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Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/21/2008 19:44:00 MST Print View

So I spent my first winter night out on the AT last night, everything went just fine, with the one exception that my contact lenses froze in their case. Temps were down to about 10F and the contacts were in a case with solution wrapped in a bandana and then in a small bag. My backup dailies were in the same bag, in their factory packaging, yet they did not freeze. I know I could wear glasses, or take more dailies, but anyone have a solution for keeping contacts warm in cold temps? (They can't go in the sleeping bag as they need to sit flat.)

Thanks,
Chris

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Yeah on 12/21/2008 19:57:14 MST Print View

Keep them in your eye. I can sleep with mine for a good week without problems, and usually up to two weeks. Acuvue's semi-porous lenses are pretty good with breathability.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/21/2008 20:06:20 MST Print View

I don't wear contacts so know nothing of the topic but just returned from a winter camping weekend (-13F this morning) with one who does. He waits until the last clean opportunity to put them in and leaves them in for the duration.

As usual, YMMV

Jonathan Boozer
(anywayoutside) - MLife

Locale: South East
Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/21/2008 20:31:42 MST Print View

"(They can't go in the sleeping bag as they need to sit flat.)"

Did I miss this bit of instruction years ago when I started wearing contacts? At home they sit flat on the sink, but really once the lense is suspended in the solution it is always going to stay suspended until you pull it out. Mine go in my bag...or I sleep in them...depends on how tired and dirty I am. I've Never had any issue either way other than 2 minutes of cloudy vision when I've slept in them.

One other option, which I just tried this year, are Acuvue Oasis monthly wear breathable lenses...I was given 2 trial pairs and they MUCH more comfortable and only have to be removed and replaced once a month.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Night and Days on 12/21/2008 21:00:00 MST Print View

I am going to Night and Days, and can leave them in for 30 days at a time. I also have a pair of trial Oases (or however they spell it) that I have on backup incase these don't work for me.

I'm taking a two week trip in early January and plan to leave them in for the entire time. I'll report when I get back.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Re: Contact Lenses Freezing Solution on 12/22/2008 00:38:55 MST Print View

Put them under your body, pillow, or sleeping pad?

Why do they need to be flat?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/22/2008 03:15:04 MST Print View

Hi Christopher

I use dailies because they are so comfortable and don't need cleaning. At home the packet is stored any which way. In my pack they are stored ... I dunno! And in the snow at night they certainly are stored in my sleeping bag every night.

I have never heard anything about having to store them with a particular orientation when they are in the solution. I just don't believe it.

cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Night and Days on 12/22/2008 03:16:48 MST Print View

Hi Matt

Very interested in what you will report.

Cheers

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Alright. on 12/22/2008 06:55:57 MST Print View

Well there you go - I never knew they didn't need to sit flat! I always assumed... and you know what that does.

Thanks, Chris

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/22/2008 07:28:37 MST Print View

I use an AOSEPT case with regular solution, and keep them in my pockets all day long, doesn't bother me and i dont have trouble

John Garberson
(Montana) - F
Contacts in Freezing Weather on 12/22/2008 09:00:19 MST Print View

I've worn hard contacts and RGPs during many freezing nights; the lowest temp experienced was -26°. I always took them out at night, slept with the storage case in the bag, and experienced no problems.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Contacts on 12/22/2008 09:29:35 MST Print View

I had some contacts dry out a few times from not being stored flat, but you just push them down into the solution, and they re-hydrate in minutes. Sure glad I don't have to mess with them any more though.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Contacts in Freezing Weather on 12/22/2008 10:29:35 MST Print View

I too wear RGPs and they do offer another layer of complexity in care compared to soft lenses, and can't be worn while sleeping. I keep the standard style case flat while soaking, as it takes a lot of solution to completely fill the thing, but if it gets upended partially filled the lenses won't necessarily be covered with solution.

However, I found a different style of case that suspends each lens in the solution using little holders, and can basically be tilted in any direction. I've not used it winter but that's the one I'd probably take, as it could be stowed in a warm pocket.

Out of curiosity I looked up my conditioner solution (Boston) and the MSDS lists no established freezing point or storage temperature range, noting only to "store at room temperature to maintain product integrity." Very helpful, that.

