The Filmmaker Who Brings the Trail to You

Depending on your country, you may still be in a state of perpetual lockdown. But with vaccines being rolled out and dates being mentioned where our freedoms may return, for some of us, the end is in sight, and the yearning for the great outdoors is greater than ever.

There are also those of us who desire more than anything to summit mountains, defeat boulder problems, shred downhill trails on mountain bikes, or whatever else that gives us a buzz. For others, this may no longer be an option due to injury or disability. Thankfully in the golden age of content that we currently live in, you can gorge yourself silly on travel and adventure writings and videos to get your fix of all things outdoors.

Chris Homer is a man who is creating said art that should satisfy the needs of those mentioned. He is a professional cameraman for television shows who brings his skills from his day job to solo YouTube projects.

Modest Beginnings in Grand Settings

Still a small time content-creator by YouTube’s standards, he is getting close to hitting the 10,000 subscribers benchmark.

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This man from The Black Country (that’s the midlands of England to our non-UK readers) is making quality videos of his outdoor experiences.

Most of his videos feature his long hikes across the UK; he includes wild camping and even surprise content such as kayaking. But the videos that really stand out are his walks and wild camps in the stunning national park of Snowdonia in the little country of Wales.

Something a Little Different

He recently gained viral success with his wild camp video in the Glyderau mountains, with video views surpassing 100,000. What most likely spurred this video into the more popular side of YouTube is that it featured wild camping during the winter. Everybody loves an element of danger.

Chris took his moment of fame seriously; he took on board the responsibility that comes with it and reminded his viewers that just because he made it look easy, wild camping in the winter is not an activity for beginners.

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“As a bit of a disclaimer, I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the mountains. Many hundreds of trips across the UK and time filming in the mountains of Austria, Norway, Finland, Canada, Korea, Russia, and Kazakhstan, to name a few. I’m also ex-forces and no stranger to tough environments,” he says.

Silence is Golden

Since his channel has become more established, his videos have evolved to have a running theme that sets them apart from the majority of YouTube. That theme is silence.

The majority of videos feature zero narration and let the landscape speak for itself, occasionally overlaid with some peaceful ambient music. Chris shows the trails for exactly what they are, focusing on the little things that make each trail special.

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On the shores of Llyn Idwal, he pets some local wild ponies before heading off down the trail. Another video in England ends in the most quintessentially British way possible; arriving at the pub.

The videos don’t seek perfection either, as hikes carry on even when the weather is completely Welsh (sheets of unforgiving rain). Drone footage is regularly used and when the weather clears up the British countryside really shines through.

There are also sprinklings of humor throughout his content. In his video showcasing the second highest mountain in Wales, Carnedd Llewelyn shows us a close-up of some sheep droppings. Later on, Chris bares all with some skinny dipping (censored, of course) at a mountainside lake.

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If wild camping is on the cards, you can be assured there will be a shot of a can of some independent craft beer. Then water will be boiled to make a swift Pot Noodle. We are clearly watching the work of a man of great taste.

Big-time YouTuber and fellow silent hiker Kraig Adams recently complimented Chris on one of his videos, showcasing the channel’s increasing notoriety. Give this channel a few months, and we could have another addition to YouTube’s big established outdoor channels.

The Current State of the Channel

Like everyone who is playing by the United Kingdom rules right now, Chris is suffering our third lockdown, and his videos have had to go on hold as a result. His last upload was two months ago, his subscribers continue to wait patiently.

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In the meantime, he has started a series called “THIS KIND OF STUFF IS WHY I DON’T HAVE A TV LICENSE,” where he showcases other YouTubers in the outdoor niche on his community page. You have to pay a yearly fee to watch live television to support the BBC in the UK. Chris Homer is a great reason for Brits to stop paying with videos featuring a standard of production quality to match the media giant.

What does the future hold?

On the 29th of March, the UK’s coronavirus restrictions will hopefully change, and people can go out walking where they want in England. It is yet to be seen what will happen in Wales. Maybe we should expect a throwback to Chris Homer’s channel’s earlier days where he will show us the beauty of Wales’ bigger neighbor, England.

During this hiatus of freedom and restriction of movement, it is a great time to support the world of adventure writing and content creation. To support this incredible channel, watch videos from the back catalog, subscribe and share.

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It is so important that we keep “rising talent” channels alive to keep their curator’s motivation high in the hopes that they will return to make more amazing content for us for free, which we can enjoy anytime, anywhere on our device of choice.

Who needs television when you have channels like this?

Thomas Board
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