My name is Todd Nystrom (pronounced NICE-strum) a.k.a. “Todd the Hiker.” First and foremost I am a Christian, a servant of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I live with my wife Leah in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. We have two grown and married children, our daughter and her husband who have blessed us with five grandchildren, and our son and his wife who have blessed us with two grandchildren. In our free time we can often be found hiking, backpacking, and simply enjoying the incredible beauty of God’s magnificent creation.
Grandpa (Pap) and grandson hiking at Germantown MetroPark, Germantown, Ohio (photo by Leah Nystrom).
I grew up in a Christian home knowing the blessing of having a father and mother who faithfully served the Lord. Through the ups and downs of life, many prayers, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I continue to grow in my Christian walk, and serve as an elder at our church, North Cincinnati Community Church (PCA), in Mason, Ohio. I am also an avid outdoorsman who loves hiking, backpacking, camping, and photography. I gained my appreciation for the outdoors at an early age, learning to hunt and fish with my father, and enjoying many summertime camping trips with my family in Michigan’s rugged and remote Upper Peninsula.
A much younger Todd the Hiker with a 36 inch, 13 pound northern pike caught on Greenwood Reservoir in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
It was later in life that I began to consider the possibilities of connecting my love of Christ with my love of hiking and the outdoors; and, in 2009, inspired by our head pastor’s sermon on Mark 6:31, titled “Finding Time in the Margin,” I decided to start a hiking fellowship ministry in our church. Now, several times each year, I plan and lead group day hikes, camping trips, and wilderness retreats to the many great outdoor locations within a few hour’s drive of Cincinnati. Also, since 2011, I have been blessed to lead an outdoor adventure camp teaching children wilderness safety, basic first aid, and map & compass skills. This camp is part of our church’s larger summer youth ministry program, called MVP Camp. I have also taught map & compass skills and basic photography skills to one of our local American Heritage Girl troops. And, in addition to my outdoor related ministries, I have taught adult Sunday school classes and worked alongside my wife teaching our church’s 2, 3, & 4 year old Sunday school classes. I am certified in basic first aid/CPR/AED, wilderness first aid, and basic wilderness survival skills, all skills which I have fortunately never needed to draw upon (except for the occasional adhesive bandage) in any of our individual or group outdoor adventures.
I am not a professional pastor with a formal seminary education, but have taken some basic theological training required to serve as a deacon or elder in our church. More than anything, I have a passion to serve Christ through outdoor ministry that stems from a lifetime of personal experience in the outdoors and a love for reading and studying the Bible and all things theological! I have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in research & development management from the Air Force Institute of Technology. In my professional career I served 10 years as an officer in the USAF and 20 years working as an engineer, project manager, and software program manager at a major, Fortune 500 company in the Cincinnati area. At this point I am working for a small company in the area and am considering what I want to do to bridge the gap until retirement.
In early 2015 I was selected as a brand ambassador by two well known outdoor brands, Ultimate Survival Technologies and Rocky Boots, through their Rocky S2V product line. Unfortunately both companies have discontinued these particular ambassador programs; but, during the time I had the privilege to be a part these programs I got to test, review, and promote gear, which was a huge honor. Most of all, though, it helped me reach a much larger audience and gave me opportunities to connect with many new people who share my love of the outdoors.
Through this blog I hope to share my love of Christ and his creation, as well as my thoughts on outdoor ministry, amazing places to visit, outdoor safety, skills, and gear. By reading this blog I hope you are inspired to get outdoors more and safely enjoy the amazing beauty of God’s great creation, but most importantly that you would be motivated to serve our Lord and Savior in your own unique way. Thank you for visiting my site!
Now, get outdoors, stay safe, and happy trails!!
Yours in Christ,
Todd D. Nystrom a.k.a. “Todd the Hiker”
© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013-2022.
This is a photo of Leah and me enjoying the beauty and magnificence of God’s amazing creation at Munising Falls in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on one of many trips the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our God is truly an awesome God!!!!