like to share.

  35. David Kilbourne May 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Shawn, I want to thank you about the subject about American Poplar trees I told you about and I think I will build a cabin out of those poplar trees and put a heavy coat of oil on them, would you have an idea to what kind of oil to keep the oil on them? I’ve been wanting to do this and now i’m going to try it out. but would like to put a good oil on them and I will have a 2 foot overhand all the way around It, If you have can recommend an oil , that would be great, and I’m putting the cabin at least 30 inches off ground with 8inch block, and making sure not to get moisture under floor, but thanks and Your buddy, David Kilbourne

  36. Erin Watters May 8, 2018 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Hi Shawn,

    I moved from Northern Ontario to Southern Ontario for university and desperately miss the outdoors and the comfort of 50-foot trees, bears on the back deck, and all the water up North. Your videos help me get over a little bit of homesickness whenever I’m stuck on campus and in the city. I recently got a tattoo reminding me of home and discovered your videos about 3 weeks after that while lost on YouTube, and continued to binge watch for hours. I’m excited to see the future of your home and the surrounding property (as well as Cali of course) and am very thankful you decided to share with us mere mortals.

    Thank you for the experiences you’ve shared

  37. Larry June 22, 2018 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn ,

    Love the show. My wife and I would loved to get are hands on a couple “Cabin Life” T-shirts. Let us know please, and we will buy the first two.

    Thanks for the peace!!!

  38. James June 29, 2018 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn, Your story is very inspiring. I love watching your YouTube videos and thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and adventures with the rest of the world.
    Good luck with the rest of the log cabin work and I look forward to watching the updates online.

    Take care

  39. NJroute22 July 5, 2018 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Hey Shawn,
    We’ve always loved your long-form videos. A forgotten skill in the age of short attention spans and lack of critical thinking. We featured your site on our blog today https://njroute22.com/my-self-reliance/ – and hope to help you find more followers. You’re an inspiration to us – even though we’ll never be able to duplicate your self-reliance entirely. Maybe one day, but not anytime soon!

    Keep up the good work!

  40. NJroute22 July 5, 2018 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Hey Shawn,
    We’ve always loved your long-form videos. A forgotten skill in the age of short attention spans and lack of critical thinking. We featured your site on our blog today njroute22.com – and hope to help you find more followers. You’re an inspiration to us – even though we’ll never be able to duplicate your self-reliance entirely. Maybe one day, but not anytime soon!

    Keep up the good work!

  41. William G. R. G. July 8, 2018 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Dear Mr. James
    First of all, to say that if I do not understand very well what I want to say, it is because of the low level of English I have, I am forced to use the google translator, so I beg your pardon.
    Not long ago I discovered the content of your YouTube channel and I was pleasantly surprised, really. I love seeing how a project starts from scratch and will gradually bring it to fruition, apart from the wonderful environment that surrounds it and which does nothing but awaken jealousy of the luck you enjoy.
    I also wanted to thank him, since his videos have become a relaxing therapy for me in those days of stress, because as soon as I see them after a hard day’s work, they relax me greatly.
    I said, I hope to continue watching many more videos of his so high human quality.
    Thank you very much for an admirer of your work, keep it up.

    Greetings from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, Spain.

  42. Ignazius B. Samson July 11, 2018 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Hello Mr. James, First of all many warm and kind thanks for letting us share your adventure. You and your videos give me a lot of pleasure, strength and peace. I feel then as a small part of her great adventure. My heartfelt thanks.
    Today I got the t-shirt with the post and I’m proud and looking forward to it !!!!!!!! : D
    I wish you and your family the very best, good luck, health and blessings of God. Greetings from the old Europe, on the edge of the Alps.
    her Inganzius B. Samson

  43. Alex July 14, 2018 at 2:02 am - Reply

    Hi Shawn
    Hello from France !
    It s really amazing, i m so impressed by all you ve done !!
    Keep on making us dreaming !

