One Week in the Woods, Off-Grid Living

What I have learned about wilderness living in a week.


Donald J Claxton on Day Seven in the Woods living off-grid.
Donald J Claxton living off-grid on Day Seven!
  1. There’s always something BIG to do when camping or living off-grid
  2. There is a smart way and an exhausting way to accomplish your tasks in the wilderness
  3. Start up costs for needed tools can get expensive, fast
  4. The audience for going off-grid is significant — many people are at least curious when considering their daya-to-day lives
  5. My 8-yo Great Pyrenees was unsure about this until Day 7; now she feels like she owns the land and what is welcome and what is not
  6. A small Iglo cooler is not enough to handle cold water and perishables using bags of ice to keep things cool.
  7. With lots of bug spray, a bug suit, and tent netting, you sort of get used to the mosquitos, flies, and ticks.
  8. Did I mention ticks? Yeah, bring tweezers.
  9. Dry firewood is easy and not to find in the woods.
  10. The sounds of nature at night are amazing

There’s always something BIG to do when camping/living off-grid

Understatement of understatements. Daily activities are wide-ranging and exhausting. Especially for an out-of-shape, over-weight 56-year-old disabled man with a very bad back and iffy legs.

The first few nights in the woods, my Great Pyrenees, Maycee, and I slept in a day-camping pup tent. My head touch on one end, feet on the other. To keep us safe from impending rain Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I also build an awning covered via a tarp.

Earlier this week, Mrs. S. and R. Boyle contributed $60 via to help me purchase a tent for $99. It sleeps “10.” I’ve divided the inside into three rooms. One as a clothes cloest, one as an office/writing area, and the third, as my “bedroom.”

The tent is 17 feet wide, and at the entrance, 13 1/2 feet deep, and at the highest inside point, 6-feet and 8 inches. So I’m pondering another awning. This one will need to be 21' x 16' and at least 6'8" to a rise of likely 9'8".



Donald J. Claxton - Woodsman by Design

Donald J. Claxton is a woodsman by design. He tent camps during summer in Upper Michigan and makes wooden crosses and carves caricatures to make a living.