It is Well

It Is Well With My Soul – Horatio Spafford

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”


“Been a little quiet over that WWTS these days George.” You betcha! Haven’t been on a hike since December 2014, and the prospects of one before September of this year are glum, as evidenced by the above photo. It’s been a rough 2015 so far, but oh boo hoo. These things have been a blessing of sorts. This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to slow down, and I can truly say it is well with my soul. I have a few new things that are now coming to the forefront, and  I believe everything that has happened is a part of God’s greater plan. Maybe I could live vicariously through one of you. Tell me about how you’ve been walking with the Son!

Staff Sergeant Thomas William Logan Sr.

American Soldier by Toby Keith

“I’m an American soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand
When Liberty’s in jeopardy, I will always do what’s right
I’m out here on the front line
Sleep in peace tonight
American soldier, I’m an American soldier”



Uncle Tom

Staff Sergeant Thomas William Logan Sr.    December 8, 1942 – March 27, 2009

A few days ago I decided I didn’t want to do the same old Memorial Day post. I wanted to memorialize an individual who represents the heart of Memorial Day. I see posts that say “Happy Memorial Day”, but the reality for anyone who has or had a loved one who served, it can be a very somber day.

I decided to write about Staff Sergeant Thomas William Logan Sr, or Uncle Tom as I knew him. My first recollection of Uncle Tom was when I was very young – maybe 5 years old. You see I was born in 1964, and my Uncle Tom did 3 tours in Vietnam, so when this soldier showed up at the house and was hugging my mom I was wondering who this guy was. Tommy, as my mom called him, was her twin, and he was on leave, and had to shovel through 18 inches of snow to visit.

Uncle Tom earned two purple hearts in Vietnam. On one occasion he was riding in the back of a duece and a half (2 1/2 ton truck) with another soldier who was on his way home. The truck ran over a landmine and both men were throw into a rice patty. My uncle had a shoulder wound, but “commandeered” a motorcycle from a local to ride and get help. Sadly, that soldier never went home. Uncle Tom signed up for another tour in Vietnam after that, and completed 3 tours.

Sadly, my next memories of Uncle Tom were running into him when I was about 30 years old. He sometimes worked with my Uncle Jack, and I saw him on a job site. I would see him on a rare occasion, and he always would laugh and joke with me. I regret not getting to know him better.

In the above picture Uncle Tom was 66 years old. Even as the war and it’s memories followed him through life and eventually caught him, he was still proud to be an american soldier. Rest in peace Uncle Tom. God Bless the American Soldier!

Why Happy Resurrection Day?


The Revelation Song – Kari Jobe

“Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain,
Holy, holy is He”


Easter/Resurrection Day is the most important day of the year. Yes, even more important than Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. You see, Christ’s birth would have no meaning if it were not for His atoning death on the cross. Jesus did not come to live here on this earth, but rather to be a sacrifice for our sins and die on a cross. Why? Through the cross we all have the opportunity of eternal life in heaven, because by dying on a cross Jesus paid the price for all of our sins, past, present, and future.

Hebrews 52:13-53:12

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,
    and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations;
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.
53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation,who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

If you know Christ, then you already celebrate with me today. If you don’t, please don’t let this day go by without praying to God to become real in your life!

Oh Holy Night Indeed!


Oh Holy Night by John Sullivan Dwight

“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth”

As the Christmas holiday approached I found myself singing my favorite songs, especially Silent Night and Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel. As I sat down to read the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke I was suddenly taken with “Oh Holy Night” and felt the urge to seek out it’s origins. There are others who will tell the story much better, so I will leave it to the reader to do his or her own searching. All I can say is that this wasn’t what I planned to pen here on this most holy night, and so I will yield to the promptings of the Spirit. I have included Josh Groban’s version for your listening pleasure.

Merry Christmas from Walking With The Son!

