Ask the Gear Guy

Prevent chafing on the trail

boxers-200x148Q. My troop just went on a weekend camp-out. After we climbed this big hill, I started chafing in my groin area. It itched so bad, it was really uncomfortable. My friends were making fun of me because I was adjusting my underwear all weekend. How do I prevent chafing?
– Chafed Chad, Belleville, Kan.

A. Ahhh, crotch rot! Don’t worry, Chad, you’re not alone. Even if your buddies don’t admit it, every guy has (or will have) problems with this. Chafing is often caused by poorly fitting clothes and/or sweating. So, wear a good pair of underwear that wicks sweat away from your body. Some guys prefer tight-fitting boxers that cover the inner thighs so there’s no skin-to-skin rubbing. In this case, something like the Under Armor HeatGear Boxer Jock ($20; would be good. For a looser fit, try Patagonia’s Active Classic boxers ($32; That might seem expensive for underwear, but if you avoid chafing, it’s worth it.

Once on the trail, make sure to keep your body dry. Bring some baby powder with you. Just dump a handful into your palm then stick your hand in your pants and coat it all. Don’t skimp on the stuff. This powder will keep you dry and should soothe any chafing hot spots.

Comments about “Prevent chafing on the trail”

  1. Girl Scout says:

    Try washing.

  2. Andy says:

    BodyGlide, available in running stores, is a great product for preventing chafing, especially skin on skin rubbing. It’s gotten me through many hikes, long runs, and a few marathons.

  3. eagle7-25-10 says:

    at Philmont i used some football boxers, not boxerbriefs, they were really comfortable and there was no chafing the entire 110 miles

  4. ASM_in_Texas says:

    hey, we found that if you dont have powder, or stuff like that, check the grub box for some corn starch… when you rest, or finished the hike, at little dusting of corn starch can help dry your chafed area, but dont use to much…. stuff likes to clump up :) Get the unscented corn starch based powder, or like “Chafed Camper 556″ says, Gold Bond does well also… I always have a bottle of Gold Bond with me…

  5. Chafed Camper556 says:

    Gold Bond Medicated powder sometimes will soothe the chafing, but not as well as a cream or ointment from the rubbing of clothing on skin such as in a small skin burn.

  6. Two sizes too small boxer briefs578 says:

    Every person is different when it comes to chafing after hiking up a large slope of a hill. Some people whose pant sizes are a waist size 28 will sometimes wear a boxer brief size 18 to distinguish their own clothes in the family laundry from older males in their family. If it is okay to use, some people use clotrimazole cream (foot cream) to soothe chafing if the chafing is a transfer of foot fungus to the groin area when putting on their clothes. Lotrimin AF Foot Cream (clotrimazole cream) can sometimes soothe chafing as well as Desinex foot powder better than baby powder to soothe chafing. Perfumed baby powder will really sting a reddened, eroded skin chafing from underwear which is two or three sizes too small for a person’s waist size.

  7. Chafless Tenderfoot says:

    I use ua’s boxerjock, they work miracles

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