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Monkey Butt. . . Prevention, Care, and Treatment

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
And he's back! Thanks Dave not a condition I ever suffered from but a well written piece with comprehensive advice for avoidance and treatment of what must be a painful condition.

Scott swore by flat seamed bamboo underpants with a short leg to support his boys and avoid rubbing against trouser seams. Never was a fan of the camando brand as he'd had an unfortunate run in with a metal Jean zip in his formative years, not sure what the medical term for that would be.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
Welcome back @davebugg !

Not necessary (or do-able) on the Camino but applicable in the back woods if one has not got anything else....

A very lightly peeled willow or birch twig (about 1 cm thick) between the cheeks. Just peeled enough to get the cork layer off but leave the inner bark largely intact.

The more industrious can scrape off the inner bark and make a poultice in some water for application.

B
 
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Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Not on the Camino, but ten years ago my OH went on a weekend boating outing to water ski and camp on the Mississippi river a with a few guys from work. He literally wore his wet swimming trunks the entire time.
He came in the house in pain from constant chafing, walking very slowly, looking like he just dismounted a horse. I had to laugh, but it wasn't really funny.🤭
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Have we missed you!

A hard-to-get UK product, Grizzly Active is the sovereign (temporary) cure for ‘chef’s arse’ as it’s known hereabouts.

I invested in a quantity of ‘body glide’ - basically a jumbo chap-stick - but found when I lost some weight that there was no longer an issue.
 

MisterH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018 neither successful
And he's back! Thanks Dave not a condition I ever suffered from but a well written piece with comprehensive advice for avoidance and treatment of what must be a painful condition.

Scott swore by flat seamed bamboo underpants with a short leg to support his boys and avoid rubbing against trouser seams. Never was a fan of the camando brand as he'd had an unfortunate run in with a metal Jean zip in his formative years, not sure what the medical term for that would be.
Bad luck? Is an appropriate answer here.
 
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how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
A comprehensive and sensitive thread for an area many too sensitive of editors would rather walk away from or make a rash decision to spike it.
I grew up on a dairy farm and have fond memories of, at four o'clock walking into the milking shed, turning on Wagner, dipping my hands into a five gallon container of udder butter and slapping the machine into place. Girls at school wondered how my hands were so soft.
Being a Marine, going commando is the rigueur. Staying slim, attending to chafing or hot spots immediately will reduce the probability on an initial onset, or continued problem
Sadly, less prepared, or tied to a schedule either unrealistic, or limiting can force a pilgrim to ignore appropriate measures in the early stages, resulting in a less than desired result, while the pain in the ass/other nether regions remain.
Buen “pass the bag balm please” Camino
Arn
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
Welcome back! I've been praying for you.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)

Great post @davebugg . Back with a Bang! :)

A question re hydrocortisone .

I've suffered from this for years right at the top of the inner thigh.
Funnily enough the only Doctor (Dermatologist) that got things really under control was in Bangkok.
He prescribed a mild antibiotic cream (Thankfully I have still have a small tube)
Doctors here in Australia just scratch their heads.........

I've been told in the past that too much use of creams with hydrocortisone can cause issues.
Thinning of the skin or something?
Not sure if that is true.

I often use a cream for nappy rash!
Brand here is Sudocrem.
Seems to help a lot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudocrem

Great tip with the underwear too.
Your Commando brand looks similar to the Under Armour ones I use.
Though the Under Armour fabrics can get a bit sweaty. I might try Merino.
For guys in particular (they have them for ladies too), just don't go for the shorter leg seam.
I use the 6" leg seam. Might even go longer if they have them.
Aids with chafe prevention and 'bits falling out' if you get my meaning..... :rolleyes:
 

Kimtom

Wannawalk
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances on bike (2014)
Frances on foot (2019)
Frances on foot (2020)
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
I’ve found that coconut oil works well to prevent or soothe chafing.
 
Last edited:
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Welcome back @davebugg !

Not necessary (or do-able) on the Camino but applicable in the back woods if one has not got anything else....

A very lightly peeled willow or birch twig (about 1 cm thick) between the cheeks. Just peeled enough to get the cork layer off but leave the inner bark largely intact.

The more industrious can scrape off the inner bark and make a poultice in some water for application.

B
If it is Willow then the bark contains salicin which is a precursor of aspirin, great for pain and anti-inflammatory.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
@davebugg,

You are all the way back: Nice!

