Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » How do I avoid chafing?


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Darwin Roos
(darwin310) - F

Locale: Great Lakes Area
How do I avoid chafing? on 09/26/2009 19:58:33 MDT Print View

How do I avoid chafing in my inner thigh/groin area? I wear loose boxers, but I still get chafing.
Is there a different kind of underwear that I can wear or is there another way of avoid this kind of chafing?

Darwin
daroos@indiana.edu

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: How do I avoid chafing? on 09/26/2009 20:12:01 MDT Print View

Keep the area clean (ie: wet wipes or wash in a creek) at least once/day. Also, Bodyglide/Sportslick helps a lot on clean skin.

Tight synthetic/merino helps too, but some don't need it.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: How do I avoid chafing? on 09/26/2009 21:02:18 MDT Print View

I've had very good results (never chafing) while marathon running/hiking really long with Desitin diaper rash cream (which is mostly zinc oxide) or straight zinc oxide.
Both are WAY cheaper than Body Glide.

I repackage them for backpacking into small 2x3" ziplock bags.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Cure and prevention on 09/26/2009 22:07:54 MDT Print View

Darwin,

The cure and prevention for trail chafing is Neosporin cream (triple antibiotic cream). Rub a little on the area in the morning before you take off.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Chafing on 09/26/2009 23:49:38 MDT Print View

I've said this many times before when people ask-

I used to have a bad chafing problem, wearing boxers and nylon pants. I was skeptical about trying it, but my problems resolved when I started wearing running shorts with a liner (GoLite Baja) and a dab of SportSlick.

I think it is the SportSlick that is the critical item. One dab bilaterally lasts all day, and I suspect that if pressed it might last two, assuming no worse than moderate sweating.

BPL sells handy smaller-than-typical-deodorant 0.5oz sticks:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/sportslick_solid.html

The way the shorts fit, the legs of the short cover both thighs, much as a lycra short or boxer-brief would. I even wear the shorts as underwear, under nylon pants. It still works.

Oh, and just be sure your pants fit. I wore slightly-too-small khakis on a walking tour of Rome, and nearly exsanguinated from the chafing...

Edited by acrosome on 09/26/2009 23:53:02 MDT.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: How do I avoid chafing? on 09/26/2009 23:51:02 MDT Print View

Since I normally wear briefs rather than boxers (TMI?), my approach to this issue was to get a sort of brief that has longer "legs" that cover the upper thigh.

I think what I'm using is the Under Armour Boxerjock,
http://www.rei.com/product/739770

Quite infrequently I'll find that one (or both) of the legs is creeping up on me so that I get some chafing, but in general it's kept this problem from arising for me.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: How do I avoid chafing? on 09/27/2009 01:13:14 MDT Print View

Hi,

I started to get chafing during some preparations for an upcoming hike, and spoke to my local gym instructor about it. Basically I was building up the muscle in my legs which lead to them rubbing. I tried creams and they did work however on a long hike, applying this daily was only going to result in some really unpleasant smells. Yuck!

Best thing I ever bought were a pair of Exfico boy leg jocks, fixed it right up. I think any tight fitting jocks might do the trick.

Cheers
Mark

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Basic cause on 09/28/2009 13:03:30 MDT Print View

The basic cause of chafing on the trail is dirt. We never keep quite as clean as we should. The Sport Stick solution someone mentioned above has the same active ingredient as triple antibiotic ointment. These products kill the bacteria that causes the painful skin rash. It does not take a large amount of the product. A small tube of Neoporin will last for over a week on the trail. One tiny bead of ointment spread on each thigh will solve or prevent the problem.

It's amazing that something this simple can make or break a hiking day. I'd rather hike with a pebble in my boot.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Basic cause on 09/28/2009 15:00:18 MDT Print View

Laurence, I think the cause of chafing is friction aggravated by sweat. Did you mean Sportslick? The active ingredients in triple antibiotic ointment are three antibiotics, but Sportslick has none of those. Instead Sportslick contains triclosan, an antibacterial, and tolnaftate, an antifungal. Not the same thing. Sportslick will help probably mostly because it contains silicone and petrolatum to reduce friction for some period of time before it wears off.

Edited by jshann on 09/28/2009 15:00:55 MDT.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Yes - I meant Sportslick on 09/28/2009 15:10:33 MDT Print View

I just think the primary cause is sweaty,dirty, bacteria. I am sure that friction is in there as a cause as well though.

