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  1. #1
    Registered User CynJ's Avatar
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    Default Eyeglass repair in the woods

    I am blind as a bat without my glasses - I literally can't see more than 2 inches beyond my nose without them.

    That being said -I always have an eyeglass repair kit with me whether in my purse or my knapsack.

    This weekend was the first time I have had to use it out in the field. And it stunk. Between the supplied screws being the wrong size to the screwdriver not fitting existing screws to dropping screws never to been again -it was just a disaster.

    So here's what I have learned:

    1) store bought eyeglasse repair kits stink. Make sure that you get screws from your eyedoctor or optician that fit your specific glasses.

    2) find a screwdriver that fits the screws on your specific glasses - don't assume the one in the pre-made repair kit will fit.

    3) Work over a bandana or something to catch any "droppsies"

    4) "dot" style bandaids make great make-shift nosepads.

    5) if you carry spare glasses make sure that all of the above either work with your spares or make a separate kit for the spare glasses.

    6) Walmart optical sells pairs of silicone nosepads for about $3 if you can't get a set from your optician handily.

    7) find a rock to throw at the husband when he picks on you while you are trying to fix your glasses an inch away from your nose.
    ~CynJ

    "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
    Registered User Seeker's Avatar
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    rhetorical question, but i had to poke it at him... is chivalry dead? unless he's blind, why wasn't he fixing them for you? i've come to the same conclusion in a similar fashion, and don't carry much of an eyeglass repair kit anymore. just a screw, nosepad, and the small screwdriver... i normally carry a spare pair, or if it's just a short overnighter, leave them in the car so i can drive home... i'm pretty blind too (20/400 in one eye, 20/200 in the other) and due to the difference, i have to work with the worst eye closed, or it just makes things even worse. my 'solution' is to have purchased a pair of safety lenses in a stronger plastic frame that doesn't have the nose pads... the hinges are those flex kind that hyper-extend. had them growing up, and seldom broke them. at worst, a lens popped out. but they were pretty bombproof. however, they were, and still are, expensive. i'm just fortunate enough to be able to have the second pair, and understand that's not an option for everyone... good lesson though, for those who've not already been through it. thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Registered User CynJ's Avatar
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    lol...his hands shake too much to try and fix them. And I've worn glasses sine I've been 4yrs old - I'm used to it. I just got SO steamed when the stupid screwdriver wouldn't fit. I should have checked it at some point but it was sort of a "duh" moment
    ~CynJ

    "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4
    GA-VA 2005, VA-CT 2007, CT-ME ??
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    I like Seeker's idea: minimize the potential break points. Plastic frames that integrate the nosepads rule. I'm not familiar with the flex-hinge, but now that I know about it, it's definitely worth looking into.

    Another trick I do is avoid folding up my glasses. Actually now that I think about it, in the 5-6 years I've had my current pair, I've never folded them, and only tightened the screws once a couple months ago. When I'm awake, I'm wearing them; when I go to sleep, they're just sitting nearby on a stuff sack with my headlamp and watch, or maybe resting with an earpiece in each shoe. It's just a way to keep the screws from getting loose through frequent use. Just be careful to put them in a safe spot.
    -Mark

  5. #5

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    when i get a new prescription, which seems to be getting more and more frequent, i buy a new pair of lenses to go into my military frames. we used to call these BCG's (birth control glasses) cause there was no way a girl was going to **** you with you wearing those ugly things!!! i also have a pair issued to fit under gas or scuba mask. it uses a strap rather than arms...much like some sports glasses.

    that being said my plan for my thruhike is as follows...extra pair of BCG's in my bounce box. the leatherman micra has a nice tiny screwdriver. but i have ground the otherwise useless fingernail file on my tiny swiss army knife to fit my glass screws. the tweezers help hold the screws and if all else fails, i carry about 2 ft. of booby trap wire which makes a good temp screw replacement...with that and some duct tape i can fix anything.

