How to Stop Chafing When Hiking

body glideNothing can ruin an otherwise great hike like chafing (aka “Monkey Butt”). It’s caused by constant rubbing (most often in the upper thigh/nether regions) coupled with moisture and bacteria build-up. Hikers with chafing issues are often identified by their requisite “duck walk”. While heavier hikers are more prone to chafing, it can happen to anyone at any time. To keep it from happening to you, follow the advice below.

Put simply, prevent chafing by lubricating during the day and keeping dry at night.

Pre-hike prep:

Clean area throughly before heading out. Much of chafing is due to bacteria build-up, so it’s best to start from a sterile base.

Just before hitting the ol’ dusty trail, apply BodyGlide. It’s the most recommended anti-chafing solution on the market, and smoothing some on will eliminate friction for the entire day. As a bonus, you can also put on feet to help prevent blisters.

During hike:

Wipe area with baby wipes or alcohol swaps to keep area clean and rash-free. Remember to reapply the BodyGlide.

Post-hike or in camp:

Wash area thoroughly, dry, then apply Gold Bond Triple Medicated Powder or plain ol’ corn starch. Keeping the area dry while sleeping is absolutely essential for quick healing and chafing prevention.

Some other tips:

* Wear moisture-wicking synthetic underwear. Cotton boxers or briefs retain too much moisture and take hours to dry, so try a pair of Underarmor or spandex instead. Proper fit is essential — opt for a pair that fits tight around the thighs and scrotum (if you have one).

* Wear a kilt and ditch the underwear. You don’t have to be Scottish…there’s not much more refreshing than a cool breeze cooling the jewels during a tough slog through the woods. Disclaimer: I haven’t tried it myself, but many a AT thru hiker swears by the kilt.

* Go commando. If wearing a skirt’s not your thing, simply try a hike without underwear (only try this in summer) under your shorts or pants. As long as you follow the above-mentioned essential steps pre- and post-hike, you shouldn’t experience any rubbing down yonder.


This entry was posted in Gear.