You know what the most difficult task in the universe is? Getting your kids to walk in the fresh air for about an hour.

Last night near Caldbeck, after about 20 minutes of fairly level walking with the dog, my daughter unexpectedly fell to her knees, and grasped desperately for the sky.

‘What is the point of this?’

‘Get up you dafty?’ that was me.

‘What are we doing, what possible reason do we have for being out here?’ That was her.

This happens occasionally, when I’ve forgotten the basics of walking with children.

There are rules to follow.

Haribos – in the deepest recesses of your rucksack, far away from little grabbing fingers, you need the promise of something great. Use this promise with the following sentence:

‘Just round the next bend we’ll stop and have Haribos.’

At the next bend, use the same sentence but replace ‘bend’ with ‘tree’ or ‘bridge’ or ‘duck-billed platypus’’ just to keep things moving. Eventually this stops working, then and only then feed them haribos.

Caves – this definitely works. They’ll walk to a cave, no problem, but it’s got to be dangerous. Dragons are good for under 5s, then maybe bears for the under 10s, and for teenagers -’that roof doesn’t look safe.’

Rivers and Lakes – they love water. Boots off, paddling, shorts wet, falling in, totally soaked, crying their eyes out – that one doesn’t work all the time

Stoves – take a stove (not your Rangemaster, a camping one) and some noodles and have a cook out. Fresh air eating is a million times better than boring old in the house eating. Sneak a brussel in a see what happens.

Sticks – looking for a really good walking stick is a winner. Finding a gnarly old Gandalf-like staff is the ultimate goal. We have a garage full of dodgy looking sticks, leaving them would be ‘stick cruelty’ apparently.

If all else fails, chase them with a poo bag.

Poo Bag – £150
Walking with your kids

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