Thankfully, monkey butt and faster walkers have always passsd me by on my caminos.

However, chaffing in other sensitive regions is a concern at times.

Therefore, I will apply MB solutions when that problem again visits whilst I walk the roads of Spain.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
cant find out how to find emojis butt I love this thread! The wire wool and Dettol treatment is only for hard core ex-service personnel :)

Samarkand..
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
Balmex or just about any diaper rash cream will help and is readily available. No need to purchase speciality outdoor expensive products.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Balmex or just about any diaper rash cream will help and is readily available. No need to purchase speciality outdoor expensive products.
Most diaper rash ointments are quite gooey with thick white zinc oxide as an ingredient. Not bad used on a babies bottom under throw away diapers, but possibly would make a mess to clean off on rather expensive gray or black wicking polyester skivvies.
 
Last edited:
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Deleted member 61803

Guest
Spain is full of olive oil. Used after the daily shower it may help if the monkey butt occurs when you have no special ointment at hand. I'm thinking that it may alleviate suffering until you can get something more apt.
When I was little, in the 50's, before the invention of garlic, curry or pasta in England, olive oil was usually only sold as a general purpose medication. Ear wax, scars, stretch marks, skin softener extraordinaire. I wonder who got the idea of cooking with it?
Personally I use it with a drop of T Tree oil on my feet daily.
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Most diaper rash ointments are quite gooey with thick white zinc oxide as an ingredient. Not bad used on a babies bottom under throw away diapers, but possibly would make a mess to clean off on rather expensive gray or black wicking polyester skivvies.
On the plus side they work and even a small grocery store on the Camino will likely have them. If they sell baby diapers they will have diaper rash cream. I would hate to see someone suffer days just to get the better product when relief is at the little store next door.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Another preventative treatment is Zeasorb - Antifungal treatment for athlete's foot (can be used elsewhere). I use it to prevent rash causes by sweat/chaffing around bra. Also helps with thigh rub. Super absorbent.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
even a small grocery store on the Camino will likely have them. If they sell baby diapers they will have diaper rash cream
I am imagining myself, a mature woman in pilgrim attire, attempting to request this item in a farmacia or grocery store in Spain. Fortunately, I have never been in need of it, as I don't have the vocabulary to request it. And I doubt if I would do any better asking the location of the baby diapers.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
So so happy you are back. No matter what my day is made seeing your name. Desitin or anything like it and then before you walk Vaseline. Keep applying it throughout the day.
Buy the smallest tubes you can find. Easy to replenish.
Of course a larger Vaseline tube if you use it on your feet. I don’t have a big blister problem but I still use it at the beginning of each Camino. Within about 10 days I hardly ever use it.
But that is me. I am still always very watchful of my feet all the way.
 
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AndreaCT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF
2017 CF and Finnisterre
2019 CP and Muxia
Woohoo! Nice to see you back Dave!

What is unravelling in my brain at 0730 hours and two coffees later is that:

1. Zinc is known to be very healing to wounds/irritations and one does not need to apply very much- lots
of studies available on this
2. In the cycling world, lubricant for the nether regions is a HUGE business.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016 SJPP>Santiago
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
Hey davebugg, it's great to see you back!!😁
 

Paul Wilson

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I use Vaseline for prevention
Step one underwear for comfort
And sudocreme to treat any outbreak which I find works for me and I am a chunky monkey 👍
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Balmex or just about any diaper rash cream will help and is readily available. No need to purchase speciality outdoor expensive products.
A good point.

I broke up the Monkey Butt issue into two broad concerns, each with a different need. For instance, a raw-rubbed area needs a good anti friction solution while walking, and a soothing-healing solution while resting at night.

I agree that the diaper rash products could help with healing and soothing an 'outbreak.' of a rash or rawness. Balmex tends to mimic the properties of vaseline. Other diaper rash creams can be very thick and sticky and may be best applied in a very thin coating. Depending on the diaper rash cream or ointment, the 'stickiness' could add to the friction to the skin, which may exacerbate problems if one is trying to reduce skin to skin friction.

Products like Hike Goo or Body Glide are designed to be long lasting anti-friction solutions to keep skin friction rawness from happening. They are not as good as a diaper type cream for healing and soothing. Two different problems need effective solutions for each concern. I've not yet found a single product to do a great job with both problems.

