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Chafing and the merits of going commando
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Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Chafing and the merits of going commando on 10/29/2008 22:46:46 MDT Print View

Hello all -

This is an uncomfortable subject about a very uncomfortable condition....and is probably more than you'd ever want to know about anyone.

I am in the market for new shorts....

Alas, I find that chafing on the trail is a real problem if I wear underwear or shorts with the built-in briefs. I ended up cutting the briefs out of the shorts on the last trip and that did help the situation some.

Does anyone have any recommendations for dealing with this more effectively or can recommend any shorts that are cut in such a way is to reduce chafing?

Fed up with friction,


Edited by dirk9827 on 10/29/2008 22:48:26 MDT.

chris Mcfarland

Locale: baba yaga's porch
chafing and the merits of going commando on 10/29/2008 23:20:29 MDT Print View

i go commando, usually works out OK. the only thing that i have found for chafing that works is bag balm. body glide, hydropel, and sport slick seem to keep the angry areas too moist and agitated. its the green can at the drug store. works like a charm, also, take EVERY opportunity to wash up that you can. the less sweat on you the less likely you are to chafe in the first place. good luck

Jay Trent
(jay590) - F

Locale: blue mountains, Australia
Re: Chafing and the merits of going commando on 10/29/2008 23:44:02 MDT Print View

I've never had chafing in my life, lucky me :) but my friends sware by cornflour.


Edited by jay590 on 10/30/2008 01:10:55 MDT.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Chafing on 10/30/2008 05:39:00 MDT Print View

It depends where it is Dirk

(there was a thread on this a few months or so ago with lots of comments, but I'll give you a few pointers).

I get chafing on my inner thighs from them rubbing together. It started when I put on muscle a few years ago (seems alot of people get the Australian Army, they issue bike shorts as standard). Same would happen if you are carrying unwanted flab. Best solution for me here is to wear lycra/spandex bike shorts (without chamois padding-there are lots of running specific versions these days-in fact im aiming to buy a new pair tomorrow). Gels, etc as already mentioned also help, though I don't ever need both at the same time.

I've had a bit from wearing briefs in other places, usually on my but cheeks or bottom of lower back from seems/elastic and pack rubbing. This is usually from jocks I'm not used to and that are cotton with thicker elastics. Going commando under the bike shorts fixes this, and if I do this I normally wear shorts with mesh liners to give me support. I'm hoping my next pair of lycra shorts have better support.

One of my mates gets shocking chafing in places where u really dont want it, like right up top in between his legs, scrotumm (bad spelling is so that it passes the profanity filter...sorry BPL, but I'm being serious here not offensive), etc. We haven't solved it, but the gels, hydropel (the main one we use), etc, help, as does airing/reducing sweating. Cleaning would help, but it still happens when he's clean. Sometimes he just has to slow down so he doesn't sweat as much. I reckon he should clean shave regularly (like daily) down there, but thats a real hassle.

Hope this helps.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
boxer briefs on 10/30/2008 07:40:42 MDT Print View

Tight(ish) boxer briefs are you friend here. Synthetic of course, or perhaps wool (inferior base layer IMO). I carry a small Bodyglide stick if I'll be logging 30 miles or more a day, and/or if it's quite hot out.

I cut the mesh briefs out of my running shorts a while ago because they didn't get the job done. With good undies and PROACTIVE lube use I've gone 60+ miles in a day with no chaffage.

Michael Oppegaard
(mike_o) - F

Locale: Coastal NC
Ex Officio on 10/30/2008 08:42:49 MDT Print View

Get the Ex Officio boxer briefs. They aren't cheap, $30, but they took care of the problem I was having with the inner thighs. I am short, fat and looking hard at 40.

Light fabric that collects no sweat. I have like 7 pairs of them now so they must work.

(sandykayak) - F

Locale: South Florida
chafing on 10/30/2008 09:37:44 MDT Print View

Ref <<>

I believe you mean cornstarch. It's right next to the talcum powders.


Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
boxer briefs and cornstarch on 10/30/2008 11:08:43 MDT Print View

Cornstarch does work wonders. Mom used to use it on the grandbabies when they had diaper rash and heat rash.

Bryan wears a brand of boxer briefs called Snob. They make a big difference (but they are over $13 a pair).

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
chafing on 10/30/2008 11:20:19 MDT Print View

I have chafe problems with one pair of synthetic boxer-briefs, they are too tight across the but and cause self-chafing.. Regular cotton undies work way better, most of the time. Around Tahoe, usually have low humidity or if not, then lower temps.

Never have tried to do 60 miles in a day though. I used some sunblock as emergency lube once, burned like crazy at first but it did help.

