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Backpacking and Glasses

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:48 pm

Who wears glasses (prescription)? Do you have regular lenses or transition type
lenses? How do they work for you in bright sunlight? Do they offer enough
protection? Do you have wraps or regular coverage frames? Are they solid framed
or a more flexible type? Do you use a strap to prevent them from falling of when
you bend over for something or jump a stream?
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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:05 pm

I wear prescription glasses. Have since the 3rd grade. Now I carry bifocals as well. Everyone I work with wears them as we are in our late 40's early 50's and stare at PC's all day.

Regular frames. Never needed or liked straps. Put a pair on the ground to tie a knot year before last at Puppet and then stepped on them. Glad I had backups, which were the bifocals. Mine never fall off. I do take care to make sure the screws are tightened regularly. Sucks when the lens falls out and you have to work to put one back in. Did that one winter on a back country ski trip when I face planted.

Glasses are easier than contacts in the back country.

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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby 87TT » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:09 pm

I wear prescription glasses and always wear them on a leash even at home. Both sunglasses and regular. I don't like bifocals or progressives. I have tried both and kept tripping on things. I would not recommend them on a trail for that reason. The leashes are just my way of not scratching the lenses. Even with plastic lenses, mine last several years. Even if you don't drop them,when you lay them down they always end up scratched.
Last edited by 87TT on Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby oldranger » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:53 pm

I take two pairs, both with polycarbonate progressive lenses and metal frames. The first also are transitions so they get darker in the sun and are adequate but not great at high elevation. Sometimes I wear a leash, always when steelhead fishing or rafting. Second pair are the new driving lenses. They are polarized and even get dark when driving and significantly cut glare on the windshield and off the water (when fishing). I generally put them on early in the AM and often forget to take them off at night when they cut out 20% of the light (during the bright part of the day they cut out about 80% which is less than glacier glasses but still good with the polarization. I have spent whole days above treeline and walking over lots of snow but have not experienced any soreness in my eyes. If you wear glasses I highly recommend them if you can afford them. Costco now carries them at a significant discount over what my optometrist charged me for mine.

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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby bluefish » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:49 am

I use titanium wire frames that remain permanently bendable and are very hard to break. I've had the same frames for the past 4 years and love the durability and how they remain attached to you. I constantly push them down my nose to see close-even in the middle of a semi-frozen steelhead river, and have never felt the slightest qualm they'd fall off. As I'm a builder/carpenter, they've seen lots of abuse. I had Transition lenses, but they failed twice while under warranty in cold conditions. They'd craze if you went from inside a warm house into sub- zero weather. That's all too common where I live in upstate NY/Vt. I now have clear lenses and use Cocoon fit-overs on a leash for snow and fishing- prescription sunglasses for driving. I travel with my the sunglasses as my emergency spares. I no longer carry a pair in my pack.


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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby dave54 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:50 am

Two pair. Both progressive lenses.

One pair is clear, the other dark polarized UV blockers.

I never liked the automatic 'transition' type lenses.

I sometimes use a strap, not consistently, only when I feel the need.
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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby BrianF » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:42 am

I wear glasses all the time. My normal ones are progressive (bifocals - reading and distance). They are in metal frames with an ear piece that loops behind my ear (had to special order) and I have never had them fall off. Backpacking or skiing I use a pair of presciption glacier glasses (distance only, I can manage close vision ok with them or slip them off to read a map) with the same type of ear piece and removable side cuffs. I only use the side side cuffs in snow. When skiing I use a croakie type band as backup after having lost them once after a face plant in deep snow, fortunately I dug around enough and found them intact. I always take both on trips, use the sunglasses all day and the bifocals at camp and at night.
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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby Jimr » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:47 am

I wear prescription glasses, transition lenses. Same frames I've had for 15 years. I use a strap always in the mountains. I also have clip-on polarized lenses that are used only in the mountains and/or fishing. I also carry a pair of 1.5x magnifiers for tying flies onto the tippet because I can't see the hook eye below 14's. They're strapped as well.
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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby cmon4day » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:21 am

As I age, my eyesite began to diminish. I now wear glasses. I cant even read a map without them. When I go backpacking I bring two pairs. The first are prescription Oakley "Oilcans" for daytime. The lenses are quite dark which helps on sunny days. My other pair are progressives that are also transitions. I wear those in the evening around camp. I don't wear straps. Never thought about it until it was mentioned here. Loosing glasses in the backcountry could be trouble.
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Backpacking and Glasses

Postby Ross939 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:43 am

Anyone with experience with the 2-3 day extended ware contact lenses on the trail? I would imagine they present a challenge hygienically when you are packing with minimal clothing/gear?


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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:36 pm

I wear prescription glasses and have a pair of prescription sunglasses (polarized) that I carry most times. Last time in the sierra I used a Walgreens pair of wrap around sunglasses, the geeky kind that fit over my normal glasses. Worked well. Advantage is that I can "store" them on the bill of my hat when I'm looking through the viewfinder :)
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Re: Backpacking and Glasses

Postby longri » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:09 pm

I don't wear glasses but I recently watched a man lose his to severe wind. It was really gusting and after being blown over several times he was having a hard time remaining on his feet. When a gust blew his glasses off of his face he was essentially blind and helpless. Fortunately we came along and were able to locate his glasses. Even if he'd had a spare in his pack getting to it in that wind without losing items would have been a challenge. You could argue that a strap might have been a good idea for him on that particular day.

Contacts: I have changed my contacts in the backcountry. It isn't a big deal and decent hygiene is not that hard to accomplish even with an ultralight pack.
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