I do the opposite of most here. I wear my glasses while hiking bring a few pair of 1 day disposable contacts as a backup. The grim of the trail can build up on the glasses so when cleaning carefully rinse with clean water before even attempting to clean them with a cloth else you will end up with very scratched glasses.
I'm going the radical route and getting glass lenses put into cable temple frames.
I wear extended wear (30 days) contacts now and love them. Peripheral vision _is_ wonderful! Being able to see at night is also great, and so is being able to wear sunglasses. I never liked the clip-ons.
I do take a backup pair of glasses; no backup contacts, but I do take a case with solution if it's a longer trip. Never used any of this.
laser eye surgery is cheap now.
"you cant grow old if you never grow up" ~TUswm
I wear my glasses - I have a tiny tool that I can use to tighten them - - on balance, I think it's easier than fooling around with the right contact lens solution, and other things associated with contacts - but this is just one opinion - - in the rain, I do have to wear a visor and my pack cloth gets some use.
Not only are they hard to find But once found they are really expensive when compared to polycarbonate lenses and regular frames
In fact on my thru -hike next year one pair of glass bifocals w/cable temple frames will be the single most expensive item that I'm carrying .
This question keeps popping up from time to time, and I'm never quite sure why. If you're comfortable wearing contacts, as I am, why would you change just because you're hiking? All it takes is being able to wash your hands before handling them. I like using a little wash basin I made by cutting a gallon milk jug about a third of the way up. I do carry a spare pair of lenses, and my glasses. For the latter, Dollar General sells a nice padded hard plastic case that only weighs a fraction of an ounce and seems crush proof. Plus, the one I have came in a bright turquoise that even I can see without correction. I have other tips I've accumulated, as well, if anyone is interested.
Whiplasem: I personally always wear my contacts, tho I do have to take them out each evening. I think you'd be just fine and if you need to change them out or something, you'll wash your hands. You won't forget. I carry my glasses also though. I like using contacts because it is easier to look thru binoculars when you do not have glasses on. Plus I have taken bad falls and never lost a contact. I know that I would have lost my glasses.
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" (Rudyard Kipling)
From SunnyWalker, CDT hiker starting April 27, 2013.
Please visit: SunnyWalker.Net
GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006
A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
I've been camping for 6 months of the year with contacts and the only time I have gotten pink eye is from a motel room floor. I would definitely have both. If your hands are too dirty and you can't clean them, wear your glasses. It's not hard to put them in and take them out without a mirror once you get used to it.
Things to watch out for: don't get hand sani in yer eyes it flippin hurts, keep your case in a plastic baggie. Look at your hands and make sure they are clean. Stay smart about it and you will have no problems. But bring glasses for backup. They aren't heavy, and being able to see is really important.
Had Lasek 7 years ago. Some of the best money I have ever spent. A true quality of life event.
It's easy to grin / When your trip comes in / And you've got the MUDs and PUDs beat. / But the man worthwhile, / Is the man who does miles, / When his shorts are too tight in the seat.
When I hiked in 09 I needed glasses to read with but not for hiking so I always kept them on the front of my pack so they would be handy. On the side trail to Calf Mountain Shelter I stopped to fill my water. When I got to the shelter I realized I lost my glasses. A search by me and another hiker did not turn them up. It was my only pair so I was screwed.
I would use the macro setting on my camera and take a picture of the page of the guide book I needed then zoom in on it to be able to read it. Not the best solution. A few days later a section hike had an extra pair and gave them to me – talk about trail magic!
I have since gotten to the point that I need glasses all of the time. I went with the 30 day lenses and have not had a problem with them either while hiking or working as a horse back guide in the back country for a week at a time. The only time that they gave me problems was when the 30 days expired and I wasn’t near where I lived and was traveling. Foolishly I wore them for 90 days or so and developed so “dead spots” in my eyes. My eye doctor explained to me these were just like dead skin on the body and that in a week or so it would be okay. I left the lenses out for a week and have not experienced any further problems.
When I do another long distance hike I will plan on having new contacts in my drop box and also will carry a cheap pair of magnifiers in my pack. Not being able to see is a PIA!
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
As a particularly elite (that's E-light) hiker and glasses wearer, here's what I do. I wear my glasses. I don't bring a spare pair, because in 50 years of wearing them, I've lost exactly one pair, that only because I leaned over the side of the canoe and they fell into 100 feet of water. Since I don't carry a canoe (what e-lite hiker would?) this won't possibly happen again. I have one eye good for close-up, one eye good enough to see where I'm going, so should I manage to lose or break my glasses, or give them to someone in greater need, I can get by until someone can mail my spares to me. YMMV - WOYG - IDGAD - HYOH
Thanks for all the helpful input. I've pretty much decided I'll wear my contacts and bring some back-up glasses. I think I'm in the process of looking at my normal daily habits and trying to see how they'll fit in on my thru-hike. Also, not too long ago at the very end of a day-hike a teeny little black fly managed to wedge itself in my eye socket and I had a heck of a time getting it out. I used some hand sanitizer that I had in my car (yep, it was not made to be used on eyeballs) and it took me about 10 minutes to get the bug out without messing up my contact and then I drove 30 miles home with one eye squinted the whole way. That whole incident got me to wondering about whether I should just wear glasses for my thru-hike, and as I'm typing this I just realized that's what the backup glasses are for so yeah..... anyway...
We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anyone tell you any different!
- Kurt Vonnegut