Floating Tiny Cabin is Perfect for Glamping on the Water
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Floating Tiny Cabin is Perfect for Glamping on the Water

August 18, 2019

>>MAT: Hey everyone in this video we’re gonna
take a look at this extremely minimalist floating micro cabin. It was all built
with locally milled timber it has a metal sloping roof and it was also built
on pontoons that allow the cabin to be in the water year-round because they’re
designed to freeze into the ice. The floating cabin was designed by our
friend Bonnie and the idea behind this was to create a really simple space
where people could come and enjoy nature and the water and experience spending
time in a space with just the basic necessities. And so she calls it The
River Zen. We actually met Bonnie two years ago when she gave us a tour of her
incredible houseboat and now she’s just finished working on this project and
she’s going to show us around. [Inspiring Music Playing] So welcome to The River Zen, this is my
new boat. [Taps Gong] Come on in. This boat is a lot smaller
than The River Den, those of you know The River Den. It’s a 8′ by 10′ cabin. This is
it, what you see is what you get! So it’s a small space it’s really designed for
for someone who wants to be on retreat or just spend the night here. It’s fully
insulated, it has four four inches of foam insulation on the floor, and the
roof, and all the walls. The framing is done in a post and beam structure and
all the framing and the rafters are cedar, rough cedar, and the trim is
douglas fir, the floor is cherry, and all the wall is pine tongue and groove
with a special oil that I used for finishing, it has citrus in it, it’s
a natural oil and so that was really… it smelled really good. And all these
shelves are live-edge cedar as well. The wood all came from the sawmill up in
Lac Ste. Marie where I work, yeah so these are 2 inch cedar rafters and they
were…it was like a curved tree that was milled, and an amazing builder
helped me put the structure of this together and then I did a lot of the finishing work with my friends. [Ambient water sounds from the river] When I was designing the
layout of the furniture, it was a… kind of a bit of a puzzle to figure out
how we were gonna make a bed that was gonna be like retractable and all these
special features. When I closed my eyes and imagined the perfect space
there was nothing in it, so I was like Okay well this is my project and I can do
whatever I want so I decided to make it a minimalist space and have the least
amount of stuff possible. And it’s also an experience for someone to go
stay somewhere where there’s not a bunch of stuff I think people are seeking that
out more and more and they want to live more simply so this is an opportunity
this is a place where they can have a little taste of that and see what they
really need actually. So there’s a few shelves pretty much there’s not much in
here there’s a few towels and blankets. This is a propane heater so it’s a
direct vent propane furnace and it’s super easy to light, I have two propane
tanks on the back with a double regulator so when one tank runs out it
just switches to the other tank I have a special little table feature
here that I custom-built. The people I was working with on the
boat they really wanted to have a table and chairs and I was like, no I want to
sit on the ground, we need to sit on the ground. So this is the little table
design for that. The leg comes out and then it just hooks up. So during the daytime there can be these…
these are Thai yoga massage mats. They’re really comfy. So these mats can be out and then at nighttime the table can go up and the mattress is just bungee strapped
to the wall and it comes down. The bed is just like with a bungee system so there’s just screws and hooks with two bungees and then it’s just…
it’s just a four inch foam so it’s really…it’s really comfy. It’s a dense
foam. I’ve slept in here lots and I find it so comfortable. [Ambient Electronic Music Playing] It’s completely off
grid, there’s no electricity or solar there’s this like little solar lights,
there’s a little gas stove to cook outside with a butane fuel.
There’s just battery-operated lights and some solar lights but that’s about it
there’s there’s no running water either it’s completely off grid. So it is quite
a challenge to stay here for a couple days like one night it’s pretty cool, you
know people go to restaurants, but if you stay here a couple days you really
get a taste of what it’s like to live without power and all these amenities
that we’re used to. Here we just have a custom shelf and this is a little kind of pirate chest custom thing that I made. This is my first box. So in here there’s utensils and this is
the little gas stove. It’s not the best setup to have dishes outside because there’s animals and stuff but for now, it is what it is, and it
might be that I build something inside to store dishes and have a little
cooking station for the winter. This is the bathroom, the way we’re using this sawdust composting system is that there’s one
bucket for liquids, so pee in one bucket and one bucket for solids with a bag and
sawdust. So poo and toilet paper goes in the bag with sawdust and that’s
composted and then the pee we bring it and we flush it down the toilet.
Something I haven’t finished yet is putting a canvas over here so that’s
like a curtain so it deflects the wind and the rain and the snow in the winter. Inside of the cabin is 8′ by 10′ and then there’s 6′ of deck that’s
covered by the roof and then there’s 2.5′ on each side to walk around
which the overhang pretty much protects. This is an extra floating dock
that I’ve tied on to the front it’s just uh it’s just an extra deck space and
it’ll stay here all winter long, too. It’s a real dream come true to be able to do this. I feel so lucky to be in a position
where I can conceive an idea, and then work with people to bring it to life, and then offer it for rent and invite people to stay here. It’s such an amazing feeling…yeah I feel
really lucky. [Music Playing]>>MAT: I hope you enjoyed this video.
If you want to check out this boat we’ll put a link to it in the description of the video.
If you want to see more alternative living stories and spaces, subscribe to our
channel, we post a new video every single week.
Thanks for watching, see you next time.