  44. Michael Staff July 16, 2018 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Love watching all your videos on YouTube. I was curious of what companies or outfitter store you bought your clothing. Can’t wait to see more videos in the future

  45. Lynne Riel October 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Hello Mr. James . . . I loved that there is no talk or music involved in video about building the cabin.. Just the sounds of chopping, dragging, crunchy-walking in the snow of a ‘silent’ forest. The ‘music” of a human involved in minding his own business. Of carefully, thoughtfully, steadily & tenaciously working his plan to make his dreams come true. No explanation necessary;. Action that intrigued me as to what the final result, goal and purpose would be. And finally, falling into bed at night, exhausted from the day’s work.. Thank you for the video; it reminded me of working with my father — an industrious farmer who, much to his chagrin, had no sons and 3 daughters! Hence I learned to build & maintain fence, herd cattle, harvest crops, pick stones, and operate, repair & maintain the machinery involved in the farm business, I love learning about how to live off-grid, environmentally-sustainable lifestyle as free from popular corporate influences & opinion as I can. Currently living in Thunder Bay, ON, and there are lots of unorganized townships up here! Plan to retire on a plot of land with a used & re-insulated mobile home.. Grow a garden, implement a humanure waste system and enjoy the wilderness till I die while sleeping my mobile home! Ha ha!

  46. Dennis Peabody October 20, 2019 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Hello Shawn,
    I have watched almost all of your videos, and noticed that your beautiful golden retriever never barks. That is most unusual for dog.

  47. Patrick October 22, 2019 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Shawn, i wrote an email but it bounced, it seems that your mailbox reached it’s quotum.
    And i am not a commenteer or blog-adder (new words maybe … since i’m dutch and it’s common for us to garble words maybe it’s appriciated a bit), i hate writing comments.
    But yet still i would like to reach you with my writing, eventhough i know you have over a million followers i will try to reach you in any way.
    Since you are spending a lot in of time at the cabine, sometimes with nothing to do i will write you a old- fashioned letter on paper.

    Hope to reach you soon and be hearing from you a bit later ..

    I wish you well.

    Patrick Lankers

  48. roberto di camerino (@elfribo) October 25, 2019 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    I am dying to find out whose band / composer and title of the music score intro of your show.
    Also I wish to see the video of Cali first day at the cabin ( after she moved in).
    Thank you.
    A sincere fan from the SC wilderness 🙂

  49. Thomas Scroggins October 28, 2019 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Shawn….you have clearly ” considered the ant”

  50. Rani Vaishnava October 31, 2019 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Hello Shawn,

    Do you plan or have you built a water tower storage for you log cabin or sauna ie. I noticed you use buckets for water runoff from the cabin roof, it seems sufficient but not clean as animals can drink from it and there is natural debris, do you have a filter system in place for drinking and cooking? Please advise, not sure how a water tower works during the snow season and to prevent birds and debris from trees contaminating/filtration/cleaning maintenance will work on your location.Do you have garden fencing to prevent animals from eating your garden food, if yes please inform of youtube link, and or blog folks please submit link reply. I especially love watching Cali, so smart and loving – she is a great companion/family member, maybe one day you can film a short on Cali’s forest life for tips and safety for outdoor pets. I enjoy seeing sneak peeks of your family, I wonder if your family have a channel on how life for them is during your stay and building at the cabin. Thank you for motivating me to do more, as I am handicapped, but you have sparked my life mentally, physically and spiritually to complete one accomplishment a day. God bless and keep up the good work and videos. 🙂

  51. Keith Roberts November 7, 2019 at 10:47 am - Reply

    You are my hero. Cut from the same cloth we are. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  52. Antonio Regusters November 25, 2019 at 3:30 am - Reply

    Greetings from Gastonia, NC,

    Your videos are amazing. My wife and I enjoy our Saturday mornings watching 1 or 2 of your videos. We were wondering if there is anyway that you sell the music you use for your videos or is there a POC to get the music you use.

    Thank you so much.Stay safe and God Bless!

  53. Emily December 1, 2019 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Can someone tell me where to get the EXACT percolator that Shawn James uses on his show. My boyfriend wants one for Christmas but he has made it very clear that this is the EXACT one he wants. If someone could let me know that would be great. My email is: Emilydepatie_32@hotmail.com

    Thank you!

