My name is Todd Nystrom (pronounced NICE-strum) a.k.a. “Todd the Hiker.” First and foremost I am a Christian, a follower of our dear 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 have blessed us with three grandchildren, and our son and his wife have blessed us another grandchild. As empty nesters and avid hikers, we can often be found in our free time exploring new places to hike and 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. I am a member and elder at North Cincinnati Community Church (PCA) in Mason, Ohio, and 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 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 realized the possibility 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 hiking trips to 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 3 & 4 year old Sunday school class since 2005. 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 formal seminary training, but I do have 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 since 1997 have worked as an engineer, project manager, and software program manager at a major, Fortune 500 company in the Cincinnati area.
In early 2015 I was selected as a brand ambassador by two well known outdoor brands, Ultimate Survival Technologies and Rocky S2V. Unfortunately both companies no longer have an active ambassador program, but in the time I had the privilege to participate in these programs I got to test and promote gear, which was as quite an honor, but most of all it helped me reach a much larger audience, and gave me an opportunity 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, information on places to visit, outdoor safety, skills, and gear. By reading this blog I hope you will be 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. Thanks for visiting my site!
Now, get outdoors, stay safe, and happy trails!!
Yours in Christ,
Todd D. Nystrom a.k.a. “Todd the Hiker”
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 (September 2018). Our God is truly an awesome God!!!!
© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013-2018.