So your idea of using a Balmex type product will definitely help if there is a skin rash or breakdown.

in personal experience, I find that, ounce per ounce, many of the diaper rash remedies are either about the same price as a product like Body Glide or Bag Balm (great for diaper rash, too :) )

Thank you for addressing the issue.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Spain is full of olive oil. Used after the daily shower it may help if the monkey butt occurs when you have no special ointment at hand. I'm thinking that it may alleviate suffering until you can get something more apt.
When I was little, in the 50's, before the invention of garlic, curry or pasta in England, olive oil was usually only sold as a general purpose medication. Ear wax, scars, stretch marks, skin softener extraordinaire. I wonder who got the idea of cooking with it?
Personally I use it with a drop of T Tree oil on my feet daily.
Elizabeth David was probably the first popular cookery writer in the UK to popularise olive oil and, she did indeed refer her readers to the chemists (pharmacists) as the source.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Here in North America there is a company called Body Glide that makes several products that prevent chafing.

I agree, and glad you mentioned it again. Let me also mention a few other things to go along with your suggestion.

For those outside of North America the company does have Body Glide products in many nations. You can check this link:

Foot Kinetics make several anti-friction products like Hike Goo, and does have some distribution outside of North America.

A personal favorite is 2Toms SportShield, Anti Chafe and Blister Prevention lotion. It comes in a roll on applicator and rolls on wet anywhere you need it, then quickly dries. A little goes a long way, meaning the cost per application is fairly inexpensive. It is also available in quit a few countries.


There are other products as well. These are just an example
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
So so happy you back @davebugg.
Some desitin and some Vaseline to prevent further chafing applied a few times a day to prevent it from flaring.
 
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Walton

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Thanks Dave.

Your post reminds me of the time, long ago when we decided to walk from the top of Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island. The ashfelt pathway looked very inviting at the top when we began our walk but became a very steep long downward slope where, after each step you were forced to brake, lest you gathered unstoppable momentum which could lead to an unspeakable, uncontrolled display of velocity and inertia while hurtling suddenly in a downward direction.

Upon reaching the bottom of the Victoria Peak walk, I became aware of a burning sunburn like sensation between my legs. A quick peek under pants revealed red chaffed inner thighs.

I spotted a chemist shop and then cleverly bought a tin of baby talcum powder.

On the way out of the shop, I ducked behind a shop display for privacy, and liberally dusted half the can (well it all came our of the tin very quickly didn't it) under my trousers and undies between my legs.

Feeling very satisfied with myself, I strolled casually out of the chemist and up the street feeling much better until my wife pointed out the very visible white talcum powdered trail of footsteps leading from inside the chemist shop outside along the pavement to where I now stood.

I've often wondered what the locals thought and what they might have said to their family at dinner that night when recapping the day.

Talcum powder helps inner thigh chafing, but be careful where you apply it and the quantity used.
 
Most diaper rash ointments are quite gooey with thick white zinc oxide as an ingredient. Not bad used on a babies bottom under throw away diapers, but possibly would make a mess to clean off on rather expensive gray or black wicking polyester skivvies.
Skivvies...folks wear skivvies? Rather not have to worry about cleaning zinc based creams off.
 
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RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
I am imagining myself, a mature woman in pilgrim attire, attempting to request this item in a farmacia or grocery store in Spain. Fortunately, I have never been in need of it, as I don't have the vocabulary to request it. And I doubt if I would do any better asking the location of the baby diapers.
Just look it up on your phone. I'm a mature man and would not have any problem asking. Especially if in discomfort. I used to purchase tampons for the boys high school wrestling team. Great to stop nose bleeds.
 
D

Deleted member 61803

Guest
Just remembered we use something for muscle tiredness, strain etc with the generic name, embrocation. Never, ever use this to lubricate Monkey Butt.

Please believe me, just don't.

As a joke it was often smeared inside the sports shorts and jock straps of team members in the changing room. Of course I can now give guarantees based on personal experience this that it raises heat, volcanic heat in places you don't want that sort of heat to reach.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
As a joke it was often smeared inside the sports shorts and jock straps of team members in the changing room. Of course I can now give guarantees based on personal experience this that it raises heat, volcanic heat in places you don't want that sort of heat to reach.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. . . ."
 