  54. Kenneth Abbott December 2, 2019 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Shawn, I have to tell you how encouraging your videos have been. At 75, I have been concerned that today’s generation is so dependent on electronics and government for their existence that there could be a massive die-off and total panic if the bottom fell out and people actually HAD TO rely on their own knowledge and skills as well as good judgement and/or problem solving. I grew up building forts, shelters and hideouts. I wanted that for my 2 boys so 35 years ago we bought some acreage in northern Michigan’s Emmett county in the tip of the lower peninsula. (Yup, we’re almost neighbors.) I found a woodshed kit at Wick’s Lumber and in one week we turned it into a 12 x 20 cabin. Our one power tool: a 14″ chainsaw. We involved all the kids (niece and nephews too) as much as we could. Before the cabin was hot tent camping (inside, 20 C while outside, -12 C). The heater was only a 10 K BTU heater we kept in the front part of the tent pointing towards the back or sleeping area. It was a reflective type heater so it was more effective. On top of the heater we kept a 20L pot of water. Hot chocolate was there when they came in from sliding down our big hills. They were happy, warm and always interested in what possibilities were available. The best thing for a young mind is challenge. If you can build up their “want to” strong enough it will engage their “how to” imagination. I’ve seen that in both my boys.
    Oh… and I’ve been inspired by your videos too. I’ve got a 2 m pine log, well seasoned, that I plan to turn into a shave horse. Should have done it years ago. 🙂
    Hope we can meet some time.
    Best regards,

  55. Walter N Kuhn December 6, 2019 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    My wife would like to know where she can get your coffee cup? I thought it might be on your store but?


  56. Charles December 9, 2019 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn. I’ve watched your videos over the last couple months and I am incredible impressed with your cabin and outlook on life. Very inspiring!

  57. Giuseppe Capobianco December 14, 2019 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Sean . this lifestyle is love or to some a waste of time , for me its love. A couple of questions , bug repellent, what do you suggest and all your boards where cut with what a chain saw?
    Giu Capo

  58. Tyler December 19, 2019 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Hey Shawn,
    I just kinda ran across you on YouTube and I was intrigued by what you do. So first off, thank you for documenting your accomplishments and hardships along your journey. I would like to be able to do this to a degree (wife needs ammentities), but I am having a very hard time identifying property that won’t break the bank. I have 2 younger children and 3 dogs (2 golden retrievers). Do you have any advice for me when looking for land that is financially plausible for this lifestyle? If I could I would pick your brain for every bit of information I could get. Again, thank you so much for getting information out about this lifestyle.

  59. Mike Bickeron December 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Good Day Shawn.
    I’ve only recently discovered your YouTube channels and I have been “binge watching” of late. I was particularly interested in your appreciation for Dick Proenneke’s “Alone in the Wilderness” and I am sure you have honoured his memory well. I am bit (a small bit!!) older than you and I recall seeing his video on public tv when I was a kid. Fast forward a few years and I purchased his videos. I used to watch them to “escape” for a while and your videos are filing the same niche so thanks. I am a public servant and work in the city but I’ve also been a hunting guide and archery hunter for over 20 years and have practiced some “bush craft” as well. Full disclosure, I haven’t been as dedicated as you with respect to hand tools only and have built ( helped build) a couple of log places – a small cabin and a home. I am enjoying your videos from an outdoors and from a philosophical perspective so thanks ! I’ll stay tuned to see if you are looking for labourers on future projects. One last thought, a suggestion really. I am a beekeeper and you have an outstanding plant diversity in which they would thrive. You wold need a solar powered electric fence to keep the bears out. I’ve used them and they work well. It is easy and enjoyable and they are fascinating little creatures. One hive would produce 20-40 pounds of honey per season and I am sure you are aware of the benefits bees provide to the natural environment…. just fyi. The University of Guelph has an excellent Youtube series on beekeeping if you want to check it out:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3mjpM6Av4bxbxps_Gh5YPw
    Take Care!

  60. Mike Bickeron December 21, 2019 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    P.S. Merry Christmas to you, your family and your followers!

