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A case for commando: chaff-free hiking
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Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
A case for commando: chaff-free hiking on 09/30/2009 22:27:49 MDT Print View

First thing to understand is why chaffing occurs? main reasons are friction and infection. Both occur due to sweating. Then logic says that the best ways to avoid chafing is to reduce sweating. You want to stay cool. But it seems most people prefer tight fitting boxer briefs which infact cause more sweating. Personally, what has worked for me is no underwear and wearing thin, light, breathable pants. Regular washing means ZERO chafing. Just going commando on your next hike may not help. You may need to adopt this as a lifestyle.

Keep in mind that all the sweating that accumulates in your underwear causes it to stink. And no underwear means one less thing in your gearlist.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Some support needed. . . . on 10/01/2009 10:25:19 MDT Print View

Well if you wear light, fast drying underwear you don't chaff (at least I don't) and you still get support that most need. In addition I find that wearing boxer brief actually reduces chaffing as then skin isn't rubbing against skin.

To each their own though. Just remember to keep your fly up less you get a mosquito bite on you willy. :P

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: A case for commando: chaff-free hiking on 10/12/2009 19:21:59 MDT Print View

I agree with going commando - especially on thru-hikes where everyone ends up going half nekked anyway. In more civilized settings, it can be problematic, especially if Mr. Happy gets frisky.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: A case for commando: chaff-free hiking on 10/12/2009 23:25:22 MDT Print View

I would say chaffing is because of moisture and friction... infection is secondary. One treatment is to keep the area cool to minimize moisture. Going commando is one way to do this. I would think that wearing a kilt would be a good match to the commando approach.

Another treatment for chaffing is to reduce friction by introduction protection and making the surfaces more slippery. Slippy can be something like using a stick of glide. Tight fitting, seamless boxer briefs can also been effective for some people.

There isn't a once size fits all.


Ed Collyer
(ecollyer) - F

Locale: East Bay Area
Free Ballin' on 10/19/2009 11:26:27 MDT Print View

There are two sides to this coin for sure. On one hand, the most comfortable I had felt down there hiking was when I was commando.Shorts that are airy and light work well because they breathe and help keep air flowing to prevent moisture buildup.
On the other hand, the most uncomfortable I have felt was also commando. On this occasion I got bruising on my gonads, which made every step...feel like getting hit in the N*%$.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Boxer briefs on 10/19/2009 11:39:03 MDT Print View

Another vote for boxer briefs, especially in hot weather. You're gonna sweat down there anyway (at least I do -- my secret shame). ;vD Thus, you need something to wick the sweat and prevent any skin-on-skin contact. A good boxer brief like the Ex Officio fills the bill.

I actually prefer to go commando style (ha! new term to me) in the spring and fall when perspiration is less of an issue. In winter of course, the base layer serves several functions besides warmth.

Funny story: I used to wear my BPL Thorofare pants "au natural," but my wife laid down the law: Those pants use terribly thin material, and people do stare.


Edited by nerdboy52 on 10/19/2009 11:39:53 MDT.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
commando on 10/19/2009 12:52:17 MDT Print View

When I met my other half I was a full time commando. Habit born from spending many hours a day on a horse, where nothing should come between you and your jeans. Since getting hitched, commando is a no no, so Icebreaker boxers work for me in summer and winter.
I still think of my days of freedom...