Paul Terranova's Tip to Make Your Long Hikes Comfy

For "Adventure Essentials," the ultrarunner tells how to keep nether regions happy on long treks.
Ultrarunner Paul Terranova Runs in a Mountain Meadow
Paul Terranova running, not chafing © Paul Nelson
By Whitney Boland

Welcome back to the "Adventure Essentials" column, where we’ll be reaching out to experienced and inspiring adventure athletes for tips about must-have gear. Even if we don't explore on the same scale they do, we can take valuable advice from what they've learned on their expeditions.

The Adventure: Ultrarunning (or for us, a long hike)

The Essential: Chamois Butt’r

As an ultrarunner, Paul Terranova is no stranger to runs that travel through some diverse and relentless landscapes in a single trail. Take the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, for example: the oldest 100-mile trail race, which starts in Squaw Valley, California, and hoofs it from the valley floor up 2,500 vertical feet in the first 4 and a half miles, and then winds past peaks and rivers and canyons.

Persevering through a long (really long) trail run is a special combo of distance training, willpower and resourcefulness. Sometimes it all comes down to getting over the hump during dark times, especially when you’re out in the high country all by yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning your first multi-day backcountry hike or you’re a seasoned veteran at logging 100+ miles in a day, Terranova’s trail secret helps the most when the distance starts to sting. Here’s a hint: It’s literally saved his ass.

What it does

Obviously, this guy’s no stranger to givin' 'er hard, but not without some essentials stuffed in the pockets of his running shorts that keep things running smooth. Among his must-haves, Terranova brings along a small tube of Chamois Butt’r. The skin lubricant was originally designed to help reduce cyclists’ saddle sores, but it works to reduce chafing during any athletic endeavor, especially when it happens you-know-where, which starts to heat up as the miles stack up.

Why it’s essential

“I’m known to liberally and generously apply chamois butter to my private areas before a race,” says Terranova. “It avoids chafing before it starts and reduces the need to wipe (too much information?) after having to go No. 2 in the woods.”

For Terranova, this essential is vital to nip the pain of ultrarunning (at least a little bit) in the butt. For you, it'll help ensure that you poop out before your pooper does.

Special thanks to Paul Nelson for the photo at top.

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