Jan 10, 2007 at 7:52 pm #1221164
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Recently my eyesight has been failing and it's time to head to the optometrist and optician to get corrective lenses. This is something totally new for me. What would the members of the Four Eyes Club recommend for backpacking? I know one hiking buddy constantly complained of his glasses fogging up and sweat getting on the lenses on summer days. But then another hiking partner complained of her eyes drying out on hikes due to leaving the contacts in too long.
Thanks.Jan 10, 2007 at 8:10 pm #1373856
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Life's a biitch — so just continue to use whatever you're already used to. Hey — did you receive my email?Jan 10, 2007 at 8:17 pm #1373857
I did LASIK. :)
Before that it was glasses only. It seemed pointless to carry and fiddle with contact lenses and then carry glasses as a "backup". I never had any real problems. Croakies helped a lot. Very handy.Jan 10, 2007 at 8:33 pm #1373860
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I wore glasses for about 4 years and I've been wearing contacts for 6 years now. I like contacts because I don't have something I have to worry about breaking. Contacts have the disadvantage of being hard to find if one comes out.
I much prefer wearing contacts. I just bring a small dropper of eye drops and I can wear contacts for about a week without taking them out when I sleep. In the morning my eyes feel horrible, but a few drops and some blinking and they straighten out. Glasses would be easier on your eyes for a very long hike though.
I wouldn't really recommend either, try each option out for yourself. You may find one works better for you. I would love Lasik but that's not really an option for me at this point.
AdamJan 10, 2007 at 8:37 pm #1373861
Personally I don't feel comfortable about putting something in my eyes.
For me, laser surgery is too new to know the long-term effects. And as you age you will probably need to redo the surgery and then end up with glasses anyway when you get to the bifocal age.
The plus side of glasses is eye protection. Without them I would be blind in one eye.
As far as fogging is concerned, I've never had a problem except snowboarding. Then I use this product:
http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Crap-Anti-Fog/dp/B000C88X4AJan 10, 2007 at 8:39 pm #1373862
The long term effect has been that I don't wear glasses anymore. :)Jan 10, 2007 at 8:56 pm #1373867
I prefer to use contacts, but won't hesitate to use glasses either. I prefer the contacts because I can then wear my sunglasses, which are more comfortable and offer far better polarization than any clip-on shades I have tried.
I carry around some eye drops – my brand is Murine Tears Plus – and just enough lens solution to work. If I could get long-term use lenses then I would see absolutely no reason not to wear contacts. I have to make sure my and eye area are very clean before messing with them, and morning water is cold.
If I was doing serious cold weather stuff I would pony up for some great prescription sunglasses.Jan 10, 2007 at 9:13 pm #1373870
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
I have worn glasses since I was 8, so for me…well, it is second nature. I cannot wear contacts due to the shape of my eyes :-(
What I do have is prescription sunglasses. They are worth the money! Mine have tight sides so I can use them for both snow travel and for shooting at the range. They also are my backup in case I break my glasses (hopefully that does not happen!).Jan 10, 2007 at 9:44 pm #1373873
Matthew is right about off the shelf clip-on polarized shades not working as well as dedicated sunglasses.
I have both and my prescription sunglasses are vastly superior.
I tried having a good set of polarized lens cut for my clip-ons. But they were too heavy and made my glasses slip down. So I ended up with the original clip-on lens, which I use for everything except windsurfing.Jan 11, 2007 at 3:24 am #1373897
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Me? I opt for glasses. Don't like contacts – it's a personal issue. My wife sees better w/contacts than w/glasses. I think that this is what most people say.
Even if i had laser surgery, i'd still wear glasses. Why? i'd be blind five times over, all with the projectiles my glasses have stopped, and branches that would have poked my eye (and scratched my cornea or worse) as i bend and moved through brush. The stuff my glasses and prescrip. safety lens & frames w/side-sheilds have kept out of my eye when working underneath old rusty automobiles!
The Problem: How to keep them from fogging up?
My solution, which i've used for many years, is Rain-X Anti-Fog. It's in the BLACK plastic bottle, NOT the yellow bottle. You want proof of how well it works? Properly apply some to a bathroom mirror and steam the bathroom up (sans exhaust fan). As you exit the lengthy hot shower (my son, when he was a teenager, used to take them like this – up to 40minutes – drove me nuts), there should be no condensation on the mirror if the appication was performed correctly.
I have experienced absolutely no ill effects to the lightweight polycarbonate lens in my glasses from many, many repeated treatments with Rain-X antifog. Works great on the inside of an automobile's windscreen/windshield too.
In a pinch, i suppose saliva might substitute for Rain-X Anti-Fog (used to use it, i.e. saliva, all the time to prevent "fogging" of the face mask face plate when SCUBA diving). I find Rain-X more optically clear than, at times, my own saliva.