  61. Mike Bickerton December 21, 2019 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Name mis=spelled and corrected

  62. Navaja Llope December 23, 2019 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Hello Shawn, You are such wholesome therapy for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds!
    I was born and had my childhood years around the Adirondack Mountains.
    I have lived in Pondicherry, India for many many years 12* north of equator.
    Just ‘happened’ upon your channels and now have spent hours and hours and
    hours on your channels, entranced, watching you and your superb dog. What an attuned pair you are!
    Lord, how I miss all the Nature you live in and love.
    I am grateful for your deeply deeply satisfying, living example of beautiful
    attitudes and values.
    All the very best to you /family, on the cusp of your new phase with your wife’s arrival.
    In the ethers and cosmic scheme of things, I am sure your life necessarily counters the
    harm humanity is inflicting on our treasure of earth.
    So, from a friend from afar, I wish you continued Strength, Health, Love and Life in the new year, and those following forward…
    All the best from Pondicherry,

  63. Diana Grandin December 27, 2019 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I discovered your youtube videos yesterday and I’ve been binge-watching them! You really are a cool guy. My son and I used to watch the P.B.S. show about Dick Proeneke. He was an amazing guy who built his cabin by himself like you. He lived in the wilderness for 30 years . I love your dog too! Thanks for sharing your life !

  64. Diana Grandin December 27, 2019 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    I discovered your youtube videos yesterday and have been really enjoying them! When my son was younger we watched the PBS show Alone in the Wilderness , about Dick Proeneke. He lived in Alaska for 30 years in a log cabin he built by himself. We loved watching him do everything! I love you dog , what a sweetheart ! Thanks for sharing your life. You are so blessed to be able to live with nature . Oh and your food looks awesome !

  65. Trudy Stanford January 1, 2020 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Just found and am enjoying your videos, makes me daydream of what I might have done but I am 75 so I just enjoy what you are doing. Sure wish you would plant some fruit trees, takes years and time is wasting. Also, if you sprinkle wood ashes on your garden where you want to lessen acidity, it will help. Cali is a fine dog.

  66. Almutairi Mohammad January 6, 2020 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn
    Thanks for your good video about your life on your cabinet ,you doing great job keep going enjoy.
    Mohammad from Kuwait

  67. Diane Watts Watts January 9, 2020 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Hi Shawn, What a wonderful series. It is so healing to sit in front of the T.V. on a cold winter night and be out in nature with you and Cally. It brings me peace and when I go to bed, I sleep like a log. I very much like the scenery and
    the detailed talking me through your processes. Each show lifts my spirits as I pretend I am in the woods also. I think some woodsman (not you) would do the world a favor to take small groups of people out into the woods and
    do self-reliance activity. The people would be healing from trauma, or healing from loss. I am sure it would work. I don’t suggest you do this, as it would take loss training and psychotherapy training. But, building the fire, the
    spot to sleep, and understanding weather would be incredible for those healing. Your cabin is wonderful and I hope after awhile you might build another one on the property a bit bigger for your wife’s new special interest — whatever
    it may be. I love listening to your philosophy. So healthy. I hope you are on T.V., computer for years to come. I love the woods, but sadly, too old now. My best to you and your family, Diane

  68. Moises January 17, 2020 at 1:33 am - Reply

    Hello Shawn:
    Excellent video, I’m on my 60s, watching you do all the awesome stuff on your videos it’s so inspiring to all ages, I was a carpenter about 40 years ago, I love the tools you are using, If you can find some time to reply, I would appreciate.

    I would like to ask you more questions about other places besides Ontario Canada? is there requirements of citizenship? US citizen or Canadian?

  69. Jon R Known January 18, 2020 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    What about living in the bears backyard?

  70. Munkhjargal Gansukh January 31, 2020 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Your passion for outdoors and experience points in business has touched my heart profoundly. I’m not businessman, but your passion only coincided mine too. This was fruitful to live with yours by your story.

    My admiration to outdoor life passion will always be with you!

  71. Lindsay Little January 31, 2020 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Shawn, You have quite the following over here in our neck of the woods in the Arrowhead of MN. We live in a 24 x 24 log cabin and have the same stove you just replaced for your Jotul (sp)? How does it compare now after you have had some fires in it? We also have heated floors as a backup fueled by propane (which we try not to use much of).$$ I am nearing 70 and work from home, so lots of time for fishing and back country skiing. You are quite the inspiration and we get great ides from you. You are unique. Be safe and I hope you and your wife will enjoy great health and happiness! Oh… And give that Cali a big hug from my wife and me!

  72. Gipsyspirit February 1, 2020 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Hi SJ,
    I was on another channel and saw something that I thought was interesting and perhaps useful.
    This young man also has a cabin and powers quite a bit using hydro electric power of his own making. Take a look and see if this would work for you or connect and swop stories.

