Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander

Braving the Wild, Crafting the Unique

Off-Grid Living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Welcome to The Timberlander *, by Donald J. Claxton, where I share firsthand experiences and DIY tips for off-grid living, woodworking, and connecting with nature in Michigan’s remote and rugged Upper Peninsula.

During the warmer months of the year, my Great Pyrenees, Maycee, and I camp/live deep in the timberlands northwest of Marquette, Michigan.

Through our accumulated experiences, now 24 weeks from July – October 2022, and July – September 2023, my knowledge base has increased in ways I never could have imagined.

There also are the years of my youth, 1969 – 1970, 1973-1975, and 1975-1978, when I roamed freely throughout the woods on and off KI Sawyer AFB in Gwinn, Michigan. 

Also featured on this site are my woodworking and woodcarving creations with wood almost 100 percent sourced from the UP. These are shared and sold via The Timberlander’s Treasures Gift Shop

On this site you will find:

Please visit The Timberlander’s Treasures Gift Shop today to find:
  • Merchandise featuring The Timberlander and Maycee!
  • One-of-a-kind wooden custom crosses (Coming soon!)
  • Handcrafted figurines inspired by nature (Coming soon!)
  • Driftwood Christmas trees from the shores of Lake Superior (C s!)
  • Cool t-shirts featuring Maycee, my Great Pyrenees (Coming soon!)
  • Artful basswood carved ornaments for the holidays (Coming soon!) 
Each product sold receives Maycee’s stamp of approval. Care and intention help shape all handcrafted items.

Check out our Etsy shop to see available carvings like UP-themed gnomes, wildlife, Santa ornaments, and Lake Superior wood spirits. Or contact me for custom carving commissions.

Off-Grid Living stories from the Timberlander.

Off-Grid Living: A Brief Overview

Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander loves the experience of off-grid living

Off-grid living is a topic gaining popularity every year.

The website’s goal is straightforward: to provide accurate, proven, and easily understandable information on off-grid living.

The primary off-grid living topics covered on this site include:

As the site expands, you’ll find dedicated pages for each topic mentioned.  

Donald J Claxton | The Timberlander: Woodworking Logo


Are you captivated by the scent and allure of freshly cut timber?

Do you enjoy creating visually stunning and functional pieces, large and/or small? Let’s attempt, build, carve, and experiment with woodworking as it applies to off-grid living.

Together, we will identify, plan, carve, and timber frame shelters with different:

  • Wood species
  • Vintage hand tools
  • And present inspirational ideas you may apply to meet your needs

You can also learn about:

Enchant yourself in the world of woodworking!

The Timberlander's Treasures Gift Shop Emblem

The Timberlander Treasures Gift Shop

Looking for one-of-a-kind gifts, furniture, and wall decor?

Click to find unique items from The Timberlander Treasures Gift Shop. My specialties include:

  • Branded Timberlander Treasures like T-shirts, candles, and more!
  • Making rustic home decor into one-of-a-kind gifts like wooden custom crosses
  • Basswood carvings of gnomes, Santas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas figurines (Coming soon!)
  • Lake Superior driftwood art (Coming soon in Sept. 2023)
  • Wooden furniture (Coming soon!)
  • A. Maycee Grace crazy dog t-shirts (Coming soon in Aug. 2023!)
  • Scenic landscape photography of Lake Superior and cool views of the UP

I also collect, use, and sell vintage hand tools, not to mention very sharp carving knives, gouges, and more. 

Our Products

The latest Timberlander blog posts.

Back to the UP for the Best in Off-Grid Living in 2023

Back to the UP for the Best in Off-Grid Living in 2023

We are late in heading back to the UP. An update on the operations, developments, and plans for 2023. A month longer than planned, Maycee and I long for the 2023 return to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  In 2023, we tent camped for 13 weeks and 4 days on my dad's 40...

The Donald J. Claxton  | The Timberlander and A. Maycee Grace guarantee.

Logo of Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander and his Great Pyrenees, A. Maycee Grace in white silhouette. They specialize in off-grid living, woodworking, and the Timberlander Treasure store on

About Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander

The man behind Timberlander Treasures.
Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander is an avid craftsman and woodworker devoted to perfecting his craft.
He has a deep reverence for materials and attention to detail. He honed these skills through years of hard work and dedication.
His grandpa’s influence.
The late Andy Sheptak of Hobart, Indiana fostered Donald’s passion for woodworking.
This led to an early desire to make beautiful functional and pleasing pieces.
Donald makes all wooden Timberlander’s Treasures with timber grown in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The commitment to UP-sourced materials extends beyond the woodshop. Donald J. and Maycee spend months each year focused on off-grid living. While off-grid, Donald’s focus is on ways to include woodworking in sustainability, art, and comfort.
Each wooden craft seeks to preserve the material’s natural beauty. This happens by creating unique pieces that showcase one-of-a-kind features.
Ninety-five percent of Donald’s projects include the use of traditional, vintage hand tools. Limited use of modern machinery comes into use as necessary. But there is no substitute for the quality received from tools more than 100 years old.
The Timberlander’s Treasures feature Donald’s passion for craftsmanship, self-sufficiency, and off-grid living.

About A. Maycee Grace

“Woofff and Hi!” Maycee says. 

Maycee is a 9-year-old Great Pyrenees who protects the campsite and worksite wherever the two travel.

Her master makes t-shirts and other merch featuring the coolest Great Pyrenees on the planet–Maycee!

Nothing ships without passing her “smell test.”


Like most Great Pyrs, when told to do something she does not want to do, Maycee doesn’t.

Also, when her daddy fusses at her, she always gets in the last “moans.”

But not to worry, this is how she keeps him out of trouble.

Maycee loves her daddy so much and hopes you will love her, too!  

My woodworking; Let’s chop things down to size….

Let's break it down, off-grid living woodcarving, Timberlander Treasures, Donald J Claxton  | The Timberlander,

Woodworking Craft and Influence

My maternal grandfather, an artisan himself, began influencing my passion for woodworking more than 50 years ago.

He imparted his craft through books, articles, hand tools, and occasionally, harsh critique.

Growing up a good many years as a kid on K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base nurtured my enduring affection for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Number 2: Let's break it down, off-grid living woodcarving, Timberlander Treasures, Donald J Claxton | The Timberlander,

Reverence for Materials and Attention to Detail

Every woodworking project includes reverence for the materials used, regardless of their purpose.

Inspired by my grandfather’s teachings to examine art from multiple perspectives, including upside down, my emphasis centers on details that accentuate the distinctive attributes of every creation.

My hope is to craft enduring heirlooms that will withstand the passage of time.

Number 3: Let's break it down, off-grid living woodcarving, Timberlander Treasures, Donald J Claxton  | The Timberlander,

Uniqueness, Quality, and Customer Satisfaction

My custom creations will never sell in big box stores. 

They exemplify excellence, therefore, I do not compromise quantity at the expense of quality. 

Satisfaction with price, experience, and timely delivery are top priorities. 

Self-Sufficient Living: Clearing an Off-Grid Cabin Site – Donald J Claxton | The Timberlander

Are you dreaming of building an off-grid structure like a Shawn James or Trustin Timbers’ log cabin?

I’m taking on the challenge of building timber frame shelters while camping in the wilds of Upper Michigan. This is the greatest adventure of my lifetime.

Watch as I eliminate rust-infected balsam firs, answer questions about layout and health issues, and explore possibilities of running water.

With my experience and your dreams, let’s examine the possibilities of making your own off-grid dreams come true.