Camping with Style – The Story Behind The UK’s Number 1 Camping & Glamping Blog

Treheli Farm

I’m Shell, a full-time marketing director and the editor of Camping with Style, a blog that I’m extremely proud to have been running since 2014 which has provided some incredible opportunities that I’m immensely grateful for.

The blog has opened up my life and given me the drive I needed to step outside of my comfort zone more often and has allowed me to more fully indulge my love of the great outdoors and accessible everyday adventures.

The Accident and the Epiphany

Despite wanting to start a blog for years, what with working full time, being a mum, freelance writing, an active social life and heaps of hobbies (the curse of the spicy), I never felt like I had time, but a serious accident proved to be a turning point in my life.

After I broke my back in a snowboarding accident back in early 2014, I was determined not to let the resulting chronic pain, depression and disability determine what I could and couldn’t do for the rest of my life.

Doing everything I could to rebuild my active outdoorsy lifestyle, I started blogging and found it was a huge help during those difficult first weeks and months after the accident.

Camping and spending time with nature helped me to come to terms with my injury, and put me on the road to mental, if not full physical recovery. I still remind myself how lucky I was; it could have been so much worse.

Despite crippling pain and being unable to turn over in bed or dress myself, I was determined that camping and outdoor activities should remain a big part of my life and I set myself a goal to go camping that coming summer and to get back onto the water in a kayak.

In order to continue camping however, I needed to invest in a new tent that was easy for one person to put up alone, that I could stand up in to dress, and I also needed some new, more comfortable camping gear.

My disability and the resulting autoimmune joint condition I was now living with (including Ankylosing Spondylitis, lesions on multiple disks and a permanent disk bulge), meant that bending to get into a small backpacking tent, sleeping on the floor on a thin roll mat and all the things I used to do were no longer an option.

Camping with Style was born with the aim of celebrating diversity and inclusivity in outdoor leisure

I needed (and was relieved to find), camping gear aimed at those who needed comfort first and practicality second.

I started looking and came across some outdoor blogs but realised that there no blogs specifically about the type of camping I wanted to do and none of the outdoors bloggers I did find looked anything like me.

Camping with Style was born with the aim of celebrating diversity and inclusivity in outdoor leisure whilst demonstrating the immense healing power of the great outdoors.

Promoting an Active, Nature-Aware, Outdoorsy Lifestyle

The blog isn’t limited to camping and glamping though, it also covers active and luxury travel, outdoor activities and explores many varied aspects of wellbeing.

Shell Robshaw-Bryan camping glamping expert journalist
Nearly 10 years after launching the blog, hiking Kinder Scout in 2023

Camping is a great way to explore new places and to foster a life that is more connected with nature and my aim is to encourage people to explore, travel and generally spend more time outdoors.

The stereotype of camping being an uncomfortable, second-rate or dull pass-time, is something we seek to continually challenge, and whilst those of us who identify as ‘glampers’ certainly get a lot of stick; I challenge anyone with the physical disabilities I live with, to enjoy and benefit from camping any other way.

I want the blog to encourage people, particularly those who are under represented in the outdoor industry and those living with long term disability and chronic pain to get out there and enjoy the outdoors

I strongly believe that the healing effects of nature, and the impact it has on wellbeing and creativity are routinely under-valued, so I want more people to understand the vital role that spending more time in the natural world can have on both our physical and emotional wellbeing.

Black Diamond Ladies Arete Tee
Learning to climb at Kilnworx 2016

The Natural World Promotes Happiness

I’m happiest when I’m outdoors and regularly need a nature fix, though fitting it in can still be a challenge. I camp whenever I can and have camped in all weathers, from blistering sunshine and torrential rain that has flooded my tent, and even in gale force winds that have snapped tent poles. And I still love it!

Kayak hire Taymouth
Me kayaking on Loch Tay in Scotland, 2017

How I Discovered My Love For Camping

I started out camping as a child with my dad in the summer. His friend would take his son, who was a similar age to me, and the four of us would spend just a night or two camping in the countryside. As soon as I could drive, I bought myself a little 3-man Lichfield dome tent.

Any time I could afford to, I’d set off in my tiny, rattly Fiat Uno and 4 hours later I’d arrive somewhere in Wales ready to pitch up. When my daughter was born, as soon as she could walk I took her camping and for the next few years, for several weekends each summer, the two of us, along with my sister, would set off on a little adventure.

Back in those days, and with youth on my side, I didn’t even use an air mattress, I’d take just a change of clothes and toiletries, my sleeping bag, torch, pillow and little stereo. It’s hard to get much more basic, but over the years, whilst my love of camping has continued, I now prefer (somewhat through necessity) to camp in comfort!

Fast forward to finishing uni and one of the first things I did was to treat myself to a bigger family size tent. I chose the Vango Icarus and over the years added an extension to it.

As a single mother I spent countless many happy weekends camping with my young daughter and after uni, whilst luxury travel began to play a bigger role in my life, I still kept on camping too.

As my awareness of my personal need for nature became more apparent, I started to regard camping as the ideal way for me to spend more time outdoors, helping to improve my mental health in the process.

Shell Robshaw-Bryan black camping expert
Out walking, Anglesey in Wales, 2017

Some 9 years on and I’m both delighted and proud that Camping with Style consistently ranks at number 1 in Google and that we’ve attracted support from some superb outdoors and travel brands (see the brands we work with here).

With my trusty Canon camera at my side, I write about my walks, runs, camping trips, micro-adventures and worldwide travels here on the blog and I hope that I can inspire other people of colour, those living with chronic pain, mental health issues and those simply wanting to live a happier, more authentic and joyful existence to get outside.

There are myriad benefits to discover when we reconnect with Mother Earth and live more of our lives outside.Save