Design/methodology/approach - The research adopted a descriptive phenomenological approach (Langdridge, 2007). Guided interviews were carried out with four participants, recalling their most memorable camping experience, with the aid of photographs to elicit memories. Analysis followed Colaizzi's (1978) seven-stage analysis and findings were discussed in relation to Duck's model of relationship dissolution (1981).
Findings - Findings concern how camping is a great opportunity for couples, and friends, to re-connect with each other, reinforcing existing bonds and strengthening weakened ones. Other findings included enjoyment of the tranquillity and relaxation the natural environment provided, and for some the sense of adventure was encouraged, and the idea of "being away" from the usual surroundings was reported to be of relational benefit.
Originality/value - The discovery of the benefit for camping on relationships is a unique and valuable contribution in this field because it has shown that camping can maintain, and evolve, relationships. As such, camping could be used as a bonding or relationship support intervention.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate individuals' lived experience of camping, and to explore the effects of camping on relationships.