  • Reply Elzria11 _ March 10, 2019 at 7:12 pm


  • Reply Exploring Alternatives March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Which floating micro cabin speaks to you more? The River Zen or The River Den?
    You can tour The River Den houseboat here: https://youtu.be/DE2WdjS6rRY
    and you can check out both cabins on Airbnb here: https://www.airbnb.ca/users/show/16018276

  • Reply Camila Vanilla March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    reminds me of the movie spring summer autmn winter and spring, so ethereal

  • Reply Maike Wilmar March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Ooh it's really hard to choose… they both speak to me in different ways. I love them both very much. Thnx for making another inspiring video! Greetings from the Netherlands

  • Reply Gibes NCIS March 10, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Yep Very Cool. Yea putting one recliner out door chair would be just over the top. Job Well Done.

  • Reply Shawn Vega Velez March 10, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Great spot for relaxation and reflecting on what's important.

  • Reply Patrick Milewski March 10, 2019 at 7:56 pm


  • Reply Becca March 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    I think is super cute! Just need an ice chest, and few personal things, and you're good to go. Just need to go on land to make a campfire if you want one. : )

  • Reply The Glamping Guys March 10, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    WOW! What a beautiful and unique living space. So inspirational! Thanks for sharing this! So lovely!
    Have a Glamperrific Day!

  • Reply Neil Aspinall March 10, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    There's minimalist and there's this ridiculous room on water with no facilities.

  • Reply Ruth Yael Ben-Adir March 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    very nice thank you, definitely a place I would rent for a night or two. it would give one a chance to get close to nature in a unique way. lots of birds, i hope one day to tour around canada.

  • Reply Damaged Goodz March 10, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I'd have added a Murphy bed for easier storing, saves a lot of messing about.

  • Reply Trevor Spencer March 10, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Neat. Cost?

  • Reply Ab Aha March 10, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Turd burger floats

  • Reply Ellen Trachtenberg March 10, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Never been a fan of the glamping concept, or the word, for that matter. But I feel pretty confident that this dwelling does not qualify…which is a positive in my book

  • Reply divaducks March 10, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    I don't think you know what glamping is because this is definitely not it lol.

  • Reply Justine Tan March 10, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    ..And where does she dump all her crap?

  • Reply Up North Muddle Kirsten Hughes March 10, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    How adorable. How do people find it to rent?

  • Reply RunnerAAA March 10, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    How do you get rid of the waste?

  • Reply Chaz Evansdale March 10, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing this build. It's definitely gotten me to think of more simplified tiny house designs.

    Your title, however, doesn't fit the content you shared. This isn't perfect nor glamping by definition.

  • Reply SRG BA March 11, 2019 at 12:19 am

    Hm, SEXY!

  • Reply Nancy Sue Leske March 11, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Enjoyed this. Check out book Shantyboat by Harlan Hubbard!

  • Reply Ana Larson March 11, 2019 at 1:30 am

    Nice but it's really just a bedroom and outhouse but really intriguing for the summer. Keep sharing.

  • Reply RāMBō March 11, 2019 at 1:40 am

    yeah have fun with the spiders lol – would be cool to fish off the front dock tho

  • Reply William Potts March 11, 2019 at 2:00 am

    This lady is cool.as can be.πŸ’ž

  • Reply William Potts March 11, 2019 at 2:05 am

    What state.?

  • Reply John Doe March 11, 2019 at 2:06 am

    I don't think this is luxury/glamour style camping. Its pretty basic camping, a book, a light, a bed. Even in theory, if you attempted to put a lot of homey things inside trying to modernize it, or a toilet just isn't enough space overall. It will probably always be 4 walls and a cot, maybe a book shelf, or a cabinet to store blanket etc. inside.

  • Reply SoCalFreelance March 11, 2019 at 2:31 am

    🎡The Love Shack is a little old place where
    We can get together
    Love Shack baby
    A Love Shack baby
    Love Shack, baby Love Shack
    Love Shack, baby Love Shack🎡

  • Reply xoxladytaatoechips March 11, 2019 at 2:40 am

    I would be worried about snakes and alligators.

  • Reply gullintanni March 11, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Bonnie and the boat are both adorable.

  • Reply Yarcofin March 11, 2019 at 3:02 am

    She basically admits it's not feasible to stay in it for more than a night lol. There's nothing sustainable or practical about this… it's just hipsterdom taken to the extreme. Sad because with a little more material and square footage it could have actually been a functional tiny home.

  • Reply Terri Baran March 11, 2019 at 3:24 am

    Hardly glamping without amenities. Glamping is glamourous camping by definition.

  • Reply John Smith March 11, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Super awesome πŸ‘πŸ‘

  • Reply ryefry March 11, 2019 at 7:01 am

    This is pretty much the exact opposite of glamping. I've regular camped with more amenities.

