Hiking is great if you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a great opportunity to burn some energy while appreciating the sights of nature, and it can clear your head with some fresh air. That being said, hiking comes with its own unique challenges, which is why you want to have the right hiking gear with you.
One of the challenges that come with hiking is chafing. It’s not a great thing to experience especially when you’re in the middle of your hiking trip, which is why preventing it is always the smart thing to do. You can easily go to your local hiking shop and stock up on the necessary gear.
What Is Chafing?
Chafing is a common problem that occurs when your skin gets overly irritated from prolonged rubbing. The most common areas where you’ll experience that on a hike is around your thighs, buttocks, groin and chest area. It can also occur around your feet and armpits too. Usually, chafed skin looks like a mild red rash that’s painful to touch. In more severe cases, doctors might call it friction burn.
Chafing is caused by repeated rubbing of the skin in the presence of moisture, which makes the skin more prone to breaking down. Aside from hiking, it also occurs in endurance sports like biking and running. It could also be a result of being overweight, breastfeeding, wearing diapers or walking in ill-fitting clothes.
How to Treat Chafing
If you’re experiencing chafing during a hike, the first thing you want to do is to stop what you’re doing and, if possible, head straight home. You'll need to give your skin some time to rest because the repeated rubbing will only cause more painful wounds. If your clothes are too tight, you’ll have to change for something more loose and comfortable.
Once you’ve given your skin a break, you’ll need to get some clean water and wash the area with some soap and lukewarm water before applying a soothing ointment like hypoallergenic lotion or a balm. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or iodine because these chemicals will be too harsh on your sensitive skin and delay the healing process even further. Pat the area dry and avoid any further friction on the area.
How to Prevent Chafing
Chafing can cut a great trip short and that’s probably the last thing you want. The best way to avoid that is by preparing yourself adequately by having the right hiking gear ready. The first thing you want to do is invest in some high-quality hiking boots and clothes. These should be thick and long enough to provide adequate coverage and protect your skin.
You can also create an emergency kit that includes clean bandages, some soap, water and lotion. These can come in handy if you do experience chafing because they’ll help you treat the irritated area and provide enough relief until you can get home. You can also add some anti-fungal powder or rash cream into your kit as these may come in handy too.
Hiking can be a fun activity to do with your friends and family, but it’s essential to be adequately prepared for it. The last thing you want is to experience any injuries, and that includes chafing. Make sure you’re wearing the right clothes for it — including your underwear — and pack the necessary hiking gear to keep you ready for any kind of emergency.
Adventureco is one of the leading hiking shops in Brisbane that offer high-quality and sustainable brands. Our goal is to provide you with the best products while minimising our negative impact on the environment. Get in touch with us today for more information on our products or check out our collections.