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SusanH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked 2014
Gosh - I guess I was super lucky that I never experienced any of these issues!!!! I’m fat and I sweat a lot!!! Maybe it was the pants that I was wearing? The only problem I had was the tops of my feet would get extremely itchy - I think from the heat and being in boots. I really feel for people who experience these problems...
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Year of past OR future Camino
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
In Germany, we have a name for this phenomenon that describes the problem very well.
It sneaks up on you, acts all harmless, you don't pay enough attention to it.... and in an unobserved moment it bites.
And then you know why it's called "Wolf" in Germany, like the animal🐺

We say: I have run a wolf to myself🥵


Olive oil, Desitin cream and Lanolin used separately is already great, of course it is best if you have a combination of everything that helps.

I work in a hospital pharmacy and we have a neonatology and premature unit. We use the following selfmade care cream for the little ones very successfully to prevent/heal the problem of sore skin:

Care cream 30g

Olive oil 6,04g
Cod liver oil 2,03g
Zinc oxide 4,43g
Lanolin 17,5g

During my hike last summer, the wolf stopped by briefly on a very hot day to see if he can make prey.
Thanks to this cream I was able to quickly put him to flight.🥳

In addition to cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications, lanolin is also used as an anti-corrosion agent in cavities in vehicles and ships. If this does not convince you😇
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Gosh - I guess I was super lucky that I never experienced any of these issues!!!! I’m fat and I sweat a lot!!! Maybe it was the pants that I was wearing? The only problem I had was the tops of my feet would get extremely itchy - I think from the heat and being in boots. I really feel for people who experience these problems...

Did you find a solution which worked for you, Susan?
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Just look it up on your phone. I'm a mature man and would not have any problem asking. Especially if in discomfort. I used to purchase tampons for the boys high school wrestling team. Great to stop nose bleeds.
Excellent. . . As an aside, I have boxes of super absorbent sanitary napkins as part of an extensive kit of a larger emergency medical supply storage at home. They are an effective supplement to combat bandages like the Israeli Dressings. It is surprising to many, faced with having to control serious bleeds from wounds, how fast you can go through large dressings.

Sanitary napkins, tampons, and Duct Tape. . . . and super glues for shallower cuts that might benefit from a skin closure when no butterfly strips are available and you are unsure about doing stitches.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
The resurrected alternative toilet paper thread made me go back and dig out a post I had made as a companion to that thread. :)

To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.

Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layvered, @daveer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
Luckly, I have never had this trouble, but I can imagine it may be quite troublesome and painful to those who get it. My reason for posting this is just to say that I am so relieved that it seems you have recovered from a very serious condition and that you are back on track. Welcome back to your second home/family!
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Luckly, I have never had this trouble, but I can imagine it may be quite troublesome and painful to those who get it. My reason for posting this is just to say that I am so relieved that it seems you have recovered from a very serious condition and that you are back on track. Welcome back to your second home/family!
Thanks, Alex; it does feel good to be here again. So many have done so much to make me feel welcomed. I am blessed to have such wonderful Forum Friends.

From where I was medically 6 months ago to now is miraculous to me, and has been insightful. There is a bit of a road to travel in regaining strength and fitness, but I am following directions from my providers, and deliberately taking things slow so that proper monitoring can be done as to progress.

It is interesting to me that, while I am anxious to be able to go backpacking again, it is the Camino that is a central 'carrot' to the 'stick' of recovery. It is the restricted European tourist travel that keeps my impatient nature in-check. Given the short term travel bans, even if I could push harder to get my fitness levels back (or as fit as I can become), I cannot head out to Spain right now, anyway.

I do hope travel is able to open soon, though. I want to be able to read posts of Forum members reporting on their Camino adventures and experiences. :)
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Just look it up on your phone.
So I have attempted to try an English to Spanish translation on Google Translate on my iphone. This is the first time that I have used Google Translate, although I have had the iphone for my last camino (not for the previous three). I am a genuine fossil and am accustomed to learning languages, rather than asking my phone. However, there is nothing like walking caminos while still working at learning another language to encourage one to learn new skills. Now I am wondering if Google Translate can help me to understand new words on the pilgrim menu. I hope so, as menus can be a real hazard to a vegetarian. By the way, the translation was not perfect, but would at least have helped me to find the diapers.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
So I have attempted to try an English to Spanish translation on Google Translate on my iphone. This is the first time that I have used Google Translate, although I have had the iphone for my last camino (not for the previous three). I am a genuine fossil and am accustomed to learning languages, rather than asking my phone. However, there is nothing like walking caminos while still working at learning another language to encourage one to learn new skills. Now I am wondering if Google Translate can help me to understand new words on the pilgrim menu. I hope so, as menus can be a real hazard to a vegetarian. By the way, the translation was not perfect, but would at least have helped me to find the diapers.
Google translate is getting better and better all the time. I’ve been learning Spanish for several years and I now use GT to take my written Spanish back into English as a ‘check’.