  • Reply hillbilly bob March 11, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Awesome! Some fishin poles and I'd be set. Maybe a gutter rain spout. Yep, I like it.

  • Reply Kathleen Anne March 11, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Not Glamping by any understanding of the word, but I would stay there very happily. My suggestion would be to enclose the kitchen area with tough old school canvas tenting material with zips so that it could be rolled up in sections or completely when weather permits.

  • Reply spook March 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

    How is this more practical and comfortable than a tent?

  • Reply Allen Hare March 11, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for another nice video.
    Bonnie seems like an amazing gal.
    The cabin is a bit sparse for my taste, but might be manageable for a weekend.
    Happy Camping

  • Reply Kimmie Luvin March 11, 2019 at 11:13 am

    People pay $$ to stay there?? 🀨 You couldn’t pay me

  • Reply Rigging Doctor March 11, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Love this! It’s like a square shaped sailboat (the original floating tiny house).
    We have been living in ours full time for 7 years and love tiny living!

  • Reply N Foss March 11, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    This is cute. What a great place tp go and just read a book.

  • Reply victor gabriel turpo March 11, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Lol excelente!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‡¦πŸ‡·. Pet Acuatic turttle, sure! Congratilations!

  • Reply Rudolf Schultz March 11, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Well I guess "glamping" is the word of the day for these comments.

  • Reply Ron Smith March 11, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Solar generator, led rechargeable headlamp, single portable induction cooktop, dometic fridge, kitchen kit …. A weeks stay easy bar /floods or random weather events
    Nice retreat

  • Reply grey wolf March 11, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks but no thanks!

  • Reply HayleyTief March 11, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I like the fact that Bonnie got to experiment and build her vision, but I couldn't see myself staying in this houseboat. There are too little features for me to really consider it a "houseboat" in the first place. Cute, but not functional. I can see how she might take what she learned from this project to make something more functional though!

  • Reply Garden Therapy March 11, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    I want a β€œLife Do Over!” Amazing.

  • Reply D'arcy Thomsen March 12, 2019 at 4:27 am

    Nice work

  • Reply chandi015 d March 12, 2019 at 4:44 am

    I would love this place!!! πŸ’œπŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’–

  • Reply glenn kennedy March 12, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Ha, I'm sure the pee gets dumped in a toilet…..ha ha

  • Reply Connor Wilson March 12, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    This is called an unfinished project.

  • Reply john perez March 12, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    You forgot to leave your boots outside and put on your indoor slippers

  • Reply Steve Schwartz March 12, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    Why not just use linseed oil? Also what furniture layout? It’s a mattress on the floor. Little too hipster to even be practical. A taste of simply would be a small fridge, maybe a source of clean water?

  • Reply jocelyne langis March 12, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Minimalist but very inviting for reflexion, meditation, an off grid experience that we probably all need in our live, almost once. Great filming and according music perfect invitation. Thanks

  • Reply ebennett7 March 13, 2019 at 2:31 am

    SEVENTY FIVE dollars a night??? That's insane and not nice

  • Reply it's burningmanmike March 13, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    is there an issue with peeing right into the river?

  • Reply allen H March 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Junk up the shore line? What gives a person the right to judge what's junk.I think it looks awsome.

  • Reply Adymn Sani March 14, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Really sweet, a place to write a Manifesto. I suppose it is an AirB(noB). Really nice though.

  • Reply Bonjour! March 15, 2019 at 4:28 am

    Nice cabin. I would love to buy your other floating cabin.

  • Reply Jon Seymour March 16, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Shed on the water.

  • Reply The M Network March 16, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    This is nice. But I have to agree with the others. 1) No bathroom. That is the main thing that should have been added. 2) If you have drinks some like it cold nowhere to put ice in a bowl or anything. I like it but not for what you are asking for a night

  • Reply Don Smith March 19, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Wait…so one basically has to use the bathroom outside in the winter? No thanks.

  • Reply DiamondBack662 March 20, 2019 at 12:19 am

    That's a shed that floats…

  • Reply Felix Cat March 20, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I took a look at the feedback from people that chose to stay, and they rated it at five stars (out of five).

    The builder was absolutely honest about what it is, what it isn't, and what inspired it.

    Everything is relative, and the guests that stayed there enjoyed it, and that, surely, is what it's all about.

    That apart, I like it too, and would happily stay there for a month – except that I couldn't afford to do so!

  • Reply gary gerard March 23, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    beautiful, Damm Beautiful – wood & glass = perfect
    thank you for posting this

  • Reply Amy v March 24, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you fir showing us and she’s right. It’s her project lol. But I do miss seeing how u would live. Cook eat For a retreat. Great work πŸ™‚

  • Reply America by pop up William Blair March 28, 2019 at 2:04 am

    My hunting caben is bigger than that and it got everything you need to stay a week or two. Maybe I should rent it out

  • Reply mikha007 March 29, 2019 at 12:24 am

    you could tow this one behind the den

  • Reply LadyBeritanavatarius August 6, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I see alot of potential here.

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