Are you mad?I am sure that is the question you will be asked by friends, colleagues and family alike but you can tell them that there’s nothing like it as long as you have the right equipment.

Ask them if they have ever built an outside sauna - that will stump ‘em! Build a hot fire and cover it with stones. Make a tripod six feet or so high from hazel or other straight lengths of wood, then

throw over a tarpaulin. Enter the sauna with a bucket of water (ideally infused with a few handfuls of aromatic leaves) and throw ladlefuls on to the fire. The stones will hiss and bubble, creating a steam-filled space better than any gym sauna. If you are near the sea or a river, make it even more invigorating by plunging into the water afterwards!

Tell them that they will never know the experience of waking up in a warm three season sleeping bag to watch the winter sun making its way up into a pale blue sky over a misty British winter landscape. And make sure you rub it in and assure them that you slept safe and sound in a well constructed tent that had been rigorously tested during manufacturing.

Paint a picture to them of having a winter barbeque near a deserted Cornish beach with nothing but the sound of the waves crashing on the shore to accompany you whilst enjoying your delicious food and a hot toddy in the iodine rich bracing air. And if they sneer and say your tent will blow over – tell them that you chose a tent that is well constructed and thoroughly tested and how clever you are because you know that by using tree and the landscape for shelter and making sure your tent is not facing into the wind it won’t blow over! You can also impress them that you know not to site your fire on the windward side of tent and do they know why? When they ask why you can feel incredibly smug and tell them that if you did, the tent would catch fire! “You’ll be flooded out with all the rain in the winter”. “Oh no I won’t.” you’ll reply, “I’ll dig a shallow trench uphill of my tent, or even right around it and it will act as a storm drain and keep me dry!”

Watch the looks of amazement and envy from your friends – bet you have some company this winter.

Happy camping : )