Just as an after note; when I attended church last night what was the first song the worship team sang? Oh Holy Night! God is good. 🙂

Bitten By The DIY Bug

Acts 18:3

“Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was.”  NLT

Brother xl2600i thread injector

Brother xl2600i thread injector

I’m a bit of a tinkerer. In fact I made and sold thousands of alcohol stoves over the years while operating End2End Trail Supply. Wood burning sheet metal stoves, no problem. Anything metal was my forte. Even so, I always admired anyone who could create something from fabric.I never thought I would be able to sew projects like the folks at Hammock Forums and Backpackinglight. I decided to give it a go and bought myself the above pictured Brother xl2600i for my birthday a few years ago, and then it sat, probably mostly due to my lack of confidence. I visited my good friend John Donewar back in March and saw his projects and sewing space and finally decided to give it a go this past July. Now I’m bitten by the DIY bug and I’m here to say if I can do it so can you.

I started out making stuff sacks and small (pin cushion size) pillows, and there’s a good reason why folks start out with these simple projects – you get familiar with the machine and how to sew a straight stitch. In fact, 90% of the DIY projects out there just call for the ability to sew in a straight line. In my opinion learning the functions of the machine and why it might not sew properly were tougher than actually sewing (hint: most of the problems I came across were from improper top tension and improperly wound bobbins). Once I got the hang of it, sewing became quite cathartic. I become absorbed by the hum of the machine and the flow of the fabric.

I will outline some of my projects to date, and include any links I think are applicable. My first project of any real size was a bug net affectionately know as the Fronkey Bug Net, named after it’s creator Fronkey, of course!

Fronkey Bug Net

Fronkey Bug Net

I bought the no see um from DIY Gear Supply, and the design is basically a hem at the bottom for a length of shock cord, and a couple of hems up the side. Best of all, I finished it in about a half an hour! Final weight came in at 7.3 ounces, including stuff sack.

By now I had become obsessed with a camo hammock setup, and decided to knock off a camo Asym style tarp made from some 1.1 silnylon I purchased from Ripstop By The Roll. Using a pattern found at DIY Gear Supply this project was a breeze!

Asym camo sil tarp

Asym camo sil tarp

Corner reinforcement

Corner reinforcement

Self tensioning guyline

Self tensioning guyline

With stuff sack, ridgeline, and guylines with self tensioners the tarp setup weighs 6.8 ounces. Throw in a couple of MSR groundhog stakes and the kit weighs 7.8 ounces.

Well, what good is a camo tarp without a camo hammock, so I tapped Dutch over at Dutchware for some Argon 1.6 fabric. Once again, just a few straight seams and the hammock body was done. The ridgeline and whoopie sling suspension was made from 7/64″ Amsteel from Redden Marine, the toggles were cut from aluminum arrow shafts, and the camo 1″ webbing for the tree huggers came from Dutchware as well. I whipped up a bishop bag (basically a stuff sack with openings on both ends) from some Momentum 90 I had laying around and viola, she is fini. Or so I thought.

Camo Argon 1.6 hammock

Camo Argon 1.6 hammock

Yup, it's camo!

Yup, it’s camo!

Amsteel suspension

Amsteel suspension

That’s when I decided to sew up a ridgeline organizer, ala Dream Hammock.

Papa Smurf Dream Hammock style organizer

Papa Smurf Dream Hammock style organizer

I like the idea that I can slide a water bottle in the middle so I don’t have to fumble in the dark. The weight of my whole hammock rig including hammock, ridgeline, whoopies, toggles, tree straps, ridgeline organizer and bishop bag comes in at 15.7 ounces.

By now my skills were improving and I took on a project that I must admit I was quite nervous about – a down under quilt. I love my Hammock Gear under quilts, and was going to pay for a custom super ultra light summer UQ to go with my 50° top quilt, but I thought, “why not give it a try”. I found a very detailed description of an under quilt someone had made at hammock forums, and decided it didn’t look all that bad. Once again I tapped Dutch for some Argon 67 in Coyote Brown for the inner shell, and Argon 90 in camo for the outer.



