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Eyes on the Trail?
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Shane Goodnight
(sgoodnight) - F
Eyes on the Trail? on 02/12/2007 10:36:55 MST Print View

I'm curious as to those who wear glasses/contacts on the trail.

I typically wear contacts and bring a spare set (and small dropper of saline) with me and cash in my karma points hoping that they don't bug me for the entire trip. I usually don't bring my glasses though i always debate this right up to the point i leave for the trip.


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Contacts/glasses on the trail on 02/12/2007 18:04:31 MST Print View

Hi Shane,
I also wear contacts in the backcountry. I have always carried glasses to fall back on if something goes wrong with my contacts, especially if I pick up an eye infection.
If you are really nearsighted or farsighted, to the point where moving over broken terrain(even trails are not exactly sidewalks) would be difficult with uncorrected vision, you might want to consider bringing the glasses. Consider it a ~3 oz insurance policy. I also carry an RX opthalmic antibiotic(~1/4 oz) just in case, for the same reason. Ya just gotta have your eyes out there.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Contacts/glasses on the trail on 02/12/2007 18:49:20 MST Print View

I also am plagued with something like 20/450 vision. I use daily disposables so that I don't have to worry about having very clean hands or contamination, or carrying enough saline solution. I keep about a weeks supply in my first aid kit to avoid any problems with maildrops not showing up (when on thru-hikes). Once I'm in camp, I immediately change to my glasses.
I've thought about not bringing the glasses, but I wouldn't really want to be rudely woken up in the middle of the night by a bear or something and have to fumble with contacts before dealing with the situation. I could just see myself hurling rocks and shouting about 20 feet to the right of the bear. However, that strange behavior could possibly scare the bear away.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Glasses, contacts, or LK on 02/12/2007 19:04:16 MST Print View

..My vision is 20/30, so I wear glasses at night for DVA. I want to wear contacts but my one trial pair would not stay put. I want to get laser kerototomy done, but still fear the long term trouble from it.(of course LK is the lightest choice, with no cleaning bottles, glasses cases, etc..). Any one had LK done sucessfully?

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Glasses, contacts, or LK on 02/12/2007 20:42:39 MST Print View

My S.O. got laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and it was incredible. If you can stand big pictures of eyeballs, the docs let me shoot some stills...they can be seen here, and there's a lot of descriptions of the procedure in my descriptions (and some pretty funny comments, too).

We're avid hikers, but she really wanted to be able to kayak and snorkel without contacts. She has 20/20 now and healed up great, even after having to get one eye done at a time due to strange ocular topology issues (her gaze is not fully centered). The counselling and advice she got were great.

The only caveat she can possibly offer those interested is to avoid low-cost clinics. Go to a hospital or medical center and get it done right. Her doctors did a lot of "repair work" from clinic jobs. Scary!

Edited by atomick on 02/12/2007 20:43:34 MST.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Re: Glasses, contacts, or LK on 02/13/2007 05:00:16 MST Print View

I don't know much about glasses cause i don't have'em, but i do know there are lenses you use at night, when you sleep and supposedly you don't have to wear glasses the next day???

Maybe that's an idea.


George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Glasses case on 02/16/2007 17:32:03 MST Print View

I have worn glasses for reading/computer for many years. However, I wear sunglasses (not prescription) during the day when I'm hiking. I only use my glasses when I'm reading maps or reading/writing at night.

I wrap them in a bandana because my glasses case weighs much more than the glasses. I'm hoping to come up with a better idea that protects them better, but is very light.

Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
30-day wear on 02/16/2007 18:12:38 MST Print View

I'm not advising this as I'm not a medical professional, etc., but there are now FDA-approved contact lenses that can be safely worn continuously, i.e. awake and asleep, for 30 days. The material they're made out of is extremely breathable and the chance for something bad to happen from taking them out, cleaning them, and reinserting them is eliminated because, well, you don't have to do any of those things. My friend wears these kind and loves them.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: 30-day wear on 02/17/2007 09:50:04 MST Print View

I've worn continuous wear contacts before they came out on the market, for about 3 years now, the benefits of volunteering to be a company guinea pig. I've been able to keep mine in for up to 4-6 months per pair with very little oxygen depletion to the eye, and virtually no protein deposition on the lens. They monitor me close, so I should add the disclaimer that (1) I have ocular physiology that is somewhat unique and allows me to do this, and (2) doing this without monitoring and letting too much protein deposition on the lens will predispose your eye to infections and damage as a result of O2 starvation, so YMMV.

I do always carry a spare set of lenses on long treks, and have had to swap them, as a result of getting windblown dust in my lens and not be able to clean it properly. I'd rather put in a new lens, it's very hard to resterilize a dirty lens on the trail.