  6. #6

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    I am living very frugally right now, but it still seems like a worthwhile idea to get the best glasses that I can buy so that they don't break or fall apart.

    My last pair of Flexon glasses lasted 5 years and the frame was still going strong when the lenses became too scratched for me to enjoy wearing them any more. Now they are my emergency back-up. I just bought a pair of Nike Flexon again. They cost twice as much, but they last, they spring back when they bend, and with the previous glasses a screw never came out.

    I wore military aviator's glasses for 20 years. Even the new, nearly indistructable ones are not as good as the Flexon ones.
    Walk Well,
    Risk

    Author of "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike"
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  7. #7
    El Sordo
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    here's an idea borrowed from long distance sailors when buying repair parts for there gear. keep in mind that they may be in parts of the world where replacements simply aren't available. take the replacement part and install it and save the piece you removed to use as backup. you know the part you took out fits, it was already installed. you will quickly find whether or not the replacement part fits and find it out before you need it.

    works for glasses or stoves or whatever.

  8. #8
    Registered User Seeker's Avatar
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    the flex hinges i've had over the years have never lost a screw. the brand i wear is Safilo, but others make them too... i've heard of people using plumbing tape and a drop of epoxy on the screw to keep it in place, but i'm not sure exactly where it would go so that it could still work without locking the hinge. but maybe that was the point... you don't wear them closed, do you... i've used the SAK (just for you, CynJ- that's Swiss Army Knife LOL) tweezers as a screwdriver before... hmm... (he said, as the ultralighter in him began to stir) if they fit my glasses, maybe i can get rid of that little screwdriver out of my repair kit and save a gram or three... i'll have to check on that... ("gram weenie!", the others shouted... but he went on, lighter and therefore happier. until the cold came, and froze his lite a$$ solid.)(sorry... i'm in a strange mood today...)

  9. #9
    Registered User CynJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker
    the flex hinges i've had over the years have never lost a screw. the brand i wear is Safilo, but others make them too... i've heard of people using plumbing tape and a drop of epoxy on the screw to keep it in place, but i'm not sure exactly where it would go so that it could still work without locking the hinge. but maybe that was the point... you don't wear them closed, do you... i've used the SAK (just for you, CynJ- that's Swiss Army Knife LOL) tweezers as a screwdriver before... hmm... (he said, as the ultralighter in him began to stir) if they fit my glasses, maybe i can get rid of that little screwdriver out of my repair kit and save a gram or three... i'll have to check on that... ("gram weenie!", the others shouted... but he went on, lighter and therefore happier. until the cold came, and froze his lite a$$ solid.)(sorry... i'm in a strange mood today...)


    I generally don't have a problem with the screws on the hinges or the bows -just the stinking nosepads. I must go through 5-6 sets of nosepads a year. lol.....

    the flex hinges ROCK! especially for those of us that fall asleep reading or watching tv.

    you could always cut the handle down Seeker - or drill some holes in it. I know it could lighten up that baby.
    ~CynJ

    "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
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    How in the world do you go through 5-6 sets of nosepads a year? I've been wearing glasses for 15 years and never had a problem with one.

  11. #11
    Livin' life in the drive thru! hikerjohnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiker5
    How in the world do you go through 5-6 sets of nosepads a year? I've been wearing glasses for 15 years and never had a problem with one.
    Ditto - I only lost one nose pad in the past 31 years of wearing glasses and that was when I was hit in the head by a falling wrench at work (long story - my stupid mistake).

    On a more constructive note, I have added nuts to the screws that hold my lenses in. While it is not the most attractive solution, to keeping my lenses in, it works!
    So be it.
    --John

  12. #12
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    Cyn--

    Good thread. I've gone thru more glasses on the Trail than I can remember.

