I'm outdoors quite a bit. But the one thing that takes me out of action is sweat buildup and rubbing in my nether regions. It can literally take me out of action for a few days. I think it comes down to friction and sweat. I use performance boxers daily but it doesn't seem to help the situation. It does seem like hiking causes the majority of these problems.


2 Answers 2


That kind of problem is miserable, but fairly common. There are a few things I'd suggest to solve it.

  • Good, wicking underwear. It sounds like you've tried at least one version, but it is worth experimenting with different styles, brands and materials. I'm a fan of merino wool for dealing with sweat. I find it works as well as or better than any synthetic performance fabrics I've tried. Silk is another natural fabric that might help with chafing.

  • Anti-chafe cream. Body Glide is the brand I'm familiar with, but there are many others. It acts as a slick layer on your skin to reduce rubbing.

  • Weight loss. Obviously, this isn't available to people who are already thin, but if extra fat is causing or exacerbating the rubbing, weight loss will help. A much longer term solution than the other two.


good ideas Karen. others:

  • hike in shorts even if it is cold. Thin nylon pants instead of heavy cotton jeans. Consider a Utili-Kilt which are completely open and ventilated. Your legs generate a lot of muscle heat while hiking and really don't need much insulation
  • compression shorts as a concept are all about holding in place and preventing movement. Like Bras- "Lift and Separate"
  • (thin) running tights, providing both the support and less insulation ideas
  • very thin wicking speedo-type briefs for support of the boys, PLUS very thin compression shorts over it (not too small, not too compressive) or boxer-brief type underwear -- not for heat retention but to provide a "sacrificial" rubbing layer of fabric -- similar to why people hike with two pairs of socks, one a thin liner sock. With this, definitely shorts or kilt to ventilate and keep cool

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