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contact lens wearers
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Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
contact lens wearers on 09/29/2010 21:13:48 MDT Print View

What are you guys doing in terms of storage when it comes down to a 2-3 night trip. For overnights, I don't even take em out. I'm just trying to figure out if there's a lightweight approach. Anyone find a particularly lightweight case? Do you rebottle solution? etc

What about people who are thru-hiking and wear contacts? I'm super curious about this one.


Edited by Konrad1013 on 09/29/2010 21:14:36 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
disposable single days on 09/29/2010 21:16:58 MDT Print View

wear em and throw em away every day

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
I have extended wear on 09/29/2010 21:32:17 MDT Print View

...and usually leave them in. I also bring a storage case filled with cleaning solution and a backup set of contacts. Worth the very slight weight penalty vs not being able to see if I lose or damage a contact.

I'd probably just bring a few sets in their original blister packs for a thru-hike. Can't get much lighter than those.

Edited by roguenode on 09/29/2010 21:34:06 MDT.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
extended wear on 09/29/2010 21:34:05 MDT Print View

Chris, with the extended wear lenses, what's the recommended max (in terms of days) before they should be changed?

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
My current model on 09/29/2010 21:35:25 MDT Print View

Good for 30 days

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
contact lens wearers on 09/29/2010 21:55:28 MDT Print View

I take a contact case (I weighed all the misc ones I accumulated to find the lightest), a 2-oz bottle of saline (sometimes full, sometimes half-empty depending on what I have around) and a few sets of extra contacts (in the little individual blister packs).

The weight of case & extra sets is really negligible. The saline? Well, I wear contacts, so what can I do? Longer trips I will take 2 2-oz bottles -- probably a little heavier than 1 4-oz bottle, but I like the backup.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
extended wear on 09/29/2010 22:04:27 MDT Print View

Thanks again for the headsup on extended wear...I just checked my own lenses and as it turns out, they can be worn for up to 7 days straight. Sweet!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: extended wear on 09/30/2010 00:35:18 MDT Print View

> I just checked my own lenses and as it turns out, they can be worn for up to 7 days straight.

Yeah, but by 3 am your eyes are starting to get a bit sore. many's the time I have forgotten to take out my dailys before hitting the sack - but they always wake me up.

I like the soft daily lenses. The carry weight for a week is trivial - much less than a pair of glasses. I had no trouble carrying two MONTH's worth in Europe. Still trivial weight.


eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
lose and dirt on 09/30/2010 02:53:54 MDT Print View

the other reason i use dailies is that if i have several days worth ... losing a contact lens isnt really an issue

as i rock/ice climb and do other "extreme" activities, the loss of a contact lens is very possible

with dailies you have backups as you can extend the use of a daily to 2 days if needed

not to mention that in a backcountry environment there is a benefit to not having to worry about cleaning yr contacts lens ... or having sore eyes

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/30/2010 02:56:24 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: lose and dirt on 09/30/2010 03:56:13 MDT Print View

> the loss of a contact lens is very possible

And how! I have lost quite a few contact lenses when a stick has flicked in my face. Several times the contact lens has been literally shredded (like a hole torn across the middle), making for an immediate removal and replacement. However, the lens has also protected my eyeball. No damage yet.

Sue has persuaded me to wear pale 'dark glasses' in some of the worst scrub. Rather sensible actually ...


Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: contact lens wearers on 09/30/2010 09:52:57 MDT Print View

I wear Accuvue 2's, which are good for 2 weeks if you take them out at night, or six days on non-stop wear, according to Acuvue. I take mine out at night at home, but leave them in for overnighters as it's not worth the effort for one night to take them out, avoid the dust and dirt of the trail find a place to hang/balance a mirror, etc.

I keep a bottle of re-wetting drops in my pocket, and when I inevitably wake up in the middle of the night, I re-wet the lenses. This generally prevents the foggy vision I get when I leave the lenses in overnight. I've never tried more than 2 nights, 3 days of continuous wear though. I'm going on a 9 day hike, and I'll bring two backup pairs. I'll probably take mine original pair out overnight on my second night and see how it goes putting them back in in the morning. If it's a failure, I can wear my first backup for the remainder of the trip.

My girlfriend has lenses than she leaves in for 30 days, and has no problem for the most part. I think a lot of it is eye sensitivity which varies from person to person. My eyes get dry at night, so at home I take the lenses out, rather than re-wetting. On the trail, I'll re-wet.

There are options, at least.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: contact lens wearers on 09/30/2010 11:31:40 MDT Print View

I wear contacts--B&L "Boston" RGPs. I have a tough correction, 8 & 9 diopter myopia plus astigmatism, so only rigid lenses will correct me to 20:20.

I worked with my doc on soft lenses for hiking and he's dead-against extended wear lenses (considers the risks too high) so fitted me with daily disposables. I can get a decent correction with those but they lack the crisp vision of my rigid lenses so I've ended the experiment and stick with the RGPs.

I did switch cleaning and conditioning solutions and now my routine is much simpler: I place the lenses in a combo cleaner-conditioner in the evening then, in the morning rinse them in water and put them in. Previously I had to clean them in the evening using the cleaner, rinse them, and put them in conditioner overnight, so it's now much easier.