    Kris Harbour Natural Building
    129K subscribers
    Published on Feb 24, 2018
    Just an update of the roundhouse after living in it for about a year.

    All the best for 2020 and all the best to you and your family.

  73. Jan balshaw February 6, 2020 at 2:03 am - Reply

    I start each day by having u join me at breakfast. I am 84 yrs old and pretty much retired from active life so u do that for me vicariously. I have always loved forests and spent many happy vacations there with my late husband. I have told my two sons about your website so they are visiting with u also. My best wishes for your continued success and big hug or scratch for your beautiful Cali.

  74. Richard Filbey February 7, 2020 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Hello Shawn, I enjoy your channels and the dog seems to love watching Cali. Since I am 57 I chose to order a kit cabin and focus my time on building a hydro generator for my cabin and pole barn. Everything will start in April when the snow clears. Your journey has inspired me to go after it, even though it took me 10 more years than you. I recently completed the 1 mile road (summer 2019) back to where the well will be drilled and the cabin built. Keep up the good work, its nice to see you and your wife enjoying the lifestyle.
    Rick in Michigan

  75. Cathy Pilkington February 20, 2020 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn, You are one industrious man, a what a talent. I love watching your ingenuity and determination to build a beautiful home for you and your wife. What a gift you have been given to live out your dream and to be able to share it with the world. I live in southern California wine country and I just love the beauty of where you’ve chosen to live. I’ve only seen a couple of your videos but plan to keep watching and reading your blog. Finding your videos has been a wonderful diversion from the crazy and the monotony.

  76. george and karen February 27, 2020 at 2:01 am - Reply

    gHi Shawn, I enjoy your videos. My husband and I watch your videos. He is 70 and a retired “hot shot firefighter”, I’m 68, we are Hispanic. We both love the outdoor and use to camp a lot when we were younger. We enjoy your outdoor shots, you bring the wilderness to us, since we no longer are able to make it out there. We are dog lovers, and enjoy watching Cali your dog. She is awesome.

  77. David Grile March 25, 2020 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Shawn, love the channel. Recently started and to be honest I am not much of an outdoorsman. Your stories and videos help me relax during this crazy time!

  78. Keith Menard March 27, 2020 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Hi Shawn 45 years ago I looked into moving to Canada on tax sale property deal fell through so moved to Texas farm sold my farm in Ohio 10 years ago I completely redid my house it was over 100 years old love out doors and spend most of my time there farming with cattle just turned 80 so moving now not best option but if younger and as the world system changes envy you up there I also work on aircraft and fly enjoy the view Keith

  79. Brett April 3, 2020 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Love your work. Heard you mentioned on Rogan podcast. Many things I love about your series… #1 is your dog!! LOL. I have a shirt suggestion for you…. QUIET AF!!! You could have a 2nd career as a NINJA or maybe a MONK!! LOL

  80. shaker April 5, 2020 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    life is so short.if we live 70 years we think wow i have been alive 70 years but if we look back and realize it over and over we found 70 years ah how it pass so fast dont know.we must do something where we find peace whatever it is.thank you james you are fantastic person of course with your noble work greeting from dhaka,bangladesh.

  81. Ted April 7, 2020 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Have you considered mushroom farming here is a link you may find interesting https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Mushrooms-Indoors

  82. Paula Akin April 9, 2020 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Is there a photo somewhere of your beautiful fenced garden in your old backyard in the city? I’ve been researching potager gardens for awhile and yours looks perfect. I only saw it for a moment this morning, but oh, it’s perfect. Thank you.

  83. Sharon Shields April 10, 2020 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Hi from the UK! I love watching you both on youtube and would love to be able to do what you are doing. My question is what is the name of the music you play? I have just watched the episode about wolves and washing and love the music at the end of the episode. Thank you for amazing viewing! X

  84. Sarah April 30, 2020 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Hello! I was curious if you’ve ever considered getting a cat or barn car to control vermin?