I don't really like messing with contacts while camping, but the're infinitely better than wearing glasses full time, so I put up with it.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Contacts in Freezing Weather on 12/22/2008 16:25:36 MST Print View

"
However, I found a different style of case that suspends each lens in the solution using little holders, and can basically be tilted in any direction. I've not used it winter but that's the one I'd probably take, as it could be stowed in a warm pocket."

Thats the kind that I use. I've also gone with glasses borrowing goggles from someone, and I found that quite comfortable as well, I find contacts not that comfortable in sub freezing temperatures for too long.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/22/2008 16:55:28 MST Print View

Christopher,
Like Roger, I use dailies, for the same reasons and with the same results. Like him, I put them in my sleeping bag every night if anticipating below freezing weather. The worst I have ever experienced is that storing them in odd orientations to the horizontal occasionally results in a lens being "inside out". I always hold them up on my finger tip to check for this and flip them "outside out" if necessary before inserting. They are a lot less hassle than lenses that require a soaking solution and more sanitary, IMO. OTOH, on longer trips they can potentially take up more space in your pack, depending on the number of days and the size of your bottle of soaking solution. My opthalmologist told me that the lenses you can wear for a month have potential infection issues, worth thinking about in the backcountry, and are not appropriate for people susceptible to "dry eyes", a situation that afflicts more people as they age. Worth checking with an expert, I should think.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/22/2008 17:31:50 MST Print View

Christopher, I use to wear daily's. I recently swtiched to the kind that you wear for a month, but they have to be cleaned over night once a week. I made the switch because of backpacking. I've done 3 trips with them and have had zero incidences. I dont even use or bring the rewetting drops. I do bring along an extra pair in a contact case (stored any direstion they fall) and if real concerned I bring along a pair of glasses too (total extra items is 1.5 oz), but I've not needed either.

As far as infections go I think for me not taking them out in the back country is better then when I had to put in my daily's in each morning. I find it hard to get my hands completely dirt free.

Jamie

Edited by jshortt on 12/22/2008 17:33:04 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/22/2008 17:44:16 MST Print View

No matter which type of contact lens one chooses, infection is always a possibility in the backcountry, with potentially disastrous consequences. Just to be on the safe side I carry an opthalmic antibiotic solution. At ~1/4 oz, it is cheap insurance(weight wise). It won't be effective for viruses, but the vast majority of infections are likely to be bacterial.

John Sixbey
(Wolfeye) - F
depends on person on 12/24/2008 22:58:32 MST Print View

I've tried leaving my lenses in overnight, but my eyes often get crusty & dry while sleeping, and this apparently made me misplace a lens in my eye. It shoved itself way up in there and took an hour to work back out, leaving my eye red and my nerves completely shot. It was hard enough finding a brand of lenses that my eyes accepted, and I doubt I can ever wear them overnight. This is just food for thought - overnight use might not be for everyone, though most people seem to have no problems with it. It's something you should definitely try at home first.

Because of my particular lens issues, I only use glasses while camping. I bought self darkening glasses, meaning I get to leave my sunglasses at home.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 12/25/2008 00:44:11 MST Print View

Tom and I are singing from the same book about the dailies.

>occasionally results in a lens being "inside out". I always hold them up on my finger tip
> to check for this and flip them "outside out" if necessary before inserting.
Yep, me too. No sweat.

> They are a lot less hassle than lenses that require a soaking solution
Absolutely!

> more space in your pack
Well, yeah, but the volume required is still pretty small. I worry more about weight.

As far as dirty hands goes, we always wash our hands before dinner anyhow! By the time I have done the washing up in the evening with a little hot water and a few drops of bio-degradable detergent, my fingertips are clean enough. That lasts until the next morning quite OK.

Suits me.
Cheers

Jacques mara
(mindexpansion) - F
Re: Contact Lenses Freezing on 01/08/2009 23:32:33 MST Print View

Greating from Alaska. Keeping things warm is the thing up here. I saw a recent post where they were using thin plastic/foil/etc. floating on top of water that was heating. Using the regular lid in combination with this floating shelf the contact case can be floated on the warmed water (inner lid) which will slow freezing. Insulate with anything available. Or warm a rock and place contacts rock in boot insulate with sock. Or use a larger contact case and fill full of fuild. Little puddles freeze before the big ones!

Its been -40 for several days and I want to hike.