Is this still kind of a pain? Yup. But the payoff is the best correction possible for my eyes, not having to wear eyeglasses on the go and the ability to wear real sunglasses, something I'd never experienced until switching to contacts after decades in glasses. Wow, what a difference!



Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
accuvue on 10/01/2010 05:49:06 MDT Print View

I also wear accuvues and find the reccomended wear time to be extremely under-rated. Mine are rated for 2 weeks, but after losing my last extra pair, i have wore the current pair for over 3 months now with no ill side-effects. Im sure this isnt advised, but it does make me wonder if there is a "Real" difference between daily, bi-weekly, and permenant contacts.

Ben Froburg
(bfroburg) - F

Locale: New England
Thru-hiking with contacts on 10/01/2010 13:34:28 MDT Print View

I used contacts (2 week disposables) when I thru-hiked the AT in 07. I just brought a case, 1 oz bottle of solution (good for 2 weeks used sparingly), and a couple of spare pairs(in blister packs). I would get a new pair and some solution in the mail every so often and replace them. Essentially it is the same thing I do at home, but with a smaller bottle of solution. This worked fine. I sure have thought about getting lasik surgery though. I use the same method on all my hikes, and I carry glasses to wear at night. I'm sure there are lighter ways to go, but I like to treat my eyes well, and (as someone else said) its just a penalty I pay for having imperfect vision.

Sean Griffin
Take them out! on 10/17/2010 10:31:47 MDT Print View

Just to throw it out there; All contacts have to meet a minimum requirement for extended wear, no matter the lens. I believe it is in the 4-6 weeks range.

I bring solution, case, hand sanitizer, and a small mirror. You really should remove your contacts every night. It's all fun and games until you end up with an eye infection. In a lot of cases you can end up with ulcers in your eye... which in the right spot can lead to severe sight impairment. I'm all for being light, but once you F up your eyes, you F up your life. It's not worth the gamble.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"contact lens wearers" on 10/17/2010 11:19:42 MDT Print View

In college when I moved out under the wings of my parents, I went insurance(less) and managed to make the remaining 6 pairs of extended wear soft lenses that I owned last 4 years. I'm not kidding nor exaggerating. I cleaned them gently about once a week, carried eye drops at all times, took them out in the evenings every other night if I didn't pass out upon immediate arrival to my apartment from 16 hr. darkroom sessions. What does this have to do with the OP question?

Probably nothing.

Scott Truong

Locale: Vancouver, BC
contact lenses. on 10/17/2010 13:16:41 MDT Print View

I repackage my solution. I ordered a bunch of drop bottles from US Plastics. I'd recommend the largest size dropper as they're not that large and a much more useful size for everything.

There's enough solution for 9+ days. I don't fill the reservoir full. Though if I go out for anything above 2 days, I also bring my glasses for night time and in case something of infection or whatever.

I use Accuvue 2's and just wear them until I lose, rip or it becomes very obvious that they should be replaced.

A very long time ago I saw something on TV claiming that basically all contact lenses were the same, whether daily, two week or whatever. I think it was 20/20 or some such show. Since then I've just worn them without worry and I've never (knock on wood) had an eye infection or ill effects.

Your mileage may vary, and depends on your comfort level (not the most credible source of info).

I often either forget my solution or the case (but never back-up lenses), and am too cheap to use my spares, so I just keep them in the whole time. I've gone 4 days without a problem.

I"ve also been told that your ethnicity dictates the amount of enzymes produced/need to clean lenses. Blond hair blue eyed the least, east Asians middle of the road, olive complected the most.

Again, none of this information is scientific or even researched, so take it as you may. I've just never had problems and have been wearing contacts for over 20 years.

Edited by elf773 on 10/17/2010 13:23:09 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: contact lens wearers on 10/18/2010 01:24:22 MDT Print View

I have worn glasses for many years. Mostly for reading, as my far vision is not that bad. I have never tried contacts because they seem like a hassle.

So would wearing glasses on long backpacking trips be a suitable solution for contact users?

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"contact lens wearers" on 10/18/2010 01:31:55 MDT Print View

Seems like the best solution to me Nick. Attach some croakies to the arms of the glasses and you're in business.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
contact lenses on 10/18/2010 18:28:53 MDT Print View

I wear the monthlies. My optometrist helped me to pick a lens that works well for leaving in for a few days in a row. I take them out about 1x per week. I don't recall the brand offhand.

He also told me I can wear them beyond the 1 month limit if they aren't bothering me and they appear to be holding up. On average I'd say I get about 6 weeks out of a pair of lenses.

When I go on trips (1-4 nights is typical for me), I bring an extra lens in its original blister pack, an empty contact case, and repackaged mini droppers of solution and eye drops.

I'm blind without the lenses and I find glasses give me vertigo and/or headaches because of the blurry peripheral vision (there's a dramatic difference between my corrected and uncorrected vision), so I pretty much leave the contacts in at all times while hiking. The extra lens, solution, etc. comes along just for emergency cleanings/replacement. I think I've only had to remove and clean lenses once or twice while on hikes.

I wear sunglasses non-stop during the day, both to protect my eyes from the glare and also to physically protect my eyes from dust, branches, etc. This seems to help cut down on mid-hike contact lens mishaps.