I carry two spare pairs of glasses with me on all of my treks (i can't see the eye chart on the wall much less the large letter on the fist line) and use an elastic retaining strap to secure them, so that if i take a tumble, i don't loose my glasses, unless my head also pops off. In a pinch a single lens can be used as a monocle, assuming you have a broken pair of glasses and not a lost pair. There's always something around that can be jammed into the joint if a screw falls out – thread or sutures work for a temporary repair, or a small piece of very thin #24 or #26 gauge multi-strand electronic wire. Duct tape handles many eyeglass repairs possible in the field. Nothing say "geek" quite like a taped pair of glasses! So, go ahead, make a statement!
My two shekels.Jan 11, 2007 at 4:01 am #1373903
My eyes were the same way, shaped such that I could not wear contacts. It was a real bummer in college as all my friends ditched their glasses and I had to keep mine. Then again I took that as a sign that destiny had it written down that I would be a dork and that there was no escaping destiny… ;)Jan 11, 2007 at 6:06 am #1373909
@gungadinLocale: Pittsburgh, PA
I wore glasses until I was in high school, and I didn't really mind them unless I was running a cross country race and couldn't wear a hat to keep them from the rain. I have horrible vision without lenses of some sort; I can not even see who a person is until I am nose to nose with them. Not fun! Lasik isn't an option because my eyes are too bad to be helped as much as I would like. I would still need to wear corrective lenses so I don't figure it is worth it. I wear rigid contacts now (I can't wear softer ones). I like them a lot. I see better than with glasses, and they are really no inconvenience. The biggest concern is getting my hands really clean to put them in/take them out and clean them. I don't have a problem as long as I am careful. I always take glasses just in case I get hit in the eye and lose one. I would be totally helpless without some sort of lens. Contacts work for me!Jan 11, 2007 at 6:56 am #1373913
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
We get cute glasses ;-)
Though I did get very frustrated with getting my last pair of sunglasses. I was getting them at Group Health, our health provider, and the lady there kept showing me all the "fancy" ones-even after I repeatedly asked for ones that would be used for sports! The only thing I can figure is she figured I wanted to be looking hot on the slopes in some fine D&G or Chanel sunglasses. Cause being a snow bunny is my second life! Snort.
Finally, I asked her "I need men's frames that are small, but curve on the sides." She seemed shocked that I took metal frames with polarized lenses.
For me, I am so used to glasses I cannot imagine going without them now. And yes, I have also avoided a number of eyepokes over the years due to glasses. I haven't any issues with hats, etc, but that is probably due to that I wear smaller glasses, being a female.
I had looked into Lasik, but like others, my vision is SO bad, I wasn't a candidate :-( I should have bifocals, but refuse, and just take my glasses off for reading. My vision is blurry 2 ft away.Jan 11, 2007 at 10:24 am #1373941
I always use glasses. Yes, they have to be cleaned several times on hot, sunny days, but I am so used to them, I just can't imagine putting small plastic lenses into my eyes.
And I don't carry a spare pair of glasses with me, I just baby them as I do with the rest of my gear.
If I had the money, I bought those special glasses that turn dark in intense sunlight (how are they called in English?). Some people told me they had made good experiences with them, and they save you the extra weight of sunglasses.
At night, I either wear the glasses or hang them up at the head end of my tarp.Jan 11, 2007 at 10:57 am #1373945
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
First requirement: a very good optometrist/opthamologist who can guide you through the options best for *your* eyes. Different problems have very different solutions.
Speaking as someone who's vastly myopic and began wearing glasses at age five, the switch to contacts was a life-changing event for me. Literally.
There were more improvements than I can count. I discovered peripheral vision; walking in the rain; running without "the bounce" (no wonder I was so crappy in ball sports as a kid); the pleasure of using real sunglasses; seeing things in their real size (glasses for nearsightedness shrink one's view, to the point where for me, a 19-inch monitor looks more like a 15-inch when I'm wearing them); seeing the full field of view in cameras, binoculars and telescopes and likewise, not getting my lenses scratched by the viewfinder; never having my glasses knocked from my face at an inopportune time…. But I ramble.
The lightest weight solution is extended wear lenses, which I cannot use, so I have to carry solutions and spare glasses. Strictly speaking, it's not the most efficient path. But I can't imagine hiking wearing regular glasses again.
If you're facing presbyopia–age-related far-sightedness–you might be able to get by with simple reading glasses. If a different set of vision issues, strongly consider contacts or the laser. There's simply no comparison.Jan 11, 2007 at 2:31 pm #1373972
I wore glasses, and they were ok. I wore contacts until recently because I saw better with them. And it's not like the disposable contacts take a lot of care. I just carried a small bottle of solution, and made sure my hands were clean. Sure is nice to be able to use off the shelf sunglasses too. Broke down and had mono-vision Lasik about 6 months ago, it's been great so far. Don't miss glasses or contacts.Jan 11, 2007 at 3:41 pm #1373983
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
If you just have presbyopia — the normal hardening of the lens as you age, then you will just get reading glasses and contacts are out.
As others have said here, your doctor will advise. If you choose contacts, you will want a pair of regualr glasses too.
On the survival side, if you can't read a map, you should have back-up of some kind. I can see fine past an arm's reach, but I'm not reading fine print on a map anymore without some reading glasses. I normally hang a pair on a string and I keep a pair of micro readers in my first aid kit in case I lose my regular pair.