  85. jeromewillner May 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Hello. Thank you for sharing your experiences and learnings. There is a great need today for people who are able and willing to show others through example. Your youtube channel, and website do you credit, and I hope to be following and learning a great deal here. I am especially looking forward to you sharing your skills and insights with others on a one-to-one personal basis, on-video. This is the only aspect I can feel is left to add to what you are already offering (which is a complete package of skills, appreciation for the perfection of nature, and the sensibility to present all of this within an aesthetic framework). I am in Manchester UK England, and was lucky enough (by 2005) to have experienced the early stages of success from a 10 year career as an IT consultant, that would almost certainly have made me a wealthy man by now. In that short period of ‘privelige and clarity’ I realised two life changnig things in the first 18 months of that experience of being on the path to ‘so called success and wealth’. 1 – I was not motivated by money or status beyond meeting my baseline needs. 2 – I had to discover what I really wanted to do with my life, whatever the personal cost of doing that. This thing or things I would do even if I was not being paid to do them. For the past 15 years this search has taken me down some apparent dead ends, but the interesting lesson I learned, was this; that the driving purpose behind experiencing these dead ends, also ensured that they would also become important learning experiences that would assist me further down the road. So during this 15 year period I have worked as a community volunteer, as a youth worker volunteer, in childrens homes for very damaged youngsters, as a government programme – community worker, as a (commission only) home improvement salesman, as a combined (landscaper-plumber-property repairs) one-man-band, and presently in construction as a zero hours one-man-contractor. This Covid-19 lock-down period has destroyed my income but thankfully also given me the time I really needed to properly devote to developing my passions –> / writing / creating beautiful space to live in both indoor and outdoor – through landscaping, property improvement, and making small bespoke outdoor buildings / growing flowers and vegetables to feed and heal the soul,mind and body / finding and contributing to a community of people who like me, are following their passions which are genuinely not rooted in any desire for money-wealth or status of any kind. I grew up in a very deprived neighbourhood, and many aspects of my childhood were extremely dificult, but thankfully, I have always steered my life’s purpose in the direction of the passions that drive me, even when I strayed off the path (many times), this desire has remained a constant, and brought me back and given me a true and meaningful purpose in life. I don’t believe there is a greater privilege than sharing this reality with others as a ‘seeding’ to bring us towards a world we would choose, rather than a world we have no choice but to struggle and fight to survive in; no matter how long this may take.

  86. José Augusto Luderitz Dias May 17, 2020 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Dear James Shaw, congratulations on the beautiful work you have been doing. Currently with the quarantine due to Covid 19 I discovered your channel on Youtube and brought me many identifications. I am a little older than you, I am 61 years old and have three children, two girls and a boy. I am a mechanical engineer and I identify with you for liking tools, I have this fatal attraction. I am Brazilian and I have always been connected to water sports. My life happens by the sea. Another thing I admire is life in nature and the way you have been showing the possibilities of making life more simple, beautiful and healthy. I’m compulsively consuming your beautiful videos. In my humble opinion, stay focused on daily tasks, I have no problem with not having dialogues, I think it’s even cooler. I follow another channel and I think it’s cool that you give a presentation of your project at the beginning and a summary of the last film. It can help to give a sequence by numbering them. Continue that we will go together! My wife is a chef and I like to help her with the chores. It would be nice for you to make some recipes with local products, explain them more to us. I saw that maple is one of your annual tasks in the late winter, explain to us how you do it, I would love to try it. Thank you. José Dias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  87. Timothy Lewis May 22, 2020 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Been following your exploits for months now on two of your channels. I’d been very impressed until I read this claim, “worlds richest soil”. While it is true that returning the minerals to the soil is as rich as you could make it, given the originally available minerals to the soil mandates that the minerals that are not there originally will still be missing from your soil. I sent some information in a previous post regarding EFM’s (Enhanced Fulvic Minerals). If you realize the prudence of the Amish, and their attention to their soil, you would have to wonder why they pay near $1800.00 for a 55 gallon drum of this stuff.

    Here in the state of Indiana the Amish have been plagued by an unusually high occurrence of muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis in their children. My doctor, Joel Wallach, BS, DVM, ND, has taught them that the soil in their county is void of the mineral Selenium which when added to their diets relieves that issue pointing to the fact that even one missing mineral may have devastating effects on health. From Doc’s vast studies, he has determined that the human body requires 90 essential nutrients everyday, 60 of which are minerals. You can learn all this at a website dedicated to Dr. Wallach by the father of a child taken from him a couple of months before he learned of Doc’s genius. Please support me in a small way by using this website which I support; http://www.94health.com/100436903/

    Yours sincerely,
    Tim Lewis

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