Chris Knight
  • OS Champion

Chris Knight

OS Champion

Meet OS Champion Chris Knight – Former pro rugby player, avid hiker, keen bodybuilder and cyclist.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a former professional rugby player turned freelance content creator who has a passion for adventure, travel, and the great outdoors.  Born and raised in Swansea, my love of the outdoors originates from my time spent growing up on the rugged coastline of the Gower Peninsula.

After being forced to retire from rugby due to a slipped disc, I started hiking to keep fit and escape the struggles I faced from premature retirement. It was exploring the wonderful Welsh landscape where my passion for photography and adventure began. I also run my own website, offering hiking, travel and photography guides to Wales, create regular hiking and adventure Vlogs on YouTube, and have a master’s degree in Sports Broadcast Media.

Why do you love the outdoors?

The physical and mental health benefits alongside the views.

Physically it helps keep me in shape and also allows me to eat significantly more snacks and pizza. Mentally it improves my mood, helps me switch off, de-stress and reconnect with nature.

Also, the sense of achievement and magnificent views which the outdoors can provide. We are blessed here in the UK to have such a beautiful and varied landscape and there aren’t many better feelings than summiting a mountain (on a clear day) and taking in its views, especially if it’s around sunrise or sunset.

How do you get outside?

Mostly through hiking. If I am not galivanting around the Welsh Mountain ranges of Snowdonia or the Brecon Beacons, then I’m wandering the coastline of the Gower Peninsula with my lurcher Laszlo.

I am also an avid bodyboarder, which helps get me through the wet Welsh winters and very keen cyclist. I’ve taken on several long-distance bikepacking challenges, including cycling the coastline of Wales over 15 days in 2019 and mountain biking from north to south Wales over 6 days in 2021.

I have also signed up for Ironman Wales in 2023 so I will be spending plenty of time over the next 10 months on the road bike and trail running.

Chris Knight Waterfall

Chris Knight

What’s your favourite route?

In Brecon Beacons, it’s a loop of the Carmarthenshire Fans taking in Llyn y fan Fach and Llyn y fan Fawr. The glacial landscape is incredible, the views magnificent, and there is a fraction of the crowds compared to those up on Pen-y-Fan. OL12

In Snowdonia, it would have to be the Snowdon Horseshoe. There aren’t many better feelings than being up on Crib Goch in calm and clear weather and although the summit can get awfully busy, the views are phenomenal. OL17

Have you got any adventures planned?

This year I have completed the Welsh 3,000s and Welsh Three Peaks challenges

Later this month I am planning to bikepack the Trans Cambrian Way over two days. In 2023 I plan to tackle the Welsh Three Peaks Cycling challenge and possibly the National Three Peaks Challenge. This will be alongside training for Ironman Wales.

What’s the most essential thing on your kit list?

Haribo and my camera! In all seriousness, it would have to be my bright orange waterproof jacket which I’m wearing in nearly every picture on Instagram. Not only does it protect me from the worst of the Welsh weather but it helps me stand out in photos.

Who inspires you to get outside?

Richard Parks is a big inspiration of mine, especially because he was also a former professional rugby player who was forced to retire due to injury. His adventures and achievements are absolutely phenomenal.

Ed Jackson is another. He has overcome a life-threatening injury and doesn’t let his disabilities stop him from taking on adventures and exploring the outdoors.

What do you prefer: Paper or digital map?

Although I prefer looking over a physical map in the house, when I am out on the hills, I prefer a digital map due to its functionality, size, and ease of use.