I think the ultimate would be photochromatic sunglasses with my reading prescription in bifocals. I wear sunglasses about 90% of the time outdoors and like the extra protection from dust/bugs/brush. Besides, they go with my Tilley to make me a handsome devil.
As to presbyopia, I think it is something God came up with so old couples would stay together. With our glasses off, we still look like 25 up close :) My birthday suit needs a little ironing!Jan 11, 2007 at 3:57 pm #1373986
I alternate between both glasses and contacts in daily life but 9 out of 10 days I wear glasses because they're more confortable. When hiking, however, I feel there are too many downsides to glasses (fogging, rain, breakage, etc) so I wear my contacts. I do carry a backup set, as well as a pair of glasses (probably my one paranoia is being blind in the backcountry).
For any trip less than a week, I really don't do much maintenence to the contacts and might night even take them out at night for days at a stretch. After vocalizing disapproval regarding my poor practices, my optometrist recommended a particular contact lens drop made by AMO Eye Care that she claimed was one of the few formulas clinically proven to remove protein deposits on the lenses as you wear them. The drops aren't cheap but they've performed much better than any others I have tried.Jan 11, 2007 at 10:51 pm #1374066
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Some wonderful suggestions for how to think about corrective eyewear. Rick Dreher's advice about starting out really helps. since I've never been to an optometrist. I'm not sure what excatly is happening to my eyes, but I think it is far sightedness… I can't read small text close up any more. Hopefully I can go the contact lens route. Not sure I could afford laser correction here in Japan. I'm heading to the optometrist tomorrow.Jan 12, 2007 at 2:33 am #1374085
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
That's very likely called 'aging' Miguel. It happens to us all, but many/most get presbyopia at some point (if we live long enough!). Like Rick said, go to the Doc and set your mind at ease and your eyes on a proper course of treatment.Jan 12, 2007 at 11:04 am #1374127
> I can't read small text close up any more.
As PJ says, assuming you are nearing middle-age (isn't that horrible?!) it is probably presbyopia. I had PRK surgery eleven years ago for near-sightedness (absolutely wonderful) but now I'm starting to have the same symptoms as you.
I think many of the above replies assumed you are having problems with near-sightedness, where you can't see distant objects clearly. That would certainly be annoying in the backcountry since one of the reasons we go is for the views. But if you are only having problems reading maps, finding slivers, etc., then I don't think you will want to wear contact lenses in the backcountry. Most of the time you should be able to see everything clearly without correction (assuming you aren't having other vision problems such as astigmatism). For those occasional cases where you need assistance, a pair of cheap lightweight reading glasses will probably work fine (e.g., Diamond Slim: 0.7oz in slipcase), or a lightweight magnifying glass (0.8oz typical) or plastic Fresnel lens (0.3oz) will work for occasional text and map reading as well.
I'm not recommending that you skip the optometrist (anybody with vision changes should definitely consult a professional) and you may need to wear reading glasses or contacts for correction on a regular basis, but definitely ask your optometrist whether a pair of 'cheaters' will be sufficient for the backcountry. If it's far-sightedness or presbyopia, you are not likely to require continuous vision correction while hiking.Jan 12, 2007 at 11:32 am #1374130
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
FWIW my optometrist is going to try fitting me with bifocal contacts in a week or two. I'll report back on how well they work…or don't.Jan 13, 2007 at 4:06 pm #1374259
For anyone able to wear soft lenses, ciba makes some very good lenses called Night and Day. More O2 permeable than other lenses and you can wear them constantly for 30 days.
I take them out at night usually, but they're still great for wearing for a weekend or week straight in the woods. Take a spare 0.1 oz set in case you lose one. Don't worry about taking contact solution or glasses.
CheersJan 13, 2007 at 4:29 pm #1374260
@jasonklassLocale: Parker, CO
I agree with Steve. I don't trust laser surgery in the long run and also don't like the idea of touching my eye with contacts. I still use my glasses. Have you tried anti-fog treatments like Cat Crap? I usually carry a microfiber cloth in my pocket to clear away fog, dust, sweat, and saltwater spray. I also try to always wear a brimmed hat to mitigate debris on my lenses.
It's not as convenient to wear glasses but that's my comfort level right now.Jan 14, 2007 at 8:55 am #1374318
One more voice here agreeing with Steve. I'm OK wearing glasses which I have done since 3rd grade some 30 years ago.
My favorite glasses for a sun intense day are my Oakley Rx glasses (1.20 ounce, single vision) with their microfiber case/cleaning cloth. Although for map reading I do have take off the glasses since I wasn't willing to pay the extra $240 or so for Oakley's no-line bifocal option. I find that I really prefer glasses without bifocals for walking. The wrap around design of the Oakley frame provides quite a bit of protection that I also enjoy for cycling.
For a rainy weekend I recently carried just the clip-on sunglasses that came with my frames. The clip-ons, a lense cloth, and hard plastic case all are 1.00 ounce.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.