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Beiseker-based Youtuber showcases rural Alberta ingenuity with shelter build video

“I’ve been inspired by plenty of YouTube videos of people building sweet shelters and I thought I would try my hand at inspiring others to get outside and have some fresh air," Sackett said.

A Beiseker-based Youtuber recently showcased the best of rural Alberta in a shelter build video (a growing sub-genre of bushcraft and survival videos on YouTube) in which he builds himself a cabin out of stone and mud in time for winter.

Nineteen-year-old Jaxon Sackett, who lives a short drive from Beiseker, filmed and edited the video to appeal to outdoorsmen and women and survivalists alike. But the video, which has garnered nearly 7,000 views in the last three weeks, has also captivated other demographics with its showcase of beautiful Alberta skies and fall and winter landscapes.

According to Sackett, he has always enjoyed building things and grew up putting together Legos and cardboard creations.

“As you get older, and our family’s always been big into the outdoors, naturally those things lend themselves to building forts and shelters,” he said.

He added he’d also discovered an affinity for videography over the years, so figured it would be fun to combine the two hobbies. He said creating a YouTube channel to showcase his creations seemed like a logical next step.

“Those things go together really well, so last year, I thought it might be fun to start a YouTube channel about some of the things that I enjoy – building things and making videos about it,” he said.

Currently, Sackett’s YouTube channel @jaxonsackett4637 boasts 592 subscribers and five videos showcasing primitive weaponry, shelter builds, and bush craftsmanship.

In the videos, he opts to live like an early pioneer, building tools and structures out of raw materials and with his own bare hands.

The latest shelter build video features the time-lapsed construction of a cozy cabin out of stone and mud, playing to Sackett’s strength and experience building shelters in the mountains.

“[Shelter builds] are always really fun when you’ve got lots of trees, but where I am, a tree is hard to come by,” he said of the latest build. “So, I had to stick to a more stone structure.”

He added in his search for the perfect locale, he came across a dried-up old riverbed that had been robbed of rocks in the past for various yard projects.

“I figured that might be a good spot because I wouldn’t have to haul rocks very far, which I ended up still having to haul rocks other places anyway,” he added with a laugh.

Eventually, Sackett found a spot where he could procure some clay and mixed it up to help the rocks stick together and prevent them from toppling on top of each other.

“That still did happen a few times, but better than nothing,” he said. “[In the end, it was] a nice classic little hut with a sod roof – nothing too fancy, but it’ll keep you warm, that’s for sure.”

The YouTube video culminates with the outdoorsman enjoying a fire in his cozy hut.

Sackett said he thinks his generation has a “bit of a problem” with their addiction to smart phones and screen time, which he admitted he can also relate to, as a content creator.

With that in mind, he hopes his videos can help inspire others to get out in nature and take a break from their screens.

“It’s a good escape to get outside and it’s a lot more fun than anything you can do on a screen once you get into it,” Sackett said.

“I’ve been inspired by plenty of YouTube videos of people building sweet shelters and I thought I would try my hand at inspiring others to get outside and have some fresh air.”

Sackett said he started the YouTube channel in early 2022 as part of a two-year sabbatical from studying after graduating from Strathmore High School in 2021.

Until moving back home to pursue his YouTube channel full-time, he had been volunteering at Camp Wai’anae, a faith-based summer camp and retreat centre located in the Wai’anae Valley in Oahu, Hawaii.

“I took two years off school and last year I was out doing some volunteering,” Sackett said of his gap years. “And this year is just to kind of explore some of that stuff [I’m passionate about].”

According to Sackett’s mom Kerry Sackett, the rising YouTube star is still working on finding himself after losing his older brother Colby in 2019, when he tragically passed away at the age of 18 just outside of the family’s property near Beiseker.

“[Jaxon] wanted to stay home and try out his dream of being a YouTuber and we have been so blessed to have him back with us for a little while,” Kerry said.

Sackett is turning 20 years old at the end of November, and said he dreams of pursuing a career as a Youtube content creator. If that doesn’t work out, he’d like to pursue a degree in communications and journalism.

“That’s kind of what this year is for – YouTube would be a really stellar career to have,  so I figured I'd take a run at it for all of this year, just give it my all,” he said. “And if not that, then I’ll probably head back to school.”

Sackett said he has some friends in the United States and is considering Walla Walla University in Washington for his studies if his dream of running his own YouTube channel doesn’t work out. But he is optimistic, and excited to see what the future holds for the channel.

“At the end of this year, I’m hoping to be at the point where [YouTube] is going to be starting to make me a little money in the end, and so that’s kind of the goal,” he said.

“And if not, well there’s other options, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve got plenty more in the works, for sure.”

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