If you are shopping the web (may as well since you can't try them on in the store either) check out These Terramar $10-11 ones from STP

Edited by Paul_Tree on 10/30/2008 11:33:42 MDT.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
chafing on 10/30/2008 11:27:51 MDT Print View

Having had experience with those issues in the past, 2 things have worked for me; ExOfficio boxer briefs was one, going commando with the ExOfficio convertable zip off pants with the built in mesh brief also worked. Both are reasonably light weight options.
Best wishes, hope your problem gets solved, it can really take the joy out of hiking.

J Her
(sailfast3r) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Chaf on 10/30/2008 12:21:57 MDT Print View

Patagoina capilene boxers - relatively lightweight, but super comfortable. Dufold boxer briefs- lighter than the Patagonia stuff. Or some inexpensive synthetic rayon/polyester mix boxer shorts (got 2 pair from JC Penny for $12 a pair) I wear them sailing too and they dry fast. Relatively lightweight and pack small.

Also inexpensive running shorts that have the same material in the brief portion too. They work well and serve the same purpose. I also have a lightweight pair of Brooks running shorts that have a good built in breif and no chaf running a marathon.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Chaf on 10/30/2008 12:28:01 MDT Print View

I also add a vote for lycra shorts. You can wear them either by themseleves, or as underwear underneath ordinary shorts. The shiny synthetic fabrics seem to work best (less friction and dampness than cotton).

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Chafing and the merits of going commando on 10/30/2008 12:34:25 MDT Print View

I used to have chafing problems. I tried silk boxer briefs, spandex compression shorts, and loose fitting polyester boxers. I ended up opting for going commando in highly breathable polyester gym shorts (walmart variety) and carrying a small container of corn starch. It dries your nether regions very well and is slick. I will also second washing to remove dirt and oil at least once per day. I am about to make a rain skirt like the ULA one to hopefully keep breathability high in the rain.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
chafing on 10/30/2008 13:38:09 MDT Print View

Much already mentioned. I've tried a lot. Little has worked. What's worked best:
1) Merino boxer briefs, tight-ish fitting
2) Gold Bond or baby powder
3) Regular washing
4) Extra pair or two (sacrilege!) of briefs

Biggest problem i continue to run into is itching/etc after about three days on the trail. Campsuds and water do not clean briefs well enough for me. I seem to be sweating increasingly more. Now carry two spare pair for 10 days- 2 weeks. A few extra ounces that save me agony. Don't forget, washing and powder. (I also like the kilt idea...)

Blue _
(lrmblue) - MLife

Locale: Northeast (New England)
Chafing & Kilt on 10/30/2008 16:29:17 MDT Print View

A kilt solved the problem for me. Currently I wear a Utilikilt work-kilt--way too heavy (made out of cotton canvas-like stuff). But it is comfortable, convenient, rugged and loaded with pockets. Not really lightweight though :-( .Currently I am playing with the idea of making my own kilt from wool.


darren stephens
(darren5576) - F

Locale: Down Under
re on 10/30/2008 16:53:41 MDT Print View

Years ago when I was racing enduro's I suffered allot. We used to call it monkey bum. Then I started using Anolin, a cream meant to stop nappy rash. And still do to this day. Its great for chafing, preventing blisters on feet, dry lips etc. You may not be able to get that exact brand but I’m sure there is something similar.
Hope that helps

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
ExOfficio on 10/30/2008 17:32:54 MDT Print View

I got a pair of ExOfficio boxer problems since!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: ExOfficio on 10/30/2008 17:58:01 MDT Print View

Yeah, good things.


Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Chaf on 10/30/2008 22:21:58 MDT Print View

Any synthetic old-school style (blousy) boxer works just like going commando...allows for lots of air circulation. Prevention is always worth a pound of cure. Anti Monkey Butt Powder (with Calamine powder) is a sweat absorber and friction fighter and a favorite of cyclists for shorts and shoes. Those little Moist Toweletts packets are great for cleaning up.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Great suggestions on 10/31/2008 00:13:15 MDT Print View

I have to say, I didn't expect as many people to contribute to this thread. To all, thank you very much!

It seems everyone has a different solution to this issue. My problem is in the groin region,and I find all the shorts/underwear combos so far have resulted in added friction. I am 5-8 and built sort of like a fireplug (alas, I lack those long legs that make some of you so tough to keep up with).

But I will try some of the underwear suggested as well as the myriad of variety of balms/powders a try. I think finding the "right" combo will be a priority after my recent troubles.

In any case, losing a few pounds is one area totally under my control. That would help. Also, I will clean up twice a day to see if that alleviates the problem.

I very much appreciate everyone's suggestions. They are excellent. I will try some of these and report back as to what worked for me! Thank you all for contributing to this thread. It is good to know that I do not suffer alone!


Edited by dirk9827 on 10/31/2008 00:18:26 MDT.