Going English >Spanish it has a tendancy to favour Mexican and Latin-American Spanish, but still very understandable.

Where I can’t function in the local language there are certain occasions where I would certainly prefer GT over my fallback of ‘mime and loud slow English’. Buying women’s sanitary products is certainly one of those occasions.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
So I have attempted to try an English to Spanish translation on Google Translate on my iphone. This is the first time that I have used Google Translate, although I have had the iphone for my last camino (not for the previous three). I am a genuine fossil and am accustomed to learning languages, rather than asking my phone. However, there is nothing like walking caminos while still working at learning another language to encourage one to learn new skills. Now I am wondering if Google Translate can help me to understand new words on the pilgrim menu. I hope so, as menus can be a real hazard to a vegetarian. By the way, the translation was not perfect, but would at least have helped me to find the diapers.
There is a facility within Google Translate called Lens. It lets you take a photo, of say, a menu and it will translate that menu, item by item for you.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
There is a facility within Google Translate called Lens. It lets you take a photo, of say, a menu and it will translate that menu, item by item for you.
Thanks, I'll try. But food is tricky. I just translated "caldo gallego" to "Galician soup" on Google Translate. I know the contents of caldo gallego. As it is served as broth, with the meat separate, I would not be able to tell what is in it by looking at it. It was, I guess, not a good test item, as I never eat soup in Spain, even if I am assured that there is no meat in it. The servers regard meat as a solid item (which would be visible to me anyway). I have surrendered to necessity by eating fish while in Spain. It is generally easy to identify visually, as the head is left on it.
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
@Albertagirl A couple of suggestions on Google Translate. Download the dictionary for offline use. As @doughtnut nz suggests you can take a picture for translation. But next time try the realtime translation. Press the camera icon, and aim at the text. Move it slowly while you scan the page ... it should be translating from Spanish to English.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thanks, @linkster. I downloaded the new Spanish dictionary, then tried to use it as you describe above, in translating into English my Spanish translation from the Latin of the Codex Calixtinus. This seems to be working for me, although there are some peculiar problems with the translation, which I know enough Spanish to sort out. For example, translation of "iden-tidad europea" on two lines in the text, to "iden European tity." I have found that, over time, the translation improves. It is a new toy, although I much prefer focusing on learning Spanish, at least, while I still have time to do so before leaving for Spain. I really hope that it will be useful for reading menus. I find that my Spanish dictionary is of little help with this, except for giving me the names of fish in English. Since fish has not been a significant part of my menu for the last fifty years, knowing the English name of the fish on the menu does not give me much information.
Thanks again. I appreciate your directions as to how to use Google Translate, as I cannot necessarily pick it up on my own.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
@Albertagirl, avoidance of anything very spicy hot from the Pilgrim menu also helps prevent a particularly nasty type of monkey butt.♨️🐵🐒
@Jimmy Smith
I doubt if I shall have a problem with this for this particular reason, as I do not like spicy hot food. Unless, of course, I did not know what I was ordering, as sometimes happens. In general, I rely on good personal hygiene to avoid skin problems in any body part, but many unanticipated challenges can arise while travelling.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Going just a bit off topic from the version of monkey butt as written about by Dave is another problem that someone else could call monkey butt, unpleasant body odor.

Yesterday, while viewing YouTube, I was presented with an amusing advertisement for a full body deodorant. It sounded useful for pilgrims but since I haven't tried it I'm passing information on it as much for the humor in its ads as for its possible fitness for the camino.

I rate the ads I've seen as PG, but you can always back out as soon as you take offense.

Search YouTube for Lume deodorant commercials

Some are long, some are musicals.
 

SusanH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked 2014
Did you find a solution which worked for you, Susan?
For my feet? Nope. I scratched them a fair bit and that was basically my only problem along the way. But, and this is a biggie (lol) when I arrived home, I ended up pulling my psoas muscle. It was such an intense and immobilizing pain that took weeks to heal. Ohhhhhh, I just can’t wait to get back on it again! 💛💙
 

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