Eyeglass Buying Guide For Hikers
For those with less than perfect perfect vision, glasses are a must even when they are hiking in the backcountry. Often, glasses are preferred over contacts because you don't need to worry about hygiene when putting them on or removing them. Although you can use your regular pair of glasses, it's a better idea to have a pair that is made to specifically meet the rigors of the trail.
Metal frames may look nice, but a lightweight plastic frame is more durable. Choose the lightest frame you can find so the glasses won't be uncomfortable or slip down your nose. The eye area should also provide good coverage – this isn't the time to look at fashionable thin rectangular frames that limit your vision range. Frames that hug the face without pinching are a good idea, as well, since these won't slip as easily when you are sweating.
Another reason to consider plastic frames is that it is much easier to make field repairs. Generally, all you need with plastic frames is an eyeglass repair kit in case a screw is lost along with a bit of duct tape in case the frame breaks and you need to make a temporary repair. Metal frames are often too delicate for a duct tape repair to help much.
Invest in durability
Glasses for hiking should have shock resistant plastic lenses, since you don't want to worry about a broken lens when you are away from civilization. An anti-scratch coating is also a good idea, since even a few scratches can majorly disrupt your vision.
Keep your vision clear
Glare and condensation are two major concerns when you are hiking. You can minimize glare by investing in an anti-glare coating. For sun, you have two options. Transition lenses work well if you don't want to carry sunglasses. Otherwise, you can bring along a second pair of prescriptions sunglasses or you can use clip-on sunglasses. Sunglasses are a must if you will be hiking across snow fields, since snow blindness is a real concern. As for condensation, ask for an anti-fog coating and also make sure you bring a small amount of anti-fog glasses cleaner with you. If the weather is cold, breathe out instead of up so your breath doesn't fog up your glasses.
For more help in choosing the best backcountry eyewear, contact an optometrist in your area such as those found at Olympia Eye Clinic, Inc., P.S.