Winter. What a horrible season. You can't go outside without being blown away or getting frostbite. It's dark by mid afternoon and all you want to do is stay indoors and hibernate.

I don't know if it's obvious, but I hate it. This winter has been worse than ever for me - a new part time job in retail has meant that I've even started to hate Christmas. Time when I should have been with my family getting merry was spent working late preparing for the dreaded sales.

So I decided I needed something to look forward to. I told myself that in the New Year I'd invest in a new tent. And, when a friend sent me a link to this Coleman Lakeside 4 at a bargain price, I couldn't help myself.

Now I don't know about you, but if I buy something like that I can't wait to try it out. Which is why I decided to spend a weekend camping. In January.

I even persuaded a few mates to come along.

The weather on the cold Derbyshire moors was freezing. In fact, temperatures were as low as -12 at night. I regretted not buying a tent heater (I gave up the idea when the nice man at the camping shop suggested I should get an electric one as it was perfect for heating up his conservatory). The pipes to the toilet block were frozen and we couldn't have a shower. But you know what? It was bloody brilliant.

So what did we do on a January weekend in Derbyshire? On the Saturday, as three committed petrolheads, we set off in search of some quality strips of tarmac weaving through the peaks. It soon became obvious that Derbyshire had been ruined by pointless 50mph limits and scameras to enforce them, so our drive out turned into a hunt for camping shops. Martin wanted some gas for his tent heater (his usual shop had sold out), and Matt wanted some kind of bedding (the bright spark had forgotten his and was apparently a bit cold the night before).

We weren't very successful. We'd all have to be cold for another night.

Fortunately the site yours truly had booked was next to a very nice country pub, the Duke of York. The roaring log fire, ale on tap and legendary game pie meant it was the perfect way to spend an evening.

The following day we packed away (as best as we could as the tents were frozen solid. Should have packed a hairdryer to defrost them.) Then we did the full touristy thing - visited Bakewell for a Bakewell tart, and then visited the simply awesome Black Rocks.

If you're reading this and thinking we're stupid for camping in that weather, I'm sure you're right. But you really should give it a try. Do what I didn't - buy a tent heater, and take along lots of layers and camp near a pub and you'll have a great time.

After all, if you leave camping until the summer, do you really think the weather will be that much better? At least it didn't rain.

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