Marriage & the Pacific Crest Trail: 5 Great things

WA's Wonderland Trail

Marriage from Noelle’s perspective

One of our original goals for the blog was to share how our marriage relationship holds up with such close proximity in a tent (& now also a camper van) twenty-four hours a day on the trail.

PCT Day 45
camping in the clouds

Well here’s the deal. I still like him! ❤️

1. The first great thing about marriage along the PCT is that it’s pretty fantastic to share this crazy wild adventure with my best friend. I can’t imagine being out here with anyone but him. We don’t always talk a lot when we’re hiking. Have I mentioned that Steve’s a foot taller than me? Ok, eleven inches. He walks faster than I run!! But meeting up for breaks and lunch, it’s sometimes just a running chitchat. We talk about what we saw: wild life, flowers, hikers, where we’re going to camp. All kinds of things! Now that we’ve added the van into the mix, we may only see one another a couple times a week. I’m so excited to simply see him and to hear all about his trek.

Steve is ready to hike again

2. The second great thing about hiking with my husband is that I have someone to talk to about my poop. One time early on, I was sick. Had been for a couple days. I dug my hole, pulled down my pants and as I started to squat, my body let loose. There was no controlling it. Rather like projectile vomiting, only, well, poop. Who else can you tell that to but your spouse?!? I mean it was the craziest thing I’ve experienced happening to my body. And I literally couldn’t wait to get back to the campsite to tell Steve about it. I was really sick and felt miserable, but THAT was hilarious!!!

PCT Oregon
Holding up the mountain!

3. Having a thru hiking partner and husband out here is also practical. We share the gear load as well as expenses. Steve carries the tent and I carry the stove and fuel. They’re each about a pound, so it evens out our loads. It’s one less piece of hiking gear that we each have to haul. We also share hotel costs when we head into town, so we don’t have the hassle of finding hikers to room with. Maybe that’s not a hassle, more likely it’s just part of tramily life, but we’re a built in tramily so it’s nice! Plus not sharing a room means we have more room to dry out our tent!

PCT reckoning
Those eyes though

4. Another of my favorite things about hiking with my husband is that we get to talk about other hikers. We’ve talked with other married hiker couples and they do the same thing! It’s mostly this order for everyone we’ve talked to: water/projected camping spot, then poop, then other hikers. Steve and I aren’t that different from other couples in our discussion topics! We don’t talk smack about other hikers, well maybe once in a great while, but mostly it’s just about who we met and who we’re hoping to hike along with or meet again.

Official 500 mile mark

5. Wildlife sightings are actually another great thing about marriage along the trail. We get to experience rattle snakes & scorpions together! You wouldn’t think that things like that could actually strengthen a relationship, but it does. The simple shared experiences of seeing something scary and surviving together is a huge boost for us as a couple. The scorpion we saw really (really) freaked me out, but Steve didn’t laugh or put me down. He simply stood back while I lost my cool. Then he opened his arms to me. No words were necessary. He just held me. Now that’s a definite bonus of marriage on the trail!

PCT Animals
Snake greetings

6. Okay, so the title says five great things, but Steve reminded me of another and, well, I’d already made that cute Pinterest post, and didn’t want to change it! (Turns out, the van costs a lot so I may try to use the blog to supplement a bit of income, stay tuned…) So the sixth great thing about marriage along the Pacific Crest Trail is that we’re getting in shape together. Steve’s legs are the bomb! Holy smokes! Pure muscle. I’m losing weight and gaining some muscle tone too! We both feel better and have more energy. Our faces and legs are tan and it’s just pretty fantastic being outdoors and getting stronger together, both in our bodies and in our marriage.

Soaking our toes

Lots of years ago, Steve and I attended a marriage group named Retrouvaille. We learned a ton of valuable relationship tools and we got involved in volunteering with the group. I’d recommend it to any and every married couple!


  1. Gregory Fast

    A good marriage is definitely worth the effort!

  2. Kevin Diane Penner

    Diane and I enjoyed reading this post together! It was so nice to meet you both on Saturday evening during your brief stay in Red Bluff. We hope that the rest of your trip continues to be filled with wonder, adventure and love!

    • mcgarveysan

      Thanks Kevin. It was great to meet the two of you too! Thanks for your warm hospitality.


    One of my favorite posts so far! A good marriage and a good poop – don’t get much better than that <3

  4. Colleen

    Why do you think the statistics are – what percentage of married couples talk to each other about their poop? Patrick and I I do on a regular (HA!HA!) basis. We both feel it’s a sign of a strong marriage. If you are comfortable talking about your poop, you are most likely comfortable talking about pretty much anything. So, here’s to PoopChat!

    • mcgarveysan

      PoopChat! 🤣🤣🤣 love it!

  5. VFat

    Best post yet!

    • mcgarveysan

      Awww, thanks. It is definitely pretty cool to be out here together!

      • VFat

        After some months of reading your (joint) writing…that you need to write a book about your PCT adventure. I’d buy it.

  6. Linda Gross

    God bless you both and thank you so much for letting us share the excitement!

    • mcgarveysan

      Thanks Linda! Hugs to you and Harry!


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