Hem detail

Hem detail

Inner shell color

Inner shell color

I went with 1″ baffles and 3 ounces of down, and according to Catsplat’s UQ Calculator my under quilt should be good down to 51°. I slept in it shortly after finishing, and it got down to 52°, which kept me plenty warm sleeping in only sweat pants and a tee shirt. Best of all it only weighs 8.5 ounces!

Here’s the whole rig:

100% DIY camo hammock rig

100% DIY camo hammock rig

Shortly after finishing my UQ my buddy Matt asked if I would make him a full length 20° UQ in the same colors as mine. I challenged myself and was able to make it in one day! Whew! I made it from Argon 90 inside and out and filled it with 11.5 ounces of 850 fp down.

20° full length UQ

20° full length UQ

Inside view

Inside view

It weighed in at 20.6 ounces and should be good to 19°. So far Matt’s tests have given a big thumbs up! Now if I can get Paul’s UQ done I can get on to making my silnylon rain gear, heh heh.


Living A Resurrected Life

1 Corinthians 1:18

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (ESV)


As I ponder the most significant day in history for most Christians, my heart leaps at the thought that my God’s not dead, but instead lives on in resurrected victory. The grave could not keep Him, sin had no power over Him – He is risen! Jesus truly is “the way , the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and by His death , burial, and resurrection Jesus created a way to the Father.

The Bible teaches that we were also crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), died with Christ (Romans 6:8), were buried with Christ (Romans 6:4), made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5), and raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). It is in our resurrection with Christ that we are to be a “new creation” – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

We were connected to Jesus at the cross because of our sin. Just as Jesus was buried, so should we bury our sin. In His resurrection Jesus rose up free from our sins, so too should we flee from our former sins. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. Just as the Holy Spirit walks alongside us (para) convicting us of our sin prior to our conversion, and dwells in us at the time of our salvation (en), He also flows from us (epi) as we walk in Christ. I believe that we need to pray daily for a filling of the Holy Spirit since, to quote D.L. Moody, “I leak”. That, I believe, is the humble beginning to living a resurrected life – prayer. Pray daily for the strength, wisdom, grace, mercy, and love that our Saviour Jesus Christ lived every day in His life here on earth. Then pray for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, and I believe you’ll find the building blocks of living a resurrected life.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Getting Back To Whack

Psalm 119:1

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.”

Back in November I hosted a Critical Incident Stress Management (CSIM) class which was the first step in the new CSIM team my church is starting. During the training we were discussing how severe stress can throw a person “out of whack” in their day to day routines. The inside “joke”, if you will, was that we help people “get back to whack”. Well, I’m trying to do just that with WWTS.

It’s been my desire to post here every 2-3 weeks, and the process of putting these posts together is one of my stress management tools. I love setting out on the adventures that I post here for you, and there something cathartic about putting them into word after it’s all done. It has been difficult lately to achieve that mission, and I guess from time time that’s life. With that in mind, it seems I’m getting back to whack.

I’ll be heading off to Mississippi for an overnighter in a few weeks, and I have a long overdue review of my ULA Ohm 2.0 pack that seems to call my name every time I log on here. There are also a few half finished drafts that beg for my attention now and again.

There’s been a lack, but I’m on track, and getting back to whack (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Stay tuned.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Job 1:20-22

“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”

In the story of Job we are told that he was a “blameless and upright man”. When he lost everything -kids, house, wealth – he mourned his loss, as we humans will do. But Job continued to bless the name of the  Lord even as he grieved. Yes, he hit more bumps as time went by, but Job remembered where his true wealth lies. In the end God restored His faithful servant Job to even greater wealth than he had in the beginning.

Where does your treasure lie? On this Thanksgiving Day I pray you remember to bless the name of the Lord., the God who gives and takes away.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Few of My Favorite Things

Luke 10:3-4

“Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.”