    A few tips for those who wear glasses:

    *ALWAYS carry a copy of your eyeglass prescription with you so can more
    easily replace lost or broken eyeglasses.
    *A repair kit is a good idea; if you don't have tiny screws or screwdiver when
    you need them, a small safety pin will work til you get to town; I always
    pack several of different sizes.
    *Glasses are most frequently broken in shelters, believe it or not. Owners
    put them down somewhere and they get stepped on, sat on, whatever.
    Also, when a glasses-wearer goes to sleep in a shelter, he often puts his glasses somewhere up by his head or at his side where it's easy for someone to squash them somehow.

    I would also suggest that every glasses-wearer bring a crushproof eyeglass case with them on their hike; you might whine about the weight, but in the long run it's worth it, especially, if like me, you're up a creek without your glasses.

  13. #13
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    I aways put my glasses inside my boots every night,,,so they don't get crushed, and so I know where to find them,,,also in my boots at night you will find my headlight, whistle, flashlight and medic alert necklace.
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Section Hiker - 900 miles TooTall's Avatar
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    Rather than trying to repair your glasses carry another pair of specs. If one gets broken you've got a backup. I carry prescription sunglasses as a backup/spare.
    "He who knows others is learned; he who knows himself is wise." - Tao Te Ching

  15. #15
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Be careful though about leaving your glasses out at night. Ever since the mice chewed up the nose pads on mine in a shelter - I learned my lesson and now keep mine in a soft eyeglass case. And mine also get easily scratched for some reason (even though they are supposed to be scratch resistant). Hate to have mouse toenail prints on them too.







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  16. #16
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    I only need my glasses to read/do close (small?) work. However, that also means I need my glasses in order to see to fix my glasses, , , , , ,

    So, I carry a 2nd pair of glasses, but no repair kit. There is a replacement pair in EVERY mail drop. Fortunatly, as I only need reading glasses, I can get them cheap ($5.00 to $15.00) as opposed to about $250.00 each for my wifes "blind as a bat" glasses.

    I tried a small light weight magnifying glass, however I found that I needed: a hand to hold the glasses, a hand to hold the scredriver (a hand to hold the screw?) and a hand to hold the magnifying glass. I hike solo, so am short about 1 or 2 hands

    To compensate & reduce the times I need to get the glasses out, hopefully cutting down on the wear & tear, I have my trail guide in a huge 24 point, or the size I need it to be to read in limited light. I also have the lines 1.5 spaced so as to allow better definition for my poor eyesight.

    Doctari.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  17. #17
    Registered User Seeker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiker5
    How in the world do you go through 5-6 sets of nosepads a year? I've been wearing glasses for 15 years and never had a problem with one.
    i've had mine for 34 years. never broke any either. until one day... i broke one somehow or other, and got a replacement set at walmart. it broke in a couple weeks... so i bought some more. and they broke again. after playing that silly game for a few more times, i went to their optical store counter, explained my plight, and they gave me a different kind of nosepad (not soft silcone, like the replacement pads) that has lasted just fine so far... so i guess quality is the issue... to their credit, they gave them to me for free...

  18. #18
    Registered User CynJ's Avatar
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    my problem is that the hard nosepad (although they hold up much better) cause pimples right where they sit and its miserable. So I buy the soft silicon ones that if you look at them crosseyed they break. Its a lousy trade off.

    I should be ok while backpacking as I plan on having a spare pair in the pack - it was just comical while day hiking to try and do this repair.
    ~CynJ

    "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  19. #19
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    ok... i understand now... there's one kind of repair kit that comes with a magnifying ring thingy that you poke the screwdriver through to use it... maybe that will help if there's a 'next time'.

  20. #20
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    Last summer I sheared the nosepad screw of my glasses while sleeping on the train to NYC and I tried to replace the nosepad with duck tape. Didn't work because it rubbed a hot spot on my nose. I found myself in a motel at Bear Mt. with no Opticians anywhere around, so I stripped a piece of twist tie that was on the back of a picture frame on the wall and used the wire as a screw substitute to reattach the nosepad. That worked great while I hiked all the way to Rutland, VT where I found an optician. Sometimes you just have to be resourceful.

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