Man in the rainy mountains
  • OS Champion

David Finlayson

OS Champion

Meet OS Champion David Finlayson – Surf explorer, hiker, mountain bike rider, travelling, mountains and maps.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m David, Sheffield born and bred with a love of all things outdoors. Surfing and hiking are always at the heart of all my outdoor activities and it’s because of these activities that I spend a lot of time travelling both in the UK and abroad. I also work as a Surveyor for Ordnance Survey which is great as I get to look at maps all day at work too.

Why do you love the outdoors?

I love the solitude when I’m outdoors, whether that’s in the mountains or out on the water surfing, I love being able to clear my mind and just focus completely on what I’m doing in that moment, there and then.

How do you get outside?

If I can, I’ll either head to the beach for a surf, or out into the hills for a walk. Living on the doorstep of the Peak District, and indeed having local walks on my doorstep means I’ll get outside whenever I can, even if it’s just for a walk or cycle from my front door. I don’t have to travel far to enjoy being outside.

What’s your favourite route?

I love the hike up to Derwent Edge from Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District. The views you get are amazing and I’ve never known it be busy up there.

David Finlayson

David surfing

Have you got any adventures planned?

I’m heading up to the Isle of Skye this weekend, with a trip across to the Isle of Mull planned to visit Staffa. Lots of hikes in the Cullins once we get to Skye. I’ll also try to head up to the north coast for a dip in the water. Then I’m off to the Canary Islands for some surf in a few weeks.

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

My water flask, I always like to stay hydrated.

Who inspires you to get outside?

I love the period in history which is steeped in adventure and exploration. The likes of Captain Robert Scott, Ernest Shackleton and George Mallory, who did what they did because they truly believed in exploration. They really inspire me to go out and adventure.

What do you prefer: Paper or digital map? (Controversial we know!)

I still must go with Paper. Hiking Ben Macdui one winter my digital map crashed due to the cold, so having the paper back up was a good shout, so for me, paper all the way.