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My colleagues in the office are sick of hearing the words ‘I went camping at the weekend’.

But honestly, haven’t you had the odd luminous experience you can auto-fill any quiet moment in company with, by waffling on about it with misty eyes? My current hobby-horse is our recent after-work wild camp on Kinder Scout in the Peak District – the first with two kids and a dog in a too-small tent. I miscalculated Friday traffic, and we didn’t eat dinner til 10pm after a three-ish mile walk-in in balmy evening sun. But we slept alright and woke to a beautiful new day which we spent clambering on gritstone, brewing drinks, filtering water, building dams and generally making very, very slow progress towards a day’s total of a little over four miles. And it was wonderful. Which made me think again how wrong it would be to think of #walk1000miles as a reductionist athletic endeavour, a way of somehow depleasurising walking in pursuit of an arbitrary target. My 4-miles-ish easily exceeded my 2.74 #walk1000miles-mandated miles a day target, and it’s only the fact I’ve been walking every day this year that I’m in the state of mind and fitness to want to have these kind of adventures at the drop of a hat. So don’t let anyone get away with the idea that walking 1000 miles is about getting your head down and trudging joylessly on into a headwind of fear-of-failure. Many of the most memorable miles will be taken at a snail’s pace – and it’s the memories that matter, not the miles. 

Guy, editor, Country Walking, home of #walk1000miles

PS – You can read my hard-won thoughts on walking with kids in the special supplement free with the new issue, among so much else in the brightest, bubbliest issue of the year!

Why walk 1000 miles?