I know that triple antibiotic ointment works very well. I have not tried Sportslick but I am sure it will work as well.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Chafing on 09/28/2009 15:13:56 MDT Print View

All the ointments and powders mentioned by others will help. However, I replaced every powder, ointment, and soap I carry with baking soda, the universal panecea. It also works well for chafing.

In addition, consider wearing boxer briefs (the best of both worlds), which pretty much prevent (ahem) everything from rubbing against anything. The Ex Officio brand works well for me.

I used to chafe like a sonofagun when I weighed 245, but the problem has pretty much disappeared since I lost 100 pounds. It's nice to see some space between my thighs. ;v) In other words, the best solution to chafing is to keep walking, never give up, and then walk some more.

Keeping the faith,

Stargazer

Edited by nerdboy52 on 09/28/2009 15:15:09 MDT.

Acronym Esq
(acronym.esq) - F

Locale: TX
Re: Chafing on 09/28/2009 15:39:46 MDT Print View

+1 Boxer Briefs.

My chafing was due to my legs rubbing the center seam in the loose fitting boxers going from the left leg to the right leg. That seam was free hanging about 1" from my fun bits and rubbing between my legs. Moving the seam tight up against myself (by using boxer briefs), fixed the rubbing.

It is worth noting that my wife switched to boxer briefs when hiking for the same reason and same success.

YMMV.

acronym 9/28/2009 4:37 PM

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Congratulations on 09/28/2009 15:45:56 MDT Print View

That is a testimonial for sure! I guess the baking powder removes the moisture where the bacteria breeds. I am sure that would work also.

Congratulations on the weight loss! That's almost a 41% reduction in body mass! Other people pay money to lose weight like that... you just went on a long backpack.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Thankyouverymuch on 09/28/2009 15:58:17 MDT Print View

Thank ye, matey for your kind words concerning the weight loss. Keep on truckin', as we used to say in the late '60's.

"It is worth noting that my wife switched to boxer briefs when hiking for the same reason and same success."

Oh, mama. There's nothng more tre chic than a woman in boxer briefs!

Stargazer

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Yes - I meant Sportslick on 09/28/2009 15:58:20 MDT Print View

> I just think the primary cause is sweaty,dirty, bacteria. I am sure that friction is in
> there as a cause as well though.

In which case, a good wash might be just as effective.
Work well for me.
(Granted, I weigh only 138 lb.)

Cheers

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Chafing on 09/30/2009 16:45:32 MDT Print View

Acronym wrote: >

+1 Boxer Briefs.

My chafing was due to my legs rubbing the center seam in the loose fitting boxers going from the left leg to the right leg. That seam was free hanging about 1" from my fun bits and rubbing between my legs. Moving the seam tight up against myself (by using boxer briefs), fixed the rubbing.

It is worth noting that my wife switched to boxer briefs when hiking for the same reason and same success.

YMMV.
I'll add another +1 for boxer briefs. They're basically like cycling shorts. Cycling shorts were developed to prevent chafing.

"Normal" (loose) boxers breathe better, but if that middle seam gets in the wrong position, which it inevitably does, it's chafe city. I struggled with this for a while. I love boxers and there's NO WAY I'm going to wear briefs on a multi-day hike, so boxer briefs were a real discovery for me. (yes, sometimes I'm a little slow) Now, no baby powder, vaseline, or 100 other home remedies. Just boxer briefs.

I wear mesh boxer briefs from REI. They breathe well, and I get no chafing.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
How do I avoid chafing on 09/30/2009 19:53:21 MDT Print View

In a word: underarmour

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Diaper Rash on 10/06/2009 08:55:44 MDT Print View

Anything labeled for diaper rash is a good bet. Really, what's the difference? Also means it is gentle enough for baby. Look for some zinc content -- protective and anti-inflammatory. Many of these work quite well on areas of the feet (also use on shins in ski boots in spring) -- there are a couple nice ones at Whole Foods -- California Baby and Little Twig -- fragrance free. Of course, A&D is the cyclist's classic -- smelly and greasy.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/06/2009 08:58:30 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: How do I avoid chafing? on 12/18/2009 08:15:43 MST Print View

Darwin,

One way to avoid chaffing is to quit double posting.

Thanks.

Edited by greg23 on 12/18/2009 08:16:40 MST.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
How do I avoid chafing on 12/18/2009 08:59:23 MST Print View

Well Greg if you'd just stop posting then we'd all be spared your abrasive personality and thus no more chafing.



To keep from chafing on logner trips I'll use Body Glide.