The "chub rub" season is returning. If you don't know what chafing is, it's a serious problem that may put the brakes on a backpacking trip if it gets out of hand.
The term "chub rub" refers to chafing on the inner thighs, although it may occur in a variety of areas when hiking, particularly if you're carrying a lot of stuff. Any chafing, no matter how little, might put a stop to your journey if you allow it to linger on for too long.
WHAT THE HECK IS CHAFING?
Repeated rubbing of exposed skin and moist or sweaty clothes may cause chafing, which is quite unpleasant.
When this occurs, it's usually in the thigh region due to your jeans, but it may also happen when you're wearing a backpack or a naked rear or bare nipples against your shirt or hip straps against your waist.
Pain, redness, and even itching might occur as a consequence of frequent movement of the cloth against one's skin due to the friction.
Bleeding and blisters might develop if you don't treat the wound right away. Stopping whatever is irritating you from rubbing should be the first step in treatment, but this is easier said than done.
TIPS ON HOW TO STOP CHAFING
Blisters on the feet are a common symptom of chafing, which is why hikers are more concerned about their feet than any other part of their body. Chafing, on the other hand, may be painful no matter where it occurs on your body.
Here are essential tips on how to stop chafing for good:
Avoid Cotton Clothing!
Cotton is a wonderful fabric because of how light and airy it is. There is, however, one significant weakness in it. Cotton takes forever and a day to dry if it gets wet. Sweat dripping from your body is being trapped in the threads of the shirt, which causes them to grind against each other when you move.
Cotton underwear should be avoided at all costs, even if you can dry a cotton shirt. There is a lot of chafing since you can't normally air it out.
What To Wear If Cotton Is Out?
Wool is a terrific material to wear in the winter, but it's not that “so great” in the summer.
Polyester or other synthetics may be used in place of wool for summer walks.
The water and moisture wicking properties of wool and synthetic fabrics allow them to remove sweat from your skin and move to the outer layer, where they may be evaporated. As the moisture evaporates, your clothes will remain dry and feel drier for a longer period of time.
Proper Size & Fit
This is a well-known piece of hiking advice that is all too easy to overlook. A constricting or a rubbing sensation will occur if you wear garments that are too large or too tiny.
Baggy shirts are ideal if you want to feel “airy” with the breeze, but they may fold and wrinkle, resulting in a buildup of friction. Your other hiking gear may create blisters if it doesn't fit correctly, just as hiking boots do.
Pre-Treating Chafing Prone Areas
Pre-treating chafing spots before a trip is an option if you know you're going to have any.
Chafing is a common condition in a wide range of activities, not only hiking. A multitude of chafe-reducing gels may be applied to your problem areas to assist and prevent chafing.
It's also possible to use a puff of baby powder to skin under your clothing to keep those regions dry. However, powder, on the other hand, doesn't last as long as specialist anti-chafe products.
Keep Areas Clean
This doesn't really need to be mentioned, does it? Washing is less of a priority on long-distance thru-hikes, but it's still critical.
Excreted salt acts as sandpaper on your skin and may cause irritation due to increased friction.
Wearing clean clothing in places that are regularly chafed is essential, as well as rinsing such areas each day on lengthy walks.
Consider Friction Reducing Clothes
A pair of cycling shorts might be a "godsend" and might save your day if you suffer from chub rub on your thighs on a regular basis. They aren't worn by cyclists as a fashion statement; rather, they serve to reduce friction when cycling and walking.
They may be worn on their own or layered under your usual shorts, and both ways work well. If your backpack straps are prone to digging and rubbing, try using an Under Armour-style shirt product instead.
MANAGING CHAFING AND HOW TO TREAT IT ON THE TRAIL
Once the chafing has started, there is no quick fix for it. Chafing is a common problem on the trail, and it's important to manage it.
If you do nothing, the chafing will not go away on its own. You must address the issue and treat the chafing at the same time.
Keep Chafing Areas Clean and Dry
Immediately after you've finished trekking for the day, you need to use antibacterial soap and water to clean the region. Using lukewarm water is preferable, but a last sprinkle of cold water might be the best thing ever.
After that, pat it dry thoroughly but don't rub it for it'll only aggravate the situation more and make it worse.
Lubing chafed areas before dunking yourself on your sleeping pad during the hike is a must. Be sure to lube it liberally
Body healing creams, Vaseline, or coconut oil might be of great assistance in this area. As well as preventing any more rubbing, lubrication may speed up the healing process.
Rest Is As Important As Finishing The Hike
Chafed skin needs time to recover, even if you're on a long-distance hiking trip. You can avoid more chafing by taking precautions and reapplying lotion or Vaseline before you get back into the swing of things. If you're on a long-distance hike, it's a good idea to stop and re-lotion your skin periodically.
Remember that we can only hike trails that our body can endure, that is why managing ourselves during the hike is as important as finishing it.