Billy Rioux is French-Canadian living in Quebec Canada. Billy has lived off-the-grid in the cabin he built for a year, traveled up the Yukon river on a raft and is a self-described “lover of adventure-bushcraft and nature.” On his YouTube channel he shares his bush-craft, ancestral skills and adventures in the wilderness. He loves sharing his passion for the outdoors and enjoys educating people about off the grid living. He has also written four books and is a keynote speaker. This is his story.
I live off-grid in a cabin surrounded by the Canadian wilderness.
At 25 years old, I moved out of the city and built myself a log cabin with only hand tools in order to live here a year. That was 2007. In 2017, I’m still here.
I’m not a hobo, I have a job and I love society as it is. My work is to share my knowledge about wilderness survival and history on YouTube. I started my channel in 2012, when I was living full time in my cabin. I also give motivational speeches, I worked on award-winning TV series as a consultant, and I write books. On social media I’m always connected with others because I love people. I love to make people smile. I love sharing. We are one big world and living on this planet has a meaning when you love to learn about others and are curious about the outside world. This is why I’m not a hermit.
My piece of land is one mile long by 400 feet wide with a lot of history. My great grandfather built a cabin at the beginning of the 20th century and my father did in 1975. Building a cabin on this land is not a family tradition, but a coincidence.
It took me 63 summer days to finish my home. Sometimes it was hard work, sometimes not. I was a happy man everyday, rain or shine. Being in the wilderness made me feel free, independent and also, closer to God.
I’m not a religious man, but the wilderness gives me a deep feeling of well being in a world where our brains and feet are running all the time. I feel I live who I really am, mostly because I take the time to do so. These are the reasons I wanted to live a full year in my cabin and now I just keep coming back.
Many people have a romantic vision of what it’s like to live in the wilderness. This idea comes from author Henry David Thoreau. The young writer and philosopher who lived 2 years, 2 months and 2 days in a cabin he built. He wrote about this experiment in his book which is now an American classic, “Walden, or life in the woods”. He was my inspiration.
I found out the reality is much different than it was described in the books. It takes an enormous amount of time, energy and perseverance to be comfortable in the woods. Loneliness is hard to bear, cold is hard to endure and there is always work to do: Taking a shower, to get water at the river, cutting wood for the wood stove, coping with the cold. At the end, when you work hard, you reap the benefit of inner peace.
Connecting to the world is now part of our lives. Using weBoost makes it happen when cellular connection is so limited. Before weBoost, to get a cell phone signal I would have to climb up a tree or on the roof of my cabin! I’m barely kidding. weBoost helps me to connect to my family and to the outside world. I would never want to live without it. This is why I’m a proud ambassador of weBoost.
If you have a dream of living in the woods, in a tiny house, or a log cabin for an extended time, cultivate your dream, take action to make it happen. It will maybe not the way you thought it would be, but at least you will have the privilege to live an experience you will never forget.