One thing most backpackers have to concede – we’re gear junkies. We can’t imagine going on the (road) trail without a few of our favorite things. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s fun to peruse the latest and greatest gear sites and catalogs, dreaming of how much better our next trip would be IF ONLY we had that piece of gear we’ve been drooling over. With that thought in mind I thought I might suggest a few things (based on my experiences) to might make your Christmas shopping (or catalog browsing) season brighter.


I have carried Granite gear packs for quite few years now. The company has a wonderful reputation and makes a darn comfortable piece of kit in the AC 60.

Granite Gear AC60

Granite Gear AC60

While I still highly recommend their packs for the lightweight crowd, I have most recently become a convert to ULA Equipment. I became the proud owner of a ULA Ohm 2.0, and can honestly say that it instantly became my favorite pack.

ULA Ohm 2.0

ULA Ohm 2.0

The Ohm 2.0 weighs in at half of what my AC 60 did, and is great if you are the type who has his or her gear kit dialed in. If you are looking for a lighter alternative to your current pack I recommend giving ULA a look.


I am a long time tarp user, and for years one of my favorites was the FlatTarp3 by Oware . Dave Olson has a reputation for making quality tarps, and it really shows in the details.

Oware FlatTarp 3

Oware FlatTarp 3

Since becoming a bonafide hammock hanger my choice has changed. I am a huge fan of the Hammock Gear Standard Cuben Tarp w/ Doors .

Hammock Gear Cuben Tarp with Doors

Hammock Gear Cuben Tarp with Doors

You’ll hear me gush whenever I mention Hammock Gear, and rightfully so. They’re quality and customer service is second to none.


If you are in the market for a hammock, in my honest opinion there is no better brand than Warbonnet. I currently use a Warbonnet Traveler , and their Blackbird is legendary among hangers for comfort, quality, and resale value.

Relaxing in my Warbonnet Traveler

Relaxing in my Warbonnet Traveler

Sleeping Gear

There is nothing more important to me than a good nights sleep on the trail, and for years I have sung the praises of Mountain Hardwear Phantom series sleeping bags. I owned a Phantom 15 and a Phantom 45, and I considered these my most essential pieces of gear for years.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15

Lately I have said good bye to my old friends and converted to the Hammock Gear Burrow line of top quilts. Now I get top of the line quality in an even lighter package.

Hammock Gear Burrow 20

Hammock Gear Burrow 20

My Burrow 20  comes in at 17.1 ounces – half of what my Phantom 15 weighed. Combined with my Hammock Gear Incubator 20 under quilt my whole insulation package comes in at the same weight as my old sleeping bag alone!


I’ve owned more than my fair share of cookware – titanium, aluminum and stainless. Of all my cookware the piece that gets the most use is my Evernew Titanium 550 ml cookpot.

Boiling water for breakfast

Evernew 550 ml pot

This pot weighs in at 3 ounces even, including lid and stuffsack, and has the capacity I need for most freeze dried meals. On top of that it’s the perfect size to use as a mug.


I never (NEVER) go on a hike without my Black Rock Gear Down Beenie .

Black Rock Gear Down Beenie

Black Rock Gear Down Beenie

There’s just no reason to leave it home! My BRG Down Beenie provides incredible warmth, whether in camp lounging or settling in for a night in the hammock, and weighs in at a scant 9/10’s of an ounce. Unfortunately the only thing it can’t do is make me look cool.

Another must have for me is my Smartwool Socks.

Smartwool socks

Smartwool socks


You’d think merlino wool would be a problem in the summer, but not these socks. My feet are cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and comfortable anytime I wear them. I have a few pair of Adrenelines from 8-10 years ago that are still wearing like iron. Smartwool socks are a little pricey up front, but you’ll get your money’s worth out of them.

‘Tis the season and Black Friday’s a comin’, so why not treat yourself to some of those goodies you’ve been drooling over? What’s on your wishlist?